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Latest housing trends on display at 70th Parade of Homes event

Posted: 4:14 PM, Sep 25, 2017
Updated: 2017-09-25 18:34:59-04

LEAWOOD, Kan. — When it comes to building homes, Patrick Willis is no stranger. 

“It's in my blood,” Willis said.

His father started the business, Willis Custom Homes, Inc., in the mid-1960s. Growing up around it, he knew that’s what he wanted to do.

“It just was a no-brainer to me to just join this successful company,” Willis said.

Now his work is being put on display in Leawood, Kansas, for the Parade of Homes event. 

“I just like how satisfied people are at the end; I'm just as excited as they are,” Willis said. “Just to see something like this, it's a dream come true for a lot of people.”

What’s unique about the home located at 15403 Birch St. is that it comes with an elevator.

It goes along with Willis’s theme of fit for life homes, creating easier accessibility for the homeowner. 

“The fact that we have the wider doorways and the wider hallways and the elevators,” Willis said, “It's not just for people with physical challenges but it's just more comfortable for anybody.”

When it comes to the housing market, Kari English with the Home Builders Association said the demand for homes is high.

“Year to date, I think builders are pulling more building permits than they were last year, almost 10 percent more,” English said. “And I think Parade of Homes is a testament to that.”

English said while Johnson County continues to be a popular area, different areas in the metro area are also on the radar. 

“We've seen permits, building permit growth in Clay and Platte County up north,” English said. “I think land is a little bit more reasonably priced up north than it is down south.”

For Willis, it’s all about making a house a home.

“I like taking them through the process, holding their hand when I need to, and then welcoming them to their new home that looks like this,” Willis said. 

There are 286 homes on display by 82 builders. Admission is free, and homes are open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Parade of Homes event goes on until October 8.

For a list of these homes and where they’re located, click here.