An Insider's Guide to the Parade of Homes

Camas, WA – Recently I had the pleasure of attending the NW Parade of Homes, an exciting showcase featuring seven of the area’s luxury builders with ten dream homes over $1M. The Parade of Homes is in its 41st year, and this year the Parklands at Camas Meadows was the featured development (get all the details here).
It was my first opportunity to attend a Parade of Homes, and I was excited about the prospect of touring custom built homes in the Camas area. I knew the homes would be unique, the attention to detail unparalleled, and the inspiration unlimited. One of my favorite parts of attending the Parade is collecting ideas that I can implement in my own home.
NW Parade of Homes sponsored by Cascade Sotheby's

Who Should Attend a Parade of Homes?

Anyone interested in amazing real estate! The Parade offers an opportunity to check out the latest home décor trends, as each home is fully furnished and meticulously landscaped. My interest tends toward modern design, though I can appreciate a variety of styles – and that’s what the NW Parade of Homes had to offer. The architecture and design ranged from traditional to farmhouse to modern to glam. There’s truly something for everyone.
In addition to design, a Parade of Homes is an opportunity to scope out either 1) a particular neighborhood or 2) a particular builder. The Parade is a perfect way for prospective homebuyers to compare locations, features, and builders. You’ll also meet brokers that can assist if you are interested in beginning a home search, or listing your own home.

Top Parade Tips

If you’re about to attend your first Parade of Homes, I’ve got some advice for you. Here are my top five tips to ensure you get the most out of the event and, most importantly, have a fabulous time.
1. Wear comfortable shoes that come on and off easily. I made the mistake of coming directly from work and wearing high heels. There are golf carts available to transport guests from the parking lot to the homes, but then you are on your own in terms of walking from house to house.
When you get to each home, you’ll typically be required to wear shoe covers before entering. You may even be asked to remove your shoes entirely if the owner requests it. You’ll make your life much easier if you wear shoes that slip on and off.
2. Make sure your phone is charged for pictures. You’re going to want to take a lot of pictures – trust me! There are way too many beautiful details to go without a camera. Charge your phone or digital camera before you go so that you are ready to roll.
Tip: several of the builders have social media contests with prizes available for posting images with certain hashtags. Pay close attention at each home so you can enter!
3. Ask questions. Representatives from the builders and real estate agents are typically available to answer questions – so ask them! Sometimes the home owner is even on hand, which gives you the perfect opportunity to get insider information on the neighborhood if you are in the market to purchase. Be sure to check out the listing materials available, usually found on the kitchen counter or entryway of the home.
4. Visit the sponsors. Look for the sponsorship area at the Parade of Homes and go visit their booths. At the NW Parade, all the booths were in the center near a wine and food area. It’s a nice place to take a break between visiting homes, and you can collect information from/chat with each sponsor. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy supporting local businesses that are actively supporting community events.
5. Be courteous. Some of the Parade homes might be available for purchase, but others have residents who have graciously opened up their homes to the general public. Treat their home as you would your own home – don’t bring in any food or drink, and look but don’t touch.
Overall, the Parade of Homes was a fantastic experience and a unique opportunity to see inside some of Southwest Washington’s most beautiful properties in an exclusive neighborhood. I’ll definitely be heading back next year.
About the Author: Amy Anderson is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Cascade Sotheby’s, representing the Portland Metro Area.
Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty is honored to be the featured brokerage for the 2018 NW Parade of Homes. If you’re interested in lots available in the Parklands at Camas Meadows, click here.