Windsor

High water levels force residents to sell homes, while buyers continue to snatch them up

Jenna Gendreau and her husband have been looking to buy a waterfront home for five years. In the midst of record high water levels the couple is now "willing to take the risk."

Some residents are moving away from the water in Windsor-Essex because they're 'worried of what may come'

Jenna Gendreau says waterfront properties are a good investment, even with current weather conditions. (Jason Viau/CBC)

Jenna Gendreau and her husband have been looking to buy a waterfront home for five years. In the midst of record high water levels the couple is now "willing to take the risk."

In recent weeks, some homes along Lake Erie in Chatham-Kent have been battered with wicked waves, causing severe damage. Homeowners along the Detroit River have also been supplied with sand bags to hold back the rising tide.

I've had a few who are just worried of what may come.- Tina Roy, president of the Windsor-Essex County Association of Realtors

Gendreau was warned by her future neighbour that "The water will come" and flood the property out to the road.

"I asked him, 'What do you do?' And he said 'Nothing. You watch, it recedes and then you clean up the mess," said Gendreau.

In her eyes, waterfront properties are a good investment, even with current conditions. The deal for her Stoney Point property closes in two weeks.

And this is a trend Tina Roy, president of the Windsor-Essex County Association of Realtors has seen across Windsor-Essex.

Still, Roy said some of her clients have hammered 'For sale' signs in their front lawns because high water levels "make them nervous."

"I've had a few who are just worried of what may come," said Roy.

Tina Roy is the president of the Windsor-Essex County Association of Realtors, and has been in the industry for 15 years.

Within the last week, the tides appear to be turning. Little River is no longer cresting above the seawall and the water at Lakeview Park Marina is no longer lapping over the docks.

However, Environment Canada predicts even if the weather remains dry, we will still see higher than normal water levels for several more months.

'I was really surprised'

Of the 129 properties listed along the shoreline across Windsor-Essex in the last six months, Roy said 117 of those have been sold, which indicates "they're still moving."

The sale price for those homes, she added, remains consistent with the hot real estate market this region is experiencing.

"I was really surprised," said Roy.

She said she's noticing "very little hesitation" from buyers interested in purchasing that perfect waterfront gem.

Especially when comparing those numbers to last year, she said the real estate market for waterfront homes has remained fairly consistent, given the turbulent issue of high water levels.

"Lakefront living is one of those things when it's really nice, it's absolutely gorgeous," said Roy. "When it's bad, it's really bad."

About the Author

Jason Viau is a video journalist, TV host and radio newsreader at CBC Windsor. He was born in North Bay, but has lived in Windsor for most of his life. Since graduating from St. Clair College, he's worked in print, TV and radio. Email him at jason.viau@cbc.ca

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