When Bruce and Marge Weber decided it was time to retire from farming and move into Elmira, they hunted for a place that was low maintenance, built for two people but not too small, that they could own.
The hunt proved unsuccessful, so they put into practice the old adage: if you want a thing done well, do it yourself.
“We couldn’t find a place that suited us, so we’re building one,” Bruce said.
They’re hoping there are seven other like-minded people looking for the same thing: workers broke ground last week on the Snow Goose Condos.
The two four-unit buildings are situated on Snow Goose Crescent, overlooking Lions Park. The bungalow-style units are large – 2,000 square feet – each with an attached garage large enough for “two cars and a toy.”
The properties along the south side of Snow Goose were zoned for four-unit buildings, but they’ve gone undeveloped for about seven years.
“The land’s been sitting there all that time,” said Brad Martin, broker of record R.W. Thur.
Martin is selling the condos for the Webers, and said they’re filling a void in the town’s housing market.
“I think it’s a very needed type of residence in Elmira.”
The condos are designed for “active empty-nesters,” people who don’t want to deal with maintenance, who want to downsize while still owning their home. The Webers have seen a number of their contemporaries move to St. Jacobs or Waterloo because they couldn’t find that combination in Elmira.
Each building will have two units on the lower level and two units on the upper level. The only area in common will be the main entrance, which will be equipped with a lift.
They’ve tried to minimize the number of stairs in the building; other than a half-flight of stairs up or down into the unit, the only steps will be a half-flight into the games room in each unit.
There are separate driveways for each garage and the upper units will have a balcony, while the lower units have a small patio outside.
Things like snow removal and grass cutting will be covered by the condo fees, although the Webers aren’t sure what those will be yet.
The Webers aren’t developers; the decision to build condos was a big step from running their business, Pullets Plus. Bruce was enthusiastic; Marge was a bit more hesitant.
“He has the guts to do these things,” Marge said.
“In our business, I was the dreamer and she was the one who brought me back to reality,” Bruce laughed.
But the process has moved more smoothly than they hoped. They planned to start construction next April but everything fell into place and shovels were in the ground last week. The target completion date is next August or September.
And it seems they’re right about the demand. Three of the units were sold before the first sod was turned.
“We want to live there, so we expect others will too,” Bruce said.
For more information, contact Martin at 519-669-2772.