Making the Most of Your Parade Experience

Four days, 19 homes, 50 miles of beautiful Outer Banks scenery. Covering everything there is to see at the 24th Annual Outer Banks Parade of Homes sounds like an adventure easily accomplished. And yes, it is very do-able.
However, after hosting 23 Parades of Homes, we have found there are some steps our visitors can take to be more productive and enjoy the experience a little bit more.
The Basics
1. Make your reservation with one of our local property management companies. This is really important; Columbus Day Weekend has become an important part of the fall visitation mix with a number of events falling on the weekend in addition to our Parade of Homes.
2. Pack a variety of clothing. October days can be warm and sunny, October evenings cool and some of our builders schedule evening get-togethers.
3. Comfortable shoes are a must. Homes are most often two to three stories with stairs leading up to the main entrance. Flip-flops are wonderful for a walk on the beach, but walking shoes will make the day a little easier.
Planning
1. Plan or map out a strategy. With 19 homes spread out from Nags Head to Corolla, there’s a fair amount of driving involved. Yes, the Outer Banks is aligned north to south, but almost all of the homes on our the tour are on side streets, and one of them is at the end of a dirt road. Trying to see all 19 homes in one day is not feasible; 19 homes in two days can be a stretch. Relax, enjoy the Outer Banks and take some time to get to know the different towns and areas.
2. Know what you’re looking for. Our homes in this year’s Parade of Homes range from 1200 square feet to 10,000+. Is the reason for the visit to find a retirement home or an investment? We hope you’ll take time to visit all of our homes, but recommend spending more time looking over the homes that meet your needs.
3. Ask questions. Ask a lot of questions and take notes. It is remarkable how easily forgotten the details of a conversation can be. Our builders are proud of what they do and look forward to discussing their work.
4. Take a camera and take pictures—lots of them (after asking if the builder or owner mind). Visual cues are a great way to recall what was seen.
5. Take time for lunch. Walking through a home and concentrating on what a builder is saying is easier if lunch is not on your mind. Our local restaurants serve wonderful food and a midday break is an enjoyable way to relax a bit and think about the homes that have been visited.
Don’t Forget
1. Be sure to vote for your favorite homes on the back of your ticket and be sure to leave it in the last home you visit. The completed ticket will also enter you in the long weekend return Getaway Giveaway if you have visited 2/3 of the homes—so be sure to get your ticket punched at each home.
2. Have fun!