Tuesday, June 11, 2024



Parade of Homes boasts custom homes inside and out

In the almost 20 years Johnny Wimberly has been building homes, he has seen a lot of changes in what people want. However, the difference between what people request now and when Wimberly started has nothing to do with the inside of a house.

“Outdoor living space is no doubt the biggest change I’ve seen. Large patios, screened porches, outdoor fireplaces, outdoor kitchens. Your unconditioned (not heated or cooled) space in a home has become so much larger, due to people really wanting an outdoor living space as it relates to cooking and a sitting area.”

But why? “I think some of it is trendy, and people have seen how nice an outdoor living space can be. I think a lot of people didn’t realize how nice (the area) can be.

Obviously, through Pinterest and all the other social media (platforms), they’re seeing these outdoor spaces.”

1 Wimberly Custom Homes

4956 Laurel Circle | Northwood Oaks | Shreveport

Wimberly, of Wimberly Homes, will feature some of his outside and inside work in this year’s Parade of Homes (POH), presented by the Home Builders Association of Northwest Louisiana (HBA). The event will be on the weekends of June 22-23 and 29-30, from 1-5 p.m. each day. Tickets are $10 in advance and can be purchased at POHtickets.com. On the day of the event, tickets will be $12. You can also see the location of each home by visiting the above website.

“The main purpose of the Parade of Homes is to provide the public with an opportunity to see new construction and remodeling projects — both spec houses and custom homes — the latest in design, construction and products put in by the professionals of the industry in this area,” said Dixey Robertson, executive officer for the HBA.

2 Greene Homes, LLC

359 Belle Winds Court | Esplanade | Shreveport

The POH has been held for more than 50 years. This year, 24 homes will be showcased throughout Caddo and Bossier parishes. You will see everything from starter homes to large homes to — as Robertson calls them — “mansion dream homes.”

3 Wimberly Custom Homes

2021 Silver Point | Silver Point at Lakeside | Shreveport

“All of the houses are built by the Home Builders Association,” Robertson explained. “They’re all licensed contractors. They submit their house, and it is inspected by the committee. … The builders show out. They bring their best, their nicest and their newest. They really want to have a great product to show to the public. There will be lots of dazzle and lots of pretty, pretty things to see.”

4 Greene Homes, LLC

389 Newburn Lane | Lakeside on Long Lake | Shreveport

And even if you’re not going to build a mansion, it’s worth looking inside.

“It’s also an opportunity to see gorgeous custom homes that you might never have a chance to go in because we have several houses that are big, custom projects that have taken (multiple) years to build. Even if you’re not going to build anything like that, you can still get some great ideas.”

5 Vintage Homes, LLC

9827 Canebrake Lane | The Grove at Garrett Farm | Shreveport

Wimberly will have three homes in the POH — two on the smaller end and one on the upper end.

6 Extra Touch Homes Inc.

323 Sweetleaf Avenue | Provenance | Shreveport

7 Vintage Homes, LLC

2136 Pecan Square Avenue Provenance | Shreveport (not pictured)

8 Parish Ramsey Construction

10911 Whispering Path | Southern Trace | Shreveport

“Outdoor heaters are a big one,” Wimberly said when describing some of the amenities people have requested he install in their outdoor living area. “They will put ceiling- or wall-mounted heaters, so when it’s cold outside, you can turn the heaters on and keep the chill down. A lot of people are doing fixed screens or motorized screens. Obviously, fireplaces and everything associated with outdoor cooking. Grills, griddles, ice makers and small refrigerators. Most of them have nice floor tile, so (the patio) is not just concrete. It’s kind of like a house, outside.”

One of the attractions of attending the POH is that you will have the opportunity to meet with the homebuilder. Wimberly will be at his upper-end home.

9 MJ Construction, LLC

1025 Horizon Hill | Southern Trace | Shreveport

“If someone is wanting to build a larger, higher-end custom home, I can tell them a little bit about my processes and what we do to help someone get to the finish line.”

Meeting different builders may be as important as the actual building of your home.

“You need to see if you’re going to click personally,” Robertson said. “You’re going to be spending a lot of time with this person, making a lot of high-dollar decisions, whether you’re building your dream house or a starter home. The way they work, they all have a little different process. It’s an opportunity to visit, then go back and have more in-depth conversations.”

10 Wimberly Custom Homes

344 Grand Rue | Belle Maison | Shreveport

11 Southern Home Builders Inc.

109 Cocodrie Circle | The Preserve | Bossier City

12 Sollevare Homes

117 D’Arbonne Street | The Preserve | Bossier City

“I think it’s important for the builder and the client that they have a very good working relationship,” Wimberly said. “A lot goes into these homes. There’s a lot of detail. There are a lot of specifications that have to be sifted through as you go. You have to have somebody that’s on your team as it relates to quality and control and also has a fiduciary responsibility to the finance of your home. I think it’s important for someone to understand that they have a builder that’s on their team. Sometimes, through small conversations, they might (be able to) get a feel that you have their best interest through all aspects of homebuilding.”

And when it comes to looking at a house, there’s no substitute for a finished product.

“Oftentimes, if (someone) is just driving down the road and a house is under construction, there’s debris everywhere. It’s good for people to know it can clean up. It will become showroom-worthy in the end. A lot of people can’t see that while one is under construction. It’s just hard to visualize it.”

You’ve heard for years that one of the most important parts of buying a home is “Location, Location, Location.” Wimberly believes that the same is true when deciding where to build a home.

13 Daniel Michaels Inc.

4720 Old Brownlee Road | Canal Place Estates | Bossier City

14 DSLD Homes

824 Venecia Drive | The Cove at Villagio | Bossier City

15 Ryan Smith Builders

21 Provident Oaks | Oak Alley | Bossier City

“Oftentimes, all people see when they’re looking at their phone is the listing of the house. They might know the location, but they don’t really see the entrance of the neighborhood, or how the neighborhood is laid out, or how many houses are going to be in the development. Are there going to be amenities? … They might not see the Wal-Mart is right up the road, or the restaurant is right up the road. I think knowing the location and what’s around it is a big deal, and I think sometimes you’ve got to find a way to drive them here and see if it might be something they never knew existed.”

The housing market took a hit during COVID, first from supply chain disruptions, and now, it’s feeling the effects of a significant increase in interest rates. However, Robertson said there has been “a healthy growth in the new home industry in this market.”

16 DSLD Homes

200 Barclay Boulevard | Cane’s Landing | Bossier City

17 DSLD Homes

901 Hackberry Drive | Willow Heights | Bossier City

18 Southern Home Builders Inc.

302 Prien Lake Loop | Edgewater Pass | Bossier City

19 DSLD Homes

203 Berkshire Place | Legacy Pointe | Haughton

“Obviously, interest rates are high, and the mortgage payments that a family can afford (are) going to be the driving factor for what they buy or what they build. … I think people marry the house and date the rate. It’s going to be a lot harder to get the house you want when rates are down than it’s going to be to refinance the house you love when rates come down. You’re looking at a 30- to 50-year investment, and I think people realize they can’t get hung up on what we expect to be a temporary increase in inflation.”

Wimberly believes that building the house you want will cost more if you wait two years.

“I don’t think things are going to get cheaper. … I’ve never seen prices go down of any significance to affect anything.

20 Maxie’s Interior Exterior of Louisiana

46 Copper Court | Olde Oaks | Haughton

21 DSLD Homes

307 Hummingbird Lane The Hills of Eastwood | Princeton

Wimberly estimates he’s been a part of some 20 POH events. He may not get a new client the weekend someone stops in one of his homes, but that doesn’t mean the POH doesn’t lead to new business.

“I think it’s a lot of indirect business. I think sometimes you might pick up a client or customer that’s either heard of you from someone who went through a Parade house, or maybe they came through a Parade house, but I do think there is a ripple effect that can’t always be measured.”

22 Robinson Construction, LLC

5213 Fritchton | Water’s Edge | Benton


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