Buying a Calgary Condo - The Basics

Condominiums have become a large part of Calgary's home buying equation. As much as 30% of all residences in Calgary are now condominiums. We'll cover the highlights below, so you are prepared to decide if the "condo life" is right for you.

Condominium: A form of ownership, rather than a style of residence.

Many buyers confuse the two, calling a property a "townhouse" or a "duplex" and another property a "condo". Chances are they are both. A "condo", as most everyone seems to call them now, is actually a corporation formed under the Condominium Properties Act. It must have a plan approved by the City of Calgary and be registered with Land Titles. The plan will show the buildings, the units, parking, and common areas on the land. We'll provide more information to you after we get started looking for units.

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Why Buy a Calgary Condominium?

Condo living is a lifestyle choice. Many first-time buyers look to condos as a great way to stop paying a landlord and to start building equity. Condos allow for a mostly maintenance-free lifestyle, as your condo fees cover many of those expenses, and someone else does the work. Since the units are generally attached to each other, you may share common spaces with your neighbours such as: walls, floors, hallways, and elevators.

Advantages of Buying a Calgary Condo

  • The price of a smaller condo in the suburbs can be quite a bit less than a single family home.
  • It's a great "entry point" for home ownership. They also make good revenue properties.
  • People who want a "lock and leave" lifestyle prefer condos. If you ski or golf every weekend, or go south for a few months, it's an ideal form of ownership.
  • If you want to live close to the Downtown Calgary action then condo living is for you. Many professionals are choosing to buy in the city core as it's close to work and to nightlife.

Before Purchasing a Condo in Calgary: Keep These Things In Mind

  • Condo fees are a part of the Calgary condo lifestyle. They can fluctuate over time and they cannot be paid off. If improperly managed, condo fees may not cover the long term expenses of your building.
  • Special assessments. The Condo Board can declare a special assessment to cover the costs of repairs unaccounted for in the reserve fund. This can cost thousands of dollars for each unit owner and is not optional.
  • Parking. If you have more than one vehicle or a truck which does not fit underground, you'll need to buy a second stall if it's not included.
  • Rules, rules, rules. Bylaws may restrict pets, flooring, or garbage disposal. We recommend you read the Condo Board's Bylaws and have a clear understanding of them before purchasing.

Is it a House or a Condominium?

Some Calgary homes are built on land that is run by a Condo Board, so in some cases your property might be both a condo and a house. You may own the house and perhaps even the land it's on; however, the road and common park space may be maintained by a Property Management company appointed by a Condo Board. Examples of Calgary areas where this occurs include: Elbow Valley, or Glen Eagles in Cochrane.

Do you want to "speak condo"? Check out our

Glossary of Condominium Terms

Interested in purchasing a Calgary condo? Get in touch with Scott Baker & Associates today. We can provide you with a complimentary condo buyers consultation to determine your needs and wants. Then, we'll work with you to find the condo that's right for you.