Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Suncadia future?

When Tom and I attended the Seattle Home Show a few months ago, our intent was to explore builders for the house we planned to build on Bainbridge Island or in Poulsbo when Tom retires in a few years. By the end of the day, we had talked to so many builders that they were all beginning to blend together and we had walked so much that our feet were aching. The show was about to end for the day and we were ready to head home, no closer to a home on Bainbridge than when we'd arrived.

Having seen an ad on the Home Show program for Suncadia, I'd mentioned that I wanted to quickly take a look at their booth before we headed home. "I think it's a retirement community," I said. "But I still want to take a look."

Because, you know, we weren't about to retire to a retirement community. Those are for old people!

Suncadia's exhibit at the 2015 Seattle Home Show

The intent was to just breeze by Suncadia's exhibit. Neither of us had ever even entertained the idea of retiring at a planned community - certainly not at a planned community that was also a resort.  And most definitely not at a planned resort community that was built around golf courses.  Nothing could be less like us!

Then we saw pictures like this...

The Lodge at Suncadia

...and our interest was piqued. We absolutely love the Pacific Northwest Lodge/Craftsman architectural style! Pair that with these surroundings...

...and we knew we had to know -- and see -- more!

The next day, our plans for the afternoon fell through and we decided that, what the hell, we'd drive the "80 minutes/80 miles" (all freeway, right over the Cascade Mountains!) to go visit Suncadia. Our plan was to stay under the radar and just take a peek around, but it turns out that Nanci, who we had met at the Home Show the day before was in the sales office and free to show us around. She was anything but high pressure and we really liked her from the get-go, so we took her up on the offer.

From our conversation the day before, Nanci knew what attracted each of us to Suncadia -- Tom, the introvert, wants plenty of land, lots of privacy, and a new "blank slate" to design and build (or help design and build) his dream home. I, the extrovert, want a very strong sense of community, activities with friends, and a home that feels like "us." Suncadia, it seemed, could potentially offer us both what we want for our retirement years.

One of the other things that we both immediately liked about Suncadia was its focus on year-round recreation within the natural mountain environment - hiking and biking the many miles of trails, and fly-fishing and river kayaking in the summer, and snow shoeing and nearby skiing and ice skating in the winter. We have no interest in slowing down after retirement and, in fact, we hope to be plenty busy with grandchildren who want to come visit us!   

We also immediately liked the focus on the natural environment. Owners are strongly encouraged to keep their landscaping natural and are even required to use only native vegetation. At night, outside lights must be kept low and must shine down so the beautiful starry sky keeps center stage. It might be a planned community, but maintaining the natural beauty and majesty of the mountain environment is very much part of the plan!

Within the first few minutes of driving around the Tumble Creek area of Suncadia, we came upon a huge herd of elk!

We were in awe as we watched at least fifty huge elk peacefully graze right on the lot Nanci was showing us!

Well played, Nanci! Well played.

We walked a few lots that day and as we did, what started as a notion slowly began to formulate as a real possibility. We both felt that we could live here. It felt like home!

We went home intrigued and inspired! Could it be that we'd settle for the rest of our lives in the most unlikely of places for us - a planned resort community?  Those words are SO NOT US... but this place, it seems, IS.

A few weekends later, we returned, this time for two days, staying the night at The Lodge at Suncadia, where we had this view outside...

 ...and this view inside (which prompted me to add a fireplace in the bedroom to my wishlist for our next house):


 Knowing that we couldn't seriously consider building at Suncadia until we knew whether such an undertaking was even feasible for us, we met with three builders, who showed us some of their houses-in-progress, like this one, which we loved:


And we looked at more lots, of course!

Yesterday, on a gorgeous sunny Spring day, we headed back over the Cascades for a third time in as many months.

This time we went to look at one particular lot. We loved it!

I think Tom has found his next homestead!

Even Shasta and Quinn loved it.

How could we NOT love a place like this?

Even I, an anti-cookie-cutter-development Berkeley child of the 60's, love it!
It looks like we'll be putting an offer on a lot in the next few days, with the hope of building our dream house in the next few years. If all this pans out, you KNOW this blog is about to take on another focus!

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Tonya said...

WOW!!! It's gorgeous up there! I love the Roslyn area (Twin Peaks!) Seeing the elk had to be incredible. I'm looking forward to hearing more about this exciting adventure!

Margaret said...

You just never know, do you? Life is full of surprises! It is gorgeous there; my grandparents lived in Cle Elum and Roslyn, so I visited there a lot while growing up. :)

Goofball said...

wow it's gorgeous there!! pictures like this make me so homesick for North-America!

so we'll be in BC in the coming weeks but next time I come over in a few years I think I'll have to pop you a visit across the border ;)

Related Posts with Thumbnails