SOURCE: Sophie’s Landing Lakeside Club

Sophie’s Landing Lakeside Club

February 29, 2016 20:10 ET

Sophie's Landing Attracts Buyers Who Want a Gated Community

Nearing the End of Phase Two, With Just Four Properties Remaining, Sophie's Landing, a Gated Waterfront Community of Freehold Luxury Homes on Lake Simcoe, Attracts Buyers Looking for Affordable Lakefront Living With Low Maintenance and the Security of a Gated Condominium Community

ORILLIA, ON--(Marketwired - February 29, 2016) -  Sophie's Landing Lakeside Club (www.sophieslanding.ca) is a community in Orillia offering freehold custom built homes inside a condominium corporation with resort-like lifestyle features including a clubhouse, saltwater pool, full-service marina docking, waterfront nature trails, and property maintenance. The development is nearing the end of its second phase with only four remaining lots for sale awaiting the purchaser's choice of a custom built home.

One of the things that make this community different from most is that each of its two phases is gated. Residents punch in a code or use an electronic device to enter the development. Emergency vehicles can enter by sounding their siren. The gated community concept is key to the needs of their buyers as many are snowbirds who head south for half the year and some use the lakefront residences solely as cottage properties.

In the United States, there are a reported seven million plus households living in 20,000 communities with walls and gates. Most are in the sunny southern states of California, Florida and Arizona. In Canada, there are fewer than 300 gated communities scattered across the country. Most of these are in British Columbia, with only 49 in Ontario. The key difference between Canadian and American gated communities is how their residents see themselves in relation to the rest of the world. Gated communities in the southern US are about locking others out and keeping them away. Many in the US feel the need for security within their own neighbourhood because of instability and increased crime rates in surrounding areas. In Canada, gated community owners also want some measure of security, but they want it for somewhat different reasons. For most, it's because they are away so much and want to be able to lock and go; without the worry of what might happen to their home when they are absent for many months of the year, perhaps heading south for the winter or vacationing in Europe.

"It isn't just the gate that affords some security, but also the members of the community. Our first development even has a program called Neighbours Helping Neighbours, where the community chips in to help one another. They have each other's backs. Many of our residents are retired, but not ready for a high-rise condo or a senior's home. In Sophie's Landing, they can stay longer and still manage because of the onsite maintenance services and other residents willing and able to help each other out with a few things, like putting out the garbage, walking the dog, or carrying in heavy parcels. The community has a Board of Directors that hires maintenance contractors and grounds keepers. They also have a newsletter with contractor recommendations, so if a homeowner wants to paint the kitchen, they can get some help from fellow residents with their suggestions. It is a community with a real sense of community. The gates aren't there because we are in a bad neighbourhood. Sophie's Landing is located in a very good area, but let's face it, it's comforting to have a gate so residents can lock their doors and leave for several months worry-free. They can also have a neighbour check the inside of their house every once in awhile. It's really about peace of mind," says Eric Kerzner, President of Signature Carleton Inc., a resort, hotel and adult lifestyle community developer, and builder of Sophie's Landing.

"Our gated lifestyle community caters to many active seniors who only spend the summers here on Lake Simcoe in Orillia. We also have residents who live in Toronto and use their home here as a waterfront cottage, but with full city services as part of the package, including great local restaurants, entertainment, and shopping. It's the best of both worlds, a luxury urban cottage so to speak. More than 50% of our residents specifically purchased here because the gates into the community give them piece of mind when they are travelling away from home for extended periods. It's the same kind of thing that high rise condo buyers may be attracted to. The difference is our communities offer residents freehold homes located inside gated condominium developments. They have their gardens and green space. Many are looking right out onto the lake and all residents have access to the waterfront facilities," adds Kerzner.

Based on studies, given a choice, most people would like a gated community entrance, but many municipalities are reluctant to approve gated community developments and there is a lot of red tape to make it happen. That's why in Ontario, when gated community developments are approved and built, it's somewhat of a rare find and a sought-after selling feature.

About Sophie's Landing Lakeside Club: Built by Signature Carleton, Sophie's Landing Lakeside Club, is an award-winning lifestyle community on Lake Simcoe. One of just a few gated waterfront communities in Ontario, Sophie's Landing is comprised of 84 custom-built Muskoka and French country bungalows and bungalofts, built in two phases, with two community clubhouses, salt-water pools, walking paths and nature trails, and onsite marina for boat docking. Ideally located in the town of Orillia, close to parks, restaurants, shops and services, and just 70 minutes from Toronto, Sophie's Landing is the perfect choice for empty-nesters, snowbirds, and retirees who want to live or cottage in a secure and active resort setting with like-minded people who value lifestyle, security, low maintenance and close access to amenities. To learn more about Ontario's #1 Lifestyle Community, visit www.sophieslanding.ca or call 647-878-1939 (sales office), 416-449-8800 (main office).

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