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Thread: Benefits and Negatives of Infills

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    Default Benefits and Negatives of Infills

    Perhaps some of the real estate guru's can chime in on what is the appeal of infills? Is it getting into areas that are closer to downtown and a lower cost?

    Please list the positive and negatives

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    I dont know if oir place technically counts as an infill, but we are in a rebuilt place in Garrison. We love our place being a 5min walk to safeway, parks, restaurants, and a bus station. 7 minutes bus ride downtown, lots of schools and greenspaces nearby, etc.

    I'd say costs are going to be higher. Most inner city infills are being built to maximize the developers dollars, so either they re going to be bigger and nicer than the existing units, or have some upgrades to really drive that value up.

    Things I don't love about our place: having an attached neighbor (and the one we have is great, I just dont like it) small yard, and we'd like a bigger place, but can't afford it ATM without a significant cost increase to stay in the same area.
    Last edited by colsankey; 03-12-2021 at 12:17 PM.

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    Benefits: New, Typically good locations

    Negatives: Everything else, you are most likely buying it at or around the max value it will ever be, no yard, skinny, no room for ever upgrading, tiny garage

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    Pros: they are usually nicely finished and modern. Lots of interior space typically.

    Cons; Most infills are like 6 feet between your neighbor. Not much privacy in the back yard usually.

    Most of the infill neighborhoods are so dense too. Traffic and parking is a huge problem.

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    Those comments are all on point. Biggest one for me was location. Unless you spend a lot of money, many infills are in areas that haven't been fully gentrified yet, which brings lots of potential headaches that come along with low income/transient population.

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    Depending on your priorities the House to lot value ratio is probably a lot higher with an infill. You are paying for something Nice and New. Lower maintenance due to essentially no yard. In a duplex a shared party wall bothers some people ( and makes it tough to do any exterior updates down the road ).

    Parking is a huge problem as there is room for maybe 1 car on the street and your garage will be relatively small.

    It’s a nice alternative to a condo and has no condo fees. Likely means you get to live in a nicer neighborhood than you could otherwise afford. Though something to consider is often infills are built in non gentrified neighborhoods that are up and coming, meaning some of your neighbors are going to be an experience ( especially if you have a lot of 4/6plexes full of renters ). Might be some real dumps on your block for a long time until they sell/die/burn down.

    When it comes time to sell you need to understand that you are likely competing with brand new homes and factor in your value expectations accordingly.
    Last edited by killramos; 03-12-2021 at 01:00 PM.
    Originally posted by Thales of Miletus

    If you think I have been trying to present myself as intellectually superior, then you truly are a dimwit.
    Originally posted by Toma
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    I have been in my current place, a duplex infill, for 12 years now, and it's been great, but there are some obvious pros and cons.
    Cons:
    - Yard is 25' wide, and is mostly covered by the house and garage. There's not much outdoor space, and what there is is shaded / cramped.
    - Very little parking. We fit only one vehicle in our garage, and one out front. Because most of the street is also duplex infills, the street parking is always busy. be prepared to park further down the block, or have guests parking far away.
    - Less natural light and natural airflow. Hard to cool down the house on summer evenings, AC is an absolute must for our place.
    - Exterior renovations / changes need to be coordinated with your neighbor
    - come noise from neighbor, although in our place with a concrete party wall, this is very minor.
    - Not many options for interior layout.
    - resale is always competing with brand new infills, so house will look dated after only a few years, house itself doesn't hold value like a detached suburban home might.

    Pros:
    - Usually a good inner city neighborhood
    - Cheaper than a detached house of similar quality/size in same area, although rarely fully cheap.
    - Lower heating costs, because you have fewer exterior walls on a long skinny attached home. (this is minor)
    - If you are one of the first infills in an "up and coming" neighborhood (aka, it's sketchy and shitty when you move in) it's possible that values will go up during your time there and you could make money on the investment. But that's harder to predict than people realize.

    Come over to my place, drink a beer, and I'll walk you around and chat about it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    probably the biggest appeal is for the developer/builder, who can buy a single old teardown house for $450,000, spend $600,000 building a duplex, and sell each side for $700,000.
    Let's all work on positivity this week.

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    Define infill?

    The true simple definition is anything newly built in an already developed neighborhood. It isn't strictly duplexes and subdivided lots.

    25' infills are driven by market prices and maximizing developer revenue.

    For us, getting closer to downtown and our kids' school is the pro. The con is cost.

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    detached infills awe awesome, no downside except cost. I can't afford one, so I assume nobody else can either.
    Let's all work on positivity this week.

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    Just going to echo alot of comments here but when we were looking at a bunch of detached inner city infills:
    Pros:
    - For the price, newer home in good a "good" location (relatively to DT/amenities, etc..)

    Cons:
    - Limited parking. No drive way and only 1 car width upfront.
    - Garage is single single or a double if it's attached to your neighbour
    - Very limited and narrow layout. Limited natural light on main floor
    - Very small backyard. Forget any meaningful lawn space if you want a patio area.
    - Limited privacy since you are so close to everyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by benyl View Post
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    Define infill?

    The true simple definition is anything newly built in an already developed neighborhood. It isn't strictly duplexes and subdivided lots.

    25' infills are driven by market prices and maximizing developer revenue.

    For us, getting closer to downtown and our kids' school is the pro. The con is cost.
    This is a good point, technically it’s quite a broad category despite the usual suspect of a skinny house or duplex on a sub divided lot in an older RC2 neighborhood.
    Originally posted by Thales of Miletus

    If you think I have been trying to present myself as intellectually superior, then you truly are a dimwit.
    Originally posted by Toma
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    We really like the "urban lifestyle" and don't mind the idea that if we want to spend time outside, the whole neighborhood is our yard. There's some green spaces around the area, that we use when we want to kick a ball around or throw a frisbee or whatever. If you are the kind of person who wants to stay inside your fence and never see or hear a neighbor, then it's not going to work well for you.

    After 12 years, I am acutely aware of the drawbacks, and sometimes they are annoying, but I can't think of a suburban neighborhood I'd prefer to live in for anything close to the same money. And if I was spending 1.5x the money my current place is worth, there's other inner-city areas where I could spend that on a detached older home or detached infill.
    Let's all work on positivity this week.

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    One more pro - we are surrounded by like-minded people with similar lifestyles so we quickly made friends and our kid has lots of similar aged kids running around (to the point where a guy is going to get fat since there are back alley beers on a daily basis, especially with the weather turning). I think the paved back alley is a gamechanger.

    EDIT: and once you are this close to work I can't see how someone moves further away

    ES what neighborhood are you in

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    If you want to get into a highly desirable, older neighbourhood in the city like Old Strathcona in Edmonton or Kensington in Calgary and you don't want a house built in 1955, and you have north of $900k to spend on your house, then infills are a good solution.

    If you build a house that looks like a spaceship in the middle of a mature neighbourhood and it's 8.7m high when you do build, you're a cunt stain and I hope your house is continually vandalized throughout construction and long after you move in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jabjab View Post
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    Perhaps some of the real estate guru's can chime in on what is the appeal of infills? Is it getting into areas that are closer to downtown and a lower cost?

    Please list the positive and negatives
    Pro
    being able to build a nice new modern house in an aread thats closer to city center.
    Con
    Expensive as hell as you pay for the land, knockdown the crap thats built on it and the new build for a detached.
    Unless you go duplex then the con is the same shit as living with a shared wall neighbour but your paying a huge amount for it (for me this risk is something I would never consider doing)
    Last edited by austic; 03-12-2021 at 03:18 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePenIsMightier View Post
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    If you build a house that looks like a spaceship in the middle of a mature neighbourhood and it's 8.7m high when you do build.
    But but but, it’ll be LEED certified. Greta approved

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomcoPDR View Post
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    But but but, itíll be LEED certified. Greta approved
    You're right. I forgot about Greta.
    Screenshot_20210312-142415_Maps.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Euro_Trash View Post
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    ES what neighborhood are you in
    I am on the cheapest end of Mount Pleasant. 45 minute walk to the Calgary Tower, which is a nice option. My place isn't a spaceship or $900k, but I may be a cuntstain.
    Let's all work on positivity this week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePenIsMightier View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    You're right. I forgot about Greta.
    Screenshot_20210312-142415_Maps.jpg
    If you are going to build sometime stupid like that. Build it better.
    Originally posted by Thales of Miletus

    If you think I have been trying to present myself as intellectually superior, then you truly are a dimwit.
    Originally posted by Toma
    fact.

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    The con we have found is to do with the lack of children or inconsistency of children in our neighbourhood in the inner city. We have been looking at communities further out so our children would have more kids to play with in the immediate area. We are actually on the fence currently of buying outside the city centre or building a detached inner city home.

    Pros, most of the inner city neighbourhoods have schools that are closer, more green space etc. The cost per square foot is not wildly different in the inner city compared to other parts of the not too far out parts of the city, even on resale from what we can see.

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