Exciting new designs drive demand for front-drive garage homes

By Pepper Rodriguez
August 22, 2022

What has room for two cars and a multitude of lifestyles? It’s not much of a riddle, as the answer can only be the double-attached front-drive garage home, or FDG home for short.

The FDG home is as ubiquitous as the suburbs they are generally found in. They are at the apex of the home-buying cycle. It is the home most everyone who has lived in an apartment suite, a duplex, or a townhome, aspire to live in eventually. Especially when they have children, and they see their families grow.

FDG homes come in many forms. In Calgary, they are usually two storey homes with three-bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, and a basement development options, and of course, a garage to fit two cars — or more.

They are the best fit for multi-generational households, and homebuilders have noticed a new trend of building a main floor bedroom with full bath for elderly parents of the homeowners. FDG homes with private access to basement suites have also become popular to realize the home’s potential for rental income.

Best of all is the convenience they offer as they are generally the largest of the traditional home types and have a higher level of finish, says Trico Homes area manager for Belmont, Will Jorgensen.

“They held their value better than any other home type during the downturn in 2020 immediately following COVID; there is a certain prestige to owning a front drive home among new homeowners,” he adds. “Many families moving up from apartments or rentals want to skip the intermediate laned/townhome stage and move right to front drive single family.”

Cedarglen Homes Marketing & Sales Manager Allison Harvie says there is a greater ability as well to personalize the design of an FDG home.

“We understand that every family is different, therefore they might require different components in a home. We make it easy for homebuyers to build their dream home by offering pre-designed modules for common requests such as main floor bedrooms, working kitchens, secondary suites, and more,” she says.

“It is through this ability to personalize one’s floorplan in conjunction with the exceptional homebuilding experience we offer homebuyers, that we have won Calgary’s Builder of Choice award five years in a row.”

Regarding interest rates

The federal government moved to control rising inflation by raising interest rates a full percentage point on July 13, but both Trico and Cedarglen are confident that the Calgary market is strong enough to meet the challenge. After all, Calgary remains more affordable compared to cities like Vancouver and Toronto.

“It will take some time for homebuyers to adjust and gain an updated understanding of what they can afford and then seek the appropriate product type,” Harvie says. “As we all adjust to the increases both in price and interest rates, it is important to remember that Calgary is still an affordable city to live in among large Canadian cities.”

“Rising interest rates are reducing purchasing power of all buyers but buying now will allow you to purchase a home and lock in rate holds that will prevent you from losing your affordability,” says Ali Tahir, Trico Homes area manager for Homestead. “Mortgages are long term contracts, and you may be able to lock in a lower rate later on within the mortgage term.”

“As the market slowly starts to balance out, buyers can make more informed decisions without all the pressures of a frenzied market – this is where our experienced Sales Team can help in finding the right home for you. An increase in energy and tech sectors, combined with a low unemployment rate and a consistent net migration to the province keeps Calgary (and Alberta as a whole) a great area to invest in,” Harvie adds.

New models

Following the pandemic, Harvie says homeowners have realized the value in having designated spaces in their new home for work and for pleasure, which gave rise to the popularity of their three-storey FDG homes.

“These captivating third storey lofts offer the perfect space for this while also offering impressive panoramic views of the communities. In addition to third storey lofts, we have also seen a large increase in main floor flex rooms, either used as an additional bedroom or a home office.”

She says prospective buyers can check out both of these features in their newest showhome in Belmont (the Champion 3ST SSY 24 at 17 Belmont Villas SW), as well as at their new front-drive garage showhomes in Glacier Ridge (the Elbow SSY 24 and Lacombe 3ST SSY 24 at 393 & 397 Edith Road NW).

For more information, visit, cedarglenhomes.com.

Product specialty

Double front-attached garage single-family homes make up the largest portion of product offered by Trico Homes. In fact, it’s all they build in the southwest communities of Belmont and Sirocco at Pine Creek. Generally, the sizes range from about 1,800 to 2,700 square-feet. “Our starting price right now in Belmont is in the mid-$600,000s and in Sirocco it’s in the high $600,000s,” Jorgenson says.

Trico’s newest model is the Encore, which Tahir thinks will connect with many types of buyers because of its versatility in options. “We have created so many unique options to personalize the floorplan that allow for the Encore to suit most purchasers. Some buyers may choose to add features like having four bedrooms, while others may choose to leave room on the upper floor to create a gorgeous open to above in the great room.”

The best part is that this home can be personalized virtually any way your family needs! "Our designers have looked at our homeowner’s most desired features and options and made them all available to the Encore!" Jorgenson says.

The Encore can include a built-in desk and cabinetry in the office; a spice kitchen, butler’s pantry or simply more kitchen storage; a dining room, a main floor bedroom, a flex room to meet the family’s changing needs; a fourth bedroom on the second floor; a developed basement or a secondary suite.

The Encore is sizable, at about 2,300 square-feet, Jorgenson says. “The model has been introduced to celebrate Trico’s 30th anniversary, and so far, it has been very well received. People love the flexibility and pre-planned options to suit any lifestyle, and with the appealing starting price in the high $600,000s for 2,300 square-feet is very desirable,” he adds.

The Encore will be available in most of Trico Homes’ communities, including Belmont and Homestead.

For more information, visit tricohomes.com.

About Pepper Rodriguez

Pepper Rodriguez is a writer, editor of New Home + Condo Guide's Calgary and Edmonton editions.

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