Florida parade of homes event - living room

Orlando home building hit the highest levels in more than a decade last year, with construction crews starting work on nearly 29,000 single-family houses, townhomes, and apartments, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Sales have continued to remain at a steady pace so far for 2019 in spite of the national trend showing a decline in sales in many markets.

Parade of Homes Orlando

Building Savvy Publishers Beverly and Steve Smirnis were invited to judge Orlando’s recent Parade of Homes, a signature event hosted by the Greater Orlando Builders Association (GOBA). We each served on one of the two teams judging the finalists to name the Grand Award winner. They were spread across every county that makes up the Greater Orlando area–Orange, Seminole, Volusia, Lake, Polk and Osceola counties, so it was a long day of driving, but very worth it to see the fabulous homes and get to know the other members on our three-person judging teams and our driver volunteers who drove us many miles that day in their Cambria Dragon vehicles. 

Central Florida Homes

It was fun and inspiring to visit the different neighborhoods and compare the likes and differences between homes in Central Florida and North Texas. The biggest difference–we saw no brick homes! Most of the homes are concrete block construction with stucco finishes; some were lap siding. Inside, the decor and decorating trends mirror Dallas/Fort Worth homes and indicate that Orlando area designers are on trend with bright fresh colors making a comeback.

Navigating the Parade

We also liked the way GOBA ran their scattered site Parade. There was a printed guidebook, a website where people could search by builder, price, and type. Some of the entries were only showcased in the printed and online materials and not open to the public, but eligible for judging. This made it possible for builders in gated communities and remodelers to enter their work. The guides listed the hours for each home that was open during the parade dates over two weekends and the weekdays between.

Mums the word on the category winners and the overall Grand Award winner until the awards banquet on June 1st. But here’s a peek at some!

We drove across all six counties comprising the Greater Orlando area to do our judging.

Not surprisingly, outdoor living areas in Orlando were outstanding.

Various shades of “blush” was a hue we saw a lot of and really dug!

The Orlando market seems to do a good job at lighting selection.