Branching out in the Orchards

Move-up home follows hard on heels of their first house in Edmonton when family discovers their dream location.

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They liked it so much that they bought and own two homes in the same community.

That wasn’t the plan when Teresa Deocampo-Par and her husband Ryan Par decided in 2022 to leave Toronto behind and call Edmonton home.

Originally, the Pars found and bought their new Edmonton home online. Located in the southeast community of the Orchards, the home had exactly what they were looking for. Or so they thought.

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But while living in the Orchards, Ryan, who enjoys walks through the neighbourhood, inadvertently threw a wrench into their new life here. Last summer, he found a lot with stunning views, a pond behind it and a setting they couldn’t resist.

“We liked the other house, we were very happy,” said Teresa. “The only reason we moved was because of the house and its views.”

Blame it on him, added Ryan, noting their first house was just on a typical, traditional lot with nothing notable to look out at. “We didn’t know the community had this kind of view,” he said.

They lived in their first home for 1½ years and just moved into their newer home at the beginning of May.

They selected the Orchards, from Brookfield Residential, in large part so that Teresa could be closer to her family — her sister recommend the neighbourhood and had purchased there preferring the community, which features blossoming fruit trees, ponds and scenic panoramic views, over her previous southwest home.

For the Pars’ second Orchards’ home, they purchased with the lot in mind — the lot Ryan found when he was out on that fateful walk. Realizing, though, that they would be tied to a specific builder to get that lot, they also checked out the immediate adjacent ones as well to see which builder, lot and home made the most sense for them.

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The lot that originally caught their attention connected the family to Excel Homes and they chose Excel’s Melrose, a 1,999-square-foot, two-storey home that comes with three bedrooms, 2½ bathrooms, a walk-in pantry and a family-friendly kitchen design. There’s also a flex room on the main floor, which the Pars had Excel convert so that it could become a fourth bedroom — for now, the family is using it as a home office.

Upstairs, there is second-floor laundry and the remaining bedrooms. The family also likes the open-to-below layout overlooking the family room. Large windows, they add, also flood the home with natural light and make the house more enjoyable, said Teresa.

So, now that they’re starting to settle into their newest Orchards’ home, do they think there might be another Orchards move on the horizon?

“We’re not going to move, this is going to be our retirement house, especially with the nice views even at nighttime,” said Ryan. “We saw the aurora borealis (from here) a few weeks ago.”

The Orchards, added Teresa, allows you to feel like you’re still living in the city but in a much more relaxed setting.

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They plan to sell their other house.

New Show Homes

The Orchards, which opened in 2011, is more than 50 per cent complete. At completion, which is projected in approximately eight years, it will be home to about 4,300 families.

“It is a master-planned community that is focused on connectivity, placemaking and bringing the orchards to life,” said Charlene Barrett, Brookfield Residential’s director of sales and marketing. “Each spring, the Orchards blooms with over six different species of blossoming fruit trees, from crabapples to cherries, which line their namesake streets. The creatively landscaped community features a sizable orchard ready for harvest.”

Builders in The Orchards include Daytona Homes and Homes by Avi. The community’s two other builders, Brookfield Homes and Excel, meanwhile, opened a number of new show homes that were launched at the end of April.

Excel presented two new duplexes, the Bentley and Emerson, while Brookfield Residential, opened three new show homes, two duplexes — the Harper and MacKay — and the Bristol, its newest starter home.

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Buyers can also find single-family homes, with detached or attached garages, and townhomes being built in the Orchards. Prices, overall, start in the $400,000s.

“A prime southeast location, the Orchards is an amazing community to raise a family, with access to four community schools, a vast array of amenities and commercial as well as quick and easy access to major corridors and arterial roads, like the Anthony Henday, getting you anywhere in the city,” said Barrett.

A core amenity for The Orchards is the exclusive 14,000 square foot residents association member-only Club House, with features like its splash park, tennis and basketball courts, a playground, NHL-sized hockey rink and a pleasure skate ribbon.

A newer amenity to the community is the fenced in dog park, providing a safe, secure off-leash area for its furry family members.

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