Like many cities in Southern Ontario, Guelph is experiencing a housing boom. Population shifts and an exodus of people from the GTA looking for affordable housing continues to increase demand locally. Thankfully, Terra View Homes’ upcoming NiMa Trails development is offering some good news for people searching for suitable new home options in Guelph.
“There’s a great lack of single-family homes available in Guelph which is then driving up the price,” said David Brix, president of Terra View Homes. “Having 119 more single homes at that end of Guelph will be well received and desperately needed.”
The NiMa project encompasses approximately 34 acres in the city’s north end, with 26 acres eventually being developed into 360 units of multiblock and single-family homes. The development will further enhance Guelph’s growing reputation as an environmentally friendly city, given the fact Terra View is the area’s leading builder of new, custom and net-zero homes. The average size of the new homes ranges from 1,700 to 3,600 square feet, which reflects a growing trend to larger family homes.
“It seems to be what people are looking for,” said Brix. “We’re finding that people are gravitating towards larger homes. If you look at the trends over time, the average single-family home has grown on average to about 2,600 square feet.”
For those concerned that building larger homes seems counterproductive to the green movement given the resources required to build and sustain them, Brix says it’s really a non-issue in developments like NiMa Trails and the company’s new Terra Condos project, which will be a notable zero carbon boutique building within the NiMa community.
“The fact that we’re constructing these homes net-zero ready means that the size of the house is irrelevant to its consumption of fossil fuels, because as soon as they put solar panels on the roof they’re able to offset all their energy consumption. Its environmental footprint doesn’t really matter because it’s taken care of through the solar.”
As for new home affordability, Brix says potential buyers are looking at proactive solutions to the high cost of homeownership.
“We’re finding that probably 70 per cent of clientele are opting to have us build homes with a side door entry to accommodate plans for the basement to become an apartment. It appeals to those with multi-generational families and helps make the home more affordable. If you’re renting the basement out for $1,200 a month, it helps put a dent in the mortgage.”
While building net-zero homes is nothing new for Terra View Homes, the new Terra Condos project has presented a unique challenge as it will be one of Canada’s first carbon neutral condominiums. To meet this standard, Terra will rely on geothermal heating and cooling of the floor slabs through hydronics and requires a large area from which to draw the energy.
“The development will include a horizontal geothermal loop under the storm pond, which is the first time anyone’s ever attempted this,” explained Brix. The City known for its progressive position on sustainable construction is willing to break the mold so that Terra’s energy demands will come from the storm pond itself.”
Homes at NiMa Trails will be available this fall. For more information, visit Terra View homes at www.terra-view.com/terra/.