Local News

Parade of Homes brings buyers, browsers

Posted October 11, 2009 6:05 p.m. EDT
Updated October 11, 2009 10:51 p.m. EDT

— Home sales are looking up during the second weekend of the Parade of Homes. The event gives prospective buyers a chance to tour new single-family houses, townhomes and condominiums ranging in price from $120,000 to $2.3 million across Raleigh and Wake County. The parade also includes one entry each in Durham and Franklin counties.

Prospective homebuyer Macine Powell came to check out some of the houses featured this year, but isn't quite sure if she is ready to buy.

"I am retired so it would be something totally new. Affordability will be very, very important,” Powell said.

Chairman Wes Carroll said shoppers are hesitant, even with incentives such as the $8,000 tax credit being offered to first-time homebuyers.

"Now is the time for someone who is on the fence and trying to capitalize on that tax credit to make their move,” Carroll said.

But despite the down economy, Carroll said 10 homes on parade sold last weekend.

"We're seeing people starting to get a little bit better confidence in where the economy is heading,” he said.

However, Carroll said the recession brought the number of entries down significantly this year – from nearly 400 to 144. But because the same economic concerns have kept other builders associations from holding parades at all, Wake County sellers have an upper hand.

Sixteen other homes were dropped because they sold before the parade started, Carroll said.

The federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers ends Nov. 30, and if you want to take advantage of it, you need to buy this month to go through the loan process and close.

The tax credit is equal to 10 percent of the home's purchase up to a maximum of $8,000 and is available to single tax-payers making less than $75,000 or married couples with a combined income of less than $150,000.

Homebuyers must also live in the home for three years or pay back the tax credit.

The 44th annual Parade of Homes continues Oct. 16-18 from noon-5 p.m.