Jun 26

Highest and Best Use for a Single Family Home

The highest and best use for a single family home isn’t perhaps what you think it is.

In one of my first sketches with my new tool (paper by 53 on my ipad), I fool around with concepts to animate a single family home with:

-basement apartment


-manufactured walkout condition

-coach house with loft and full basement


-storage sheds

-garage office

-decks and patios

-backyard games area

-frontyard parking (on hardscaped surface)

-tech package (multi media package)

-smart home automation

-green for real program

Now I realize some folks might think this is too much density, too much activity, but if you travel to any great city, and you walk around old inner city neighborhoods like I do, this is what you’re likely to find along with real estate values that have gone pretty much nowhere but up.

In Ottawa, we have a neighborhood called “the Glebe” that features elegant homes, next to cottages, garages and auto body shops, restaurants, student housing, basement flats, above the garage apartments, attic apartments, offices and micro home-based businesses and micro retail, pocket parks, stadium, hockey rink and much more.

As long as civic order and peace are maintained (luckily a Canadian priority), real estate values will be protected and enhanced. 

After all, you don’t hear anyone in the Glebe complaining about falling real estate values; quite the contrary.

So maybe it’s time for NIMBYs (not in my backyard activists) to take some Valium and accept that animating other places, even suburban places, just might make them more interesting, more creative, more diverse and more successful communities. Oh, and also give a nice boost to their personal balance sheets via higher home prices/values…

Prof Bruce 

Bruce M Firestone, B Eng (civil), M Eng-Sci, PhD, ROYAL LePAGE Performance Realty broker, Ottawa Senators founder, Real Estate Investment and Business coach 1-613-762-8884 bruce.firestone@century21.ca twitter.com/ProfBruce profbruce.tumblr.com/archive brucemfirestone.com


postscript: even if you are buying a townhome or double or for that matter a triplex or duplex, try to make sure as many of these kinds of animations as possible are doable…

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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.