Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Buying for the View

The issue of protecting one's view when purchasing property was addressed in Mark Weisleder's column in the Toronto Star recently. In it, Marc made several great points that warrant consideration when the view from your property is a primary concern.

Weisleder uses the example of a development in Nepean, who's builder has proposed re-zoning the greenspace behind several existing homes. In this case the builder wants to build 11 new homes just behind the lots of owners who originally paid a premium for their lots ranging up to $100,000.

In this, there are really two scenarios that you should be aware of;

If the greenspace adjacent to your property is owned by the builder, request something in writing that will guarantee that space is protected.  If it isn't in writing, the possibility of further development will always be a risk.

However, in many cases that involve purchasing a new or existing home with the promise of a spectacular view, the developer and owner cannot make these kinds of guarantees because they often do not own the surrounding land. If your builder is requires a premium for the lot you've selected, do your research first.  If the government owns the land, find out if that space is protected by law, or whether there is a possibility it may be sold in the future.

If the space is owned by someone else, find out from your City Planning Department whether a request for re-zoning has been submitted.  These kinds of applications often take quite a while, and the opportunity for residents to object is often involved when the re-zoning application is being considered.

While builders are not purposely trying to mislead you, the onus for protecting your investment still rests with you.  A little research can go a long way towards helping you come to a decision.