Builders flaunt latest models _ jacksonville. com

The 63rd annual Parade of Homes opens Saturday, April 16, with guests touring 107 model homes on display in 82 neighborhoods throughout Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties.

The week-long event runs through Sunday, April 24, and includes homes in a range of prices from the $100,000s to $1.3 million.

The parade is presented by the Northeast Florida Builders Association (NEFBA), and Chet Skinner, 2016 NEFBA president, is looking forward to touring this year’s submissions.

“It’s one of our best events throughout the year,” Skinner said. “It’s a great way to let the community know about all the new homes that are being built from various price points.”

Many of the models focus on the Florida lifestyle, displaying beautiful outdoor spaces, as well as the latest in technology and interior design. Attendees have the opportunity to walk through the homes and learn more about the craftsmanship, builders and designers.

Skinner said, “These builders have put a lot of time and effort into creating these homes and showcasing their skills and capabilities to show what’s available in Northeast Florida.”

With 28 builders participating, this year’s show offers a diverse mix of custom features and luxury amenities.

Builders earn gold or silver awards for their entries. Award divisions are segmented by price and builders may also receive recognition in multiple divisions. Skinner said the awards “give buyers insight into who is building the best homes in Northeast Florida.”

Winners will be announced during the Parade of Homes Banquet on April 28, held at the Main Library in downtown Jacksonville.

This year, Dream Finders Homes is breaking records by submitting 14 homes for the event — the most homes on display by one builder in the parade’s history — across all four counties.

Dream Finders Marketing Manager Jenn Stewart looks forward to hearing attendee reactions to the new models.

“We really pride ourselves on putting a unique feature in every one of our models, so people can see spaces in a way they wouldn’t normally think to use them,” Stewart said.

Dream Finders has earned more than 25 combined gold and silver awards in the last four years, including a gold award last year in the $150,000-$160,000 division for its Meadowbrook model, located in Chestnut Ridge at Oakleaf Plantation in Orange Park. Stewart believes this year will be another success.

“We are really proud of our models. We’re excited for people to come through and tour them, and see all of the quality features,” she said.

Toll Brothers, another show veteran, has four models available in three Northeast Florida communities. Divisions Senior Vice President Steven Merten said the company worked hard to create distinguished homes uniquely suited for life on the First Coast.

“We’ve really focused on bringing the outdoors in,” Merten said. “We have sliding glass doors that pocket into themselves, which allow you to flow back and forth easily. We’ve been very successful in California with that type of design, so we brought some of that here.”

The Toll Brothers 2016 submissions are located in Julington Lakes in St. Johns County, with homes starting in the low $300,000s; Coastal Oaks at Nocatee in St. Johns County, where homes start in the mid $200,000s; and Atlantic Beach Country Club in Duval County, with home prices starting in the upper $500,000s.

The parade is free and open to the public. A full list of participating builders, homes, prices, floor plans, hours and tips for parade attendees is located in the 2016 Parade of Homes Magazine, available online at www. parade360.com, at Gate gas stations and in today’s Florida Times-Union.

Jacqueline Persandi: (904) 359-4306