Not In My Backyard!

Investors, Developers, Custom Home Builders who want to build spec houses...everyone wants a piece of our HOT market here in the Durham region!

I'm not saying that I think it's necessarily a bad thing, I work with a number of investors & this past summer I even helped clients get their bungalow approved as a legal 2-unit dwelling in order to maximize the selling price. This was the Highest & Best Use for the property as demonstrated by the $72,000 increased selling price over the similar, but non-duplex property a few doors down which had sold a few days prior to our hitting the market. But this home was located in an area that was popular for rentals & it totally made sense!

But I worry about our more traditional neighbourhoods...I showed a recent listing of mine to an investor & he was looking for the ability to split it into 2 units in order to maximize the rental profit. This home was in an older established family-oriented neighbourhood & I just don't know how to feel about that! My knee-jerk reaction was this is not the kind of neighbourhood for that! In my mind it's a different story if the whole house is being rented out because it would probably be to a family who wants to live in the area for all the same reasons that other families who own their homes want to live in the area...with the only difference being ownership...but a duplex just feels different! More transient, less interested in a sense of community, less likely to maintain the curb appeal which can affect everyone on the street. And if you start to get a lot of those then it really changes the look & feel of the street and/or the neighbourhood. Remember this is not fact...right or wrong, it's just my knee-jerk reaction.

And then there are the developers who are buying up properties that sit on large lots in the area to create what's called a land assembly with the ultimate goal of fitting in as many properties as they can on the land, which usually means townhouses. A friend of mine recently got a letter from such a developer...willing to buy his property at a "premium" as part of a land assembly. What that actually means, remains to be seen...After asking around I found out that many homeowners in Courtice received the same or a similar letter at the beginning of the year. And it's running rampant in Bowmanville as well according to another friend involved in local politics here in Clarington.

Custom home builders who buy lots & put up beautiful new homes...not much to complain about there since most likely they are enhancing the neighbourhood, lol!

There's a lot going on in Courtice right now, this project , this project & this project have got a lot of residents talking...and it's mostly not good! Traffic, safety, loss of green-space & over-crowded schools are just some of the complaints I've read about in online neighbourhood groups when it comes to the growing of our community. And lots of NIMBYism too when it comes to proposed apartment buildings. So many are moving out this way to escape that kind of high density & the fact that it's following them comes as a real disappointment.

But the fact of the matter is that we need more housing options, and some affordable ones at that...what we're seeing in the local real estate market is telling us that loud & clear. Not everyone is in a position to buy right now & why shouldn't they be able to live in a beautiful community like ours? That being said we need the infrastructure & resources to support our growth and that seems to be severely lagging behind.

I don't have the answers but there's no question that growth will continue to happen here whether we like it or not. And there is a lot of good that comes with it! Our local economy is strong & we're still an affordable option compared to other communities in the GTA so it should come as no surprise that we're attracting so many investors hoping to cash in here in the Durham region!

Let's hope that the growing pains aren't too painful!

Have a fabulous day!

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