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Parade of Homes draws weekend crowd

By Sherry Koonce skoonce@news-journal.com
Nov. 4, 2012 at 11 p.m.

If Miranda Burson gets her way, the old popcorn ceiling in her Longview home is coming down.

In its place she envisions a wood ceiling - much like the one she saw while visiting newly-constructed houses featured in Longview's 2012 Fall Parade of Homes, sponsored by East Texas Builder's Association.

The Bursons, along with their daughter, Anna, and mother, Ruth Ann, spent both Saturday and Sunday driving around the Longview area for an up-close look at the 18 homes in this year's tour.

"There was brick on one ceiling and wood on others. I really like the wood because it would be an easy way to cover that old popcorn ceiling up," Miranda Burson said.

Some, like the Bursons, looked for ideas they could incorporate into their existing homes, while others looked for builders to construct a new home.

Though Annette Adams, of Liberty City, typically attends the Tyler Parade of Homes, she decided this year to venture out into Longview.

"We purchased a lot in Liberty City and are looking for a builder. I've got some awesome ideas so far," Adams said while inspecting a hillside home at 1207 Marigold Lane that featured a walkout basement and breathtaking views.

The builder, Ryan C. Pierce, contractor/owner of Longview Alpha Construction Co., was on hand Sunday to answer questions and to get feedback from potential clients.

"Some of the new homes we're building today are more contemporary than in years past, with silver replacing bronze," Pierce said.

The hillside home took advantage of the fall foliage framing the lot with large picture windows.

In addition to the views, there were plenty of new products to unveil, like silk porcelain tiles in the master bathroom.

Another home included in the tour, at 2205 Bandera Trail, featured high end cabinetry that was as functional as it was attractive.

The home was the first built in the new Enchanted Hills subdivision off H.G. Mosley Parkway.

The builder, James Varner, died this past June while on vacation with family, his wife Donna said.

"He had this home almost complete when he died," she said. "

Throughout the home, James Varner's ability to functionally utilize space was evident, especially in the kitchen where a wine rack was built into a narrow space.

"He was real good with space, and attention to detail," Donna Varner said.

Participating in the Parade of Homes always offers the builder insight, Varner said.

"We pay attention when people walk around, waiting to hear what they like and dislike. We are looking for that 'wow' factor," Varner said.

Friends Calvin Sanders, Rick Peterson and Dwayne Canup, all of Big Sandy, toured the newly-constructed homes Sunday with an eye toward design.

One of the best ideas Canup said he's seen this year was at the Bandera Trail home.

Hidden in the cabinetry beside the kitchen vent-a-hood was a pleasant surprise, Canup said.

"They look like sconces, but when you pull them out, they are spice racks," Canup said. "Make no bones about it. I am here stealing ideas."

For those who missed the tour, there will be a chance next weekend to get a peek at the latest in home products and design, or possibly even purchase one of the homes.

The 2012 Fall Parade of Homes in Longview is scheduled for next Friday, Saturday and Sunday.



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