Buy the right property for you
What do you want from your "new" home, to clarify, we are encompassing brand new and resale in the term "new". Again you need to make a checklist, this time of your "must haves" against your "nice to haves". For example you "must have" a bathroom, but perhaps a hot tub outside is a "nice to have". And might we suggest that the word "budget" is at the top of every checklist that you write:
- Budget. How much can you afford?
- How long do you plan to live in your new home? 1 year? 5 years? to retirement? Till they carry you out in a box?
- How much space do you need? For example are you planning a family? Have a family already? Want a tenant? Keep a lot of pets?
- Are you an empty nester? Or a retiree?
- Do you need an en suite with every bedroom?
- Is a garage essential? And if there is one is it big enough?
- Can you fit all your belongings into the storage space available?
- Do you need a basement?
- Do you entertain a lot and therefore need a separate dining area?
- Is the kitchen big enough?
- Do you like or hate gardening?
- Are there any specials needs facilities required? For example ramps, wide doorways etc.
- Is a hot tub required?
What type of home do you want?
Canmore has a wide selection of real estate, from single family homes to condos there should be something that fits your needs.
Single family home
The number of new single family homes is reducing as developers maximise every square foot of development land by putting up condos, duplexes, 4-plexes, 5-plexes and townhouses.
One of the less attractive sides of the manic development that is going on in Canmore is that developers sterilise the building lot as soon as they get their hands on it. In other words, they remove every tree on the lot up to the boundaries to maximise the area that they can build on, it also makes it easier for construction because there are no trees in the way of their construction equipment, bobcats etc.
South Canmore is still however one of the exceptions with many single family homes on treed lots. With R1 zoning in this area it currently doesn't make financial sense to developers to buy the lot, remove the existing single family home and build another single family home on it.
One of the most attractive and oldest areas of Canmore, homes in South Canmore are snapped up quickly when they come onto the real estate market.
Duplex, 4-plex, 5-plex and townhouse
If you don't require a lot of outside space, you don't mind sharing at least one wall of your property, and you don't have any real privacy hangups, then there are a large choice of duplexes, 4-plexes, 5-plexes and townhouses available in Canmore.
These also tend to get snapped up by part-time/vacation home owners. So if you want a permanent home you may get lucky and if the rest of the development is vacation ownership, you'll get all the privacy you need for most of the year.
Great if you hate outside maintainance of your property and grounds, but not so great if you hate lots of rules.
To maximise the building space, and developers profits, Canmore is seeing a high proliferation of condo construction. Many offer swimming pools, fitness centres, tennis courts and golf courses.
Owning a condo means that you are governed by the rules and regulations set by the condominium board. These rules are generally written to ensure that everyone enjoys their condo ownership, however there may be some rules that don't fit into your needs, and it's not too likely that you will get them lifted, so do your research before committing yourself to a manual of do's and don'ts.
If you are considering condo ownership then be warned, many condos are being sold based on the spectacular views of the mountains that they offer. In some cases those views no longer exist after people have moved into them because the developer sticks another condo building between the views and the condo they have bought. There have been a number of legal cases raised involving misrepresentation to buyers. If what you can see out of your window matters to you then make sure that there isn't another tall building going up between you and your dream view.
Perpetually Affordable Housing (PAH)
Built in Canmore for Canmore residents, and to be sold at below market prices. In order to maintain PAH at below market prices, the price at which PAH units can be sold/resold is restricted. There are also seven PAH qualifications that must be met in order to qualify to purchase a PAH unit.
PAH owners cannot sell their units directly to any buyer of their choice. New purchasers must have already applied and been approved to purchase a PAH unit, they will then be offered a unit when their turn on the waiting list dictates.
Owners of PAH units must use them as their permanent, primary residence. PAH units cannot be rented out. This removes the possibility of people purchasing the units to use as vacation rentals, and of course exacerbating the already dire property affordability situation that has already been created by this.
Affordable vacant lots no longer exist in Canmore. If you want to purchase a building lot then expect to pay $400,000 to $1,000,000+ for a piece of land in Canmore.
Often developers snap up the vacant lots before the majority of people know they are available, especially if zoning allows for high density development.
Many of the vacant lots now available in Canmore are the less than perfect lots. For example steep gradient land, odd shapes etc. When purchasing vacant lots that are steeply sloping a major consideration is the vast expense of specialist piled foundations, even before you can begin to erect a home on it. And of course, if you have kids they'll want a garden, not something so steep you'll have to rope them together and anchor them to the house before they can go out to play.
Buy a week or more in a timeshare complex. Typically you'll be stuck with only visiting the particular week(s) that you've purchased, and of course you'll be sharing the same bed with up to 51 other timeshare owners.
More like a hotel than a vacation home.