Purchasers can be forgiven for their confusion when they come upon the 81 lot Sunvale home site which is also called Riverside, like the adjacent homes being built by Starserra Homes in the same vicinity. Actually, at the moment, they are lucky if they come upon the Sunvale site at all, as it is hard to find, advertising to date has been limited at best, and both directional and site signage are virtually non-existent, although that is sure to change as this project moves along.
In my opinion, this is one of the nicer sites for new homes in Collingwood, as it is tucked behind an established residential area away from main traffic arteries, yet close enough to schools and amenities. The Sunvale lots are along the western and southern edges of the site with many lots backing onto green space and having mountain views. The rail line in behind is still active but trains pass by only twice a week and really, I myself have only seen one a handful of times in as many years. You can also hop onto one of Collingwoods great trails right there at the site.
Chris and I visited the recently opened three model homes on Williams Street which can be reached by coming in off Sproule/Collins or Peel Streets. We both had a first impression that suggested the quality may be superior to the Starserra Homes but we were disappointed that once again, the exteriors look like Mississauga North instead of Collingwood Special. Why is almost every new home builder in town using cookie cutter (read boring) designs on similar sized lots in comparable price ranges? One has to really dig to find the points of difference among all these offerings today. On a positive note, I understand that Sunvale is willing to redesign exteriors to suit a buyer’s taste.
Once we walked into the first model, we were immediately impressed by the quality and of course, the great staging of the models. While floor plans were really similar to both Creekside and Georgian Meadows, we did notice that in most cases, the windows were larger, the ceilings seemed higher and the lots were a little deeper. Incidentally, most lots are 39′ or 40′ wide and range in depth from 123′ to over 200′ on a few.
The on-site hostess was very pleasant and eager to assist although she is still learning as she struggled with our very specific and detailed questions. As the project is new, this may take some time and her honesty and courtesy more than made up for the few details she was still missing.
The Sunvale package is reasonably detailed and refreshingly, tells buyers right up front that they’ll be paying for things like the water meter hook-ups, hydro deposits and warranty enrollment fee. These fees are common in most projects but tend to sneak up in the fine print. The package also has a sheet detailing the Rogers package included with each sale that includes things like free home phone, personal TV and hi-speed internet for the first year (a $2,200 value).
Back to the houses. Homes range in size from 1,122 square feet at $252,900 to just over 2,200 square feet at $339,900. Choices include a range of styles like bungalows, back splits and two storey homes all with full basements and attached garages. Some houses are not ideally suited to certain lots and would require size modifications to fit. Standard ceilings are 8 feet however, increasing ceiling height is an option and, several plans feature cathedral or vaulted ceilings already. To be honest, nothing jumped out at either Chris or I as being really exceptional although we liked each of the three floor plans and we did notice how bright the homes seemed with extra large windows in the bedrooms and basements. On the flip side, we found the closets in the bedrooms small (despite the hostess’s assertion that they were larger than usual) and, room widths in the three masters were almost too narrow for a king sized bed. The centre bungalow model showcases many standard levels of finishes but, just like in Creekside, they’ve highly upgraded the other two models which kind of bugs me. Everything was upgraded from the flooring to the trim, from the lighting to the ceiling heights and to the kitchen, leaving me to wonder how it might look without the thousands and thousands of dollars of extras we were seeing.
All in all, I think this project may be another winner. Good quality at a fair price point in a decent area with a reputable builder it all adds up to so far, 6 or 7 sales. Not bad for a new project that has not even started marketing. I suspect Sunvale has had an easy ride in their other projects in Orangeville and Georgetown but may be surprised that it’s a little harder in the Collingwood marketplace. I’d suggest better signage, landscaping, adding energy efficiency standard features plus options, an on-site design centre (or at least one in Collingwood for heavens sake) and, a whole lot more sizzle starting with their website. When sales slow, as they surely will this year, consider tweaking the designs to include hometown style features such as front porches and recessed garages.
When it’s time to buy or sell real estate in the Collingwood, Blue Mountain or Georgian Triangle area, contact Marg, an experienced and competent Broker who is ready whenever you are!
Marg Scheben-Edey is a Broker with RE/MAX four seasons realty limited, Brokerage in beautiful Collingwood, ON. With three decades of experience, Marg is a leader in the local real estate marketplace and is ready to help guide both Buyers and Sellers in achieving their real estate goals. Email Marg