Thornbury Meadows Land Lease
What is a land-lease Community?
Sites are rented by tenants who own the home on the site. A land-lease home is a permanent structure.
Thornbury Meadows has been designed to meet the needs and expectations of adults; How?
Canada’s population is ageing.
“In 2010 the median age in Canada was 39.7 years (i.e. half was older & half was younger).”
Seniors make-up the fastest-growing age group. This trend is expected to continue for the next several decades due mainly to a decreased fertility rate, an increase in life expectancy and the effect of the baby boom. In 2010 an estimated 4.8 million Canadians were 65 years or older, a number that is expected to double in the next 25 years (Estimated 10.4 million seniors by 2026 & by 2051 about one in four (1/4) Canadians is expected to be 65 or older. [Source: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada “Canadians in Context – Ageing Population”]
Comment: The Georgian Triangle, Town of the Blue Mountains (and within the Thornbury Settlement Area) is heavily influenced by tourism and the recreational amenities the area offers. This in turn has led to major residential developments geared to a significant extent to the recreational market. Housing prices have increased to the point that there are few affordable options in the local area when adults, particularly seniors, chose to relocate.
What housing choices are currently available in the Thornbury area and do they meet the needs of all adults?
Single Family Detached:
These homes will always be available and meet the needs of a great many people, particularly people with “at home” families. Property maintenance (snow removal, grass cutting, etc.) is a feature that many enjoy – but some don’t. A ‘nice’ house is not inexpensive.
There are a multitude of condominium units available in the Thornbury area. One can own the ‘unit’ and pay a ‘condominium fee’ to cover the cost of maintenance of the ‘common elements’. Most of these units are ‘multiple floor’ designs, many units are oriented to the recreational community with seasonal or part-week typical occupancy and this can lead to periods of time when the full-time resident in one of these complexes may feel lonely or abandoned or the exact opposite – a feeling of being smothered or constrained at peak times when everyone shows up. Sometimes all too frequently for the full-timers the parties can be a challenge. The units are still costly and the ‘control’ over the common area maintenance and management is in the hands of the Condo Board of Directors. This can sometimes lead to neighbourhood politics and conflicts of interest.
There are some residential units available for lease that encompass various forms of construction type and affordability levels. Apartments are a form of lifestyle that appeal to many people. There is no investment by the tenant in land or building.
Retirement Home Living / Nursing Homes:
There are several choices locally for retirement homes and some offer a transition to the more intensive care offered in the nursing home area of the facility. As anyone who has experience the challenges of ‘nursing home’ placement, there is seldom any guarantee that a senior’s number one choice of facility is or will be available any time soon. If a person can transition from that person’s ‘home’ directly to retirement or nursing home living this may be ideal for many people.
While there may be other choices, the above four are the main options at this time in the Thornbury Community.
The Land-lease Community option that Thornbury Meadows offers:
Finally, for Thornbury, a further choice in accommodation is being proposed that will meet the needs and expectations of many adults – an adult lifestyle land-lease community.
This is not a New Concept
Land lease communities have been around for a great many years – in Europe, the United States and increasingly in Canada. You can buy your house or unit and lease the land (site) in nearby communities including Meaford, Collingwood, Stayner, Wasaga Beach and elsewhere throughout the Province. Over the years, many local people who would have preferred to have invested in a land lease community in Thornbury (had one existed) invested elsewhere in the same ownership model – a land-lease community.
What is the Financial Incentive to a Homeowner in Thornbury Meadows?
The homeowner actually buys and owns the home. The equity in this home is always owned and controlled by the homeowner.
The land upon which the home is situated is not purchased, it is leased, which translates into a substantial amount of money that remains in the homeowner’s pocket to do with as he or she pleases. Most people who would find Thornbury Meadows appealing, either have or will be selling their existing home and most of these homes are traditional “freehold” tenures where the home and land are owned. People who are able to invest in a nice home that is owned and where the land component is not purchased (it is leased) ‘frees up’ money from the “land component” of the sale of their former home. The savings can be significant – perhaps as much as $150,000 or more. That ‘saving’ can be put to use now – for meeting your priorities – perhaps for investing, travel and vacations, helping family members, a vehicle or just a nest-egg for a rainy day. You can keep more of your money to help with your retirement plans. But saving because of not having to buy the land is not the only financial advantage.
- Since you are not buying the land, provincial ‘land transfer tax’ does not apply, in most situations. This can be a savings or thousands of dollars especially when one considers the fact that land transfer tax (when it applies) is calculated on the land and the house.
- In many land lease communities the realty taxes are somewhat lower for comparable homes on freehold lots. While that is a possibility for Thornbury Meadows, time can only tell. There are two types of realty taxes payable – one for the house itself based upon the MCAP property evaluation. The second type of tax is for the land itself and this will include the assessed value of the land and common structures such as the recreation centre and for which each home owner will pay his or her proportionate share. It is hoped that with the economies of scale that there will be some overall realty tax savings, but again, time will tell.
What protection does a Thornbury Meadows homeowner have since the land (site) is leased not owned?
A Thornbury Meadows homeowner has security of tenure. If a homeowner wishes to sell his or her home, the new homeowner will have the benefit of the lease being assigned by the Landlord. There are protections to homeowners in the municipal approval processes, official plan, zoning and site-plan agreements to name a few. Your housing units, your home, your investment will always be under your ownership and control and any increased equity is yours.
The lifestyle lease obligates the landlord to provide such things as the interior roads in a good state of repair, removing snow from the roads, maintaining the water supply, garbage disposal, electrical systems, maintaining the common grounds and the common buildings and structures and things of this nature.
Some costs are included in the ‘rent’ and some costs are pro-rated and passed on to the homeowners.
Because the home is owned by the tenant and the land is owned by the landlord, there is a common interest to ensure Thornbury Meadows is attractive, well managed and well maintained. In developments where the developer builds and sells houses and the land (freehold) or builds condominiums and transfers the land to the condominium corporation – in either case the developer is gone and apart from any continuing warranties (such as the Tarion Home Warranty) the developer has no ongoing involvement or obligations.
Not so for the Thornbury Meadows land-lease community. The homeowner gets the benefit of any builder warranties (including the Ontario Tarion Home Warranty) and the developer remains as the landlord with continuing performance and maintenance obligations. The revenue generated from the leasing of the sites is the landlord’s revenue stream. This is the landlord’s ‘business’, it only makes good business sense to have a well-built, well maintained, attractive and overall appealing community. Both homeowner as tenant and the developer/builder as landlord have a significant continuing investment in ensuring Thornbury Meadows is an investment and lifestyle option that is positive and rewarding now and for the foreseeable future. Telfer Homes Inc. has the highest rating possible with Tarion Home Warranty and has built over 150 homes from affordable to luxury over the past 20 years. It has built a solid reputation on quality, service and value.
A Community within a Community
Thornbury Meadows is not a ‘gated community’. However the landlord will have a regular on-site presence that should give peace of mind to homeowners who choose to travel or vacation elsewhere for periods of time knowing that their home, their investment, is under the watchful eye of the landlord’s management personnel. There will be a sense of ‘community’ within Thornbury Meadows where homeowners can take advantage of the trails and common areas and participate in the amenities and activities in the recreational centre. All of these features will help facilitate the building of friendships within the ‘Meadows’ and of course for those who wish, there is always the privacy of one’s own home.
Residents of Thornbury Meadows are by no means isolated. They are part of a larger community within Thornbury and are minutes away from the arena, Town Community Centre, library, Downtown commercial area, restaurants and churches – in other words, they are within easy access to all that Thornbury has to offer and most of which is within walking distance.
Why is this community called an ‘adult lifestyle community’?
The short answer is that the homes themselves and the recreational amenities are designed for mature singles or couples who in many cases will be seniors. The units are for the most part approximately 1,200 square feet and all come with an attached single car garage. For the most part units will have everything on ground level with no stairs and only a crawl space. Units can be initially built (or subsequently converted) for accommodating people with disabilities. Two-bedroom or one-bedroom + den are featured. Homeowners are for the most part relieved of exterior maintenance. The private recreation centre itself will be geared to activities that are best enjoyed by older adults.
Ease of Resale/Transition
Homeowners in Thornbury Meadows have lots of options when they want to sell their home. The home can be sold privately or thru an agent. Telfer staff can also sell it for you if you wish. Resale homes in Thornbury Meadows should be highly coveted and very marketable.