What to Consider Before Buying a Condo in Calgary

June 3,2021
What to Consider Before Buying a Condo in Calgary

Are you actively looking to purchase a condo in or near downtown Calgary?  Are you a recent retiree whose children who have moved out of your 2,500 sq ft home?  Or, perhaps you are a young professional who has been renting for a few years and you want to start building some equity?  Condo ownership has jumped tremendously, which is no surprise given the top notch choice of condos available to prospective buyers.  Owning a condo in downtown Calgary, or anywhere else in the City, is convenient way to start building equity and enjoy luxury amenities such as swimming pools, tennis courts and on-site fitness centers.   We put together a few things to consider before making a condo purchase decision.

1. Location, location, location

When considering buying any kind of real estate you have to look carefully at the location.  The long term enjoyment and value of your condo all comes down to location.  You can always change the interior of your home, but you can’t change the street or neighbourhood your home is located in.  So, spend some time outside of your new condo and take in the sounds, the people, the nearby restaurants.  Get a feel for the place you will travel through daily as you come and go from your condo.

2. The Floor and the View

A great aspect of owning a condo is the view you are going to get from it!  It’s a real advantage over buying a home in an urban location.  Pick the right floor and the right view for you. 

3. The Amenities

Owning a condo is great compared to home ownership because with owning a condo comes a some really great amenities these days.  Think of what is important to you and focus on that.  If amenities are not important to you, then specifically look for condos that have very few, because condos with a lot of top notch amenities do come with higher condo fees.

4. Storage and parking space

As you consider yourself living in the condo, you should see if there is enough storage space in the building.  In most cases, there will be a small storage space allocated to your condo unit.  During the tour of the building, ensure you ask to see this storage space and also the parking space.  You don’t have immediately dismiss the perfect location if it doesn’t have enough storage space.  Look at nearby storage facilities where you could put your seasonal gear, decorations, extra furniture you don’t want to part with yet.  Calgary is home to a new self storage facility in the west end of downtown and it offers 24/7 secure access.

5. Proper documentation

When buying a condo, you should do a condo doc review by a professional.  There are some really great firms out there who know what to look for when reviewing condo docs.  A condo doc review will indicate, amongst other things, if there is any structural deficiencies, if the building has adequate insurance coverage and an adequate reserve fund and if the corporation that owns the building is in good financial shape.  A condo document review is an excellent way to figure whether you are making a sustainable purchase and will indicate things to be aware of, such as possible future special assessments.

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