March 01, 2017 | Andrea Cox
Lake living in Chestermere has the Totlands feeling great about relocating
When it came to finding their forever home, sussing out a community that offered a shorter commute to work was top of mind for Jared and Vera Totland.
The young couple, who are both 30, had been living in Calgary's deep south for a few years.
"Driving downtown to work was getting to be an hour each way," recalled Jared, a chartered accountant. But it wasn't just the work commute that was becoming a headache. everything felt like a long drive away, said Jared.
The couple began touring the city in the summer of 2015, looking for a community that fit their wish list: close to work (Vera, a regional marketing manager works in the southeast and Jared works close to downtown), a large lot, preferably with a 50 foot or greater frontage, a three-car garage and the welcoming vibe of Craftsman architecture were all on the must-have list.
The pretty hamlet of Kinniburgh in East Chestermere fit the bill perfectly with its surprisingly short commute into Calgary.
"We just saw it and knew that it was right for us," said Jared. The couple purchased a 55-foot lot, just steps from the lake and the Calgary Sailing Club.
A new K-9 school is a quick two-block saunter down pretty walking paths, which was a big draw for the Totland's, who'd recently welcomed their first child into the world — a baby boy.
"The school was definitely a big selling point for us. We have lots of young families around us. It's a real community with that small-town feel, which is fantastic."
The couple built a 2,400 square foot, three-bedroom, Craftsman style, two-storey home with Broadview Homes.
The school was definitely a big selling point for us. We have lots of young families around us. It's a real community with that small-town feel, which is fantastic.
"We looked at a few communities and builders on the west side of the lake, but didn't really see anything that we liked. Broadview Homes was really willing to work with us to create what we wanted," said Jared.
Their home, the Hudson model, features a soaring open-to-below, 16-foot tall foyer, a huge kitchen with an 11-foot island (it's the family's favourite room), an oversized dining room and three bedrooms.
"We do lots of entertaining and have friends and family over quite a bit. The house is perfect for it."
It also boasts a three-car garage, an absolute must-have for the family, who owns a boat and spends summer days out on the water.
The couple also enjoys golfing and hanging out with their Airedale Terrier.
And of course, Chestermere offers the best of all worlds with the lake, numerous golf courses, a renowned recreation centre and over 70 parks, including several off-leash dog parks.
"Plus, there is a pond really close to us that will be great for skating on when my son gets a little bit older."
The Totland's home took a quick six months to build and the family moved in during the early summer of 2016. They haven't looked back.
"It's definitely been the right move. We are more central in Chestermere than we ever were in Calgary." In fact, Jared's commute takes only 20 minutes and Vera's is about the same.
"It has been a great experience moving here. We didn't realize how convenient it would be."