FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What Would You Like to Know?
WHAT IS LIFE LEASE HOUSING?
Life Lease is a form of real estate tenure (conditions under which a land or building are held or occupied) that has been in existence throughout North America and Europe for many years, and in Canada for nearly 50 years. There are an estimated 150 Life Lease projects now operating in Ontario, representing some 12,000 residential units.
Under a Life Lease arrangement, there is a single owner of the property who is responsible for operating and maintaining the property and buildings in accordance with an agreement signed with the purchasers and residents. The residents purchase an exclusive interest in the unit of their choice from these owners, and have the right to sell or transfer this interest when they wish to vacate their unit. This is similar to purchasing a unit within a condominium; however, the resident is acquiring a Life Lease interest as opposed to a freehold interest. Also, similar to a condominium, residents share in the use and operating costs associated with the common areas and amenities. At the heart of every Life Lease community is an agreement or contract with the property owner which governs how the residential units are acquired, subsequently sold or transferred, and the ongoing relationship and responsibilities of both the owner and the residents.
In Ontario, there are three primary Life Lease structures, the most common and popular model being based on the market value of the residential unit. Under this model, residents acquire their Life Lease interest based on the market value of the unit, and sell or transfer this interest at the market value when they wish to sell, like buying a single-family home or condominium. The Life Lease agreement used at Opportunity Village is based on market value, has no termination date, therefore, residents can protect their investment and earn a return similar to the equity growth in a home or condominium.
WILL THERE BE A RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION AT THE BRICKWORKS?
Yes ... when 80% of the homes are occupied, the Board of the Opportunity Villages will initiate the establishment of a Residents Association to oversee the day-to-day operation of The Brickworks community.
WHAT IS A BARRIER-FREE UNIT?
Three of the units in The Brickworks community will be designed or planned so that people with disabilities are accommodated. This will include wider doorways, lower countertops and sufficient space for wheelchair accessibility.
WILL I HAVE A PARKING SPOT?
Yes ... each of the units will be assigned their own parking space. If you have no need for a parking space, you will be allowed to rent it to another homeowner in the development.
IS THIS DEVELOPMENT ON A BUS ROUTE?
Yes ... the #2 bus passes by the Taylor Avenue pedestrian entrance once every half hour.
ARE APPLIANCES INCLUDED?
No ... but a special appliance package, including frig, stove, microwave, dishwasher, washer and dryer, is available for purchase.
WILL THE GROUNDS BE FENCED?
Depending on available funds, The Brickworks community is planned to have a solid fence on three sides of the property.
WILL THERE BE ROOM FOR A RAISED GARDEN OR FLOWERS?
As these small homes are very close to each other, space is limited. A special area, not far from the Common Unit, will be designed as a Zen Garden and may in include a raised garden. The Residents Association will ultimately decide which plants will be permitted in this dedicated area.
WHO WILL CUT THE GRASS AND SHOVEL THE SNOW?
This will be the responsibility of the Residents Association. They will make arrangements with local suppliers and/or interested residents to maintain the common areas on the property.
WHAT IS IN THE COMMON UNIT AND HOW WILL IT BE USED?
The Common Unit or Community Clubhouse will house an office, a washroom, kitchenette, meeting space and mailbox area for the development. The outdoor patio will eventually hold picnic tables and a communal BBQ. This facility will also house a donor wall or other recognition area to celebrate those individuals and organizations who contributed to the fundraising of the building and common areas throughout the development.
WHAT ADDITIONAL COSTS WILL I BE REQUIRED TO PAY?
In addition to mortgage and utility payments, homeowners will pay a reasonable monthly fee covering property taxes and maintenance of building exteriors and common areas.
WHAT ARE THE SIZES OF THE HOMES?
Homes in The Brickworks Community will range in size from approximately 605 sq. ft. to 868 sq. ft.
WHERE CAN I GO FOR A MORTGAGE?
The Opportunity Villages Board of Directors has partnered with Libro Credit Union to assist in providing mortgages for low to modest income individuals. If a prospective homeowner wishes to use his or her own financial institution, this is also an option.
CAN I PURCHASE A HOME AS A RENTAL PROPERTY?
No ... there are strict rules regarding this matter. Those who own a home in The Brickworks Community must live in the unit. No rentals will be permitted.
CAN I OPERATE A HOME-BASED BUSINESS OUT OF MY UNIT IN THE BRICKWORKS COMMUNITY?
This decision will be made on a case-by-case basis by the Residents Association. At no time, however, will the homeowner be permitted to display a sign on their unit advertising his/her business.