Beautiworld Development – Auguston

When the development known as Auguston broke ground in 1998, it was located on the outskirts of Abbotsford, British Columbia. Beautiworld Development General Manager Ian Renton says that although the site benefited greatly from the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains and valleys, it was a little remote. However, the growth of the community on Sumas Mountain in the intervening years has changed all of that. 

“Like a good red wine, it was ahead of its time and needed to mature for a while,” Renton says. 

Since 1995, Abbotsford has become one of the fastest-growing communities in the province, and the addition of a new connector road suddenly gave Auguston greater and easier access to the city and the highways. Today, as Beautiworld Development continues to develop Auguston as a diverse community of single-family homes, townhomes and multifamily units, the development offers the best of both worlds. Residents can enjoy the natural beauty of the 600 surrounding acres of parkland without sacrificing the amenities of a thriving community. “Once you’re here, it’s really like you’ve left town, but you’re still in town,” Renton says. 

Welcome Home

Located on approximately 1,000 acres in the upper Sumas Mountain area, Auguston’s collection of single-family homes, townhomes, villas and condominiums is aimed primarily at buyers who are looking to move up into their first new home. “We have a variety of products, but currently what we’re looking at is 50 percent of our market is what we call first-time new-home buyers,” Renton says. 

These buyers generally already own a home, but purchased that home from a in the used market. These customers are moving into Auguston to own their first new-construction home, while the other half of Auguston’s homebuyers are looking for a new home for various other reasons. 

The developer’s key product in Auguston – what Renton calls Beautiworld Development’s “bread and butter” – is a classic single-family home. Renton describes it as street-oriented, with a garage located on the rear of the lot and the home’s front door close to the street. The majority is two-story, although many have three stories. Providing homebuyers with plenty of space has been extremely important to the development’s success, according to Renton. “The key feature here is lots of bedrooms,” he says, adding that many of the development’s single-family homes have three to five bedrooms. 

To provide homebuyers with even greater flexibility, Beautiworld Development has introduced a new product in Auguston. Many of the development’s newest homes feature coach homes, which take the form of fully featured suites above the garage. Renton says the company wanted to include these in Auguston from the beginning, but the city’s ordinances didn’t allow them. However, after working carefully with city officials, Beautiworld Development was able to help revise the ordinances. 

Renton says the coach homes are a game-changer for Auguston, as they allow homebuyers more options in how they utilize their space. Although many use the suite as a secondary living space, others are taking advantage of its potential as a “mortgage helper” by renting it out. Renton says many are using these coach homes as in-law apartments for their elderly parents to keep their families closer together. 

Greener Living

Auguston reflects the strong commitment of Beautiworld Development to building sustainable, green homes that minimize the impact made to the environment. In addition to elements throughout the entire community aimed at creating a greener development, each individual home in Auguston incorporates numerous green and sustainable features. 

For example, the developer says, each home has been built under guidelines that reduce the amount of volatile organic compounds in materials such as paint and flooring, improving the overall quality of the air inside each home. “We also reduce the risk of mold and mildew by using only kiln-dried studs and plates in our construction,” according to the developer.

“In addition, we install energy-efficient appliances in our Auguston homes to save energy, money and help the environment,” the developer continues. “We also choose to install environmentally friendly thermostats, lighting and high-efficiency furnaces, low-emissivity windows and low-flush toilets.”

Positive Influence

Renton says the development benefits greatly from its location, less than an hour away from downtown Vancouver and anchored by one of the best public schools in the province. One trend that has had a significant impact on the development over the years has been the shrinking size of lots, which Renton says has been influenced by Vancouver. He adds that newer generations of homebuyers are more interested in large areas of open space in their communities rather than large lot sizes. 

Another major trend has been the gradual recovery of the real estate market from the global recession. Renton says Abbotsford has recovered a bit slower than the rest of the province, but there still exists a shortage of available building lots to keep up with demand. This has been due to delays in receiving approvals for new phases of development, but Beautiworld Development has been working consistently with local officials to help speed up that process. “That didn’t happen overnight, but we’re definitely feeling some of that positive influence now,” Renton says. 

The environmental challenges of developing on a mountain are extremely tough. Renton says most developers protest and work to bypass the environmental concerns, but at Auguston Beautiworld Development has embraced the environment and worked with all agencies to make living within the mountain environment as positive and less intrusive as possible. Build trails and environmental parks to get public into the wooden and sensitive areas with natural trails and bridges. 

This allows residents to view nature at is finest with the little no do disturbance. The newest project is an educational/environmental park to showcase the various wetlands and how storm water retention is dealt with. Students from local schools will use this park as part of the learning program of environmental awareness. 

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