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Abundance of options underlines the importance of setting priorities

A million dollars used to buy a lot of home for your money.

But what will $750,000 – $1 million get a homebuyer in Calgary today?

Stephanie Campbell, a REALTOR® with Kirby Cox & Associates, says the answer depends entirely on the home’s location and your lifestyle priorities.

For example, a budget of $750,000 could get a buyer a 2,300-to-2,400-square-foot home in the northwest suburb of Tuscany, backing onto a walking path. Alternately, for the same price, one could buy a smaller townhome, attached infill, apartment-style condo or renovated bungalow in an inner-city neighbourhood like Kensington or West Hillhurst, with hardly any yard, but with a 10-minute commute to downtown.

“It’s deciding what’s important to you. Keep going back to that list – to why you are moving. That sometimes gets lost in the process.” – Stephanie Campbell, Kirby Cox & Associates

“It’s deciding what’s important to you,” said Campbell. “Keep going back to that list – to why you are moving. That sometimes gets lost in the process.”

This price category (about one per cent of Calgary MLS® System listings) is largely composed of move-up buyers, Campbell says, with today’s luxury market really starting at $1.5 million.

While the $750,000-to-$1-million price range’s buyer demographic includes everyone from families to downsizers, Campbell says a growing number are under 45, can afford a million-dollar home and generally want newer construction, smaller yards and less maintenance in an area that’s close to where they work.

Key to buyer success, says Campbell, is managing expectations by setting those priorities. For a larger home, look at the suburbs, but for a shorter commute, the inner city is the place to start.

Buyers in this price group will likely be selling an existing property, which means understanding the timeline of how long that might take and exploring financing options with a mortgage broker. Also, if you are building or renovating in the core, research the builders.

In the end, it’s all about looking around and seeing what is out there.

“Do your research,” said Campbell. “Jump in with both feet.”