uac092910001.gif There is nothing quite like being a homeowner. The sense of pride and ac-complishment that comes with being master of your own kingdom, whether it is a starter home on .10 of and acre or an estate consisting of many acres is hard to beat and the Homebuilders Association of Fayetteville (HBAF) knows it. They’ve been promoting home ownership for more than 45 years.

“The Parade of Homes debuted in Fayetteville in 1963, which was the same year that the HBAF was chartered,” said Natalie Woodbury, of the Homebuilders As-sociation. “The Parade of Homes promotes home buying and home owner ship.”

The HBAF sees home ownership as a way to adds strength to the community, improves the quality of life, and increases the sense of pride within a family, according to their website. This event focuses on new construction and allows participants to see a cross section of new homes available in the local market, specifi cally Cumberland, Hoke and Harnett counties.

This year, the Parade of Homes will be held over two weekends, Oct. 2-3 and Oct. 9-10. The homes on display range in price from $550,000 to $163,000. They are all new construction, and each home will have a realtor on site to answer any ques-tions that may come up. It is free and open to the public.

“We are very proud of these builders and appreciate their support,” said Woodbury, adding that there is always something new to see from year to year in the homes on parade. “I think that my favorite part is seeing the new trends — what is different from last year, the different floor plans and the newness of having it every year. That is what makes it exciting.”

To keep it simple and user friendly, there are no meeting points or bus rides, no scheduled tours and no guides.09-29-10-poh-map.gif Just take a copy of the map and wander from home to home. You don’t have to go in order, and you don’t have to go to every home, or visit all 27 of them if you like.

Woodbury noted that the last house on the tour is a Habitat for Human-ity home. Habitat for Humanity has been a part of this community since 1998. The mission is to “work in partnership with God and people everywhere, from all walks of life, to develop communities with people in need by building and renovating houses so that there are decent houses in decent communities in which every person can experience God’s love and can live and grow into all that God intends.” Ending poverty and homelessness is the ultimate goal. Habitat for Humanity homeowners work side by side with volunteers to build their structure.

“The 27th home is a Habitat for Humanity home,” said Woodbury “And we are doing that to make the community more aware of Habitat and that it is there, and the good work that they do.”

In addition to promoting home ownership and healthy communities, the HBAF and the Arts Council Fayetteville/Cumberland County have partnered to include the arts and local artists in this endeavor.

A few months ago a call for art went out to local artists seeking a work to represent this year’s event. “This was the second annual competition. A.J. Rog-ers won this year,” said Woodbury. “His piece is titled Welcome Home. It is on all of our marketing material and on the tour guide. This part of the event is exciting because it pairs both of our associations (HBAF and the Arts Council Fayetteville/Cumberland County) together — and it is a really pretty piece of artwork.”

For a complete listing of homes by location and price, as well as other infor-mation about the Parade of Homes, 09-29-10-parade-of-homes-logo.gifincluding the map, visit the website at www.fayettevilleparadeofhomes.com.

The welcome mats are out, stop by any of the homes on the fi rst two weekends in Oct. and take a gander at what the local homebuilders have been up to. Homes will be open from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 12-6 p.m. on Sunday.

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