06/21/2016

From condo perks to big yeards, find out what property types are available now

When you start looking to buy a home, the choices can seem overwhelming. Do you choose something low maintenance or do you get the home with a backyard? Do you choose something new or something that has been lived in before? Do you buy a home with a lot of space to grow into or just enough for you now? Do you want to live somewhere with a neighbour right down the hall, or do you prefer a space that is all your own? There is no universal answer, as there are many different types of homes that are available, including multi-family options like condos, townhomes, and duplexes, or single family homes like bungalows or two-storey homes. 

Condos

A condo can be a great place to start when looking for your very first home. Condos are in buildings that can have a handful of units in a low-rise, or have dozens of units in a high-rise building. Condos are located close to downtown areas, and are also found in every suburb as well. These homes are often priced lower, as they have smaller square footages, and the costs of building spreads over so many units. Condos usually come with one, two, or three bedrooms, and often feature an office. They can often have concierges, shops, gyms, and other perks at your fingertips.

Condos do have a community based structure though, which includes condo fees. These fees are based on your units size and percentage share of the costs to run the building. This includes the buildings heat, electricity, repairs, and maintenance work. A percentage is also set aside for a contingency fund that is saved for building upkeep and major repairs, like furnaces and a new roof. There are also occasional special assessments, which would be put towards a one-time cost for the building and is not covered by the contingency fund. 

When all is said and done, with mortgage, taxes, and condo fees, a condo could cost the same as a similarly sized house in the area. It just depends on your lifestyle and the space you want.

Stepper Homes town homes

Townhomes

Townhomes are larger homes that often have multiple levels and bigger floorplans than condos. The buildings are usually joined together beside one another, as opposed to stacked like a high-rise. Townhomes usually feature two or three bedrooms, usually on a different level from the main living areas.

Townhomes often have a similar concept for maintenance as condos, but are often bigger and can have lower fees. The lower fees are usually due to the fact that the internal structure is more like a house, often including a furnace and gas meter, which means heating and cooling is the individual owner’s responsibility. Townhomes also don’t usually include common areas like condos do. 

Some townhomes are considered to be “free hold” homes, which means that there is no condo association and fees. This can be a huge cost savings on a monthly basis, but when things need to be repaired, it is up to each individual unit owner to pay for the repairs.

Duplexes

Duplexes are homes that are attached, but that have separate entrances. These are often larger, and can include individual parking areas, garages, or yard space for each individual owner. These homes are commonly two or three bedrooms, but four bedroom models can be found. Also, townhomes, duplexes and single family homes need to have basements in Alberta, so that can also be developed to create even more living space.

While owners can combine their resources, it is each owners responsibility to maintain the home and its exterior and surroundings. They also contain stand alone furnaces and gas meter, so all costs are paid monthly by the homeowner. Lots sizes are a bit smaller due to the shared space, but this can often mean less exterior space to maintain.

Single Family home – Laned home, bungalow, front-garage

Stepper Homes single family homes

Most homes in Calgary are considered to be a single family dwelling, which means that it stands alone from other properties and only one family would live there. There can be some exceptions, but these homes are often thought of when you imagine a house. There are different sizes, and homes either feature a front drive or a back laneway. Newer homes on laneways tend to be smaller, with a parking pad or garage in the back. Homes with driveway in the front often features a front attached garage. They range quite a bit in size, usually featuring two, three or four bedrooms, although in some cases, there can be more. They also have bigger living spaces indoors, and bigger lots with bigger back and front yards. These homes are also often located in the most desirable areas in a community. 

Initial costs for a single family home can be more because of the home size, age of the home, and lot size. There can also be more maintenance costs and taxes because of its size. However, single family home owners have complete financial and spatial independence from their neighbours.

Depending on what you are looking for, the city and surrounding areas have some amazing homes. No matter your budget, your perfect home is waiting for you!

To see why we have been Calgary’s family home builder for 60 years, visit stepperhomes.com and check out our Photo Gallery to see our home designs!

We build family homes for in the following communities:

Legacy Laned & Single Attached1737 Legacy Circle SE starting in the $390’s

Legacy Attached26 & 34 Legacy Lane SE starting in the $430’s

Mahogany Laned17 Marquis Common SE Quick Possession homes starting in the 410's

Mahogany Front Garage2 & 6 Marquis Cove SE Quick Possession homes starting in the $560's

Heritage Hills8 Heritage Terrace, Cochrane, AB starting in the low 300's

Boulder Creek Estates: 220 Boulder Creek Drive, Langdon, AB starting in the $440's

Kinniburgh: 205 Sandpiper Boulevard, Chestermere, AB starting in the $480's

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