Sandbanks Summer Village

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Sandbanks Summer Village is in Canadian Real Estate Magazine

2015 Cottage Life Starts Now

Real Estate writer Jim Adair paid us a visit this summer and had some wonderful things to say about Sandbanks Summer Village: “Sandbanks Summer Village… is a unique development that allows buyers to purchase a new waterfront access cottage for less than $200,000. Cottages come with luxury features such as granite countertops and vaulted ceilings. The development offers swimming pools, tennis courts, kayaking and children’s activities. ”

Stay with us this fall and choose your cottage for 2015. While you’re here, ask about our amazing fall promotion and how you can have the cottage of your dreams for only $179,900, tax included. Be sure to visit our newly released Pine Forest Lane. Only 7 lots are left in the magical wooded area that’s only steps away from the East Lake and the adults-only infinity pool.

For more information call us at 613-476-5286, or email advisors@summervillage.ca.

You can read the full article below.


 

Branding the Community is a Win-Win

Sep 22, 2014
By Jim Adair
http://www.remonline.com/branding-community-win-win/

Since the introduction of the MLS system, real estate professionals have understood the value of co-operating with their competitors.
In Ontario’s Bay of Quinte region, a group of municipalities, land developers, home builders and the country’s largest air force base is joining with real estate agents and brokers to give the area a boost to the benefit of everyone. The goal of the coalition is to “promote the unique attributes of the Bay of Quinte Region as a place to live through collaboration and community partnerships.”

The area is about 1 ½ hours east of Toronto and 2 ½ hours southwest of Ottawa, along Hwy. 401, on the shores of Lake Ontario. It includes Belleville, Quinte West, Prince Edward County, Brighton, Napanee, Stirling-Rawdon, Tyendinaga Township, Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, Deseronto, Tweed, Madoc, Marmora and Campbellford.

Rivalries between municipalities have existed for years but now Quinte West Mayor John Williams says, “We get along just fine. There are differences between the cities but it’s all one area and whatever we do to promote one municipality helps in the others.”
The group, which complements the local economic development and tourism councils, recently hosted REM for a tour of the area and a look at how it is working to attract new residents.

The area offers a diverse range of living options, from rural areas to towns on the waterfront, and from century homes to new developments. It is attracting a lot of retirees from Toronto and Ottawa as well as young families.

It’s also a popular vacation spot, with a variety of recreational opportunities including golf, fishing, biking and skiing. The Sandbanks Provincial Park is here, as is the Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area. Day-trippers can tour the Cheddar & Ale Trail, visiting a number of cheesemakers and craft brewers, or take a winery tour.

Sandbanks Summer Village, where REM’s writer was a guest for a night, is a unique development that allows buyers to purchase a new waterfront access cottage for less than $200,000. Cottages come with luxury features such as granite countertops and vaulted ceilings. The development offers swimming pools, tennis courts, kayaking and childrens’ activities. There’s a rental program for when the owner isn’t there.

Affordable second homes are attracting buyers to the area who don’t want the hassle and expense of going to Ontario’s traditional “cottage country”.

The biggest thing the real estate market has going for it is affordability. The average residential sale price in August was $233,528.

“People in the Greater Toronto Area sell their homes and move here, where they can buy a home for half the price,” says David Weir, broker at Royal Lepage ProAlliance Realty in Trenton.
Custom new homes by Gordon Tobey Developments in Brighton are aimed at the retirement market.

Custom new homes by Gordon Tobey Developments in Brighton are aimed at the retirement market.

On the new-home side, prices start in the low $300,000s. Steven Tobey, president of Gordon Tobey Developments, builds custom homes aimed at the retirement market, featuring luxury finishes and upgraded energy-efficiency packages. The average price for a detached home in one of Tobey’s developments is less than $500,000.

Like municipalities across the country, the towns and cities in the Bay of Quinte region have had to deal with serious infrastructure issues, but they are facing the problems head-on.

“Unfortunately, it’s been the perfect storm. A lot of our infrastructure was built just after the war and we’ve let it go too far,” says Neil Ellis, mayor of Belleville (population 49,454) .
At the same time that bridges, pipes and roads needed replacing, the downtown area was suffering. A mall and big-box stores in the suburbs, along with new residential development, pulled retail business and people away from downtown, resulting in empty buildings and fewer taxes being paid. There was little incentive for new businesses to locate there.

“The challenge is there are so many projects and only so much money,” says Ellis. “We had bridges that were actually falling down.” The first bridge repair cost $18 million. City council’s task was then to convince residents that redeveloping the downtown area should take priority over other projects.

The city conducted an economic impact analysis, which says that taking advantage of short-term “low-hanging fruit” redevelopment opportunities could create up to 1,280 new homes and more than 400,000 additional square feet of commercial/employment downtown.

A $21-million revitalization project, which will include all below-ground services and ground street renewal, has now begun. The goal is to spur new residential and commercial development downtown and it appears to be working, with several new residential projects on the go and new stores and restaurants opening in the area.
Ellis says that while most municipalities pay for capital improvements on a “pay as you go” basis, it makes more sense for Belleville to borrow needed funds because interest rates are so low. Through the provincial government’s Infrastructure Ontario corporation, the interest rates are locked at a guaranteed low rate for 20 years.

The neighbouring municipality of Quinte West, which includes the former municipalities of Trenton, Sidney, Murray and Franklin, also embarked on a downtown redevelopment project.

The community has about 43,000 people, of which 60 per cent live in rural areas. In the former town of Trenton, a new $12-million marina project is taking shape.

“It’s a huge investment for us,” says Mayor Williams. “Some residents get upset because they say it’s just for people who have boats, but that’s not what this is about.” He says in other communities along the shore of Lake Ontario “where they have done this right, they have been able to get people to come and bring their money…and the money spills out to downtown, encouraging more stores and different types of stores.”

Williams says there have been tentative plans for residential development in the area for years and he believes the 380-slip marina project will get these projects underway. The marina will include a 6,000-sq.-ft. building, docks, a boardwalk, new walking trails and a park. “We think it’s going to be a real attraction,” says Williams.

Quinte West’s downtown revitalization program cleans up one street every year and offers stores a funding package so they can freshen up storefronts and add new signage.

Quinte West is home to 8 Wing Trenton, the largest Royal Canadian Air Force Base in the country. A 400-acre expansion that will include a new training and administration campus is underway, which will add to the 3,200 regular force, 600 reserve force and 500 civilians who already work at the base.

The municipality benefits from having the base because of the federal government’s Payment in Lieu of Taxes program. Government properties don’t have to pay local property taxes, but the program gives funds back to the municipality.

“That’s a lot of money that comes back to us and it allows us to do these projects without raising taxes,” says Williams. “It makes a huge difference for us.”

Neither Ellis nor Williams are seeking re-election in this fall’s municipal elections. Ellis plans to run for the Liberal party in the next federal election and Williams is retiring. However, both mayors believe that with the coalition in place and the co-operation of all parties, the Bay of Quinte region will continue to grow and thrive.