A few vivid memories from early visits to Homearama still delight me. My very favorite was going into an upstairs theatre room that Domes Audio Video Environments had created. It took my breath away!
There was a very comfortable yet elegant room centered around a huge TV with Surround Sound that seemed to shake the room. I sat on the sofa facing the screen and just did not want to leave to make room for the line of people still waiting at that door.
Up until that moment I was not aware of wanting for anything material. After that moment I wanted a great big TV with Surround Sound until the day came - years afterward - that I got one. I was as thrilled then as I was when I first saw that big screen at Homearama.
That home theater and other exciting innovations are what Homearama is really about.
The homes we all toured were within reach for some of us and the products displayed had something for almost everyone. If we couldn't yet afford the Polynesian Pool with the fountains of colored lighting, we could buy the latest mesh lounge chair that sat beside it. If we could not afford the two story home with five bedrooms and four garages, we considered a more affordable three bedroom ranch with a two car garage and gazebo out back.
This month we can see evidence in East Beach that normalcy is returning. We can't all afford all the homes on display in Homearama, but many of us can afford some of them. We can dare to dream again.
Over the years, the homes became more and more grand until the prices soared out of reach for all but the richest among us. Still, we toured and dreamed. When that 'irrationally exuberant' bubble burst, Homearamas suffered for a few years and we all knew why. Faced with the new reality, we looked but did not buy. Many couldn't even bring themselves to look.
The slowdown began before we knew it and is seemingly ending the same way.
Gradually, we have begun to breathe more easily and are looking ahead again. This month we can see evidence in East Beach that normalcy is returning. We can't all afford all the homes on display in Homearama, but many of us can afford some of them. We can dare to dream again.
These most recent Homearamas have offered homes built with buyers' wants and needs in mind and an eye to their budgets. Now, this Fall Homearama offers the appeal of traditional Americana beach homes. They may be our castles, but they don't look like castles, nor are they priced for royalty.
Let's go look.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 39 years.
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