Visitors to Parade of Homes have builders optimistic

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - The first day of the annual Parade of Homes saw a steady stream of curious visitors.  In a slow economy, the potential buyers have builders optimistic.

"We've had a lot of people come out and I think it's an indication that things are going to turn around, and I hope they are," said Gerald Payne of Breland Homes.

Each of the 29 homes scattered from one end of the coast to the other offers potential buyers a chance to see firsthand what the market has to offer.

"Just checking out the different floor plans in different areas, because we are living in Gulfport, but just trying to look at different neighborhoods for expanding for to a larger home," said potential buyer Larry McVay who was on the tour with his family.

"Parade of Homes is something that we look forward to every year. We're glad that we were able to be a part of it this year. It always lets folks see stuff that they didn't even know existed," said Payne.

While the Parade of Homes has already seen more visitors than in past years, home builders say business has been slower overall.  However, they say buyers shouldn't shy away from the American Dream of owning a home.

"We're letting the house speak for itself. People come in and they see it and it's beautiful and people say, I can't believe we can build this for this money," said Payne.

"It definitely helps looking at the different areas and having a game plan with the different routes that they give you," said McVay.  "Trying to take advantage of the market while it's here."

Parade of homes is sponsored by the Home Builders Association and continues Sunday from 11 to 5.  For a map of the homes, click here.

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