Tartan Helps Ottawa Families Make a House a HomeWritten by Chelby Daigle
Now available in their Findlay Creek development, Tartan Homes’ ‘Kawartha’ model is a home that provides with unique flexibility. Accommodating to different living styles, home buyers can choose to have a living room instead of an ‘open concept’ living room.
Developed in response to requests that Tartan Homes has received from home buyers over the last few years, the ‘Kawartha’ is an example of a business listening to its customers’ needs.
Customers like Sakna Bassam.
When Sakna Bassam’s children were accepted to the University of Ottawa, her family had to quickly relocate from Dubai to the Nation’s Capital.
She knew she wanted to live in a family-friendly neighbourhood that would not be too far away from downtown so her children could easily get to university. She soon discovered Findlay Creek. Located in the south end of Ottawa, Findlay Creek is just five minutes south of Hunt Club on Bank Street.
Sakna visited all of the companies who have built homes in the area. “I chose Tartan Homes because they had the most space for the best price,” she said.
Sakna also researched the company and liked that Tartan Homes is a family-owned Ottawa-based business. “Sometimes big companies don’t care about details like family needs,” she explained, “But small businesses want to prove themselves so they take the time to take care of the details.”
And there was a detail about her home’s floor plan that Sakna wanted taken care of. Actually, she wanted to completely redesign the first floor.
“The original floor plan they had allowed you to choose between a guest room or study room on the first floor,” she explained, “I realized I don’t need either type of room; it is a waste of space. I also didn’t like that if I had visitors everyone would be coming into the family room and watching what I am doing in the kitchen. In our culture, we don’t like open spaces for our visitors. We like a closed space, what we call a living room, to host our guests. That way visitors don’t see the ‘behind the scenes’ of the house. Sometimes the family room and kitchen are messy, especially if you have children, so you don’t want your visitors to see that. That’s why you have this special room that is always clean for your guests.”
Sakna proposed to Tartan that she expand the study/guest room into a living room for visitors by reducing the size of the mud room and the location of the powder room in the original floor plan.
“I thought that they would probably say ‘No, we can’t do that.’” she said.
She was delighted and surprised when they said “Yes”.
“Our reaction was ‘Why didn’t we think of this before?”, Anisa Smith, the current Tartan Homes sales manager, explained.
Tartan Homes had repeatedly received requests for this floor plan change over the past four years from home buyers, particularly those who were from newcomer communities like Sakna.
“It goes against the current ‘open concept’ design trend but when you have so many people asking for it, it makes sense to try to accommodate them,” Anisa stated.
Tartan Homes incorporated Sakna’s design changes into her new home and now the new ‘Kawartha’ model allows more families to choose this option.
“Tartan should have named this model after me,” Sakna joked.
For Sakna, having the ability to help with the design of her house was also important because this is the first home she has ever owned.
Originally from Lebanon, but living and working in Dubai for most of her life, she only had the option of renting. “I find it amazing that you can own your own home here,” she stated.
It is the relative affordability of owning a home that is bringing many newcomers to Ottawa.
“Ottawa often is not a first landing place for new immigrants,” Anisa explained, “They often come to Toronto or Montreal and then they filter their way to Ottawa once they hear how affordable it is to buy a house here and how family-oriented the city is.”
Anisa has worked for Tartan Homes in their Barrhaven and now Findlay Creek sales offices for over seven years and has seen how families have changed these housing developments into real communities.
“The Findlay Creek sales office has so much referral traffic,” she explained, “People move into the area and then they tell their friends and family about it.”
Tartan Homes has been building in Findlay Creek for over 15 years, so now the area is home to second generation Tartan homeowners. “People who grew up with their parents in one of our single family homes are now moving out and choosing to stay in Findlay Creek and purchase one of our townhomes,” Anisa explained.
It is not unusual for Anisa to have the whole family in her office with these young people when they are buying their first house. “I may have the homebuyer, their mother, father, siblings, aunts and uncles all asking me questions,” she shared. This is the part of her work that Anisa loves.
“One of the wonderful things about working at Tartan Homes, is that the owners of the company are aware of everything that is happening,” she explained, “To have them involved in the day to day is fantastic. That family feel of the business makes it a great place to work but I think it also helps make people feel comfortable buying a home with us.”
Although Sakna is now settled in her home, she still sometimes contacts the Findlay Creek sales office for advice because of that ‘family feel’.
“They were very helpful when I was new in Canada and I didn’t know about many things,” she shared, “The first winter here was very hard. The people in the sales office gave me advice and answered all of my questions, even about things that were not related to my house. This made me feel welcome. I like the people who work in the sales office. It is like you are visiting their home, not their work.”
To learn more about Tartan Homes in the Findlay Creek area click here
- Kawartha Model Dining Room & Kitchen Kawartha Model Dining Room & Kitchen
- Kawartha Model Family Room Angle 1 Kawartha Model Family Room Angle 1
- Kawartha Model Kitchen Kawartha Model Kitchen
- Kawartha Model Living Room Kawartha Model Living Room
- Kawartha Model Family Room Angle 2 Kawartha Model Family Room Angle 2
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