January 29, 2013
Coquitlam’s Burke Mountain neighbourhood is a hotbed of development activity. Even the most casual observer would notice the signs advertising new housing projects for sale.
The question becomes how to distinguish one from the pack. Developer Polygon believes the answer is to clearly establish just how much value a purchaser will get at its Farrington Park townhome development.
Ralph Archibald, senior vice-president of sales and marketing for Polygon, says that begins with outlining the advantages of the project’s location.
“We’re in the Foothills area of Burke Mountain, which borders an established neighbourhood of single-family homes,” he points out. “People have a sense of what the community is like already, instead of wondering what it might be like in the future.”
Since it is in an existing neighbourhood, interested buyers can spot existing community amenities such as Galloway Park; it’s directly across from the development, and includes a playground, a basketball court, a water park for those hot summer months, and trails for scenic walks all year. More green space can be found within Farrington Park in a central grassy courtyard.
There are some changes coming to the neighbourhood. A new mini-hub of retail services known as Meridian Crossing is under construction just south of the project. When it is completed later this year, it’s expected to include a yoga studio as well as a location of the popular Tri-Cities coffee company Caffe Divano, along with restaurants.
There are also plans for a new high school and park east of the retail site. The future Evergreen SkyTrain line is also prompting people to move to the region.
Archibald says people expressing interest in the project are aware of how much value they’re getting by choosing to be in the vicinity of Burke Mountain.
“You’re getting lots more home compared to what you would pay in other areas,” he says.
“You can get a three-bedroom townhouse here for the same price as a two-bedroom townhouse somewhere else in Burquitlam. If you were looking in downtown [Vancouver], you’d probably only get an older one-bedroom or maybe even a studio apartment for this price.”
Archibald says the sales team has seen significant interest from first-time homebuyers, and expects to see more between now and March 31. That is the deadline for a provincial government program known as the B.C. First-Time New Home Buyers’ Bonus.
It’s a one-time personal income tax credit with a value of up to $10,000, with one main catch: construction or occupancy of the new home involved must occur before April 1.
Not all prospective purchasers are aware of the program before visiting the sales centre, reports Archibald, but he says questions come fast and furious after staff bring it up. The tax credit could be a deciding factor when it comes to putting together a deposit on a home.
(Not all of the homes for sale in Farrington Park will be eligible for the program; it would only apply to the units that are already finished.)
For their part, members of the design team have put careful thought into creating interiors with a sophisticated feel. Wood laminate floors are standard on the main levels of the homes, with granite or engineered stone countertops in kitchens and bathrooms. The KitchenAid appliance package also comes standard in stainless steel, rather than as an upgrade.
Archibald feels that it is unique to have such a high level of finishing with homes starting under the $400,000 mark.
Floor plans are intended to meet different needs.
One plan, perhaps intended for a young family, has a living room leading into a dining room, which in turn leads to the kitchen and an outdoor deck. Upstairs, a walk-through closet connects the master bedroom to an ensuite bathroom. There is another bathroom and two more bedrooms side by side. A washer and dryer are conveniently tucked away in a hallway closet.
Another plan has a more contemporary feel, with the kitchen sandwiched in between the living and dining areas. An island running down the length of the kitchen encourages traffic flow. Those who do a lot of entertaining at home will be glad to know there’s a powder room for guests on the same floor.
Upstairs, the master bedroom has a walk-in closet and an ensuite. The two remaining bedrooms are not side by side; one could easily be used as an office instead. Archibald says they have seen some interest in these homes from empty nesters.
He also says that savvy buyers realize they’re getting the feel of a single-family home, without having to pay an accompanying elevated price.
“You’re getting a two- or three- bedroom home here, with your own yard, a two-car garage, full living, dining, and kitchen space.
“Your friends and family can park on the street outside and come right to your front door – it’s very similar to living in your own [detached] house,” he says.
Part of the reason Polygon is offering such value, says Archibald, is because the market is so competitive. He feels confident that buyers will be able to see exactly how much they’re getting for their money at Farrington Park.
While he’s hesitant to offer opinions on the state of the real estate market as a whole, he does wonder if people are becoming complacent about the historically low interest rates still available for mortgages. If those rates jump, and if they jump significantly, people trying to time the market could be in trouble, Archibald says.
That, combined with the rapidly approaching deadline for the provincial government grant for first-time buyers, could be just the prompt people need to sign a purchase contract at Farrington Park or other developments, he suggests.
Source: Vancouver Sun