Top of the Morning, June 17, 2014

Top of the Morning, June 17, 2014

For the last-minute lowdown on the Showcase of Homes, which runs Friday through June 29 in Savoy, we went to a voice of experience: longtime Realtor Stefanie Pratt. "I built my home in the last Showcase of Homes in Liberty on the Lake in 2009," she said. "I experienced almost 7,000 people through my house and it was interesting to see and hear the comments."

Here's more from the chair of the '14 Showcase:

Why the five-year break?

The past five years we have not had a subdivision that has stepped up to host the showcase and we need five builders to also commit. Many builders preferred to not build much of the spec homes as others so it was hard to get the commitments. The economy took a hit and it affected things overall. Now that things are looking up and real estate is strengthening, it was time to get a showcase up again.

Think it will be here to stay?

I do think it will be around for a while but there will be a change in how things are done. Hopefully it is done yearly but we need to ensure a subdivision is committed, then getting the builders will follow.

What's the key to winning the Builder's Choice award?

People that view and vote tend to look at ease of living, neutral tones that can be decorated in their style, and it seems ranch homes are popular when it comes to winning. Stepping outside the box with new ideas can also assist. People love ideas that grab them and they feel they can implement in their own homes or styles, no matter what the price range.

Is tailgating allowed?

No, tailgating is not allowed; however, we will have water for sale for hydration.

What are some "do's and don'ts" for those of us who will attend?

A few key rules to follow but how about, if you think you should not do it, don't.

— Please wear the booties, while putting them on inside the home, and taking them off outside to walk in between homes. People ask me why no bare feet and why booties? The oils on people's feet can wear on the carpet. These homes will be lived in by someone so we want to keep them like new. A showcase home gets more traffic in 10 days than it will most likely see in its lifetime so imagine the stress of this on the home interiors. Over 7-10,000 people over 10 days!

— Please do not use the bathrooms inside the home, only the porta potties. We want these homes to smell nicely for others walking through.

— No turning the microwave or ovens on to see if they work, as most of the time the packaging is still in them in case a new owner wants to switch things out. Yes we have had a small fire due to this so please don't make a spectacle of yourself on this one.

— No jumping on the furniture as this is not a bounce house.

— It is OK to talk to the representative and ask questions. They won't bite ... hard.

Should I leave the kids at home?

Most of the time younger kids have no fun at these events and will tire easy after a few homes. We have seven homes, with different levels so it wears on the little ones. No strollers are allowed in the homes either so they must walk or be carried. Please no dragging your child. We talked about having an area for them, supervised, but did not have it worked out this year. We do ask that kids be watched at all times as there are breakables and please don't have them napping on the beds. Yes, that has happened, and turning the TV on while getting comfortable.

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