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Looking For a Home Where The Buffalo Roam?

By Bryan Douey

Reproduced from an article in Calgary Real Estate News

June 16, 2006

The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde said, "Anybody can be good In the country," and surely the original ranchers and farmers who settled Alberta's landscapes agreed. Wide-open spaces, productive land, and the big, blue Alberta sky stretching gloriously above them; how could that be a bad thing?

The west has an extensive mythology, one from which Alberta draws its character and Calgary in particular draws its energy.

“A lot of people are looking for their second home. They want rural property, land and all the rural amenities."
Jean Williamson
country living feature

Self-reliance, industriousness, independence, freedom. These are the things associated with the old west, and perhaps things that are harder to find within the ever-growing city.

Wide-open spaces are the very thing that draws many people to the province (beyond the booming economy). They want their own little piece of the old west. And outside of Calgary, more and more developments are marketing the lack of any urban features as a plus.

Jean Williamson, a REALTOR for MaxWell Westview Realty in Bragg Creek, said commuting has become less of an issue for certain people. They want the space true rural living can offer.

"People move into places like Elbow Valley and go to work saying they live in the country," she said.

But I'm sorry, you can reach out your window and touch your neighbour's house."

For Williamson, true rural living means space.

"There are people who want 20 acres and a horse in the backyard more than closeness to the city," she said. “They want space."

"A lot of people are looking for their second home," she added. "They want rural property, land and all the rural amenities."

As the property may not necessarily be a primary home, Williamson said it's a whole different type of clientele. A person's second home is not going to be bought for it's closeness to work.

Wide-open spaces welcomes quiet seekers and nature lovers alike

horsesCalgary now has one million people, and can no longer rightly say it is a big city with a small town atmosphere. The roads are more crowded, the streets teem with activity, and urbanites have begun an exodus from the suburbs, back into the inner city. So where are those who always enjoyed the space found in Calgary to go?

"They want to get out of the city," Williamson said. "They want trees, a smaller community, safety, security, and space."

Open land, and open space means buyers in the country can build whatever kind of house they desire. Log cabins, farmhouses, and palatial mansions. The land can be your canvas and your dreams the palette.

"It's a huge choice to live in the country" Williamson said.

Standing Bear, the great Ponca Chief, said, "Man's heart away from nature becomes hard."

And nature, according to Williamson, has become the true draw to countryside living.

"Bragg Creek used to be an artisan community and drew people who like horses," she said. Now the draw is people who love the environment. They use the backcountry, just not from the back of a horse."

And with the sweeping natural beauty found in Alberta, who wouldn't want it at their doorstep.

-Bryan Douey is a Calgary Real Estate News reporter.


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