First-time homebuyer Amanda DuBois found the walkable lifestyle she was searching for in Sarina Home’s Avenue 33 project in Marda Loop. Andrea Cox / For CREB®Now

Movie and television set designer finds picture-perfect lifestyle in Marda Loop condo project

Amanda DuBois loves the walkable lifestyle. So when it came time to purchase her first home, the 25-year-old sought out an inner-city location, close to shops and restaurants. As a movie and television set designer, she occasionally works from home, so an office space was also on the must-have list. She looked at several condos, but was wowed by a 731-square-foot, one-bedroom-plus-den design in Sarina Home’s Avenue 33 project in Marda Loop.

CREB®Now: What attracted you to the Avenue 33 project?

Amanda DuBois: I really like the Marda Loop area, and when I saw that Avenue 33 was being built, I was intrigued. The floor plans are what first really stood out to me. They are very efficiently designed with a great use of the space. When I visited the sales centre, and saw all the finishes and appliances, I was really wowed. It also had one very specific thing I was looking for: air conditioning. While I was house hunting, I couldn’t believe how many condos didn’t have it, and with how hot it gets in Calgary in the summer, I don’t think I could live without it.

CREB®Now: Could you speak to the process of saving for a down payment and do you have any advice for first-time homebuyers?

“When it comes to buying a home, set a budget for how much you can afford and stick with it before you start looking at places.”

Amanda DuBois: When it comes to buying a home, set a budget for how much you can afford and stick with it before you start looking at places. You can get pre-approved for a mortgage online to help get a sense of what you can afford. And keep in mind all the fees that come with getting a place, on top of the list price, like lawyer’s fees, homeowners’ insurance and GST on new builds. But, most importantly, find a place you love and be excited.

When it came to saving for a down payment, I sat down with my mom after I graduated and used an app to see how much I could be saving with my income and expenses. With it all laid out like that, and when I had it in the back of mind that the money I saved could go towards a down payment, it made it a bit easier to ask myself when it came to buying things, “do I need this or just want it?” Also, having a realistic monthly budget really did it for me, with a little room for treats here and there.

CREB®Now: With possession in 2018, have you thought about how you are going to furnish your new home?

Amanda DuBois: I’ve thought so much about how I’m going to furnish my home, to the point where I’ve actually drawn up a digital 3D model of the space so I can play with furniture arrangements. I love the mid-century modern style, and I’m hoping I can infuse some of that style into my condo, but on a budget. In preparation for my move in, I’ve been repainting and refinishing older pieces of furniture to complement the finishes in the space.