The Long family are the proud new owners of this little piece of mountain paradise in River’s Bend. Photo by Aydin Odayakmaz/For CREB®Now

Starting this week, CREB®Now will be sitting down and talking with local homebuyers to understand why they bought, where they bought it and what advice they might have to others.

Jill Stephenson-Long and Chris Long fell in love with the mountain lifestyle 15 years ago when they moved to Canmore to begin their lives together and further their respective careers. The active, health-conscious and design-focused couple – she is a nurse and he is a chiropractor – have three young children: nine-year-old twins, a boy and girl, and a five-year-old son.

With the goal of eventually building their mountain-themed dream home over the years, the couple, purchased investment real estate and rental properties in Canmore to finance their down payment while they lived in a leased home, raising their young family.

With the rise of River’s Bend, a new community in Dead Man’s Flats just a five-minute drive down the road from Canmore, the couple jumped at the opportunity to purchase an affordable home site close to the river and build their dream home using Banff architect, Mari Ann Allan at Mountain Ridge Designs.

CREB®Now spoke with Chris Long to get the family’s take on their home purchase.

“Real estate is so expensive in Canmore. Yet the community here feels just like an extension of Canmore.”

CREB®Now: Why did you choose River’s Bend?

Long: So many of our friends have moved out here from Canmore because of what you can get for the cost. We found the lot we wanted with the right light exposure. We wanted a southwest exposure so that we would have the sun in the morning and then all through the backyard in the afternoon and then in the front in the evening.

And it was the right price. Real estate is so expensive in Canmore. Yet the community here feels just like an extension of Canmore. The school bus comes to pick up the kids, a lot of the same people that we hung out with in Canmore are here now and the advantage that we see, and that we talk about a lot, is that you get to be away from the craziness of Canmore on the weekends. We have restaurants here, a corner store, a gas station – in fact, it is the cheapest gas in the Bow Valley. And, it takes me five minutes to drive to my office in downtown Canmore. Plus, we wanted to put in a legal suite and River’s Bend is legally zoned.

CREB®Now: Did you use a real estate professional to buy and sell your investment property in Canmore? If so, how did that process work for you?

Long: We did use REALTORS® and the experience was good. It’s funny, at one point we tried to sell using the “for sale by owner” technique on one of our investment properties. It lasted a month and a half, and we thought, ‘this is ridiculous.’ It just didn’t work the way that we had hoped it would. We brought in a REALTOR®, and, a few weeks later, it was sold.