Brian Keenan, Chatham-Kent Real Estate

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Talbot Trail Properties and News

This blog deals with the new issues, problems and benefits of buying, owning or selling waterfront building lots along Talbot Trail in Chatham-Kent.

  • 6030 Talbot Trail is a Delightful & Affordable Waterfront property...

    This is a rare opportunity to purchase a three bedroom brick ranch style home on the Talbot Trail bluffs. This waterfront home sits on a 2.7 acre park-like lot overlooking Lake Erie. A stairway provides access to your own private sandy beach where you can fish, swim or just enjoy the sights and sounds of the lake. The single story bungalow features a new kitchen with granite countertops, an eating or serving island and new stainless appliances. The large master bedroom has plenty of room for a California king bed and accessory furnishings while still providing a breathtaking view of the property and lake. The other two bedrooms each have a two piece ensuite and windows to the lake. Entertain in the family room which connects the kitchen area and the spacious Florida room. The large two car attached garage opens to the front interlocking driveway and professionally designed front landscaping. This is the complete waterfront home package and must be seen to be fully appreciated!

    Call Brian Keenan at 519-365-6090

  • Windsor Life features Talbot Trail property...

    Brian Keenan invites you to visit The Autumn issue of Windsor Life and check out the story on How To Resuscitate A Lake Erie Cottage On Its Last Breath... 

    CLICK HERE

    4596 Talbot Trail gets featured in Autumn issue of Windsor Life..... You can buy it for $389,900 Call Brian Keenan at 519 365-6090

  • Waterfront Properties at BARGIN PRICES...

    Only fourteen waterfront properties, not counting vacant building lots, have sold along Talbot Trial in Chatham-Kent since September 2008.  The price ranged from a low of $148,500 to a high of $520,000 and seven of these were over $300,000.  I was involved in one or both sides of 8 of these sales so I have a great appreciation for the value of these properties.

    80% of the buyers of these waterfront properties were from outside of Chatham-Kent from as far away as Alberta. Most are from London, Kitchener and the greater Toronto area (GTA).  Just about all of the buyers are in the retirement phase of their life or were returning to the area after many years away.

    These buyers looked at waterfront properties in other areas of the country and the province of Ontario.  They ultimately chose Talbot Trail for two main reasons: the climate and the price of properties.  We are fortunate to have the BEST CLIMATE in Canada east of the Rockies and Chatham-Kent has the 5th lowest housing costs in all of Canada.

    So if you want a bargain waterfront property in a great climate, you might see what we have to offer in Chatham-Kent.  Call Brian toll free at 888-864-7531 for more information.

     

     

  • THE BUILDING LOT RULES HAVE CHANGED ON THE TRAIL!

    D-Day has come and gone and the rules for building on Vacant Lots along the Talbot Trail waterfront bluffs have changed. Effective May1st, 2011 MOST waterfront lots along the Trail, whether they are severed or not, became subject to a stricter critically regulated area for building.  The Conservation Authorities Act, specifically Ontario Regulation 152/06, sets out the regulations for development along Lake Erie's shorelines in Ontario and takes precedent over local zoning by-laws that may differ. 

    The regulation sets the Critically Regulated Area along the Talbot Trail cliffs at 3 times the height of the bluff (which varies from 20 to 23 meters) or approximately 66 metres (216 ft.) PLUS a 100 year erosion allowance of 35 meters (115 ft.) which totals about 331 meters (331 ft).  IN ADDITION  the LTVCA adds another 15 meters (49 ft.) for a TOTAL REGULATED AREA of 116 meters (380 ft.) that is measured from the toe of the cliff to the south side of the proposed house or structure.  In addition, the municipal building code requires 9 meter (30 ft.) setback from the front property line. There are only a  limited number of vacant waterfront lots that a new home may be built on and still comply with both the Conservation Authorities Act regulations and Chatham-Kent zoning bylaws, such as the minimum front yard setback and minimum gross floor requirements.

    The ACT allowed for property owners to apply for a site plan approval prior to May 1st, 2011 based on the older, less restrictive setback rules.  If requested and granted, this provision gave the property owner, or any purchaser of such property, 24 months to obtain a building permit and commence construction on the property.  Some, but certainly not all, of the owners of these vacant lots did obtain this approval from LTVCA. 

    So what does all this mean to owners or potential buyers of existing waterfront homes along the Talbot Trail?  At a minimum, these homes should, in the short term, hold their value and even increase in value through the current recession.  Over the long haul, and especially during the post-recession period, these waterfront properties should out perform most other local real estate markets.  In other words, buying an existing home or building a new home on a vacant lot along the Talbot Trail waterfront is a sound investment.

    Waterfront property has always been in strong demand, especially when it is in close proximity to urban areas.  Limited supply helps preserve the value of waterfront property investment; and here in Southern Ontario, government regulations have dramatically cut the supply of lots eligible for new construction.  What you are left with is a classic, high demand, low supply scenario along the Talbot Trail.

  • D DAY is May 1st, 2011 for Talbot Trail Waterfront Lots...

    In less than two weeks the number of lots with a suitable building envelope will be cut in half or even lower than that!  After five years of warning from the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) the new building setback rules will take affect on May 1st, 2011.  Only those properties where the owners have obtained the required approval will be governed by the old rules provided that the lot is built on within the 24 month window provided for in the approval.

    You ask, "What does this really mean?"   The old rules put the setback from the "top of the bank" at either 45m (150ft) or 55m (180ft) depending on where the waterfront property is located along Talbot Trail.  The new rules typically move the setback to approximately 100m (330ft) from the "TOE of the cliff."   The actually calculation for the setback is: 

    a) the 100 year erosion allowance which is 35m (114.8ft);

    b) plus stable slope allowance of 3 times the bank height which LTVCA puts at 22m (72ft) which equals = 66m (216ft);

    For a combined critical regulatory allowance of 101m (331ft) measured from the toe of the cliff which is typically 25 to 50 ft back from the top of the cliff.  The slop does vary along the bluffs so this number will change for every property.

    c) add an additional front yard setback requirement of 9m (30ft) bringing your unusable area ot 110m (360ft).

    Are you confused yet?  Well it gets very complicated when you understand that the depth of lots along the Talbot Trail shoreline typically extend past the toe of the cliff to the edge of the waterline so you cannot just say that a lot of 390ft would give you a 30ft building envelope.  For example, one lot that I had LTVCA estimate the rear setback for had an estimated property depth of 440ft. resulted in a 59ft building envelope.  This particular property had a significant slop (almost 3 times the normal) which placed the toe of the slope very near the waterline and the rear property line.

    In conclusion, you need to do your homework when buying a waterfront building lot along Talbot Trail. 

     

  • Chatham-Kent Shoreline Areas

    The draft report for the Chatham-Kent Shoreline Areas "Community Sustainability Plan" was released this week.  Copies of all related documents can be found on the Chatham-Kent web site. 

     This report is useful reading for anyone owning waterfront properties along Lake Erie, Lake St Clair, the Sydenham River and the Thames River within Chatham-Kent.

     

  • 4628 Talbot Trail Floor Plans R Ready

    I was given a copy of the floor plans for the raised rancher being built on lot 4628 along Talbot Trail by my developer friend.  The plans for this 2150 sq ft main floor take full advantage of this waterfront lot.  The home will be elevated on the lot so that the additional 2150 sq ft basement will have a full walkout with lake view elevation.  The three bedroom main floor layout will feature an open space kitchen and great room and master bedroom facing the lake.  This floor will have a 40' x 12' walkout balcony with glass railings to give you an elevated view of the lake.

    The target price of this home will be a modest $349,900 but could change based on changes requested by the lucky buyer!  Call me to learn more about the floor plan and the planned completion date.  (Toll free 888-864-7531)

     

  • Talbot Trail Property under $200K...

    There are no "bargains" when dealing with Talbot Trail properties but there are "value opportunities!"  One such opportunity popped up today with the listing of 6168 Talbot Trail, just a few doors down from me.  While it is not my listing, it is good neighbour who choose to list their property with the realtor who sold them the house a few years ago, which is quite normal in our industry.

    I sell a lot of properties along the Trail and certainly would like to help my neighbour sell their waterfront property.  It is listed for $199,900 and seldom do you see a property of this qualify for under the 200K mark.

    To quote from the listing: 

    AMAZING VIEW OF LAKE ERIE W/THIS 3 BDRM, 2 BATH HOME SITUATED ON 1.15 ACRE LOT. HOME FEATURES UPDATED KITCHEN & BATHS, 3 SEASON SUN PORCH, NEWER EEF FURNACE & VINYL WNDWS. THIS BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY PPTY ALSO OFFERS A LRG 2 CAR GARAGE W/HYDRO & PLENTY OF STORAGE SPACE, KIDS TREE HOUSE & STORAGE SHED & A PATIO OVERLOOKING THE LAKE. HOME IS ON MUNICIPAL WATER BUT ALSO HAS A WELL FOR WATERING OUTSIDE. NEW C/AIR UNIT HAS BEEN PURCHASED BUT NOT INSTALLED.

    This home has a lot to offer so don't miss out if you are looking for a waterfront property on the Trail.   You can learn more calling me or looking at the listing.

  • Lot 4738 on Talbot Trail

    LTVCA has issued an approval allowing a building envelope 45m (150 ft) from the top of the bluff.  The closer you are to the bluff, the better the view of the lake.

    This lot is located just east of Port Elma.  This lot is between a large home built a few years ago and a new home just built and occupied.  The seller has gone to LTCVA and obtained the required site plan approval.  This approval is valid for 24 month from the date of issue and subject to a 6 month extension.

    Why is this important you ask?  Well, it the approval was not obtained before May 1st, 2011 then the lot would not have a building envelope to build on.  In other words, it would remain undeveloped forever.

    The normal setback under the pre-May 1, 2011 LTVCA rules is 55m (180 ft) from the top of the bluff.  Lots between the Merlin Line and Port Rd in Port Elma are the exception since they require only 45m.  don't ask why, that's just the way it is.

    This lot is listed for $69,900 which is a good price for a lot with 200ft of frontage along the Trail.  This lot should be given serious consideration if you are thinking of building along the Trail in the next 2 years.

    CLICK HERE to see the lot building envelope.

     

  • Dream Home on the Waterfront

     

    Your dream home overlooking Lake Erie on the Talbot Trail bluffs awaits you!  It will be ready to occupy this Spring.

    A developer friend of mine has bought a lot with 100ft water frontage just east of Port Elma and plans to build a spec home (ie.it does not have a buyer yet) on it.  He plans to break ground in February and have it ready to occupy in April.

    The 2000 sq ft main floor of this this bungalow has been designed to take full advantage of the waterfront view.  The unique design provides an elevated main floor sitting on top of a full basement with a walkout to the lake. The main floor will sit perched above the basement with walkout balconies off the great room and master bedroom.

    A lot of thinking has gone into this home by the developer, the builder and me who has sold many homes and lots along the Trail. The target price tag will be in the low to mid 300's.  An early bird buyer will be able to influence the finishing touches on this dream home.

    Buyers, I know that you are out there so do not miss out on this golden opportunity!

  • Your Building Envelope on the Trail

    The easiest way to understand where your potential building area would be on a vacant waterfront lot on Talbot Trail is to see a sample diagram prepared by the LTVCA.  This diagram was prepared for me for a lot that I recently sold along Talbot Trail.  This diagram would help someonw prepare their application to build on a regulated lot but it is subject to change based on the visit to the site by a LTVCA representative which is part of the application approval process.

    Go to my Talbot Trail photo gallery to see a sample building envelope diagram and explanation.

     

  • LTVCA Operational Guidelines revised - Dec 2/10

    A copy of the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority's Operational Guidelines that govern the administration of development, interference with wetlands and alteration to shorelines and watercourses can be obtained by CLICKING HERE.

    The only change that I have found in this revision compared to earlier versions is found on page 1.  The following paragraph was added:

    "Permits are in force for 24 months from time of issuance. Staff are allowed to renew an approval for a 6 month period beyond the normal two year time frame provided conditions relating to the Regulation have not changed since the original application."

    I recently asked for folks at LTVCA if the permits could be transferred to a new owner of the property and was told that it could be although the application itself say that such transfer requires the approval of the LTVCA. You can obtain a copy of the application by CLICKING HERE.

    The Operational Guidelines and the Application Form are essential reading If you are thinking of buying a vacant waterfront lot along Talbot Trail or any other area governed by the authority even if there is already a house on the property.

    The other clause that really sticks out in the Operational Guideline document is:

    "If a new lot is proposed and a suitable building envelope does not exist with the above allowances the applicant will be given the option of seeking relief from the stable slope allowance. In order to obtain this relief we would require that the applicant provide an engineers report supporting a reduced stable slope allowance."

    Obviously there would be some cost associated with this process and there is no guarrantee that approval will be granted, so as always, "Buyer Beware!"

     

        

  • Pools and other structures...

    Did you know that anything requiring a building permit is also governed by the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority approval?  What that means to people considering buying a waterfront vacant lot along the Talbot Tril is that such structures (shed or inground pools) may not be any closer to the water than the setback approved by LTVCA.

    For example, if LTVCA issued an approval under the pre-May1st, 2011 rules which require all structures to be either 55m (180ft) which applies to most areas or 45m (150ft) which applies only between the Merlin Town Line and Port Rd then your pool or shed and also the house you plan to build must ALL comply with this setback approval.   So if you want the pool or shed in your back yard then your house must be located further forward on the lot.

    In case you don't know this any shed or other structure that is greater than 108sq ft requires a building permit.as do inground pools.  If you already own a waterfront home on Talbot Trail governed by LTVCA and it is closer to the bluff than the new setback rules then any new structure or inground pool requires LTVCA approval and it is unlikely that you will be allowed to put the new structure or pool any closer than the rear of your current home.

    The expression, "Call before you dig!" takes on new meaning with properties governed by the LTVCA.   You should also know the the city building department will not even look at an application until the LTVCA has approved the project.

    Feel free to post your comments and questions regarding this topic!

     

  • Petroleum and Natural Gas Leases

    As if there isn't already enough to be concerned about when buying a waterfront building lot along Talbot Trail!  Well there is another issue which could raise its nasty head and that pretains to the existance of Patroleum and Natural Gas Leases.  The existance of one of these leases may have any material affect on your building plans.

    In the early 1900's there was considerable petroleum and natral gas exploration along Talbot Trail.  A drive along the Trial today will surprise you even today since there are still working wells between Port Elma and Wheatley.  Some people might even welcome the opportunity to profit from a well on their property since they can yeild considerable royalties over a long period of time.  In reality, most of the area has been mined out and the individual lots are two small to justify new exploration at todays costs.

    There are however two issues that should be researched when considering a building lot along the Trail.  First, is the issue of the lease itself.  A careful search on the title of the subject property will reveal if there is a Notice of Lease registered on the property.  If there is, it may very well be expired but has never been removed from the title or an expired lease could possibly have been renewed and still be valid.  The second issue is an inspection of the property to see if there ever was any drilling under an expired lease and whether any previous well was decommissioned properly.

    It is not uncommon to see an old well-head on a vacant lot along Talbot Trail. As a matter a fact, there is one on the property beside mine on the Trail.

     

  • "D-D-DAY" ON THE TRAIL!

    ONLY 5 MONTHS TO "D-D-DAY" ON THE TRAIL!

    You have less than 5 months remaining before the Drop Dead Day for building on currently severed waterfront lots along the Talbot Trail.  After May1st, 2011 MOST waterfront lots along the Trail, whether they are severed or not, become subject to a stricter critically regulated area for building.  The Conservation Authorities Act, specifically Ontario Regulation 152/06, sets out the regulations for development along Lake Erie's shorelines in Ontario and takes precedent over local zoning by-laws that may differ.

    In most cases, this regulation sets the critically regulated area along the Talbot Trail cliffs at approximately 95 metres (312 ft.) from the toe of the cliff to the south side of the proposed house or structure.   There are only a limited number of vacant waterfront lots that a new home may be built on and still comply with both the Conservation Authorities Act regulations and Chatham-Kent zoning bylaws, such as the minimum front yard setback and minimum gross floor requirements.

    So what does all this mean to owners or potential buyers of existing waterfront homes along the Talbot Trail?  At a minimum, these homes should, in the short term, hold their value and even increase in value through the current recession.  Over the long haul, and especially during the post-recession period, these waterfront properties should out perform most other local real estate markets.  In other words, buying an existing home or building a new home on a vacant lot along the Talbot Trail waterfront is a sound investment.

    Waterfront property has always been in strong demand, especially when it is in close proximity to urban areas.  Limited supply helps preserve the value of waterfront property investment; and here in Southern Ontario, government regulations have dramatically cut the supply of lots eligible for new construction.  What you are left with is a classic, high demand, low supply scenario along the Talbot Trail.

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