June 18, 2013

A little touch of paradise on the lake

Peachland cottages are attractively priced

Cottages of Paradise Valley Drive

Project location:
4835 Paradise Valley Dr., Peachland
Project size/scope: 40 two-bedroom cottages on 10 acres on the bench above Okanagan Lake; a second phase will include 80 more cottages
Prices: From $116,900 to $128,900 for 576 sq. ft (Forest Cottages); $168,900 for 684 sq. ft (Wine Country Cottages)
Developer: Peachland Investments Ltd., Victoria
Designer: Cavco, Phoenix Arizona
Contact: Cliff and Judi, on-site managers
Phone: 1-888-640-7040
Occupancy: Now

Special to The Sun

When Jackie Edwards and her husband Les first heard about the Cottages of Paradise Valley Drive, she thought they sounded too good to be true. “We’ve always thought of getting a little spot somewhere, and these were just what we were looking for — a little cottage that’s self contained with a little piece of land,” Edwards said. Since purchasing in the summer of 2012, the Edwards — who live in Kelowna — have spent every weekend “and all of our little holidays” at their cottage, located in Peachland on the bench over Lake Okanagan.

A former RV park and seasonal rental property known as Camp Okanagan Resort, The Cottages of Paradise Valley Drive opened in 2011, offering homes at attractive prices for year-round use. The dwellings come in two styles, “Wine Country” and “Forest.” Both have two bedrooms and are on lots averaging a quarter acre. The Wine Country cottages are 684 square feet, including a covered sun deck. They include hookup for a washer and dryer, choice of lot, king-sized beds and high-end appliances, as well as finishing options. Wine Country cottages go for $168,900.

The Forest Cottages are 576 square feet, fully furnished (queen-sized beds, flatscreen TV, deck furniture, appliances, linens and kitchen equipment) and priced from $116,900 to $128,900. A full-time resident manager is on-site. Amenities include a new in-ground swimming pool for residents, an open grass area and a playground. The property has also been developed to highlight and preserve greenways and wildlife corridors.

The location is as much an attraction as the cottages themselves. “We heard it’s better to have a little vacation spot within about an hour distance from your home,” Edwards said. “So we thought Peachland would be perfect. It’s become quite a nice little touristy town, with lots of restaurants and cute little shops and boutiques.” Besides shops and boutiques, Peachland is seeing some major development.

The two main projects are the Ponderosa, a residential community built around an 18-hole course designed by Australian golfer Greg Norman, and the New Monaco, a 125-acre planned neighbourhood. Both are billion-dollar projects. Notwithstanding those mega-plans, the lack of development relative to Kelowna is what makes the Cottages of Paradise Valley Drive so attractive to some. “Kelowna has developed quite rapidly,” Paradise Valley Drive developer Doug Turner said.

Chuck Hopkins, who bought a Wine Country cottage, agrees. “If you wanted to buy a cottage down by the lake in Kelowna — there isn’t any,” Hopkins said. “Although we’re not on the lake, it’s still a great spot, because you’re out in the wilderness.” Hopkins, a retired steelworker, and his wife Beryl currently have a house in Kelowna. The cottage is a place to go to get away from the city. “We went out and had a look, and went, holy moly, these are beautiful,” Hopkins said of the Cottages of Paradise Valley Drive. “We liked every aspect of the cottage. This is just a wonderful, quiet spot where you can go and relax.”

The Hopkins plan to sell their Kelowna house and move to a condo in town, and keep the cottage as a summer home. “It’ll be another great place to get away from the condo and be out in the wild blue yonder and enjoy every aspect of nature out there,” he said. Turner notes that most of the sales have been to people who are retired or near retirement. Some see the purchase as a summer home, some as a base to come back to after wintering elsewhere, like Palm Springs.

For some, like the Edwards, the cottage and its location are year-round delights. “There are some beautiful places to walk in the snow,” Jackie Edwards said. She and her husband, who are in their late 50s, haven’t retired yet, but hope to in a couple of years. “It’s so relaxing and peaceful out there in the wintertime, it’s just marvellous. We read, we walk, we have a glass of wine and watch a movie.” In fact, her sister liked the sound of the cottage so much she sent her husband and son out from their home in New Westminster to have a look.

“I told her, ‘You won’t believe what we’ve found,’” Edwards said. “He looked at it and went back and said, ‘This is perfect.’” So they bought one too, one door away from the Edwards.


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