News & Media

Watermark is the Place for Putting Down Roots

Thursday March 28th, 2019

Cindy Stephen, Calgary Herald

Now several years into retirement, with a long bucket list that includes travel, golf and photography, Eddie and his wife Nerissa are building their retirement home in Watermark at Bearspaw, by Macdonald Communities Ltd., just west of Calgary city limits.

“We want to downsize and have our master bedroom on the main floor,” says Eddie, who will trade a 5,200-square-foot, two-storey estate home for a bungalow with 4,400 square feet of living space later this year.

With 2,400 square feet on the main floor and 2,000 square feet at the walkout level, the Luis’ new home is currently under construction by New West Luxury Homes. The open concept main level with 17-foot high ceilings has several custom alterations and will include a study and just one bedroom with a large ensuite and an enormous 180-square-foot walk-in closet.

“We have a lot of clothes,” Nerissa says, smiling. “It’s double the size of the one in our current home.”

The walkout level has two more bedrooms and the northwest facing deck will feature an outdoor kitchen, as cooking is one of the Luis’ passions.

New West has assigned a decorator to assist the couple with interior selections. She has even offered to help them choose new furniture to match the new decor when the home is ready.

The home is on an ample 80-foot by 140-foot lot backing onto one of the many water features in the community. Eddie had hoped there’d be room for a four-car garage but the three-car setup works best.

The Luis discovered the community through friends who purchased in an earlier phase of Watermark. Aspiring to be more active, especially with their six granddaughters, Eddie and Nerissa loved the wide-open space, the amenities and the esthetics of the area. Watermark has 18.6 hectares (46 acres) of parkland, cascading water falls, five kilometres of paved walking trails, playgrounds, basketball courts and a Central Plaza maintained by the Home Owner’s Association.

“One thing I really appreciate is the strict architectural controls by the developer. All the construction plans must be approved including details on how the landscaping must be done. As the HOA does the front yard maintenance, when you drive into the community, every house is well manicured. It looks really nice,” says Eddie.

Carla Crews, community relations manager for Watermark, says management by the HOA is important to their residents.

“We appreciate that people are making a substantial investment in their homes and to have controls in place to guarantee the integrity and the look and feel of the community for years to come — it’s a really important feature for people purchasing in an estate community,” she says.

Crews says that new, south-facing 0.3 hectare (0.75 acre) lots have just been released in Phase 4 of the community.

“Phase 5 was a tremendous success. Of the 17 lots, we have six available — they sold quickly. Some of our third-of-an-acre lots start at $365,000,” she says.

“After this, we are about halfway done with 10 phases in total extending west to Bearspaw Village Road.”

She refers to Watermark a “Goldilocks” community.

“It has just the right amount of space, just west of Twelve Mile Coulee Road, which is the dividing line between Rocky View County and the City of Calgary. You have the amenities of the city and lots of elbow room with 25 feet of space between each home. The lots aren’t so large that you’re worried about spending your weekends on a lawn tractor and worrying about septic fields.”

In addition to front yard maintenance and upkeep of community amenities, HOA membership also includes garbage and recycling pick up and exclusive use of the Central Plaza with its outdoor kitchen, pavilion, picnic tables, barbecues and fire pit.

New West, along with Astoria and Wolf Custom Homes are the luxury builders in the current phases of Watermark, recently named as a finalist in several categories of the 2018 BILD Calgary Region Awards to be held April 13. That includes Community of the Year, an award that Watermark has won three times in six years; Show Home Parade of the Year and Best Print Ad, Best Billboard and Best Website in the marketing category.

In February, Watermark was selected as a finalist for the Calgary Home Builders Association’s National Awards for Housing Excellence in the Community Development category.

Because the Luis moved around during the oil and gas years, the new Watermark home is one of many they’ve built. Says Eddie, it will be the last.

“This is our retirement home. I joke with my two sons when I say, when I die, just dig a hole in the basement and put me in it.”

The Watermark at Bearspaw Show Home Parade is open noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, noon to 5 p.m. weekends and holidays.