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July 01, 2008

Buy a condo, get a renter

Element Studio Condos try out lofty concept

Sherry Hume

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There are many reasons to buy a condominium home, especially one close to the downtown core.

Of course there are the usual motives—proximity to work, a maintenance-free lifestyle and even as a salve for the painful rise in prices of gas. With interest growing for buying condos not to live in, but as a sound investment, Brian Copping of Remax House of Real Estate is offering investors a unique take on the idea of buying to rent out.

Element studio condos offer a unique approach to purchasing a condominium property. Kelly Copping of Remax House of Real Estate says the investor would receive the unit—with the first renter already in place—effectively removing the need to try to find occupants. “The gross revenue would be somewhere between $2,600 and $3,000 per month per unit,” says Kelly. “This would mean an estimated 12 to 15 per cent average return on investment.” Element is primarily designed for business travellers, those who have too long of a commute to work, or out-of-towners on extended business trips to the city. So, instead of inhabitants feeling as though they are living out of a suitcase in a hotel, the studio condos are more of a home away from home.

The price on unfurnished suites ranges from $179,900 to $219,900, including Murphy beds or built-in bed frames, along with 37-inch LCD televisions on adjustable armatures so they can be seen from almost anywhere within the condo. “The televisions come with their own hard drives so that you can watch TV, play music from your iPod, or plug in your own computer and use the television as your monitor,” says Kelly. “All units also have a fridge, stove, oven, dishwasher, built-in coffee-maker and a washer/dryer combo unit, and one of the attractive features of these units is that even the fridge and dishwasher are custom-finished so they look like part of the cabinetry.” For an additional $9,000 the units come fully furnished, including essentials from utensils, towels, and bedding to decorative touches and furniture—everything needed to truly feel at home.

Originally built in 1961, this concrete rooming house has been transformed into 33 modern and stylish studio suites with polished concrete floors, luxurious granite and composite counter tops, custom cabinets with under-cabinet lighting, and custom overlay or stainless-steel appliances. Units on the east side of the building also include oversized balconies, which were custom built when the building was recreated. You would never know these were not brand new, as the interiors and common areas are new and much of the exterior and structural features are new as well; including insulation, Laars Boiler heating system, fire alarm, intercom systems and wiring to each unit, including cable and Internet.

Units range from 328 to 393 square-feet, though they have the feel of a much larger space thanks to a design which maximizes every square-foot. “The units are smaller in size, but they have a wealth of everything you need at your fingertips and are much more functional than any hotel room,” says Kelly. “There is even a custom-built wardrobe that is both attractive and a great space-saver. Even the bathroom boasts luxury features, such as the large walk-in shower with floor-to-ceiling tile and heated bath towel holders.”

Also included are panel-track or Venetian window coverings and new flat-ceilings with Sound Ban, to ensure the privacy and comfort of residents. 

Element studio condos are conveniently located close to downtown, within walking distance to the core, and close to a variety of amenities including grocery-shopping at Safeway, coffee at Starbucks and fine dining and entertainment at a number of bistros, cafés and clubs in the area. This is also part of Calgary’s beltline area, which is known for its many interesting shops and boutiques. 

For more information about the Element studio condos, visit the show suites at 827 12 Avenue S.W. Show suites are open seven days a week, Monday to Thursday from 2 to 6 p.m., and Friday and weekends, 1 to 5 p.m.

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