Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Haciendas — A Parade of Homes operated as a virtual event. This month, Santa Feans can look forward to a combination virtual and in-person event.

Now in its 29th year, the Parade provides a unique venue for builders, architects, interior designers, landscape architects and other homebuilding-related professionals to showcase their work to a broad audience. It’s an opportunity for attendees to take self-guided tours through some spectacular homes. People considering having a custom house built can see the latest building techniques, materials and finishes, energy-wise options, plus see style trends meet the builders.

Executive Officer Miles Conway of the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association says his organization recognizes the benefits of hosting a virtual Parade option in addition to the live event. So, while the in-person tours are welcomed back this year, the online showcase will still be available as a benefit to those who prefer to skip public events and to those who live too far to visit but would like to see the entries.

“Our association is once again responding to the extraordinary times that we live in,” says Conway. “In a traditional Parade year, you would expect homeowners and builders to open their homes, to have hundreds of people come through on a daily basis. But in our current reality we have a few new things going on. There are lingering concerns about the virus.

“Also, there is an incredible supply chain issue going on, where you can’t get plumbing, fixtures, even concrete for foundations,” he says. “That reality has conspired to keep some builders/owners from being able to open homes that aren’t quite finished. So, we have flexed to respond to the circumstances of today.”

Due to those supply chain snags, some of the intended Parade properties were not able to reach completion in time for the event. So, the association is trying out a new feature this year — the chance to tour properties that are still under construction.

“Some builders will be entering a home in the Parade as an “under construction” experience,” says Conway. Patrons will have the chance to see the bones of a house and what goes into the construction process. This option will be by appointment only and details will be on the website.

Properties under construction won’t be judged for awards, but it’s still a significant occasion for the builders to show what’s available to prospective buyers. “These homes are exquisitely crafted, so the idea that we would rush them to finish just isn’t in the heart of this event,” says Conway. “They want to finish right, not finish now.”

There will also be a few virtual-only homes with no in-person touring, and a Twilight Tour of a few select homes is planned Aug. 20. That event will take place from 4 to 9 p.m. and is free.

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