“We’ve always wanted to buy out there. It’s quieter out there — not quite as busy as the Invermere area,” says Hubert.
Forest Crowne is a Kimberley subdivision of more than 565 hectares that offers both higher-end, single-family homes and the strata (condo) cottage section for those who want a mountain getaway or a full-time residence.
Large single-family lots start at $100,000 and buyers can bring in their own builders.
The Rommens visit the area often and love using the Rails to Trails bike path that links Kimberley to Cranbrook along an old railway route.
“Right off of Forest Crowne, there’s a nature park with hiking and biking,” says Hubert.
“That’s what we’re into: biking and hiking — and in Kimberley, you have access to 18hole golf courses. We also enjoy that you can sit out on your deck and not get eaten by mosquitoes.”
Kimberley, which has a ski hill, is also near Fernie’ s great powder skiing and challenging snowboard terrain, and it’s close to many challenging golf courses.
“We could have bought an acreage and built a place, but then we’d have the worries of sewer and water. Now we’re on city services, so it’s convenient,” Hubert says of the maintenance concerns that come with owning a recreation property.
The Rommens hope to use the cottage for a few extended weekends each month, as well as for some longer visits.
They bought it as much for its location — a four-hour drive to Calgary and five hours from the farm — as they did for the area’s great amenities. This way, they can just pick up and go if the weather’s right to leave the farm, or if there’s a break in work or school for the two children in Calgary.
The eldest son, Kenton, is a doctor doing his residency at the Foothills Medical Centre, while his younger sister, Ashley, is studying medicine.
The middle son, Scott, studied commerce and now helps run the farm.
“We could have bought in the States somewhere, but this way, we don’t have to be planning flights,” says Patti.
The Rommens bought the Elk floor plan measuring about 1,150 square feet with a main-floor master bedroom.
“It’s a nice cosy little place,” says Hubert.
The great room features a gas fireplace, the kitchen has granite countertops and the main floor consists of hardwood.
The mudroom, as well as both the master ensuite and main bathroom on the lower level, has ceramic tile with heated floors for extra luxury on those cold days.
A carport off the side of the home gives shelter from snow and rain while unloading the car.
“We finished the bedrooms in the basement, so each kid has a bedroom if they were all out at the same time,” says Patti.
“We look out onto the mountains out the front and in the back. We have a pie-shaped lot. It’s treed, so it will be private.”
The home is currently at the framing stage and will be ready for the family to take possession by the end of January.
The home will end up costing about $425,000, including
C MVisit our website under the heading, ‘Rec Properties,’ for more photos and stories. lot, HST, landscaping and appliances. Forest Crowne developer United Communities bought the land in 1997 from Teck Mining Co.
Tyee Custom Homes has been building larger homes in the subdivision for a few years and recently took over the cottage development.
“We came up with a few new designs with our timber-frame trademark,” says Carl Lauren, co-owner of Tyee Custom Homes.
The Elk, Eagle and Grizzly are three new floor plans in the 1,100-square-foot range geared toward first-time homebuyers.
There are about 20 cottages left to build in the area, with some walkout lots available.
“We have four cottages in there now,” says Lauren.
Having recently sold its original one, Tyee is building a new show home. “We’re providing a fairly affordable product with a high quality,” he says.
Forest Crowne makes the most of the mountain town’s location. “It’s up on a plateau, so there are great views of the Rockies and tons of sunlight,” says Lauren.
The cottages are constructed to BuiltGreen’s gold standard and has an EnerGuide rating of 80-plus. One of the cottages was a recent finalist for the provincial BuiltGreen awards.
The Rommens are looking forward to taking possession of their cottage in the new year.
“I’m looking forward to having a nice place where we can relax with the family away from the farm,” says Hubert.
“Here, I try to take a weekend off, but it’s pretty tough when you’ve got a million things going on. When I’m out there, I feel like I can layback and relax and really enjoy it.”