Annual Parade of Homes

Chris Flores
Chris Flores
Ginny Eji
Ginny Eji

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

EWA BEACH (KHNL) - An annual event designed to showcase the latest design trends and technology in Hawaii homes, is also giving many first time home buyers a chance to see where they'd like to live.

For many shopping for a new place to call home, they also face many choices, like location, size and price. That is why some look to the Building Industry Association Parade of Homes, which features the best models developers have to offer.

There's a lot of foot traffic in Oahu's model homes. As Sunday shopping for some, means looking for a new place to live.

"This weekend I've been looking for a place, I've been looking all over the island," said Chris Flores.

Flores just moved back to the islands, and wants to buy his first home. While the interest rates are low and the government tax credit is still around. And he is not alone.

"You save $8,000, so I'm looking forward to that," said Flores.

"The majority of people we are seeing are first time home buyers, they are young in their mid 20s to mid 30s. They're very interested in the entry level homes, the lower priced homes," said Ginny Eji, with Gentry Homes.

Many potential buyers have found things to like in Ewa by Gentry. Just some of the featured properties in the Building Industry Association's Parade of Homes. Which for the first time also includes a grand champion model that is affordable, one ranging in price from $400,000-$500,000.

In addition to price, another draw for home buyers is something they might notice every month. Lower electricity bills. These new homes are greener models, with solar hot water heaters, heat reducing insulation and other standard features.

"They also have dual pane windows, CFLs, and energy star rated appliances that contribute to a very energy efficient home," added Eji.

Home prices haven't dropped since last year, but developers are enticing buyers in with these more energy efficient features.

Nearby, at Hoakalei, another Parade of Homes entry is also attracting a lot of attention. For about twice the price, you can get twice the home. A nearly 3,000 square foot model packed full of amenities and upgrades. Luxurious living with a big price tag but it is still a big draw even during this economy.

Time is ticking down on that $8,000 first time home buyer tax credit. In order to qualify, buyers must close on a home before December first.