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'Little gem' of a community makes most of natural beauty next to river

Calgary Herald logo Calgary Herald 2018-04-13 Josh Skapin, Calgary Herald

When someone decides to buy a new home, it often follows an in-depth look at what’s available. 

But then there are times when the buyer isn’t actively looking to move, and it’s a uniquely appealing location that changes their mind. 

This is what brought Kevin and Lorie Blayney to Riviera in Riversong by Tamani Communities. 

Trico Homes and Jayman Built are building front-drive single-family homes in Riviera, and both are down to their last stretch of lots and spec homes. Prices start from the mid-$400,000s, including the lot and GST. 

Kevin’s sister moved to the scenic Cochrane community first. Now they live across the street in a spec home they bought from Trico.

“We came out a few times to visit her, and right away fell in love with the area, too,” says Kevin, of the community accessed off Cowboy Trail. “It’s this little gem.”

Kevin’s a flight attendant and Lorie works as a special needs aide. 

For the couple, the interest in relocating to Riviera started after parking in front of the spec home they would eventually purchase, while visiting Kevin’s sister. 

They liked the exterior, and the list of the home’s features on a sandwich board outside the place impressed. A fun bonus was the home model’s name — Winston, a handle it shares with the couple’s bichon shih tzu. While Kevin admits the name caught their eye, “I don’t know if that has anything to do with it,” he says, laughing. 

The standard floor plan for the Winston has three bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and measures 2,511 square feet. 

When they toured the home, it made an impression from the get-go. “As soon we walked in, we instantly said, ‘This is a beautiful home,’ ” says Kevin. 

“It was very open, very bright, and well-thought-out,” he adds. “We really liked the design where the (second level) bonus room is at the middle of the house rather than at the front.” 

“Being a spec home, it was all done, so we didn’t need to pick out anything. They did just a bang up job of picking out colours, tile, cabinets and countertops … it was perfect. There was nothing where we said, ‘We like the house, but we just don’t like this or that.’ ”

They compared the home they bought to the cost of what they’d pay for a similar home in Calgary and were pleased with the value.

“Your home is your investment, too,” he adds. “We feel this is a good investment.”

Since taking possession, they’ve enjoyed the community’s natural beauty, including frequent deer sightings. Riversong has a 40.5-hectare (100-acre) nature reserve, and more than four kilometres of walking and biking paths. 

The Blayneys and Winston the dog have enjoyed exploring them.

“He loves it, and all of the smells down by the river,” Kevin says of their four-legged companion. 

“The pathway system out here, we walk every day,” he adds. “We’ve only been here in the winter, so we haven’t even scratched the surface, but from what I’ve seen and gather from other people, it’s just perfect out here.”

The commute to work is enjoyable, too. “From my driveway to the parking lot (at the Calgary International Airport), it’s just over 40 minutes,” Kevin says.

Kevin’s sister is also a flight attendant and works for the same company he does. They’re sometimes on the same shift and carpool to the airport. 

“I have two traffic lights in my commute,” he says. “I’m driving the whole time, I don’t touch my brakes. It’s a great drive.”

Along with being a draw for homebuyers, Riviera has made an impression with the Calgary area residential industry. At a competition previously known as the Calgary Region SAM (Sales and Marketing) Awards, now the BILD Calgary Region Awards, it was named community of the year Calgary region in 2016. 

“The most unique thing we have there is location,” says Cam Hart, vice-president of Tamani Communities. “We’re nestled between a forested escarpment area and the river. You cannot duplicate that setting anywhere. It’s literally a one-of-a-kind place. The way it’s developed, it’s exceeded our expectations.”

As home sales in Riviera wind down, Tamani is preparing the final chapter of its Riversong community. This year, the developer will move ahead with servicing the first phase of a new area named Precedence. 

In terms of sight lines from this location, “We saved the best for last,” says Hart. “The views along the escarpment are unbelievable. River valley, mountain and town views. We’re really excited about it.”

The new area will continue with Jayman and Trico as its builder team, but introduce new architecture and home choices. 

This includes front-drive single-family homes, laned homes, paired homes and street towns, which is a fee-simple townhome product. Streetscapes will feature prairie, West Coast, and urban contemporary architectural styles. 

Hart says builders will have access to lots this autumn and show homes should be open by the end of this year or the beginning of 2019. 

WHAT: Riversong is a community in the town of Cochrane. 
DEVELOPER: Tamani Communities. 
BUILDERS: Trico Homes and Jayman Built. 
HOURS: Show homes open are 2 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and noon to 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays. 
PRICES: Homes in the community start from the mid-$400,000s, including the lot and GST. 
INFORMATION:www.riversongcochrane.com

      

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