FROM THE PUBLISHER

Showcase of Homes puts American Dream on display

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Las Cruces’ annual Showcase of Homes, in many ways, is the American Dream on display.

If you missed the tour last weekend, you can catch it again this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, May 21-22, and there’s a special Friday twilight showing 7-9 p.m. Friday, May 20.

There are 16 homes in the showcase, with the bulk of them in the $300,000 to $499,000 range. There are three in the $500,000 to $799,000 range, three over $800,000 and two in the $100,000 to $300,000 range. The sizes range from 1,500 square feet to 4,374 square feet.

To get directions and more detail on the homes, go to www.showcaselascruces.com.

I say it’s the American Dream on display, because despite all the changes our economy has gone through the past few years, the family home remains for most people the biggest investment they’ll ever make.

Whether you’re a young couple who’s not even ready to buy a home yet, or an older couple looking to downsize, a tour through these homes provides ideas for what you want in your home, whether that dream is right now or a few years away.

It’s also the American Dream on display because the builders representing these homes have built their businesses by working to satisfy their customers. Many of the builders came up through the ranks, doing the most basic jobs on the building site, just as some of those doing those basic jobs now may end up being the builders in the Showcase of Homes in, say, 2034.

The completion and sales of these homes also involve Realtors, appraisers, mortgage lenders, banks, title companies, suppliers of all stripes and many other people and businesses.

I have not yet been to all the homes on the tour, so I can’t say these are the coolest and best homes in this year’s Showcase, but there are two that have special meaning.

House No. 6: Located at 4566 Mesa Moreno, this house lists KT Homes as the official builder, which is accurate. But the builders include students from Organ Mountain High School. This is the Education House, which is the result of a great deal of effort from the Las Cruces Homebuilders Association, Kent Thurston of KT Homes, recent LCHBA president Ben Beard,  the Las Cruces Public Schools and Organ Mountain High School principal Jim Schapekahm.

When he became president of LCHBA a few years ago, Thurston saw a chance for the homebuilders to work with the schools to provide long-missing opportunities for students to learn the building trades.  Everyone agreed, and the Build My Future program was born, which brought contractors, suppliers and others into the classroom to provide some real-world education into the building world. The next step was the Education House, the concept of students being on-site and active participants in the building of a home. With Thurston pushing things from the builders’ side, and Schapekahm pushing things from the LCPS side, you now have the home at 4566 Mesa Moreno, which sits – appropriately – in the shadow of Organ Mountain High School.

House No. 13: Up in Picacho Mountain at 7025 Canyon View Lane, this house very likely has the best backyard view of any home in the Showcase. In addition to the view, this house also has a vision.

It is this year’s Casa for a Cause.

Formerly known as the Anniversary House project, Casa for a Cause is LCHBA’s annual way to give back to the community.

Each year, a local builder volunteers to build a house, then works with local suppliers and subcontractors to get as many of the goods and services as possible to be discounted or donated. In some cases, even the land for the home has been donated.

Then the house is sold in the normal way.

But because the expenses are so greatly reduced, the profits are much bigger. LCHBA takes those profits, and distributes them back to the community through many charities and nonprofits.

This year’s Casa for a Cause already has its owners.

Tom Filer and Marion Ganfield found this house, and its incredible view of the Mesilla Valley and the Organ Mountains, and knew it was their dream home. They also cherish the fact it is helping dreams come true for others as well.