Kay Langmuir
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TOWN HOME BUYERS GUIDE - OPTIONS IN THE KINGSTON MARKET

Updated Thursday, February 27, 2014  ::  Views (11853)

  

TOWN HOMES IN THE KINGSTON AREA

 

 New town home options are increasing in the Kingston area as seven builders begin developments in the west end in addition to current offerings.

  Make it eight builders, counting Kaitlin Corp., in Bath which offers the only bungalow towns in the area.

 Caraco Development Corp., Barr Homes, and Braebury Homes have all begun work on blocks of town homes and/or semi-detached (aka paired towns) in the Woodhaven subdivision north of Princess Street west of Bayridge Drive. Geertsma Homes announced its release of town homes in Woodhaven in late August. And most recently Dehoop Homes and Selkirk Homes have just announced town home offerings in this new sub-division. (Details on these two builders products will be added shortly).

 T. Grant Homes is breaking ground on 20 town homes at Princess and Westbrook Road, where new traffic lights were installed this fall.

 In the central city, the 144-unit River Park development on the Cataraqui River is nearing completion.

 Most prices fall in $260,000 to $300,000 range depending on size, location and amenities. These builds are freehold, and usually require four to five months to finish. Some builders have units available for immediate occupancy. They are built in three- and four-unit layouts, or semi-detached, depending on lot and street layout.

  Square footage costs, as a rule, usually decrease as the size of home increases. End unit prices also reflect the price of a larger lot and more windows.

  Model prices do not include upgrades, and most base model prices do not provide hardwood on the main floor, which is a highly desirable upgrade chosen by most buyers today. This upgrade, depending on model size, is likely to cost at least $4000 - $6000, so buyers are advised to budget accordingly.

 Please note, some numbers are rounded.  

    Braebury’s first phase of 13 homes is more than half sold. These homes are priced by individual lot/model combination. They range from $260,000 to almost $300,000, and cover a wide range of sizes from 1000 to 2000 sq/ft. The model unit is scheduled to open September 7th, and the first units will be available for occupancy early this fall.

  Most of the models have per-square-foot costs between $169-$174, except for some of the largest models where costs are as low as $161 and $143. These homes are built to Energy Star standards, and Braebury is offering $5,000 in free upgrades for a limited time.

  This development of 75 town homes will eventually include some blocks of walkout towns on a cul-de-sac backing on to green space and a stormwater pond, and these builds will likely carry substantial premiums. These blocks will likely not be released for sale for quite some time, as construction is slated to proceed in the northerly sections first before developing the cul-de-sac.

  These town house blocks are currently under construction on Davenport Cres, off Tremont Drive, off Woodhaven Drive.

 Caraco Homes has released about 40 town homes lots on and adjacent to Rosanna Drive (still under construction) - the first right off Princess west of Woodhaven Drive.

 There are four models from 1325-1360 sq/ft, ranging in price from $265,000 to $283,000. This works out to $200-$208 per square foot. The homes are built to Energy Star standards and the base price includes some additional upgrades.

 Barr Homes has about 34 town home lots for sale on Jannette Street off Holden Street, east of Woodhaven Drive. One four-unit build is complete. One end unit is available for purchase, and one is currently serving as the model home.

  The end unit at 310 Janette Street includes upgrades such as hardwood floors, and is priced at $282,000 ($219 per sq/ft).

  Barr is offering one 1285 sq/ft model with three bedrooms and 2.5 baths, starting at $260,000.

  The next block is not expected to be available until some time in February, pending formal registration of the subdivision with the city.

  This development also has 14 walkout lots available for premiums of $10,000 to $20,000.

  Geertsma Homes has just released town home lots on Blossom Street, accessed off Maria Ave, off Princess St. These town homes start at $260,000 and include hardwood in the living room.

   Kaitlin Corp., in Bath is the developer of the Loyalist Country Club Community, a lifestyle development of single and attached homes designed around its 18-hole golf course and clubhouse. The project is about two-thirds complete.

  Each property title includes a $10,000 lifetime golf club membership, and owners pay annual dues of $900.

   It has three bungalow towns available now, and is about to start work on servicing eight more town home blocks for an eventual total of 60 town homes. Three blocks are expected to be ready early next year.

   The company, which develops and operates lifestyle communities throughout southern Ontario, offers an end model of 1269 sq/ft for $255,000 ($201 per sq/ft), and a 1200 sq/ft interior-model version for $250,000 ($208 per sq/ft), as well as a larger end model of 1665 sq/ft for $280,000 ($168 per sq/ft).

  T. Grant Homes is building 20 town homes on the northwest corner of Princess Street (Highway 2) and Baxter Avenue, just east of a large corner lot at Princess and Westbrook Road, which is reserved for a commercial build.

  The homes will be set back slightly from Princess Street and an access road roughly parallel to Princess will allow residents to come and go via Princess or Baxter Rd.

  The builder is offering a three-bedroom, 1.5 bath, 1215 sq/ft model starting at $220,000 ($181 per sq/ft).

 Greycliff Homes has sold about 80 per cent of River Park - its 144-unit town home development at the corner of Montreal St., and John Counter Blvd., which includes a waterfront park on the Cataraqui River. This is a freehold development of Energy Star homes, with owners required to pay about $430 annually for internal road maintenance.

  It offers the only waterfront towns in the area. About half of these 21 premium walkout towns are still available for purchase. Each unit is 1973 sq/ft, and they range in price from $410,000 - $450,000. This works out to per square footage costs of $207 - $228.

  There are a number of other models ready for occupancy. The majority are 1200 – 1300 sq/ft, and priced from $242,000 - $283,000. Some larger models are available in the 1500-1700 sq/ft range for $320,000 - $350,000. These prices represent square footage costs from $182-$230.

 

 

 IMPORTANT BUYER ADVICE  

 

  A purchase of this magnitude requires careful study to ensure you get the kind of home you want.

  Obtain and read carefully the construction specifications provided by each builder, and compare them.

  Find the model you want and then add $10,000-$15,000 to the price to allow for a few upgrades and closing costs.

  Make sure you understand the terms under which your deposit will be returned to you if you decide not to proceed with a purchase.

  Check the builder directory at www.tarion.com or click the NEW HOME BUYERS menu on my home page at www.streetsofkingston.ca.

   You can check the after-sales service records of every builder in Kingston. If buyers experience problems with new homes and their complaints go to mediation under Tarion, and the builder can’t or won’t resolve the issue, this will appear on their record.

  If you’re considering new or resale and there are existing adjacent homes, talk to the neighbors!. Chances are they will be happy to share what they think of their new homes by the builder you’re considering. If it’s a resale of an older attached home, it’s a great way to get intel on prospective neighbors and possibly insights into the quality of the resale you’re considering.

Older town homes and semis sometimes have problems with sound transmission through the common walls, and it’s the neighbors who can tell you if there’s a problem.

Most local builders now construct common walls out of two off-set stud walls with sound batting insulation and carrying a Sound Transmission Rating of 57. Ontario Building Code calls for a minimum STC of 50 (the same rating as for between hotel rooms). A wall with an STC rating of 60 allows practically no audible sounds to pass through.

 I have saved my three most important pieces of advice for last so I hope you’ve read all the way through:

     {C}1.  {C}Pass up the granite if necessary and buy the best quality home you can afford! Don’t count on the Tarion Warranty coverage to bail you out if you discover problems with your new home. It is heavily weighted in favor of the home-building industry which carries substantial political clout with the province due to the vast number of jobs it represents.

Enough homeowners have been hung out to dry by Tarion that disrespect for the warranty is now relatively widespread, and hopefully this will translate into growing political pressure to change the current warranty system. Tarion's monopoly on new-home insurance needs to be questioned.

   2. Consider making your deal contingent on a home inspection, as most resale buyers do, but with a clause giving the builder the right to remedy any defiencies and conclude the sale. Even the best home builder can sometimes miss things.

2.  This last piece of advice may sound self-serving, but all things considered, (and there is SO much to consider), be savvy and get a Realtor to help you compare and navigate the new home market! There is no cost to the buyer, yet this professional advice is some of the best insurance you can have!

        Best of luck to all new town home buyers!  :-) 

 

 

  

 

 

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