Monday, April 4, 2011

A Better Point of View

My sister and two nieces were over on Sunday and I suggested one of my favorite hobbies - touring some models on the Parade of Homes. I have been going to the Parade of Homes for the last twelve years but this was my favorite experience- more on that in a bit. My daughter had just ate so we had a three hour window before she would want more to eat. This would be her second time touring homes with me so at four months old, she is already an experienced home shopper. Bringing the baby also allowed me to multi-task; I got a pretty good work-out in carrying her around as we house shopped. I enjoyed her company on my previous outing but she is more of a silent observer and seems to prefer napping. I am told to enjoy this phase while it lasts!

We headed out and I quickly realized that bringing my six and eight year old nieces added an interesting element to the tour. Their insight had me looking at the homes in a totally different light. For instance, the first home had a living room with an oak railing overlooking the main level. My niece informed me that the room was perfect for playing "jail." I don't know what this "jail" game involves but it was definitely a good selling point for the home in her opinion.

Next, we went to the Cobblestone Lake neighborhood in Apple Valley. The advertising proclaims that "Cobblestone Lake offers the nostalgia and stability of old-fashioned traditional neighborhoods" and is "reminiscent of yesteryear." As my sister and I commented how the area does look like grand older neighborhoods, my younger niece pointed out that "the houses can't look old because they are new." Good point! The kids agreed that Cobblestone gets both of their votes because the houses had pretty colors, there is a neighborhood pool and it is close to a HUUUGE Target store.

The girls also were quick to point out flaws that I overlooked. A beautiful tiered front yard seemed like great curb appeal to me. They informed me that the yard "might be good for floods but is bad for babies." They definitely had safety one their minds again when they told me that a sliding door opening up to a not-yet-built deck was a "terrible idea." Bedrooms painted pink and chalk board paint were big hits as were oversized amusement rooms where you could practice gymnastics. The models that served treats were also high on their list.

We made it through seven homes before it was time for my baby's next meal. Overall, it was definitely my most memorable Parade of Homes tour. I just have to apologize to my sister since she had to hear her kids beg her to build a new house the whole way home.

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