Frequently Asked Questions
A: Yes, float homes are suitable for year-round living, in fact the float homes at Bluffer’s Park built to R2000 standards and are fully insulated (better than most homes).These float homes are well equipped with electricity, heat, A/C, and water; some even have fireplaces. and heated floors! Furthermore, their concrete hulls require no maintenance and will not rust.
A: The float homes are designed with appropriate marine hookups for water, electricity and sewage. There is a 1250 gallon septic holding tank under the home that needs to be pumped out once every two months. “Pumping Out”, is a fairly easy task that can be done by the owner or the Marina (for a small charge). A hose is attached to the outside of the float home and then to an attachment on the dock, the pump is turned on and the septic tank is emptied.
A: No. Electricity is metered and billed separately to each float homeowner, as is normally the case with renters in houses and apartments.
A: Float home homeowners receive essential emergency services such as fire, ambulance and police. On the other hand, services such as TTC, garbage collection, blue box collection, street lighting and sewage disposal or not provided by the municipality.
A: No, float homes are not damaging to the environment! All sewage is stored in a 1250 gallon, sealed, holding tank embedded in the concrete hull of each of the float homes. When the tank needs emptying, a leak proof hose with a sealed coupling device is connected to the holding tank. From here it is pumped directly into the municipal sewer. The system ensures that no sewage spills into the lake or onto the land.
A: A float home is constructed, just like a regular house on land, but instead of a basement or foundation, the float home is built on a floating concrete barge. The concrete used for the float home’s base is the same concrete used to build bridge piers. This ensures a very long life span with no maintenance on the hull.
A: It is just as warm as a regular house, or warmer, living on a float home in the winter. The float homes at Bluffer’s Park are built to R2000 standards and above. They have furnaces for heat and some float homes even have gas fireplaces, just like a house on land. The topography of the Scarborough Bluffs actually aid in the milder weather at the marina, as it buffers the colder prevailing north winds. Winter on the lake can be long and brutish but this community is nestled in a cove that helps shield it from wind, waves and snow.
A: Float homes are similar in price to houses on land. Depending on size and area, float homes can cost as little as $150,000 to $2 Million dollars and above. The sky is the limit when it comes to floating homes. The more expensive float homes have everything from heated floors, to hot tubes, to basements with port hole windows to see fish swimming by! Like most communities, the price of a home varies depending on the quality of each particular residence. On one street, you may find a house for $250,000 and further up the road one selling for $1 million. To say they are all equal would be a gross misstatement. The same applies to float homes.You are buying into a lifestyle when purchasing a float home. In Ontario there is only 25 float homes allowed to be made, making it difficult to own one of these unique homes. The initial cost of owning a float home is also incredibly lower than regular waterfront purchases but provide superior water access and views.
A: Float homes can be moved, but it takes a lot of effort. They are extremely heavy and need to be moved by a boat or number of boats on “no wind” days, even a light breeze can cause problems while on toe. Water and electrical mains have to be disconnected as well. Many float homes stay in a chosen location away from currents, winds and open water.
A: Float homes float, so there is some slight movement. On a typical day a float home moves so slightly that it is barely noticeable. On stronger wind days or bad weather float homes tend to rock slightly, nowhere as much as a boat, as the shape of the “hull” limits rocking. Many float home owners and their guests say that there isn’t a better night sleep, then on a float home. The gentle movement of the float home and the negative ions from the water make it very relaxing and peaceful.
A: Float homes are similar to houses on land. There is regular maintenance that needs to be done. The bright side is that there is no lawn to cut!
A: Float homes range in size from 500 sq. ft. to 2000 sq. ft. Typically the float homes at the Scarborough Bluffs are about 700 sq. ft. for a single story and approximately 1400 sq. ft. for a two storey.
A: Float home owners pay a portion of the marina’s taxes. The cost is lower than houses on land, approximately $700 a year.
A: Yes float homes pay mooring fees. The cost is approximately $690 a month, similar to condo fees.
A: Living in a float home at Bluffers Park is a peaceful and natural lifestyle. There isn’t a better place to live if you are a water lover. The wildlife and scenery are literally right outside your front door! Being in a gated community also helps to keep spectators away. Even on busy summer weekends, its as if you are in your own world.
A: Unlike boats, that need bubblers or agitators to keep the water from freezing around their hulls, float homes can completely freeze in. The foundation of a float home is made of concrete which resists the crushing powers on the ice on other vessels.
A: The steep hill going down Brimley Rd S is a municipal road that is plowed frequently in the winter. This is one of the most plowed streets in Toronto. There rarely is a problem driving up or down this hill in the winter.
A: The float homes at Bluffers Park have two parking spots for each float home. These are located in a gated area with remote access.
A: It can be difficult to get a typical mortgage for the float homes at Bluffers Park. There are some lenders in Ontario who will give a chattel loan, but there needs to be a substantial down payment. In other provinces, like British Columbia float homes are more common and banks such as TD Bank provide mortgages to all float homes.
A: When purchasing a float home, you do not pay land transfer tax.