A look at three unique Manitoba housing options and the people who call them home.
Home, for some, the word conjures up images of a quiet walkup apartment on a tree-lined street in one of Winnipeg's older neighbourhoods. Others imagine a split-level new build in an emerging community on the edge of town. And some families dream about the peace and comfort of a farmhouse in the country.
Across the province, Manitobans are embracing a variety of housing options that suit their unique life stages. We spoke to three families who made big moves to find their forever homes.
Escape to the country.
Melody Tardiff knew rural living would be an adjustment. But she never anticipated the frogs. "They croak all night," says the born-and-bred urbanite. Three years ago, she moved with her husband, Julien, and two young sons from their house in Winnipeg to an acreage 20 minutes east of the city.
The once-bothersome croaks soon became a soothing part of the atmosphere at the 1,566-square-foot new-build outside of Lorette. "Now I can't wait to get home from the city to my little haven," says Tardiff, who commutes to Winnipeg for work.
Formerly part of a Saskatoon berry farm, the family's 2.5-acre property is lined with berry bushes that produce buckets of fruit each summer. Though the land was undeveloped when the couple viewed it in 2015, it was love at first sight. "We could just picture ourselves here," she says.
The move was partially motivated by Julien's desire to give their kids more freedom and teach them responsibility like he experienced as a child growing up on a farm. Tardiff thinks the move came at exactly the right time for their boys, now 15 and 12. "They weren't yet set in their ways—but they were old enough to handle some tasks." By managing chores like cutting grass and gardening, the boys feel a sense of ownership in the property and take pride in the results of their hard work.
On the flip side, the Tardiffs have also discovered some unexpected costs associated with rural life: vehicle expenses, including wear and tear, and higher gas bills. Homeowners making the leap from city to country should be aware that home insurance costs could increase as well—due to the longer proximity to hydrants and a firehall (volunteer-run halls can also impact rates).
It took six months for Tardiff to adjust to country life—where simple things like groceries, laundry and after-school activities require more advance planning. But now she wouldn't have it any other way.
"I feel completely at peace when I sit on my back deck," she says. "You hear rustling leaves, birds chirping—and even those darn frogs!"