Mon­tana haven fits gen­er­a­tions

Chil­dren in Al­berta close to par­ents at va­ca­tion home in Sil­ver­brook Es­tates

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Con­dos - CLAIRE YOUNG

When chil­dren leave the nest, it’s great to have some­where for them to come back to.

At their new va­ca­tion home in Mon­tana, Tom and Ar­lene Vis found a place their chil­dren and grand­chil­dren love to gather that’s near all the out­door ac­tiv­i­ties they en­joy.

The Red Deer cou­ple bought a recre­ation prop­erty in the Sil­ver­brook Es­tates half­way be­tween the towns of White­fish and Kal­ispell.

“One of the rea­sons we picked White­fish was be­cause all the kids can travel there and they can drive,” says Tom.

“The far­thest is six hours. We thought about Phoenix, but none of the kids could ever af­ford to fly there at this time in their lives.”

Sil­ver­brook Es­tates is close to year-round recre­ation op­por­tu­ni­ties.


Tom and Ar­lene Vis. AGES: 50s. BACK­GROUND: The Red Deer cou­ple bought a home in the re­sort com­mu­nity of Sil­ver­brook Es­tates in Mon­tana. Tom works in the oil­field man­u­fac­tur­ing equip­ment busi­ness. They de­cided to buy a recre­ation prop­erty with easy ac­cess for their four grown chil­dren in their 20s and their three grand­chil­dren, who live in var­i­ous cities in south­ern Al­berta. Sil­ver­brook Es­tates is a six-hour drive for the one who lives far­thest away.

For the skiers, White­fish Moun­tain Re­sort is a 25-minute drive to the north, and Black­tail Moun­tain Ski Area is 40 min­utes to the south.

The Flat­head Val­ley is home to nine cham­pi­onship golf cour­ses, one of which is next door to Sil­ver­brook Es­tates.

“We’re also 30 min­utes from Glacier Park and 30 min­utes from Flat­head Lake, which is the largest fresh­wa­ter lake west of the Mis­sis­sippi — with blue-rib­bon fly-fish­ing about five min­utes from here in ev­ery di­rec­tion,” says Larry Sar­tain, bro­ker for Sil­ver­brook Es­tates.

Ev­ery­thing ap­pealed to the Vis fam­ily, whose mem­bers are ac­tive in the out­doors.

“We’ve got kids that are snow­board­ers, skiers and golfers, so for us, we thought it made more sense to have a place where the kids can go down for their week­ends off, or take their bud­dies fish­ing or golf­ing,” says Tom. “It gets used a fair amount.”

Closer to home, Sil­ver­brook Es­tates, it­self, has a $1-mil­lion club­house with a pool, heated spa, fit­ness cen­tre and ten­nis courts.

The Still­wa­ter River bor­ders the com­mu­nity to the east, and the de­vel­oper has put in play parks and 6.5 kilo­me­tres of walk­ing paths, half of which are paved.

“It’s a beau­ti­ful com­mu­nity,” says Sar­tain.

“We have in­vested a huge amount of money in the in­fras­truc­ture here. All the roads (in the first half of the de­vel­op­ment) are in, in­clud­ing curbs and gut­ters.”

Sil­ver­brook is a master-planned com­mu­nity con­ceived in 2007 by de­vel­oper Howard Mann, who lives in the nearby town of Big­fork.

“His vi­sion was to build a sub­di­vi­sion that had all the ameni­ties in terms of all the parks — and still have a ru­ral flavour next to the river here,” Sar­tain says of the 130 hectares that were once a po­tato farm. “It will have all the ameni­ties, in­clud­ing shops and restau­rants, with­out hav­ing to drive any­where.”

The first phase of the de­vel­op­ment — which in­cludes 285 lots in Creek­side South and River­side South — is about half Sil­ver­brook’s to­tal area.

Fu­ture de­vel­op­ment plans in­clude 7.2 hectares of re­tail space, 100 units of town­homes and two more phases of homes in the neigh­bour­hoods of Creek­side North and River­side North.

Some buy­ers are full-time res­i­dents, while oth­ers are sec­ond­home own­ers. Ten move-in-ready houses are for sale and about 25 other lots have sold.

The Vises bought in Creek­side South. Their sin­gle-storey, 1,650-square-foot home has three bed­rooms, two baths and a twocar garage on a 0.1-hectare lot.

“It has a moun­tain view from the liv­ing room,” says Tom.

“You can see the golf course just down the road. In the back­yard, there’s a view of the moun­tains and a race­track for stock car rac­ing.”

Sar­tain calls the com­mu­nity’s ar­chi­tec­tural style “Mon­tana Rus­tic.”

“We have Hardie plank ex­te­rior, with some wood fea­tures on the front with a com­bi­na­tion of stone” and peaked roofs, he says.

The Vises were able to take ad­van­tage of a strong Cana­dian dol­lar when they bought a year ago, pay­ing $268,000 US.

“When we bought, it was a bit above par, which was good for us,” says Tom — and there are no ex­tra taxes, such as the Cana­dian GST, when buy­ing a new home in Mon­tana.

For Tom and Ar­lene, the drive down to Sil­ver­brook Es­tates from Red Deer is as much of a treat as be­ing there. “They’re avid mo­tor­cy­cle rid­ers, so they’ll ride their Harley down here from Red Deer,” says Sar­tain.

Go­ing-to-the-sun Road is an 80-kilo­me­tre high­way across the con­ti­nen­tal di­vide that takes driv­ers through the wild in­te­rior of Glacier Na­tional Park in Mon­tana, wind­ing high up into the moun­tains for some spec­tac­u­lar views.

“It’s not a time-saver by any means be­cause it’s a real slow, windy road, but it doesn’t get any pret­tier than that,” says Sar­tain.

Tom Vis has bought a va­ca­tion home at Sil­ver­brook Es­tates near White­fish, Mont., where he va­ca­tions with his four chil­dren and three grand­chil­dren.

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