Fate­ful pit stop in Cochrane re­minds pair of their fond­ness for small-town liv­ing

Calgary Herald - - NEW HOMES - CINDY STEPHEN

It was on a pleas­ant drive back to Cal­gary from a fam­ily visit in Can­more when Ge­orgina Di­b­ley and Justin Smidt made a pit stop in Cochrane — and ended up buy­ing a house.

It wasn’t a com­plete im­pulse pur­chase. The young cou­ple, who are ty­ing the knot on Dec. 1, had been search­ing for a new home for the bet­ter part of a year.

They liked the west side of the city and had been liv­ing in a twobed­room apart­ment in Aspen Woods prior to tak­ing pos­ses­sion of their home in June.

The west side is close to Smidt’s job as a golf course su­per­in­ten­dent, but the pair was en­ticed to se­ri­ously con­sider Cochrane.

“We were taken by the com­mu­nity,” says Di­b­ley. “We both grew up in small towns.

“Once we started think­ing about Cochrane, we re­al­ized it would be a good op­tion for us.”

They had looked at the Fire­side com­mu­nity in Cochrane a year be­fore that fate­ful stop over, but she says it was more for fun.

“We knew about the com­mu­nity, but we hadn’t seen the Cal­bridge show homes. There was some­thing about the Belle­vue show home — the style and the flow in­side. We thought we could be happy in that home,” says the bride-to-be.

The Belle­vue is a 1,966-square­foot, three-bed­room, 21/2-bath­room sin­gle-fam­ily home with a dou­ble front-drive garage and up­stairs bonus room. Di­b­ley says her par­ents have a home­build­ing com­pany in the United King­dom, which is where the fam­ily re­lo­cated from in 2005, and she has an eye for crafts­man­ship.

“We value the fact that Cal­bridge is on point with that. They made all those de­tails as much of a pri­or­ity to them as they were to us.”

She says that the open-con­cept main floor is her favourite place in the house. “We have a TV and stuff up­stairs in the bonus room and we love it up there, but at the end of the evening I’m re­luc­tant to go up­stairs,” she says. “It’s homey and peace­ful down­stairs. It’s so nice to have a liv­ing space where Justin and I can spend time to­gether, even if we’re not do­ing the same thing.”

The ad­di­tional bed­rooms up­stairs are per­fect for vis­its from Smidt’s fam­ily, who live on the East Coast, and the kitchen and large deck are “re­ally set up for peo­ple com­ing over,” she says.

The cou­ple feel the house is per­fect for when chil­dren come along, with the new Fire­side School di­rectly out their back yard.

“We love the shops in Fire­side as well. It’s nice not to have to go all the way down into Cochrane if we just need milk or want to walk over for ice cream in the evening,” Di­b­ley says.

It’s not a sur­prise that the Belle­vue is one of Cal­bridge Homes’ most pop­u­lar mod­els, be­ing one of the show homes in Fire­side, says Michelle Jake­man, di­rec­tor of sales and mar­ket­ing.

With a base price of $458,000, the Belle­vue is an ex­cel­lent choice for fam­i­lies yearn­ing for ad­di­tional liv­ing space in­side and a bet­ter life­style in a com­mu­nity where the kids can walk to school.

“Peo­ple come up the stairs in the Belle­vue and see that bright, open bonus room,” Jake­man says.

“Right away, you can see it’s an­other liv­ing space. It sep­a­rates the mas­ter bed­room from the other bed­rooms al­low­ing pri­vacy on both ends.

“The mas­ter bed­room is off on its own at the front of the house and it’s sunken — you step down into it. It en­hances that re­treat feel­ing.”

Cal­bridge has a good se­lec­tion of lots and quick-pos­ses­sion homes in the cur­rent three phases of Fire­side and has just started to build in the new­est area, Fire­side Es­tates.

Lots in the es­tate com­mu­nity are 38 feet to 48 feet wide, eas­ily ac­com­mo­dat­ing a larger home with a triple-car garage.

“This is some­thing pur­chasers have been look­ing for­ward to. The es­tates are good for fam­i­lies grow­ing within Fire­side or Cochrane that need more space in the home or in the garage. Or, down­siz­ers com­ing off a farm or acreage in the Cochrane area.

“They ’re los­ing a lot of space and they still want a larger home with a larger garage,” Jake­man says.

Lots in Fire­side Es­tates back onto wet­lands and parks, with mul­ti­ple con­nec­tion points to walk­ing trails.

“You don’t have to walk very far to find a lot of great views,” she says.

Front-drive garage homes in Fire­side Es­tates start in the low $500,000s, with a va­ri­ety of laned­home (garage-out-back) prod­ucts start­ing from $366,000.

“If we’d pur­chased in Cal­gary, we would have ended up with a much smaller home. Be­ing in Fire­side, we could af­ford a bit big­ger house,” Di­b­ley says.


Ge­orgina Di­b­ley and Justin Smidt love the “homey and peace­ful” open-con­cept liv­ing room in their new 1,966-square-foot home in Cochrane’s Fire­side com­mu­nity.


The kitchen in the Belle­vue by Cal­bridge Homes in Fire­side is per­fect for en­ter­tain­ing.


Scenic Bul­rush Park in Cochrane’s Fire­side com­mu­nity is an ideal spot for an evening stroll. There is also a school nearby,

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