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Durham - General For residents of and soon-to-be residents of Ajax, Oshawa, Pickering, Uxbridge, and Scugog


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  #1  
Old 2015-06-16, 08:43 PM
dheeraj.arcot dheeraj.arcot is offline
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Default Empire constructions!

Wyndance communities,

There is empire construction going on. Has anyone had experience with them?
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  #2  
Old 2015-06-17, 03:46 PM
Repooc18 Repooc18 is offline
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This is nothing new... they've had that gated community up there for a few years now.

Lots are super big/deep. That's what originally attracted us to check it out. We went through a few of their resale homes about 2 months ago and were turned off by the near $500/month mandatory maintenance fees. It was like an "idiot tax" on top of the municipal property tax you're already paying. Maintenance fees that have nothing to do with the maintenance of your own property, but rather to maintain the pond, pathways, and snow clearing (on the road only, not your driveway), and maybe garbage pick up too.

I can see it being appealing to someone who absolutely MUST play golf multiple times a week. My wife and I have a set of clubs, but certainly don't enjoy the sport that much to dump a couple grand a year (on top of the maintenance fees) just to join the local golf club.
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Old 2015-06-17, 04:01 PM
dheeraj.arcot dheeraj.arcot is offline
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Originally Posted by Repooc18 View Post
This is nothing new... they've had that gated community up there for a few years now.

Lots are super big/deep. That's what originally attracted us to check it out. We went through a few of their resale homes about 2 months ago and were turned off by the near $500/month mandatory maintenance fees. It was like an "idiot tax" on top of the municipal property tax you're already paying. Maintenance fees that have nothing to do with the maintenance of your own property, but rather to maintain the pond, pathways, and snow clearing (on the road only, not your driveway), and maybe garbage pick up too.

I can see it being appealing to someone who absolutely MUST play golf multiple times a week. My wife and I have a set of clubs, but certainly don't enjoy the sport that much to dump a couple grand a year (on top of the maintenance fees) just to join the local golf club.
That's just crazy! my friend is getting a huge lot there and hopefully he is aware of this maintenance fee as well. As is he will have to pay a hefty property tax for the huge lot and on top of upgrades he is getting. He is looking at 1.2 mill end of the day.
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Old 2015-06-18, 01:39 PM
WellThatsLovely WellThatsLovely is offline
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I wouldn't call it an "idiot tax". Having neatly maintained landscaping around their community is important to some people so they pay an extra $500 a month for that maintenance. It's not really any different from people who spend their money on expensive clothes/restaurants/cars/travel, etc. No one was suggesting these homes were intended to be some sort of financial investment opportunity.
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Old 2016-01-19, 08:53 PM
Chigu Chigu is offline
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I wouldn't call it an "idiot tax". Having neatly maintained landscaping around their community is important to some people so they pay an extra $500 a month for that maintenance. It's not really any different from people who spend their money on expensive clothes/restaurants/cars/travel, etc. No one was suggesting these homes were intended to be some sort of financial investment opportunity.
Actually it is an idiot tax. The developers took the cheap and easy way out by not waiting to get all the approvals from the city so they call it a private road. The "maintenance" fees you pay are primarily for services that you would get for free from the city such as snow plowing, garbage pick up and water. Only a small percentage is used for maintaining the common areas. The fees can only increase and never will decrease. It's not like you get a break on property taxes either.

I almost signed an agreement with the monarch builders a few years ago off of fairport road in Pickering and pulled my deposit as soon as I heard about the "condo" fees.
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Old 2016-01-22, 04:50 PM
WellThatsLovely WellThatsLovely is offline
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Actually it is an idiot tax. The developers took the cheap and easy way out by not waiting to get all the approvals from the city so they call it a private road. The "maintenance" fees you pay are primarily for services that you would get for free from the city such as snow plowing, garbage pick up and water. Only a small percentage is used for maintaining the common areas. The fees can only increase and never will decrease. It's not like you get a break on property taxes either.

I almost signed an agreement with the monarch builders a few years ago off of fairport road in Pickering and pulled my deposit as soon as I heard about the "condo" fees.
I'm aware of what it is... I've lived in one (they're all over the place, I'm not sure why people are so surprised by this arrangement?)... The fees just keep the neighbourhood looking nicer and the riff-raff out.
What you get for "free" doesn't necessarily look the same as what you pay a maintenance fee for. Not everybody wants to live in a neighbourhood where neighbours don't care about their appearance.
(If it weren't a haven for type-a elderly people who have nothing better to do than meddle and nitpick, I'd still be living there lol)
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Old 2016-02-10, 11:25 AM
Chigu Chigu is offline
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Originally Posted by WellThatsLovely View Post
I'm aware of what it is... I've lived in one (they're all over the place, I'm not sure why people are so surprised by this arrangement?)... The fees just keep the neighbourhood looking nicer and the riff-raff out.
What you get for "free" doesn't necessarily look the same as what you pay a maintenance fee for. Not everybody wants to live in a neighbourhood where neighbours don't care about their appearance.
(If it weren't a haven for type-a elderly people who have nothing better to do than meddle and nitpick, I'd still be living there lol)
You do know that the 'fees' do not include upkeep of your personal property. So if you have neighbours who don't mow their lawn or keep their property in decent shape, the condo fees won't cover it. It's for stuff life snow removal from the road (not your driveway), and garbage pick up (all which is included with normal city services), also the value of the home will be much less than a comparable freehold home.

They used this to justify their condo fees, because i'd be paying less tax because my property would be worth less than a comparable freehold. So the savings in property taxes would help offset some of the condo fees. I nearly died laughing when they told me that.
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Old 2016-02-11, 12:27 PM
WellThatsLovely WellThatsLovely is offline
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Originally Posted by Chigu View Post
You do know that the 'fees' do not include upkeep of your personal property. So if you have neighbours who don't mow their lawn or keep their property in decent shape, the condo fees won't cover it. It's for stuff life snow removal from the road (not your driveway), and garbage pick up (all which is included with normal city services), also the value of the home will be much less than a comparable freehold home.

They used this to justify their condo fees, because i'd be paying less tax because my property would be worth less than a comparable freehold. So the savings in property taxes would help offset some of the condo fees. I nearly died laughing when they told me that.
Just because you don't understand it, it doesn't make it stupid
I'm aware of what the fees cover, and because these developments are typically built in phases, each phase gets its own board of directors, own condo corporation and separate condo fees. Once the development is several years old, you can use those numbers to compare how the maintenance fees effect the resale value of similar homes in different phases and other freehold homes in the vicinity. The resale value of freehold condos are typically less than freeholds in the area... and since property taxes are based MPAC's value of your home based on these comparable sales... I'm sure you can guess how that impacts your property taxes.
As for taking care of a problem neighbour who doesn't take care of their property, it can be done (swiftly and efficiently).
With enough votes from homeowners, the board can change anything that is covered by the maintenance fees, they can even dissolve the condo corporation and divide up the common elements (which is why homes are valued at less to begin with), sell them to the homeowners and make the neighbourhood a regular freehold neighbourhood. There is also a massive reserve fund which belongs to the homeowners in predetermined shares which also makes up the "value" of the home but since no one homeowner has access to it, you can't really ask resale buyers to pay for that "value".
If the homeowners decide that hiring a private company to take care of their garbage is not worth the savings, they can vote to cancel the contract and have the city come in to do it for them. Same with snow removal. You find out a lot about how much your city wastes on services when you compare what it costs to pay on your own. For our development at the time, we were being charged $250,000 a year for garbage removal and a private company gave an estimate of $80,000, which included pickup from the porch... We also got a really good deal on things like window washing and lawn mowing which ended up costing less than buying a lawn mower.
Once the condo corporation is handed over to the homeowners, they have complete control of the fees and services. You don't really need to worry about what's covered and what isn't because chances are, most of your fellow homeowners are thinking the same thing wouldn't just allow themselves to be charged outrageous fees if they're getting nothing in return.
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