When young families look at a community such as Bridgwater Lakes, they decide to give it a pass.
Why? Because they believe that they can't afford to buy a new home in that area.
That's a misconception, said Signature Homes sales representative, Jeff McArthur.
"While the price of this show home -- which features lots of options -- is $399,900, the base price of the home is $329,900," he said of the Purdue, a 1,600 sq. ft., two-storey design found at 338 Eagleview Road in Bridgwater Lakes.
"With a basic finish package, which includes maple cabinets, a one-piece bathtub, pot lights and pewter door knobs -- the home comes in at well under the show home price. We can also put in a (rear detached) garage for an extra $10,000."
The Purdue has a lot going for it. It has an at-grade entry, extra-wide (36-inch) doorways, an extra-wide upper level staircase, and a visitable main-level powder room with five-foot turning radius. Even with basic finishes, its interior won't feel remotely austere.
"The visitable plan makes this home extremely livable," said McArthur. "When you combine the wide doorways and aisles with an excellent floor plan, the result is a home that's extremely easy to live in."
The Purdue's high livability quotient comes from its design, which is clean, simple and clever. Case in point is the home's great room, which is open, yet divided into three distinct areas that flow nicely from left to right: family room, dining area and kitchen.
Add to the mix a host of large windows that surround the area and you have a bright, well-appointed area.
"Everyone who's gone through the house has said they really like the great room's simple, open design and all the windows," he said.
"There's a big picture window in the family room on the front wall, another on the side wall next to the dining area and a large window over the double sink in the kitchen. There's also a door with a big window at the back landing, so light is coming in to the area from almost every angle."
The simple design means the great room isn't cluttered. At seven feet by four feet, the kitchen's island - which also seats three - is big enough to be functional, yet small enough to leave wide aisles. Set away in the middle of the room is a dining area that comfortably holds a table for four to six.
The finishes are pleasing to the eye.
"Kitchens in our homes come with maple cabinets (in this case cappuccino-stained ones) standard. And right now, over the holiday season, granite countertops are included. This kitchen was also outfitted with a tile backsplash (an optional feature) and three recessed pot lights, which is a standard feature," added McArthur. "Even with basic finishes, you're going to get a nicely finished kitchen."
At the other end of the great room there's loads of space in the family room due to the absence of a design feature that's often used as the space's focal point.
"It's a good-sized area that feels even bigger because we didn't put in a big entertainment unit on the wall," he said. "Most of the people who buy this home go without it because they can put their furniture where they want it, then put in their own entertainment unit to suit their taste. That not only saves money, but you can also move it to the other side of the room if you want to change things up."
Getting to the upper level is a breeze thanks to an extra-wide staircase. The bedroom wing has an efficient layout. It has three bedrooms, a four-piece bath and a huge laundry room. Both secondary bedrooms are generously proportioned (with large windows), while the secluded master suite is spacious at 14.1 feet by 11 feet.
Not only does it contain desirable features such as a huge, south-facing picture window (for loads of light all day long), a three-piece ensuite with five-foot shower and maple vanity and mid-sized walk-in closet, it also comes with an unexpected design feature.
"It can come with a balcony, which is an option," said McArthur.
"About 50 per cent of the people who buy the home keep it. I think it's a great idea. You can sit up there with a drink in the morning or evening and get away from the kids, and the door (which comes with a glass centre) lets in even more light. The laundry room is a convenient touch, while the main bath offers a nice, deep soaker tub to relax in."
Head downstairs, and the basement offers approximately 800 sq. ft. of space to develop into a fourth bedroom, rec room, bathroom and storage.
"That means you get a home that gives you about 2,400 sq. ft. of livable space spread over three levels. This is an affordable home that offers all kinds of function and value," he said.