Heart is where the Parade of Homes is

2012 event will showcase properties closer to city center, not suburbs

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter


photoClick on map to enlarge.

It's almost show time for Clark County homebuilders getting ready to impress dreamers, do-it-yourselfers and serious homebuyers alike at the area's biggest home showcase.

2012 NW Natural Parade of Homes

What: An open-house tour of four luxury homes that feature new design and construction concepts and a self-guided tour of 11 new homes in a wide variety of settings at various price points.

When: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, Sept. 7-23.

Where: Evergreen Pointe in Vancouver.

Special weekend: Remodeled Homes Tour, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 22-23.

Cost: $12 for adults and children 12 and older; free for children 12 and younger.

Tickets, parking information:http://www.clarkcountyparadeofhomes.com/index.php?p=parade.

The 2012 NW Natural Parade of Homes, which starts Friday, will be centered along the Columbia River this year. It will feature four upscale houses -- priced from $690,000 to $1.6 million -- in the Evergreen Pointe neighborhood on the south side of Southeast Evergreen Highway and west of Southeast Lieser Point Road.

The show, which opens at 11 a.m. Friday and runs through Sept. 23, also includes a self-guided tour of 11 new homes at sites from Vancouver to Kalama and a two-day tour of remodeling projects by local contractors.

"It's a great way to explore lots of options," said Jim Beriault, who is marketing the event for the 600-member Building Industry Association of Clark County, which puts on the annual show. The event is sponsored by Northwest Natural Gas Co., HomeStreet Bank and a slew of companies that depend on the housing industry.

This year's main attractions are the four houses built by custom homebuilders Tamarack Development and Axiom Homes at Evergreen Pointe in Vancouver, said Zach Jepsen, the association's marketing and events director.

The builders' Vancouver site selection was an intentional switch from last year's Felida suburb and the Ridgefield site in 2010, Jepsen said.

"The (builders) wanted to bring the show back to the heart of the community this year," he said of Evergreen Pointe, just a five-minute drive from Interstate 205.

There are still view lots available in the gated community, said John Colgate, a Vancouver-based real estate broker with Parker Brennan Real Estate in Vancouver. He said builders have only sold two of the four model homes being showcased by Axiom Luxury Homes and Tamarack Development.

The show houses occupy lots ranging from 0.5 acre to 1.5 acres and feature everything from the latest in kitchen design to new energy products for efficient climate control.

The four homes include:

• The Georgian, a 6,113-square-foot Colonial-style home that features a gourmet kitchen with a custom baking center, a claw-foot tub in the master bath, Columbia River-front views and an expansive outdoor living space.

• The Odyssey, also with waterfront views, this 3,605-square-foot Prairie-style home features custom tiles in its master suite and a spacious design with a central great room and outdoor living space.

• The Overlook, designed for aesthetics by Portland-based Mascord Design, the home's Modern Rustic-style design uses space and function to maximize views of the Columbia River, Portland's city lights and Mount Hood.

• The Timber Creek, a Northwest Craftsman-style design that includes interior mortise and tenon beams finished with hand-crafted corbels, a sitting-room tower and more views of the river.

Jepsen said homes at the Evergreen Pointe site represent the work and products of more than 100 local contractors and suppliers, including landscapers, plumbers and painters.

The craftsmanship of other local contractors will be showcased on the remodeled homes tour and the new-home tour, a self-guided vehicle tour of houses priced $250,000 and higher. Builders expect all three tours will showcase the services offered by area contractors and present options to every potential market, from the first-time homebuyer to folks who want to spruce up an existing home.

"One ticket gets you into all three tours," Jepsen said.