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Whidbey homes showcased by homebuilders

The Skagit and Island Counties Builders Association is holding their first “Tour of Homes” on Sept. 16, 17 and 18.

The tour is an opportunity for perspective homeowners to see what’s out there. Four of the 18 homes on tour are located in Whidbey Island, and two of these four are located in Coupeville. The homes available to tour range from 670-square-foot condominiums to 5,500-square-foot lakefront beach homes.

The event is geared toward people who are looking for ideas to build their own home, or for people who just want to explore what’s on the market.

“We want to promote this to everyone, from retired people to younger people who want to find a spot to build their dream home,” said Karen Mills, events coordinator at the Skagit-Island Counties Builders Association (SICBA).

Mills said that the tour of homes should be successful because Skagit and Island Counties have so much to offer.

“The communities are closely knit, and I think that’s a big draw for people,” she said.

SICBA is a non-profit trade association of builders and associates. Their members include workers involved in all phases of the home-building industry, whether they be construction workers, bankers or real estate brokers. They promote their members to work together on home-building projects.

“These people are genuine and hard-working,” said Mills. “What you see is what you get.”

The tour of homes is the first for SICBA, but not for the home-builders industry.

“A lot of builders associations have been doing similar projects,” Mills said. “We decided our association has grown to the point where we can handle this type of event.”

The tour gives SICBA members the opportunity to showcase their work. They will be onsite during the event. Mills said this is great for people on the tour because when they see something innovative they can ask the builder about it.

Not all SICBA home builders are taking part in the event, because not all of the home builders have final products at this time.

SICBA is planning on holding the tour of homes every year during late summer or fall. Mills predicted that as time goes on, more builders will plan around this event, so more homes will be showcased with each passing year.

This particular tour is called a “scattered site.” Those who participate will need to provide their own transportation to the sites. But they can visit as many or as few of the homes during the open hours.

The Web site is a helpful tool for any one interested in taking the tour. It lists all of the builders, and includes a preview of each of the homes along with a map directions to the sites.

Tickets for the tour can be bought at Wells Fargo and People’s banks for $7 each; kids 12 and under are free.

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