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June 02, 2009

Suite Deals

$300k Still Nets Condo Shoppers Some Decent Digs

Shelley Williamson

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The number 300 is not only the latest film epic drawing record crowds, but it’s also the magic price point many condo shoppers are looking to stay below. While it may seem $300,000 doesn’t stretch far in Calgary condos — whether it’s buyers aiming to enter the market or downsize their mortgage — there are still plenty of suite deals to be had.

Gerald Rotering, a Calgary condominium-specialist realtor, says the number of listings, is at about half of the norm in the resale market (with about 3,500 including all types of housing). However, he says, the condo-buying climate is far from the record-exploding low numbers of condos available a year ago that prompted bidding wars.
“Right now the rule of thumb is you can get a modest two-bedroom or a really nice one-bedroom for under $300,000,” says Rotering.

Condo Living explored a few of the choices out there for new condos below $300K.

The good NEWS is all the deals at Today’s Communities and Westcreek Developments’ joint venture high up on Broadcast Hill haven’t been completely scooped up. Still available are both one-and two-bedroom addresses in the onetime media village for the ’88 Olympics. 

One-bedrooms with suite views spanning from 584- to 657-square-feet were still available at press time from the $260,000 mark, while buyers could also still get into two-bedroom 887-square-foot units for just around the $300K point.

In addition to immediate possessions, NEWS offers all appliances and high-end appointments from granite countertops to wood-burning fireplaces, cork and upgraded carpet, and access to a lap pool, gym and hot tub in a separate amenities building. The address is also a selling point, perched atop Broadcast Hill on the coveted west side, a quick commute to work and play downtown.

London is still calling potential homeowners seeking a Euro-inspired lifestyle, close to transportation in a high-rise, concrete dwelling. While bachelor pads were hot sellers seemingly priced and sized right for the single-on-the-go and are now spoken for, a few one-bedroom flats are still on the market at the highly visible Westcorp Properties development just off Macleod Trail near Heritage Drive and the LRT station.

“If you had asked me back in December, we had about 40 units under $300,000,” explains Richard Popowich, London’s sales manager. Now still available from $296,000, are some dapper 756-square-foot Bristols (for which there is also a show suite), complete with up-market finishing from porcelain tile to 30-ounce carpet, granite countertops, state-of-the-art on-demand hot water tanks and Tyndallstone entry features. Amenities in the ultimately 1,215-home “urban village” will include guest suites, rooftop spaces, a greenhouse, sports and games lounge, media rooms, a fitness centre, and a library and future shops and services.

Condo conversions offer quicker possessions, and often, convenient addresses in some inner-city neighbourhoods. Condosphere’s Vive is one example of a 12-unit conversion at 1603 26 Avenue S.W. The renewed suites include cork flooring, low-flush toilets, new modern colours, quartz countertops, under-cabinet lighting, kitchen islands, bathrooms with vessel sinks, and upgraded wiring. One-bedrooms are priced from $249,900, while two-bedroom Vive units are $299,900, all with immunity from GST. A show suite opened March 30.

Condo shoppers who prefer being in the midst of it all have Gateway Midtown among options. For less than $300K, a choice of a top-floor (25th floor) one-bedroom facing east for $298,000 or a west-facing 507-square-foot address on the 20th floor for $286,000 is available. In addition to use of a future two-level fitness facility, private conference room, owners’ lounges and a rooftop patio, Midtown residents will come home to elevated appointments including stainless appliances, nine-foot ceilings, air-conditioning, and access to everything from the 10 Avenue and 4 Street S.W. address. 

If a private entrance is a must, town- homes by Cardel Lifestyles at Lighthouse Landing (12025 Country Hills Boulevard) are still beaconing in the north. Starting at $295,900, the builder’s top seller offers three bedrooms, with the option of altering the 1,260-square-foot digs to a dual-master (two-bedroom/two-bath) plan or full master ensuite bath. Apartment condos are available from $232,900 for one-bedrooms, while two-bedroom/two-bath suites with underground parking ring in from $270,900. 

Kendra Milne, Streetside Developments’ marketing co-ordinator says better bang for your buck may be achieved outside the city limits, citing the developer’s upcoming project in Okotoks, Penncross, slated for the Crystal Ridge golf course. “In the future, we will likely have one-bedrooms at Robson (on the city’s west side) and Penncross for under $300,000,” says Milne.

Streetside’s current offerings include 640-square-foot one-bedrooms starting at $245,900 in Red Haus in Royal Oak. Perks included are Bosch appliances, a massive colour selection, maple cabinets and, of course, access to the Club Haus.

If north is your desired part of the city, buyers still have a chance to see themselves in Rockford Developments’ Reflections apartment condos in Coventry Hills. One-bedrooms ranging from 700- to 835-square-feet are priced from $269,900, and include underground heated parking. For those seeking a little more space, the developer’s Red Willow project in Saddleridge boasts 890-square-foot two-bedroom, two-storey townhomes from $249,900. Buyers can add basement development, giving them a third bedroom, bathroom and rec room, from $19,500.

Rockford’s Drake’s Cove in Okotoks offers a chance to get out of the hustle and bustle and come home to larger digs — in 1,210-square-foot, three-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath addresses that boast views of the Sheep River and mountains from cosy front porches — from $289,900. CL

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