Leah Barber says knowing what you want makes buying a home much easier.

Home buyer doesn’t settle for less with her forever home

At 52, Leah Barber knows what she wants. The recently divorced mother of a university-aged son was clear on her must-haves when she began shopping for a new home.

Top priorities were a home with great curb appeal and a big deck adjoining the great room – a sunny spot where she could relax after a long day at work. Add to that a double master plan, so that when her son was home from school, he would have his own space. In addition, she had specific layout requests, including a smaller footprint – small enough to be low maintenance.

She found exactly what she was looking for in Hopewell’s Xeno model — a 1,300 square foot, laned home with a double master plan and front kitchen in the southeast lake community of Mahogany.

CREB®Now: What led you to Mahogany and how did your home search begin?

Barber: I didn’t have a preference on where in the city I wanted to live, even though I had only ever lived in the north.

I looked at the whole city. I drove around to different communities to see what they had to offer; and then a friend of mine suggested that I look at Mahogany. I said, ‘where the heck is that?’

The homes are such rich colours. I started looking at the show homes and realized that I could really see myself in this community. It just felt right.

So one Saturday afternoon, I drove down and when you drive in, it is so pretty, even beyond the lake, which is of course, an asset. The homes are such rich colours. I started looking at the show homes and realized that I could really see myself in this community. It just felt right.

CREB®Now: Did you consider a resale home or did you always want to buy brand new?

Barber: I wouldn’t have said ‘no way’ to a resale home, but I really loved the idea of being able to build what I wanted.

This is my final house and I really wanted it to be what I wanted, not what someone else had decided. I initially looked at condos – I thought that it would be so nice not to have to worry about shoveling or mowing, but the more that I looked, the more that I realized that I wanted a big deck. The nice thing about Mahogany is the laned homes, so you don’t have to buy a 2,000 square foot house.

CREB®Now: Do you have any advice for someone in the midst of looking for a new home?

Barber: Look at a lot of show homes and a lot of resale homes. Get a really strong sense of what you like and what you want. Also think about where you are living now and what works for you in the home and what doesn’t.

I knew that I wanted my kitchen in the front of the house, and my living room in the back of the house so that I could walk out to the deck. I also knew that I didn’t want a fireplace and I wanted walk-in showers rather than bathtubs. Knowing what you like makes the process much easier.

 

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