Taking the road less travelled

Karoleena building modular homes in Calgary

MYKE THOMAS Calgary Sun Imagine sitting in your living room one day in the nottoo-distant future, looking out the window and then yelling to your husband, "Honey, we have new neighbours. And they brought their own house." Jump back to the present and you back to the future with the, ah, installation of a Karoleena Homes modular home in the community of Ramsay last week. There are those in the construction business who believe modular homes will soon be taking a larger share of the market, particularly on inner-city lots, because it is a less intrusive method of "building" a home next to existing homes - the modules are actually built in a climate-controlled factory - and are craned into place when complete. Karoleena Homes, founded by broth- The recent economic turmoil has affected the retirement savings and prospects for the future of the boomer generation in a way that could not have been imagined even ve years ago. To lower day-to-day expenses and improve monthly cash ow, many couples have considered selling their homes and downsizing to an apartment or a condominium. Once they considered all the costs associated with selling and buying property, moving and then paying either rent or property taxes and maintenance fees, they became convinced there truly is no place like home. Financial considerations were not the only factor. Remaining in their homes was important for sentimental, as well as practical reasons. The homes are where they raised their families, but it's also where they entertain their close friends. Relocation would have meant a lot more than just moving stuff. It would have meant completely changing their lives. Instead of selling, many boomers have opted for the CHIP Home Income Plan (CHIP) oered by HomEquity Bank, as a way to increase their monthly cash ow while The Calgary Sun n FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2011

CHIP lets boomers stay in their own homes

To lower day-to-day expenses, many baby boomer couples have considered selling their homes and downsizing. But on second thought, leaving friends and family behind was too much of a price to pay. Instead of selling, many boomers have opted for the CHIP program, where homeowners can gain access to up to 40% of the equity in their home. ers Kurt and Kris Goodjohn, started off as a conventional, on-site builder in Calgary in 2005, but transformed into a modular company when the brothers decided it was faster and provided the opportunity to build greener homes in a controlled environment. e Ramsay home is the latest the brothers have built for Calgary. "Karoleena has built a total of seven modular homes in Calgary's inner city so far and one multi-family fourplex in Marda Loop," says Kurt. "(We) currently have more than a dozen single and multi-family modular projects in the works in Alberta, B.C., Saskatchewan and Manitoba." As long as there's a road, the brothers can get a home there, says Kris. "We can deliver and assemble our Karo Homes and Karo Cabins anywhere there's a road in North America," he says. "We can also barge our modules to remote island locations on the B.C. coastline or remote rec property locations. We're currently working towards the completion of two dierent projects in the Gulf Islands and another on a private lake in remote interior B.C. - both of which will require truck transport to the coast, and then barge transport to their destination." e homes take less time to build than on-site construction with an installation time of about six hours. "You're looking at four months from start to nish versus what can sometimes be a year-and-a-half with site-built homes," says Kris. "Our modules are built in a factory and there is virtually zero waste. Any scrap material larger than four feet is reused on the home or another project. (And) by virtue of the fact that they have to be transported thousands of kilometres and craned 10 metres into the air, our homes are built stronger than a conventional home." Several oor plans are available or customers can choose to customize their homes, with costs for either running in the $175/sq.-ft. range. e brothers Goodjohn will handle all the details. "We handle (everything)," says Kurt. "Permits, transport, craning, touchups, etcetera. "We deliver a fully-finished, move-in ready, turnkey final product." So, don't be surprised if you leave for work one day QMI AGENCY PHOTOS COURTESY KAROLEENA HOMES The main storey of Karoleena Homes' modular home, above, is hoisted into the air to be placed on the basement. Inset, the top storey is ready to be put in place. At right, Karoleena Homes' founders Kurt Goodjohn and Kris Goodjohn Homes stand with proud new homeowners Bill Pitt and Lise Lacroix. with a vacant lot next to you and return home that evening with new neighbours in their new house. For more information, visit www.karoleena.com and be sure to tune in CBC's Dragons' Den March 30 when the Goodjohns make their pitch to the dragons. continuing to enjoy their home. rough CHIP, home owners can gain access to up to 40% of the equity locked up in their home in tax-free cash with no monthly payments required. e full amount would not have to be repaid until they decided to move or to sell their home. HomEquity Bank now oers CHIP Home Income Plans at low rates. Details are available online at www.chip.ca, toll-free at 1-866-233-2989 or by contacting your financial adviser or mortgage broker. - with files from News Canada

You need to upgrade your Flash Player

You need to upgrade the version of your Flash Player to version 9 minimum.

Click here

Adobe Flash Player Download Center