First off: Happy 4th of July!
As you may know, the Utah Valley Parade of Homes has ended a little over a week ago now, and it’s time to recap what we saw.
For us builders, we like to attend and see what others are doing, see what we might be able to learn about trends and new styles.
Not only do we like to attend the Parade of Homes, but we featured one of our models in the Parade as well.
We received thousands of visits, and many return visits as well. Those return visits are important to us. Since Parade attendees were only allowed to go back through two homes more than once, we felt glad to get a good showing from them. It means that they liked our product enough that they were willing to spend their two repeat visits on us.
We’re always trying to improve our product and provide the best value for our customers. In much the same way that you might go through a Parade home and look for cool ways to improve your future home, we were looking for similar ideas that could make our product even better.
A Few Things We Noticed in 2018
We tend to follow trends, only loosely. We understand that many trends can be fleeting, and often they can wear poorly over time. That’s not always the case, but we are careful about chasing after each and every trend that comes along.
So what trends did you see in this year’s Parade.
I think the most obvious trend that I noticed was the changing paint styles. Many people I talked to, commented on how most homes were white walls with white baseboard. Only a few homes had the traditional two-tone paint that kept the baseboards white, while giving some other color to the walls.
There was an exception to this. I noticed that a few builders were adding in a second color, but it was to the doors, not the walls. I thought this was a nice touch.
Aside from seeing a lot of white, there was still a lot of gray, which we’ve seen plenty of in the last several years. Gray has been a lot stronger of a color than I ever guessed it would be.
Another thing I noticed, which is something that I’ve seen in years past, but which I found more prevalent this year, was the detached tubs, like a modern clawfoot tub, but without the claws. I love these tubs. They’re elegant and beautiful, though they’re not always the easiest to get in and out of. I have a clawfoot tub at my home, and I’ve often taken my life into my own hands, or more appropriately, onto my own slippery feet.
Another trend that I noticed, was a lot of shiplap walls. I’m pretty sure this is one of those arts and crafts trends that has come about directly from HGTV. I could be wrong, but my sources seem to believe this.
Did you notice something about this year’s parade? Or rather, did you NOT notice something?
I didn’t notice many smaller homes or homes in the starter home market.
We build really great homes for folks who are 55 years and older. It’s something of a niche market, but we consider our homes to be a superb value for the empty nester crowd. So imagine my surprise when our show home was among the 5 most affordable homes in the show!
My first thought was, are we selling our homes for too good of a deal?
My next thought was, where are the cheaper starter homes at?
This is an interesting market. With land disappearing, land prices have been going up. It’s a lot harder to find a starter home these days than it used to be, and those who are building starter homes have such a high demand for their product, that they sell out before they can even model a home in something like the Parade of Homes.
I’m curious to see what the next decade or two does to our housing market. I imagine that we’re going to see a lot more communities like the one that just got vetoed out by Herriman, communities that are arguing for higher densities in order to satisfy the need for affordable housing with a growing population.
Obviously, when we go through the parade of homes, our goals might be different than for other attendees. When we tried to find ways we could improve or do things better, we were pleased that we’re already ahead of the game in many respects.
For example, our ceiling lights are 100% LED puck lights. These offer advantages over the older can lights that were designed for incandescent bulbs. They’re easy to replace, though you shouldn’t have to have them replaced for years. Also, they offer more light than a recessed can, while maintaining the same low profile.
There are things that we saw others doing that we’re debating changing for our own homes. One obvious one, which is perhaps only obvious to us, is the drywall texture. Almost everybody except for us is doing a textured wall.
We’ve always maintained the philosophy that a purely smooth wall is better than a textured wall, on account that it takes a better craftsman to make it look good. However, we may be the only ones who care about this.
For the most part, we feel like we know our customers very well, and are designing homes that are built around their needs and their values. We had a great showing this year, and received some wonderful feedback.
Thank you for attending this year, especially if you visited our show home. I’m sure I haven’t discussed everything you may have noticed in the Parade this year. If you saw something major that I left off, feel free to comment below.