So today was another interesting list.  Finally!

Ferguson and Hampshire are kind of the stepsisters of the Village Towns – the former built by Coscorp, and the latter by York-Trafalgar.  Along with 6020 Derry and some townhouses on Nadalin Heights, these properties are all “freehold with common elements”.  Meaning that you fully OWN the home you’re in and you don’t pay any shared costs for living there, but you are attached to a “tied land parcel” that’s used as a ROAD, and collectively you pay the cost of snow removal and garbage removal in the form of a monthly maintenance fee of between $50 to $100 dollars per month.

Given that the Town also provides these services in other areas (with wider streets), I could argue that this is a “money pit” of expenses that you get sucked into as a new owner, without any clear advantages over non-members of the complex.

It’s one thing to pay into the shared cost of a pool or tennis court that all residents can enjoy, but it’s another thing altogether when you pay for something almost everybody else gets for free… all because your street was built to fit a higher density of homes.  Don’t kid yourself – that’s the reason why these developments exist.  And long after the builder has disappeared, you get to pay the cost of these two items for the rest of time (or at least as long as you live there).

So be careful with these expenses, and make sure you factor them in as REAL costs… they do affect your cash flow the same way as a mortgage, taxes or extra costs to run the home.

Also in today’s list:  a rare walk-out basement in a semi-detached, a few double garages in Timberlea (here’s the other one), a great example of outdoor living space, and a gigantic 10,000+ square foot shell of a house on 10 acres.

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