Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Checking Out Other Peoples Houses

Basically that’s what a home tour is, you get to go and check out other peoples houses without appearing to be too nosy. This Sunday you can do that at the Second Annual Columbia Home Tour. In one of those rare but wonderful moments of total Columbia cohesion, the ten villages of Columbia collectively put this together which insures that you get a pretty good representation of Columbia's varied housing. Last year the tour included homes in Wilde Lake, Harper's Choice, Long Reach and Oakland Mills. This year the tour visits homes in Owen Brown, Kings Contrivance, Hickory Ridge, Town Center and Dorsey's Search.

Of course not just any home gets to be on the home tour. You need to be selected. Joan Lancos, the Special Events Coordinator for the Village of Hickory Ridge, is the home tour czar. She has the final say in who’s home is in and which homeowners are left with a list of things to work on.

Just kidding about the list.

Anyway, Joan tells me its her “job to find the homes. I get suggestions from people, we advertise for volunteers, and I literally cruise the streets looking for promising homes.”

“We try to find a variety of homes styles: single family, townhouses, maybe a "WOW" home. This year's wow is the historic home in Kings. Last year we had a 6000 square foot home in Hobbits Glen! I also try to find interesting or unique locations. Both years we have had lake homes. Last year a home had a really interesting art collection. Most homes have had some kind of renovation to the traditional tract style home so popular in Columbia. Finding the homes and then convincing the homeowner to allow 400 people through on a Sunday afternoon is lots of fun!

I bet. I don’t think Mama Wordbones would be very receptive to the notion of four hundred strangers walzing through our house on a Sunday afternoon. Then again we'd probably be one of those who get the list.

The tour is this Sunday from 11 AM to 5 PM. Tickets are twenty bucks and available at all Columbia village center offices. It’s for a good cause too. Proceeds will benefit “One Month’s Rent Initiative,” a non-profit that helps Howard County residents who are threatened with losing their housing.”
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