Buying a New Condo – What You Need to Know Before You Buy

If you are in the market for a new home, buying a new condo may prove to be just the solution for you. Condos have many benefits to offer homeowners along with many amenities that they might otherwise not be able to afford. As with all purchases, there will also be caveats to buying a condominium that must also be considered.

Things to Consider Before Buying a New Condo

If you are seriously considering buying a condo, here are 5 things that are worth pondering.

  1. Carefully calculate the cost: First and foremost, before making the final decision to purchase a condo, you might consider the resale value of such. Condos are, in most cases, cheaper than townhouses or detached family homes, but they will often sell for less as well. This leaves less room to turn a profit should you decide to sell your condo down the road. This is especially true if the homeowner’s association is particularly difficult to deal with, as well as if the fees attached to such are high. Take care to read over the association rules carefully. Pay special attention to building maintenance fees, as it is not uncommon for homeowner’s associations to charge hefty fees for individual maintenance and renovation projects. You should also ask the association if you can review minutes from previous meetings. This will make you aware of any existing maintenance issues that might prove costly in the future.
  2. You will not own the land: Each owner of a condominium complex contributes monetarily to the cost of exterior building maintenance and upkeep, as well as any other amenities that exist. However, it is important to remember that you will not own the land in which the building (or your condo) sits.
  3. Social opportunity: Condos are great home solutions for families, couples and singles. The close proximity of neighbours and the shared access to the property’s amenities equates to much social opportunity for any social status. With such close quarters you are likely to meet new people and make new friends. However, also be mindful that this means you are also sharing walls with neighbours. Therefore, loud music and large parties might be out of the question. Before you sign on the dotted line, you should check to be sure that those in which you will be sharing walls with are the type of people, or person, that you can get along with.
  4. Convenience: Condos often offer a major convenience factor for homeowners. Not only are condos generally centrally located and accessible, but they also typically offer close proximity to areas of work and play. Condos offer close access to major cities and areas that the homeowner might not otherwise be able to afford – generally speaking. Not only that, but they also generally include many other amenities that if not for the community, the homeowner would not be able to afford such as tennis courts, gyms and pools. A major plus is that being part of a community negates the need for the physical maintenance of such amenities to fall on the homeowner.
  5. Location, location, location: Put extra thought into the building itself, the location of it, the surrounding areas and the condition of the property. If you note that there are many for sale units in the building, this might be a red flag. This often times means that there is likely dissatisfaction among homeowners with the property or area.

If you are looking into buying a new home, buying a new condo might be the perfect solution for you. Take care to consider the above 5 factors and good luck with your search!

Living in a Condo – 5 Tips for an Amazing Condo Lifestyle

For many buyers, owning a condo is the first step toward full-fledged homeownership. For others, condos offer a great solution when looking to downsize. For instance, retirees often find selling their home and investing in a condo the best way to allow for funds to be spent in ways that bring them great pleasure. Condos also generally offer excellent benefits to owners in terms of their proximity to cities, or rather in town living.

If you are thinking of buying a condo, here are 5 tips to help you maximize the worth of your condo lifestyle.

5 Tips that Will Ensure Living in a Condo Allows for the Lifestyle of Your Choosing

Use these 5 helpful tips when shopping for a condo to purchase, to ensure that the property you select is one that will allow for the amazing condo lifestyle of your dreams.

  1. Location: In real estate lingo, it is “location, location, location,” where they repeat the word three times for a reason – because it is that important. Location is not only important for you as the buyer, but also for future potential buyers. As the buyer, you must take the time to investigate the area. Know the streets, know what the traffic is like, the proximity to the types of things that you enjoy, as well as even in a decent school district. This is important not only for your benefit, but also in the future should you ever decide to sell your unit.
  2. Rules & regulations: Condo buildings have many people living within close proximity to one another. Living arrangements of this type require rules and regulations in order to keep the peace. Before you buy, make sure that you are okay with the rules in order to be sure that you will be able to enjoy your new home as you please. For instance, if the property does not allow dogs and you have two, or begins quiet hours at 10 when you like to stay up late and have people over, you can assume this property is not going to bode well with your plans for an “amazing condo lifestyle.”
  3. Homeowner’s fees: Prior to purchasing be sure that you have a full understanding of the homeowner’s fees – what they are and where they are utilized. You do not want to buy a unit in a condo only to find out later that the HOA fees will cost you a third of your paycheck, or that the HOA is broke and has no money for expensive repairs should an emergency arise.
  4. Upkeep and maintenance: The beauty of (quite literally) owning a condo is that your HOA fees generally go to the maintenance and upkeep of the exterior of the building. Make sure that the property is well maintained and taken care of. Part of home ownership is feeling proud, you want to be able to feel this sense of pride every time you turn into the complex.
  5. Amenities: When shopping for the perfect condo unit take care to make sure any units you are interested in come with amenities that will bring you enjoyment. Maybe it is a pool, hot tub, tennis court, gym, etc. whatever would bring you pleasure – ensure that the property has everything that you desire.

Use the 5 simple tips above when selecting the perfect condo that will allow for the amazing condo lifestyle that all condo buyers dream of. Take your time and do your homework, and you are sure to find the condo of your dreams!

Best Restaurants in Calgary by Neighborhood

Calgary today is so much more than it once was, in terms of the cuisine. The once quiet and sleepy town now boasts a vibrant and flourishing restaurant scene, driven by hungry young Chefs. Today, when you walk through the streets of Calgary there is a sense of excitement that did not exist before. Making their appearance seemingly around every corner, are fresh new restaurants brought to life by innovative and modern, talented Chefs; as well as historic staples staying strong and offering contemporary classics. These Chefs are the heart of the town with a vision to bring edgy, boldness and life back to this oil-rich city. Farm to table and other creative and inventive restaurants are now setting the scene for this new-found foodie hub.

Best Restaurants in Calgary to Visit by Quadrant

Regardless of which corner of Calgary you find yourself in, you can be sure of one thing – you will find a top restaurant worthy of your time. Here are some top names to look out for should you find yourself in SE, SW, NE or NW Calgary any time soon.

Southeast Calgary:

  • Rouge – Rogue has been a staple of the Calgary dining scene for over a decade now and they have yet still to lose their appeal. With new control in the kitchen, Chef Jamie Harling brings with him a fresh and natural approach to seasonal fare. Tending to the garden, nourishing the crop and harvesting what is in season, Rogue is bringing diners dinner from a garden that is no more than a mere 50 yards from the kitchen.
  • Alloy – If you are looking for reliability and pure excellence, then stop by Alloy in southeast Calgary. This posh, trendy downtown restaurant brings to life surprising, yet explosively delicious Latin, Mediterranean and Asian fusion flavours. The dishes are layered with modern classics that showcase the considerable talents of Chef/owner Rogelio Herrera.

Southwest Calgary:

  • Blink – Blink has effortlessly matured to become a reliable and consistent best when it comes to restaurants in Calgary. Offering the most superb selection of wines, and innovative cocktails, alongside the highest quality of ingredients handled by Chef Chris Dewling, Blink brings French influences to finest of regional ingredients.
  • Raw Bar – If Asian fusion is what you are craving then hop on over to the southwest quadrant of Calgary for dinner at Raw Bar – the latest in ‘Vietmodern’ style cuisine. The fusion Chef Duncan Ly brings together, meets in the most harmonious of ways. He has found an impeccable balance of flavours in each and every dish, of which he brings nothing short of hugely enticing bold tastes. The restaurant itself is stylish, yet relaxing with exceptional cocktail offerings and decadent pastries for those with a sweet tooth.

Northwest Calgary:

Notable – You can count on the plates at this NW staple to always be well-crafted and, well, notable. This restaurant boldly withstood the test of time by proving that there is no need to be a follower of trending foodie fare. Instead, Chef Justin Labossiere stays true to his roots and offers the city lunch and dinner that will surely not disappoint.

Northwest Calgary, Is that the Area for Your Next Home?

Northwest Calgary is set dramatically between awe-inspiring prairies and breathtaking mountainous peaks. The natural grandeur of this city is nearly incomparable to other areas of Canada. The Calgary scene comes complete with chic urbanites who love to enjoy the finest in world-class cuisines and the most exciting in outdoor adventures. Calgary is a city that is bursting with advanced energies and buzzing with lively locals and tourists, which boasts a thriving entertainment scene in the area.

As with most all cities in Canada, Calgary is sectioned into four quadrants. Each of these four quadrants – north, south, east and west – hosts their own unique characteristics that make their specific community appealing. For this reason, when looking to live in Calgary, it is important to decide what intrinsic qualities you desire in the area that you live. For the purpose of this post, let’s take a look at the northwest quadrant of Calgary and what it has to offer its residents.

Why Northwest Calgary?

The northwest quadrant of Calgary is home to the University of Calgary or U of C, making this area a great place for families with college-aged children or for young adults who attend the university, or simply enjoy the lively scene. The northwest quadrant of Calgary is among the most residential areas. Stunningly situated close to the Rockies, this area of Calgary offers the most exquisite views of the mountain peaks. If you are looking to reside in an area with opulence, attractive scenic views, an endless array of exceptional cuisine and eclectic boutiques, not to mention a lively spirit – then northwest Calgary is the area for you.

What to Do in Northwest Calgary

Northwest Calgary is home to the city’s most popular and pleasant neighbourhoods, such as Edgemont, Country Hills, Sunnyside, West Hillhurst, Tuscany, Rosedale and Dalhousie. Additionally, Kensington is one of the more dynamic of neighbourhoods in northwest Calgary, as it encompasses a vast majority of the area’s diverse cafes, bistros and pubs, as well as arts and crafts shops and boutiques. Located just a short walk from downtown, Kensington is a great neighbourhood to hang out in for any given amount of time.

Calgary has recently been deemed the Cultural Capital of Canada, and it is not hard to understand why. This city is chalked full of culture, history and attractions of the arts. You can spend the day exploring Canada’s largest living museum at Heritage Park Historical Village or expand your knowledge about how the city came to be at Fort Calgary. The area has plenty of options regarding theatres where you can enjoy the opera, symphony or a simple play.

For panoramic views of the city, the Calgary Tower is just a short distance from northwest Calgary. Also, there is a slew of other attractions within the area such as the Telus Spark Science Center and the Calgary Zoo, among many alluring parks and outdoor trails.

The shopping scene is robust, and there is no shortage of available outdoor activities in the northwest quadrant of the city. Within a close enough proximity to allow for the possibility of many day trips; hosting an abundance of attractions; home to a full blown foodie scene; as well as the presence of many historic, modern and high-end neighbourhoods; northwest Calgary has something to offer everyone.