Ranch heats up lux­ury liv­ing at hot springs

Cal­gary cou­ple up­grades to home at Elk Park Ranch in Ra­dium Hot Springs

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

It was a Box­ing Day sale they just couldn’t walk away from. Cal­gary cou­ple Janet McMaster and Tom Byt­ty­nen were at their condo in Ra­dium Hot Springs, B.C., dur­ing last year’s Christ­mas hol­i­days.

On Box­ing Day, 2011, they vis­ited a show home in Elk Park Ranch, a new devel­op­ment on the north side of the vil­lage.

“When my hus­band tells this story, he calls it the most ex­pen­sive trip to the dump, ever,” says McMaster.

“At our condo in Ra­dium, we don’t have any garbage pickup ser­vice, so we have to take our garbage to the dump in Edge­wa­ter or back to Cal­gary. So we were on the way to the dump on Box­ing Day and lo and be­hold, there was an open house sign at Elk Park Ranch.

“We thought we should just stop and have a look at the house. Then one thing led to an­other and we ended up buy­ing the house.”

The walk­out bun­ga­low has about 1,450 square feet on each floor. The show home was on sale at a price that even in­cluded the fur­ni­ture.

“Be­cause it was a show home, it had all the bells and whis­tles — gran­ite coun­ter­tops, beau­ti­ful hard­wood and built-in hot tub on the lower deck out­side. It was quite some­thing,” says McMaster.

The cou­ple was im­pressed with the high ceil­ings, ex­posed beams and open-con­cept floor lay­out in the main liv­ing area.

The huge win­dows present a spec­tac­u­lar view of the moun­tains, while two bed­rooms on the main floor and two bed­rooms in the base­ment pro­vide plenty of room for friends and fam­ily to visit.

The cou­ple’s orig­i­nal condo had just one small deck, while the house has two large decks with in­cred­i­ble views of the Pur­cell Moun­tains.

The house also has a two-car garage and more space out­side, while the condo had only a sin­gle-car garage.

“We were think­ing of buy­ing some­thing down in Ari­zona,” says McMaster.

“Once we saw the house, we fell in love with it and thought it would make more sense to have more of a house here that we can en­joy 12 months of the year. Tom isn’t quite ready to re­tire yet.

“We could buy some­thing down there and, sure, prices are really cheap, but how of­ten are we go­ing to be able to get down there

C MVisit our web­site un­der the head­ing, ‘Rec Prop­er­ties,’ for more pho­tos and sto­ries. and use it?”

Byt­ty­nen is the pres­i­dent of Thomas Fresh, which packs pro­duce, while McMaster is an ar­chiv­ist and free­lance writer.

The en­trance to Elk Park Ranch is a two-minute drive north of the four-way stop in Ra­dium Hot Springs on the west side of High­way 95.

Be­cause the 80-hectare sub­di­vi­sion is within the vil­lage’s bound­aries, it of­fers full ser­vices such as water, sewer, ca­ble, tele­phone and In­ter­net.

Of the land, de­vel­oper Schickedan­z West has plans to de­velop about 45 hectares, leav­ing the rest as green space, walking trails and a park area.

The project bor­ders the Columbia River wet­lands, which pro­vides an im­por­tant way­point for mi­grat­ing birds.

“We have the Rocky Moun­tains to the east and the Pur­cell Moun­tains to the west, with un­ob­structed views of both,” says Scott Sauer­mann, sales rep­re­sen- tative with Royal LePage Rock­ies West Realty. “With the green space and the ex­tra breath­ing room, the views and the lo­ca­tion, that’s the over­all ap­peal to Elk Park Ranch.”

The main fo­cus in the area is cur­rently sin­gle-fam­ily and acreage home sites, as well as du­plexes. Green space is a main con­sid­er­a­tion, with each side of the du­plexes sit­ting on at least 0.2 hectares.

Phase 1 has one sin­gle-fam­ily lot and seven acreage lots re­main­ing. Phase 2 is in the process of be­ing ap­proved and has 13 sin­gle-fam­ily lots.

Sites for sin­gle-fam­ily homes are priced from $75,900 to $129,900 plus tax and come with a four-year build­ing com­mit­ment.

Acreage lots are priced be­tween $119,900 and $269,900 plus tax, and have no time frame on build­ing.

Own­ers can choose to build with Schickedan­z West or bring in their own builder.

With front-at­tached two-car garages, the du­plexes are com­pleted build­ings, with five of one floor plan and four of a sec­ond plan avail­able. They are priced be­tween $349,500 and $509,900 plus tax.

Schickedan­z West will put a homeowners’ as­so­ci­a­tion in place to main­tain trails and an ameni­ties cen­tre, which will in­clude a hot tub and fit­ness fa­cil­ity.

An­nual as­so­ci­a­tion fees will likely be about $240, says Sauer­mann.

While McMaster and Byt­ty­nen bought the show home, Schickedan­z West has an­other sin­gle- fam­ily show home un­der­way, which should be open for view­ing this sum­mer.

A du­plex show home should be ready dur­ing the spring.

Sauer­mann says the start­ing price to build sin­gle-fam­ily homes is un­der $400,000, with a much larger scope, of course, for es­tate homes on the acreages.

McMaster has al­ways loved spend­ing time in the Columbia Val­ley.

“It started when I was a kid. My fam­ily went out to Lake Win­der­mere ev­ery sum­mer.

“We didn’t own a cabin, but we rented a cabin in the same com­plex and there were all th­ese fam­i­lies that went up. That was our sum­mer hol­i­days for years and years as I grew up.

“A lot of peo­ple from Cal­gary really have that con­nec­tion. Peo­ple we’ve met on golf cour­ses spent time there as kids and end up go­ing back as adults.”

The cou­ple bought a condo in Ra­dium in 2004 be­cause they love to golf. The shorter win­ter in the Columbia Val­ley means the golf cour­ses open ear­lier and close later than around Cal­gary.

“Then we found that we like it in the win­ter just as much be­cause we like to cross-coun­try ski and snow­shoe, and it’s so peace­ful up there,” says McMaster. “The sum­mer’s al­ways a real busy time be­cause you get all the tourists, and it’s more peace­ful and quiet in the win­ter.”

The cou­ple en­joy up­siz­ing from a condo to a sin­gle-fam­ily home for their week­end re­treat.

“We’re at the point in our lives now where we’re go­ing to be spend­ing more and more time out there, so the week­ends have been get­ting longer,” says McMaster. “We thought it would be nice to have a lit­tle more space, par­tic­u­larly out­side.”

Sites for sin­gle-fam­ily homes are priced from $75,900 to $129,900 plus tax. Acreage lots are priced be­tween $119,900 and $269,900 plus tax, and have no time frame on build­ing. DI­REC­TIONS: The dis­cov­ery cen­tre is open in the Vil­lage of Ra­dium, at 4930 High­way 93. It’s at the south­east cor­ner of Ra­dium’s main in­ter­sec­tion di­rectly across from the PetroCanad­a sta­tion. Ex­cept for Tues­days, the cen­tre is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The en­trance to Elk Park Ranch is a two-minute drive north on High­way 95 from the four-way stop in Ra­dium and is on the west side of the high­way. IN­FOR­MA­TION: Visit elk­park ranch.com


Janet McMaster and Tom Byt­ty­nen. AGES: 56 and 61. BACK­GROUND: The Cal­gary cou­ple de­cided to move up from a condo get­away in Ra­dium, B.C. to a sin­gle-fam­ily house in Elk Park Ranch to make the most of longer week­ends away from Cal­gary. They like hav­ing more deck and yard space.

Adrian Shel­lard/for the Cal­gary Her­ald

Janet McMaster and Tom Byt­ty­nen in their home in Cal­gary. The cou­ple has pur­chased a home in Elk Park Ranch, a new pro­ject in Ra­dium Hot Springs, B.C.

Photos: Elk Park Ranch

The ex­te­rior of the McMaster/Byt­ty­nen home in Elk Park Ranch in Ra­dium Hot Springs, B.C.

The great room has views of the sur­round­ing mountain scenery.

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