Residential Airparks: Flying High in the Real Estate Market - By: M Shane
The U.S. housing market has taken a beating, and so have several markets in Canada. One segment of the real estate market that has stayed relatively consistent is the luxury housing market. Luxury buyers tend to remain unaffected by minor ups and downs of the economy, and continue to pay millions of dollars for the perfect home. In particular, sales of airport properties—or homes with access to private or public runways are continuing to hold strong. In fact, residential airparks can provide one of the safest real estate investments out there.
Developers across North America have been reporting that prices for airpark homes haven't really dropped at all, despite the depressed economy. A testament to their strong resale value and high desirability, airport properties continue to sell well.
If you're selling an airport home, it's important to note that these homes generally sit on the market for nearly twice as long as traditional properties. This is because they are part of such a niche market that few people are able to buy them. Even though sellers of these specialty properties have to be patient, they typically get close to full asking price when they close.
Buyers who look for homes with private hangars and runways are quite passionate about flying, and enjoy the unique lifestyle that a fly-in community can provide. These airparks are often beyond the hustle and bustle of the city streets, and are home to wide open spaces, outdoor recreation, and wildlife. The lifestyle in an airpark is generally quite tranquil.
In addition, buyers enjoy being able to live in a place where their neighbours share the same interest in aviation as they do. Residents can share tips and flight stories, and help each other out with mechanical issues. There is a level of camaraderie in these communities that is hard to find anywhere else.
Aside from the shared love of planes, residential airparks also offer residents a sense of security. Since September 11th, commercial air travel has become complicated and at times scary. With a private runway at your doorstep, you can fly to Vancouver, Moncton, or Toronto at a moment's notice.
You're also able to make sure that the plane itself is safe from vandals and thieves, and with your own hangar on-site, you can do repairs and give your plane a wash any time you like.
When looking for a residential airpark to live in, be sure to examine each community's set of rules, or Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs). These will tell you if there are any aircraft restrictions, rules about property maintenance, and who controls the runway.
It's a good idea to find an airpark where the majority of homeowners are pilots. If there are a large number of non-flyers in the area, they may try to alter the focus of the community, and your runway could be turned into a putting green.
Airport real estate is somewhat of a rarity, particularly in Canada. A precious gem, these properties give buyers something truly special to come home to at night. A beautiful community surrounded by nature, close-knit neighbours, and access to the skies. What more could a person ask for?
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