Condominium living is all about the Lifestyle! You hear it all the time, but what does it mean? With the rising cost of everything these days, for a lot of people the “lifestyle” for them is all about affordability. The inner city of Calgary offers a diverse array of amenities that appeal to all demographics of people all looking for ways to maximize their lifestyle.
How does condominium ownership fulfill the affordability need? The most obvious is the initial purchase price of a condominium verses a single-family home. In Calgary for the first quarter of 2005 the average price for a condominium was only 65% of the cost of a single family home ($276,776 for single family homes verses $180,984 for condominiums). But don’t let the average condo price scare you as there are many condo’s on the market that you can own for less than renting, as the mortgage payment is less than a rental payment! Combine lower condo prices with low interest rates and it is very affordable to own a condo in Calgary’s vibrant market place today. You can also look at a longer mortgage term to ensure your monthly budget will be protected longer when rates go up (which the experts are saying they eventually will). Also make sure that when you are looking at the perfect affordable condo that you take into consideration the monthly condo fee for the unit, otherwise your monthly budget could be thrown out!
Another benefit to owning an affordable condo is if the building you buy in has fitness and recreation facilities. You may even cancel that gym membership if you live in one of the numerous condominiums that offer exercise and workout facilities, whirlpool sauna, a pool or even a running track. These benefits are included in your condo fee, so why pay for an extra gym membership? You can save that monthly gym membership expense and keep your overhead low while staying in shape!
For many inner city condominium owners a huge perk on the affordability front is the ability to live and still enjoy life without needing to use a car (yes, it is possible!). Many inner city residents live within easy walking distance of work, friends, recreation facilities, the grocery store, coffee shops, restaurants and outdoor leisure space. You, too, could say goodbye to your monthly car payment, insurance, gas and regular maintenance, plus the cost of a parking stall downtown for work! Depending on what kind of car or SUV you drive, this can amount to as much as rent! The inner city is a diverse and eclectic area waiting to be explored on foot, bike or even roller blades!
Another consideration to look at when buying an affordable condominium is to look at a unit with an extra bedroom over and above your own needs. For a marginally small increase in the purchase price, you can look at subsidizing your monthly overhead by taking on a room mate. Why not have someone else help pay that mortgage payment, or pay off your mortgage faster than you expected? Plus, when it comes time to sell, your extra bedroom condo may have appreciated more, giving you additional buying power for your next home.