Old community, new energy

Historic Connaught provides inner-city lifestyle with old-world charm

Humming with an eclectic, urban vibe, Calgary’s inner-city community of Connaught attracts a variety of residents, from millennials to empty nesters. The community brims with multi-family housing, tree-lined parks, community vegetable gardens, purpose-built dog playgrounds, and a variety of unique restaurant and retail offerings. As an added bonus, many of these businesses, such as Kalamata Grocery and Analog Coffee, are spearheaded by local entrepreneurs.

“There is just this huge appeal – there are the parks and the trees and you are also in the thick of it. It’s a real community where there is something for everyone,” said Connaught resident Patricia Insole.

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Affordable core

Joshua Smith achieved his ideal downtown lifestyle at the right price point with a new Beltline condo

Joshua Smith, a 31-year-old communications adviser, was living in the northeast community of Taradale with his brother, commuting close to two hours a day to his job in the downtown core and back. His goal was to save some money and purchase a condo in the inner city. He yearned for the downtown lifestyle, where he could be close to coffee shops, restaurants and workout facilities. He wanted to be able to walk to work, and to meet friends for dinner or drinks without having to worry about a lengthy drive or an expensive cab fare. He also required a home with a great view, and it had to be affordable.

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Don’t delay, start saving

Putting together your first down payment is all about planning and prioritizing

With changes to mortgage regulations and the Bank of Canada’s qualifying rates, buying a first home might be tougher than expected, especially for those already carrying a large amount of debt. Currently, the total cost of a mortgage payment, property tax and utilities must be less than 40 per cent of a borrower’s gross income.

“The debt ratio makes a big difference to your purchasing power when buying a home,” said Calgary mortgage broker Monika Hägele. “Some people might work really hard, save up five per cent towards their desired home, and then that amount might not even be enough if they are carrying too much debt.”

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