Calgary is a big city that carries a lot of advantages for its residents, however, just like other large urban expanses, life in Calgary does have a few drawbacks. It can be busy, crowded and expensive, but luckily geography has allowed for several nearby alternatives. Calgary is fortunate to be surrounded by plenty of space – to the west are the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, to the north, south and east are the grassy plains of Alberta’s prairies. Several “bedroom communities” that have popped up over the past few decades offer attractive alternatives for those who feel most comfortable outside of the city limits.
The Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) recently reported that sales in Calgary’s surrounding communities of Airdrie, Cochrane and Okotoks rose by 22 per cent from 2012’s numbers from July 1 until the end of September of this year. In that time, 1,288 resale homes were sold, up from 1,052. For the entire year thus far, sales in outlying areas are up over 10 per cent from last.
The summer has always been a traditional time to begin searching for a new home for your family, but it’s always a good idea to begin researching your mortgage long before you start looking. Mortgage brokers specializing in Calgary and Okotoks real estate such as Mortgages By Candice can assist with your mortgage planning process. We can help ascertain whether or not this is the best time for you to buy, and assist in setting you up for a flawless pre-approval. Mortgage brokers work for their clients – not for lenders – and are skilled an ensuring the rates and terms of your mortgage are the most beneficial to you in the long run.
Okotoks vs. Calgary…
In a recent news release, CREB president Becky Walters said, “Affordability and lifestyle preference play a significant role for consumers considering surrounding communities. These areas tend to provide single-family homes that offer more features at a lower cost.”
Even though all locations keep growing at a healthy rate – as does their real estate values – the cost of a home in Airdrie, Cochrane and Okotoks remains lower than comparable properties in Calgary. According to CREB, Okotoks’ benchmark single-family home price sat at $388,933 – up four per cent from a year ago – at the end of September. In comparison, in Calgary CREB reported an average cost of $463,700 for a single family home for the same month.
The nearly $70,000 difference can be very attractive to a buyer!
Currently, the Town of Okotoks is making an extensive effort to provide a wide range of housing options for residents (and future residents). They are looking to ensure there is something available for every type of buyer, such as affordable single family homes, duplexes, condominiums and rentals suites. An extensive pathway system continues to be developed that links the town together, and priorities are being placed on accommodating their demographic that is aging. You can also expect lower property taxes in Okotoks than in Calgary, as well as plenty of schools and community services. Okotoks has a thriving arts and culture scene, plus a picturesque centre reminiscent of the main streets of many of Alberta’s boomtowns.
Other benefits to living in Okotoks include a short, 20-minute commute to Calgary and a small-town feel that many find feels safer and more family-friendly than some neighbourhoods in Calgary.
The Age of the Mortgage Broker in Calgary and Okotoks
Mortgage brokers are becoming an increasingly popular choice for those on the search for a new home for their wide range of skills, accessibility and versatile nature. Mortgage brokers have access to a number of different lenders offering a variety of packages, and with the high activity of the real estate market of Calgary and Okotoks, there are a lot of lenders vying for your business. A mortgage broker can help you take advantage of the best they have to offer.
Discover your options and just how close you are to home ownership with Mortgages By Candice. Contact us today!