Permanence grows in lakeside cottages
Beautifully designed Osoyoos Lake development becomes more popular with full-time residents
A year ago in June, the Taylors took possession of their new vacation home at the Cottages on Osoyoos Lake.
“It’s great,” says Anna GrecoTaylor, a marketing professional in Calgary. “We love our new home. We love waking up to the lake every morning. My husband and I have a bedroom where we can open the sliding doors and get out to the deck and have a great view of the lake. This morning, the sun is out and it’s mainly blue sky.”
The family of four — with husband Kelly Taylor, a welder, and their two sons, James, 11, and Christian, 9 — are just settling in for a month-long visit of sun and lake living.
One of the first buyers into the development of what will hold 284 homes by the Van Maren Group, the Taylors are impressed at how far the development has come since they took possession of their twostorey, four-bedroom home.
Almost all of the community’s amenities are now in place, and the Clubhouse — the centrepiece — is now open.
“The property is a gated community and it has phenomenal amenities — one of them was the Clubhouse that attracted us,” says Greco-Taylor. “The Clubhouse is an area where there are two swimming pools and two hot tubs. The fitness room is loaded with major equipment. I just took a peek on our walk last night. It’s phenomenal — I’m looking forward to that for sure.”
The 7,000-square-foot Clubhouse also has a great room as well as an indoor-outdoor kitchen and a large outdoor veranda area, says Eric Van Maren, the developer of the Cottages on Osoyoos Lake.
“The walking trails throughout the site have pretty much all been completed, so there is already a group of women that meet in the morning to go for their walk. You can do quite a big loop through the meadow, then through the beach,” Van Maren says.
Greco-Taylor also appreciates the new lights along the walkways, the new swings in the park and the dog runs near the beach and Clubhouse.
The focus for her family is toward the lake on these summer days.
“The beach is awesome and there are firepits. We’re looking forward to s’mores on the beach,” she says.
The community is a great mix of vacationers and permanent residents, says Greco-Taylor. The extra eyes year-round in the community gives a great sense of security, she says.
“On one side of us are Tina and Mo, and they have grandkids around the same age as our kids,” Greco-Taylor says.
In fact, more downsizers are looking to move to the Cottages on Osoyoos Lake as full-time residents, says Van Maren.
“What we discovered in our first selling season was that more and more of our buyers were looking for a permanent residence. They were looking for a place to live and their kids could come and vacation, so that it was a place they could all come to visit once or twice a year,” he says.
And so the new four or five show homes are a bit larger, with double-attached garages, to accommodate the year-round needs.
“The smallest one is about 1,400 square feet; it’s a single-level rancher with an attached two-car garage,” Van Maren says. “Then we go up to two-level homes that go up to about 2,400 square feet.”
Many of these permanent residents are seeking out the Cottages on Osoyoos Lake as a place that family will return to visit.
“These parents are buying a cottage, but they don’t want to purchase unless their children are comfortable with it, as well.
“We’ve had several where we’ve signed a conditional agreement subject to the children approving the purchase.
“It’s not so much that the children have the veto, but they want to make sure their children will visit and enjoy it,” Van Maren says.
Simon and Margie Brooksbank are a retired couple from Calgary who have found exactly what they have been searching for.
“We had been looking for the past six years so that we could escape Calgary winters, but it had to be a place that our family and friends could come and visit,” says Margie.
They are building a home with a Sauvignon plan main level and a Burgundy upper level, a mix-andmatch from one of the 12 house plans offered by the Van Maren Group.
“It was a real good mix. It left everything that the two of us needed on the main floor, and then the visitors could be upstairs,” Margie says.
With six grown children with spouses and 12 grandchildren, all somewhere in Alberta or B.C., the Cottages on Lake Osoyoos is within reasonable reach of all, and provides a setting that is a draw, they say.
Since last year, more than 40 families have taken possession of their new homes, with a total of about 70 sales completed in the community that will eventually hold 284 homes.
Homes start at $300,000 and go up to $1 million for those on the sandy beach. The average price is in the $400,000s.
“Most of our buyers spend about $50,000 on upgrades, on personalization of their home,” says Van Maren.
“Some finish a suite in the basement. A lot want to extend the decks because of the fantastic views we have. Granite countertops. Custom flooring. A lot of very personal details.”
Of the 160 planned boat slips, 50 are complete.
“We have a total of 1,800 lineal feet of waterfront, of which about 600 feet is beach. It’s a really nice sandy beach, south-facing,” says Van Maren.
He has noticed an uptick in movement in recreational real estate sales, he says.
“The number of Albertans are buying is up this year over last year. I think a really big factor for the South Okanagan is the fact that WestJet has announced a direct flight from Calgary to Penticton.
“It makes it much, much more convenient to get here,” he says.
The Taylor family, from left, includes Kelly, James, Christian and Anna Greco-Taylor. They moved into their vacation home at the Cottages on Osoyoos Lake a year ago in June.
The view of Osoyoos Lake is spectacular from the cottage development.
Simon and Margie Brooksbank found exactly what they were looking for when they discovered the Cottages on Lake Osoyoos.
There is plenty of elbow room while sitting poolside.
The clubhouse area features two swimming pools and two hot tubs.