Deborah & Geoff: A community with room to grow a family

Conover Commons Cottages

Deborah wasn't house hunting when she found the home of her dreams. "Sometimes the best things in life come along when you least expect them," says the 40-year-old Microsoft marketing manager. "I was driving to work and noticed this cute small community of craftsman houses hidden behind tall trees — right by my office. I called Linda Pruitt, just to take a look, and the very next day I found myself committing to a cottage at Conover Commons."

In May, 2005, Deborah moved from an apartment into the two-bedroom, 1.75 bath cottage with a loft. As a single woman, she was thrilled with the space as well as the safety of the community. "I'd owned a home before, when I lived on the East Coast, and it was at least twice as big as the cottage," Deborah explains. "But I had to get rid of a lot of stuff when I moved to Seattle, and I liked the idea of living only as large as you need to. The cottage felt like a lot of space, but not so much that I needed to fill it up with a lot of things I didn't really want or need."

Just a few months after Deborah moved into Conover Commons, something else unexpected happened: she fell in love with Geoff. "We became serious fairly quickly and knew we were in a long-term relationship, but we also liked having our own space," recalls Geoff, 47, a wetlands manager for the City of Bellevue Parks Department. "Even after we'd been dating for a more than a year, I purchased my own home in the Issaquah Highlands."

In early 2007, Deborah and Geoff's lives both changed when they found out they where going to have a baby. "When we started talking about where we wanted to raise a child and start a family, Conover Commons won hands-down," Deborah says. The close-knit community is perfect for raising a child, yet you're not on top of your neighbors like you are in some other planned communities. Also, the home itself is very well laid-out — it feels very spacious. And the views out the windows are of the gardens, or the roofline and sky — not into your neighbors' windows."

Working in conservation, Geoff appreciates the environmentally-friendly design of this urban community of not-so-big houses. "Creating sustainable urban communities that don't negatively impact the environment is important to me," says Geoff, who was impressed that five acres of open space surrounding the community has been set aside as a refuge. "Everything about Conover Commons speaks to being stewards for the environment. The houses were built with wood harvested from the site, no pesticides are used in the gardens, solar panels are used in the community gathering house. Raising children makes you think about using the earth's resources more wisely."

Deborah and Geoff's daughter, Cooper, was born in September 2007 and they still find that their not-so-big home is just the right size. They walled in the loft upstairs to create more privacy for the nursery, which is right upstairs from their own bedroom. Cooper can walk outside and explore the commons area, and there's a large playground nearby. "Our home and our community are just the right size to contain a curious toddler," Deborah says. "And when we outgrow the cottage, Conover Commons has a community of three-bedroom, three-bathroom houses right behind us. It's nice to know our community offers the room for our family to grow."




Deborah and Geoff