BEND, Ore. - The Central Oregon Builders Association's Tour of Homes is back for its 31st year. COBA officials say people from all across the United States come to High Desert every year to check it out.
There are 54 homes on the tour, ranging from $229,000 to $2.8 million. This is the first of two weekends for the event.
Tim Knopp, COBA’s executive vice president, said Friday the market is moving toward a greener standard. That means many of the homes on the tour are solar-powered and energy-efficient.
Knopp added that the pricier homes on the tour are also completely electronic smart homes, including the largest and most expensive home on the tour. It’s a 6,000-square-foot home in northwest Bend that recently sold for $3 million.
Knopp said homes like these sell quickly at this time of year.
"Really, spring and summer are the hottest markets here in Central Oregon for housing,” Knopp said. “A lot of people are moving during those time frames. This is the perfect time really to showcase what there is to offer here in Central Oregon."
Knopp said every year, millions of dollars’ worth of transactions happen within a 2- to 3-week period before and after the tour. He said a lot of the homes will be bought as rentals.
These tours seem to help in his mind, but what did people taking the tour Friday have to say about how much it can help their search for a new home?
"I think quite a bit,” said Jeff Griswold, an interested buyer. “These introduce us to neighborhoods, developments and builders that we wouldn't otherwise be exposed to."
"I think it's a big help,” said Shawn Akacich, who’s taken these tours in each of the past 15 years. “I would not have known that this (home) was up here if I hadn't come on the tour."
Knopp said 10,000 to 15,000 people visit at least one home on the tour every year.
For more details about the tour, you can visit COBA’s website.