Archive for June, 2014

“Hickory Hills” in Tillsonburg Ontario

Monday, June 30th, 2014

P1070386By Peter Daoust, Remax Advantage Realty Limited. Broker

Albert Einstein would concur. Aging boomers do not want to reside in neighborhoods with young families. Boomers do not want to live near locations where kids play road hockey or locations near where children are known to skateboard, play in sandboxes or hang upside down on monkey bars. Many boomers prefer to have scheduled Skype dates with their grandchildren who often happen to live far away.

Boomers like to play bridge, poker ( yes and for money), darts, cribbage and enjoy playing golf with booked mid morning tee off times. Many enjoy using ipads, Netflix, craft superstores and  like friends with high end quilting machines in their basements. Sharing Margaret Atwood books and staying current on Benjamin Moore paint colors is in. Creating a comfortable space in which to live is often one of their top priorities.

Nexus cards are in, Airstreams are to stressful to pull around and are out, Sirius Satellite and C.B.C. radio are both in. Canadian Tire money has become a nuisance to organize and save, best simply to be passed off to the red plastic kettles just past the cashier. Turtle Wax on sale is a welcomed occurrence and Swiss Chalet and The Mandarin are places to dine with your favorite friends. Today’s boomers like fishing expeditions if someone else has a boat, bus trips to Nashville and scheduled community barbeques with friends their own age. Events of this magnitude often make it to the fridge calendar. Boomers like the sleek lines and prices of Kia automobiles.

Some boomers like shopping in Thrift Stores while others may have a distain for this type of activity. Many donate used cloths to the Canadian Diabetes Association including many of the previously mentioned boomers who do frequent the Thrift Stores. The topic of dressing in style is kind of confusing. Some boomers still use Mary Kay products and some boomers dabble in stocks like Cracker Barrell, Go Pro and Harley Davidson. Some boomers like to teach others how to successfully bid for shoes and watches on E Bay. All boomers enjoy fresh fruit in the morning. A fondness for pets is somewhat debatable – some even have birds. Many boomers feel most at home living in communities specifically designed for boomers. Some seniors seem to have the misfortune of always washing their cars just before it rains.

In the wonderful town on Tillsonburg Ontario (population 15,500 people) there is a retirement community for seniors called “Hickerory Hills”. It is a 437 unit community consisting of 384 homes, 40 garden homes and 13 condos. It’s an adult lifestyle community and one owns the land as well as the house.DSC_0166 It’s construction started back in the late 80’s and finished out in 2005. It boasts of being only a five minute drive away from downtown and about a seven minute drive to “The Bridges of Tillsonburg Golf Coarse”. This project is also next to a section of the town’s nicest walking trails.

What is there for active boomers to do in Tillsonburg? Well there are parks, air shows, bake shops, farmer’s markets and in the summer the “Norfolk Festival N’ Blues”.

Now for the good stuff. “Hickory Hills” has an online newsletter, a clubhouse with a heated pool and a pool side hot tub, a library, billiard table, lounge, games and craft rooms and a multi-purpose room. It also has horseshoe pits, shuffleboard courts and an oversized patio for parties. The annual association fee (at this time of writing in 2004) is only $300.00 per year or 82 cents per day. One of the things that this means is that if your really not big on socializing with everyone in your community you are not really throwing a ton of money away in annual dues. Someone was smart in designing this complex this way.DSC_0170

On the topic of Hickory Hill daytrips the following three comments should be made. First, London is only 59 km away if you ever need a change of pace and secondly Stratford with it’s wonderful plays is only  64 km away. Then to the south 41 km away is Port Rowan on Lake Erie. Do you know about the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve, the second largest fresh water peninsula in the world? This is an important stopover site for 300 species of migration birds. What a wonderful slice of Ontario to have in your backyard!

The success of this Hickory Hill community, now 25 years old has helped spawn the creation of yet another new retirement community in Tillsonburg known as “Baldwin Place”. It also consists of single family homes and attached garden homes and it has a clubhouse and an outdoor swimming pool. Projects like this are drawing in boomers from all over Ontario.P1060273

Finally, mentioning must also be made of one other community of freeholds designed specifically for boomers in this region. In Port Rowan to the south on Lake Erie can be found “The Villages of Long Point Bay”. This site offers prospective residents almost 300 freehold units with a clubhouse overlooking a beautiful eight acre park. Yes it has an indoor pool, a woodworking shop, a billiard room, whirlpool, sauna, a library lounge with a fireplace, walking trials and vegetable garden plots.

No skateboarders are allowed in any of these communities. Sorry. Today’s boomers are becoming increasingly cognitive of how they want to live!

Towards Better Understanding Our Board’s Most Recent News of Condo Price Increases

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

By Peter Daoust, Remax Advantage Realty Limited. Broker.

Let’s start by saying that our national real estate magazine (R.E.M.) has agreed to publish our Joe the Used Car Guy blog. That’s good news. We think the public needs to better understand how average sale prices are calculated. Many of us have recently heard or read the news that condo selling prices shot up in the month of May here in London. The price increases announced on a percentage basis was huge. 188 condo units traded hands, it was reported, up from 168 units the month before. On the surface that seems to be great news but we still have to remember that London YTD total sales ( homes and condos combined) are down 2% from last year.
The average sale price of a condo here in London in May, it was reported, was $200,992 up from $165,583 in April. Once again, that price increase seems huge. The London Free Press seemed very eager to report this news. Yet before we get all to excited let us remind you that average price of a condo sale way back in the month of May 2011 was, are you ready for this? ….. $208,824. Maybe things are not so hot after all.
Now back to the contents of the Joe the Used Car Guy blog. In that blog we said that new built condos sales can sometimes cause havoc with average condo price indexes. Of the 188 condo sales in London in the month of May, 15 sales were new condo sales at an average price of $310,725 and of the 168 condo sales in London in the month of April there was only one new built condo sale reported, at a price of $272,900. Once again, the presence of new unit sales being mixed with older inventories is like mixing oranges with apples. This April /May example shows this perfectly. A better way to calculate, explain and report average selling prices in our industry is now something very much needed. Cheers.