Modern-style townhomes. Getty Images

$300,000 and under

Limited budget need not limit buyer options

A dollar may not go as far as it used to, but $300,000 can still take Calgary homebuyers a long way.

“At that price, you could look at a one- or two-bedroom apartment with underground or outside parking, and an elevator if you want a high-rise,” said Monique Windrem, a REALTOR® and leasing agent with Hope Street Real Estate Corp. “You might get extra storage, and if you opted for a one-bedroom, you may also have a gym, concierge and security if you’re not set on living downtown.”

Another option is a townhome with two or three bedrooms, although that $300,000 will bring you less square footage downtown than in outlying areas in the southeast or southwest. Outside the city’s core, that money could also net a half-duplex.

“Don’t forget that in addition to your mortgage payment, you also have to budget for property tax, house insurance, maintenance costs and possibly condo fees.” – Monique Windrem, Hope Street Real Estate Corp.

Unless buyers opt for a small, one-bedroom unit, they’re probably looking at a resale home. However, if they sacrifice some space, finishings like granite countertops, hardwood floors and stainless-steel appliances are within reach.

Homes in this price range appeal to a variety of purchasers, including first-time buyers, empty nesters and those seeking an investment property, as the lower mortgage payments make them easier to rent.

Because you can’t have it all when spending less, it’s important to determine your priorities.

“If you’re willing to be in suburbia, you’ll get more space, but also spend more time commuting and perhaps have less time with family,” said Windrem. “On the other hand, if you prefer to be downtown, prepare to sacrifice space or choose an older building.”

Also, Windrem cautions buyers at this level to keep the big picture in mind.

“Don’t forget that in addition to your mortgage payment, you also have to budget for property tax, house insurance, maintenance costs and possibly condo fees,” she said. “Otherwise, you may overextend on the mortgage and get yourself in trouble.”

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