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May 01, 2006

Family flair

Reid Built’s Willowbrook in Okotoks

Shelley Williamson

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Reid Built's Willowbrook show home in the southerly Okotoks community of Westmount has seen popularity with buyers of all ages. While you would expect the three-bedroom-with-bonus, two-storey beauty hit home with growing families - and it does - empty-nesters also appreciate the abode's smart features.

“There is actually about one in 100 people that walks through this home and doesn’t love it, and then you know they are looking for bungalows,” says Kimberley Geng, Okotoks area sales manager for Reid Built Homes.
Walking into the 2,212-square-foot two-storey, a feeling of grandeur is immediately sensed in the open-to-above foyer, while to the right an elegant spindled staircase hints at fine appointments within.

A study is also wisely poised at the front to offer easy access to the front door, so clients of those who hold office at home won’t have to trail through the home’s living spaces.

“The flexibility of this plan is great. You can use that space as a den or a formal living room,” says Geng, adding French door and hutch options can personalize the “flex space” to suit buyers’ lifestyles.

Other options buyers can add to the Willowbrook include a window in the powder room, or extending eating space with an even larger nook.

Even without add-ons, the rear of the main level is a haven for eating, relaxing and connecting as a family. The great room showcases the built-in entertainment centre option combined with a gas fireplace for taking in a flick together on that new plasma screen TV or just relaxing by the fire, while large windows welcome in scores of natural light and allow parents to monitor wee ones at play in the back yard.

The kitchen space was surely cooked up for the culinary enthusiast. A massive island blends flush working space with raised portions that offer stool-room aplenty for bellying up at breakfast or hosting cocktail parties. Myriad cabinets, including a bank of pot drawers below, keep kitchen gadgets in their place when not in use, and a large corner pantry helps keeping family-sized grocery orders organized.

“I like the idea that this home is designed so the parents can gather in the kitchen, while kids have their own space to hang out in the bonus room. It’s huge,” says Geng.

Bonus may just understate the size of the second-floor haunt – removed from the master bedroom so DVDs, foosball and video games can be enjoyed without worries of disrupting Mom and Dad on Saturday mornings. Vaulted ceilings and extra windows add to the feeling of expanse in the massive gathering spot.

The spindled staircase is continued upstairs to lend an open-to-below effect and lead the eye to three well-sized sleeping digs and a full bath which round out the second level.

The master suite spans the width of the floor, offering parents a retreat they may never want to leave – including a 14-foot-by-14-foot sleeping area that makes furniture placement a dream, and a walk-in closet and their own luxurious ensuite flanking either end. The ensuite, itself, is awash in pamper-friendly features, from the corner soaker tub to a pair of sinks and makeup desk, to a separate water closet and double shower.

Reid Built is currently building in Westmount from $295,000 to $360,000, including lot and GST but excluding upgrades.

While the value of the Reid Built name is luring would-be residents, visitors are equally sold on the location of their future address – including many from Calgary and handful from Europe, says Geng. “You can walk places here. It’s kind of at the edge of the community and the greenspace across (from the showhomes) will not be built on,” she says. “Once people come to Okotoks they don’t want to leave.”

For those with children or sights on resale, a public K-9 school within walking distance is a welcome alternative to bussing to far-flung schools. Lots also boast wider sideyards than in Calgary, says Geng, adding 40 per cent of the remaining 40- to 46-foot wide homesites for sale in Phases 3 and 5 also back on greenspace.

To get to Reid Built’s show home in Westmount, take Hwy. 2 south, exit at Hwy. 2A, continue into Okotoks and watch for the signs to Westmount. Show homes are open Monday to Thursday 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and weekends and holidays noon to 5 p.m.   NL

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