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July 01, 2012

High on Highwood

Excel’s exemplary SkyView Ranch show home is a family darling

Pepper Rodriguez

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By listening to their customers, Excel Homes may just have come up with the ultimate family-oriented home design in The Highwood, as this five-bedroom masterpiece in the growing community of SkyView Ranch taps into the psyche of today’s homebuyer.

The 3,165-square-foot double front attached garage two-storey home is something that has never been seen before in Calgary, effortlessly blending size and functionality to create a home suited for the times we live in.

“Our customers kept asking for bigger homes, at my last show home parade, there was just no demand for three-bedroom homes, buyers all wanted four-bedroom homes or larger,” says Excel Homes’ senior area manager, Cathey Tracey. “Excel listened and we came up with The Highwood which has five bedrooms and five-and-a-half-bathrooms and still has room for a sixth bedroom and another full bath if they choose to develop the basement.”

The Highwood is a product of the times we live in, Tracey says. “I remember that in my time, kids could afford to go out on their own as soon as they hit 18, but now, we see kids still living at home well into their 20s,” she tells New Home Living.

It’s not just families with older children, however, as homebuyers nowadays also look into bringing in extended family to live with them under one household. “It’s a cultural thing for most of our buyers — many of whom are from South Asia — who want their parents or other relatives to live with them to pool together their resources and help each other out,” Tracey says. “It’s a sensible arrangement and The Highwood’s generous floor plan is a perfect fit.”

The number of bedrooms and bathrooms isn’t the only feature that sets The Highwood apart, as the show home even includes options such as a spice kitchen with its own cooking range next to the primary kitchen in the main floor, as well as a second washer/dryer set-up in the huge second floor laundry.

“These are options that will come in handy when you have as many people living under one roof as The Highwood can accommodate,” Tracey says. “Even our attached double garage is bigger than usual at almost 22-by-22-feet.”

The bedrooms are spaced so intelligently that everyone can still enjoy their privacy. The elegant master bedroom features an optional double-sided fireplace separating the attached ensuite from the bedroom and a large walk-in closet. It’s next to the first spare bedroom with its own three-piece bathroom.

The home still has a bonus room to complete the family-friendly environment and also serves to strategically separate the first two bedrooms from the two others down the hall. The crowning achievement has to be the developed attic space, which converts this unused part of the home into a fifth bedroom with full bath and its own living room.

All bedrooms have a dedicated bathroom and each has its own walk-in closet. “It’s meant for big families and we know how much storage space and privacy means to them, and this design works efficiently in both those regards,” she adds.

The open concept design in the main floor works well for this purpose, as there is plenty of space to move about. The gourmet kitchen boasts an oversized island, ample cabinets and a walk-through butler’s pantry — which in the show home’s case was turned into a spice kitchen. It has a flex room by the spacious foyer that can be turned into a formal dining room setting.

The Highwood starts at $509,900, including lot and GST, which Tracey says is a big part of its appeal. “There is so much value in this home and it remain within reach of our buyers.”

This five-bedroom home has been so popular since it opened less than three months ago that Excel already has sold several of them, with seven already under construction.

“The Highwood is a brand new design that for now is only available in SkyView Ranch, but I’m sure that this kind of home will be the trend of the future,” Tracey says. “It’s a home that keeps families together.”

Builder: Excel Homes
Area: SkyView Ranch
Developer: Walton Development and Management L.P.
Style: Two-storey, five-bedroom with loft area
Size: 3,165 sq. ft.
Price: Starts at $509,900
Address: 156 Skyview Shores Manor N.E.
Directions: Take Deerfoot Trail north, exit east onto Country Hills Blvd. and take Metis Trail north, turn right (east) on 128 Ave. and follow the signs
Hours: Monday to Thursday 2 to 8 p.m., weekends and holidays, noon to 5 p.m.

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