Per­ma­nence grows in lake­side cot­tages

Beau­ti­fully de­signed Osoy­oos Lake devel­op­ment be­comes more pop­u­lar with full-time res­i­dents

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

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.

Van Maren Group

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.

Pho­tos: Van Maren Group

The view of Osoy­oos Lake is spec­tac­u­lar from the cot­tage devel­op­ment.

Adrian Shel­lard/For the Cal­gary Her­ald

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.

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