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If you go
What: 2014 Town & Country New Home & Specialty Retail Tour
When: Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 3-4
Where: Homes in Fort Wayne, Huntington, New Haven, Roanoke and Auburn
Admission: Free; tour booklets at Scott’s, Kroger and Save-A-Lot groceries, also at sponsors Ruoff Home Mortgage at East Dupont and Pointe Inverness roads; Fort Wayne Newspapers at 600 W. Main St.; and WMEE-FM 93.3 and WQHK K105 FM offices at 2915 Maples Road

Town & Country offers model home tour

The greening of the landscape this spring has Fort Wayne area homebuilders seeing green – in the form of buyers eager to spend money on a new home.

Members of the Home Builders Association of Fort Wayne, sponsor of this year’s Town & Country New Home & Specialty Retail Tour, are hoping folks will spend some time this weekend and next touring 40 models of homes and villas that have sprouted with the recovering housing market, says Maurine Holle, executive director.

Feeling a bit more optimistic, builders are featuring mostly move-up homes this year, she says.

“It seems that the over-$300,000 market is where we’re pulling a lot of (building) permits lately,” Holle says.

“In past years, over 50 percent of our market was $200,000 or so and under. But I think it’s shifting a bit. It’s shifting more to the higher end.”

An example of the trend, Holle says, is the new Mediterra subdivision in southwest Fort Wayne, off Covington Road in the Southwest Allen County Schools area.

Developers Mike Thomas & Associates are offering quarter-acre lots.

Three of the show’s 20 builders have built homes there – Foster & Park Homes, Star Homes by Delagrange & Richhart and Lancia Homes, all of Fort Wayne

The homes all have four bedrooms, three-car garages, basements, 2.5 or 3.5 baths and range from 2,252 square feet to 3,379 square feet and are priced in the mid-$300,000s.

“I think builders are doing maybe less square footage, but more upgrades,” Holle says, including two-level kitchen islands, walk-in pantries, sunrooms and what some builders are calling an upside-down basement, a flexible bonus room on a home’s second floor.

For entry-level buyers, there are Lancia’s Chesapeake II in New Haven’s CastleRock subdivision, priced at $150,900 including the lot, and the Willshire III in Cypress Pointe on West County Line Road between Indiana 14 and Bass Road, $117,200 without the lot.

Both homes have four bedrooms, 2.5 baths, two-car garages and just under or over 2,000 square feet.

The tour also features seven villas, ranging from $137,000 to nearly $300,000.

Only about a half-dozen of the homes have been on previous tours, says Holle, who expects about 500 visitors.

“After this winter, I think people will be motivated to get out of their houses and go see (our) new product,” she says.

“I know people are probably wanting to get out and do yard work, but maybe they can hold off on that this weekend and look at houses instead.”