For the 50th time in Cincinnati, it is Homearama season.

Begun in 1962, the summertime showcase of custom homes is produced by the Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati. This year's show is located in the Clermont County portion of Miami Township, at the exclusive neighborhood of Willows Bend and runs June 9-24.

Willows Bend, developed by Hal Homes, touts accessibility and convenience. It is situated just one minute from I-275, off the Wards Corner exit.

Energy Savings

At the show's six homes, "you'll continue to see a whole lot of bells and whistles, but the homes' footprints are somewhat scaled back," says Dan Dressman, executive director of the Home Builders Association.

Also scaled back are energy bills. In fact, Potterhill Homes' entry in the show is The Zero Energy Home, priced at $768,800. Superior construction technology and a 5-kilowatt solar panel system lets this home pay its own utility bills, according to Potterhill's website.

The energy-conscious trend is playing out for all builders.

"There is more energy efficiency in all new construction," Dressman says.

Also in this year's Homearama homes, as attendees and buyers have come to expect, are fine craftsmanship, smart technology, new designs, decorating ideas and outstanding living spaces, Dressman says.

Outdoor living spaces, in particular, have grown in popularity, apparently replacing pools as a must-have amenity.

"People are getting away from having pools," Dressman says. "They're an expensive item that gets little use (in this climate), and they may be a detriment when you go to sell."

Outdoor Living Popular

Outdoor living rooms, on the other hand, can be used two or three seasons out of the year, he adds.

This kind of livability and functionality are becoming cornerstones in home construction.

"More people are looking at what their needs are and not as much at their wants "” they're focusing on functionality," Dressman says.

Three of the six homes in the show are pre-sold, including that of the only repeat builder from 2011, Justin Doyle Homes.

The Medinah features rich woods, striking architectural details, arched gallery-style entries and hallways, plus voluminous ceilings and an open floor plan, says Chuck Greene, sales and marketing director for the home builder.

There is even some family sentiment among the entries.

Walker Homes' entry is the Dennison, "a home named after my father who was in the home building industry here in Cincinnati for 35 years as an owner in Zicka Walker Homes," says Brent Walker.

"He (Dennis) got me into the business but passed away in 2008." - 

The 411
June 9-24
Willows Bend by Hal Homes, Inc.
Off Wards Corner Road.
Miami Township, Clermont County

"” Homes range from $675,000-$1 million

"” 4-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday

"” Noon to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday

"” Tickets $13 at the gate or $11 at Kroger stores.

"” Children under 12 are free if accompanied by an adult.

"” On Mondays, members of the military with ID save $3 per ticket.