Builders to launch spring tour of homes
Apr 14, 2012 (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The Metropolitan Builders Association will kick off its annual spring tour Saturday, showcasing 50 new homes, condominiums and remodeling projects to consumers.
The event is meant to connect an anticipated 5,000 consumers with contractors from around the state. The models are scattered around the four-county area.
As the economy improves, the tour provides a space for consumers to get more details about building and remodeling their own homes -- something many consumers have put off in recent years, said Kristine Hillmer, executive director of the MBA.
Among the association's membership, Hillmer said, there's a buzz going on.
"We sense a lot of cautious optimism," Hillmer said. "They're telling us they're busier, they have more consumers seeking them out and asking about building a house or remodeling."
While the housing market isn't quite booming like it has in prior years, Hillmer said the association is seeing an uptick in activity, which is promising.
"With the unemployment rate going down, and people feeling secure, there's a direct impact on people wanting to model, rebuild or do something to their home," Hillmer said.
The state's unemployment rate of 6.9% in February is the lowest it's been since December 2008.
The number of building permits issued is also proving to be an indication that buyers are looking to do more with their homes. Home construction permits rose 8.8% in Wisconsin in the first quarter of 2012.
For those consumers who are not necessarily looking to overhaul their houses, Hillmer said the MBA's spring tour still holds something for them.
"A lot of people come through because they want to look for design ideas or look for the latest trends in home design," Hillmer said. "It gives people ideas to what they can do to their own home to make it better fit their lifestyle."
In addition to the annual showcase this spring, the association will have its annual home parade in August.
IF YOU GO
What: Metropolitan Builders Association Spring Tour of 50 new homes, remodeling projects, condos and lots
When: Three weekends, April 14-29, from noon to 4 p.m.
What's new: Remodeling projects will be featured the second weekend only, April 21-22
Where: Scattered sites. A complete list and map can be found at MBAspringtour.com
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