Taking a scenic drive about 35 minutes southwest of Calgary will bring you to the sister towns of Turner Valley and Black Diamond, with populations of 2,500 and 2,700, respectively. Another 10 minutes south is the village of Longview and its 300 residents.

All three have a lot in common, including a friendly, small-town feel and a variety of housing options to meet many buyers’ needs and budgets.

Sarah Michel, a REALTOR® with Century 21 Foothills Real Estate, says the towns of Turner Valley and Black Diamond have similar real estate offerings, with prices that are more affordable than Calgary for comparable homes.

Michel says bungalow-style condos that start in price from about $285,000 are a popular choice in the communities, while some apartment-style condo buildings have units priced from $200,000.

There is also a wide variety of single-family homes, from 1950s-era houses starting at $240,000 right up to new estate homes on scenic lots that are priced upwards of $800,000.

Michel says Longview has a quieter real estate scene that is reflective of its size and the fact that fewer properties come on the market there.

“Everyone knows everyone. If you want to know where your kids are, you just phone someone.” – Barry Crane, Turner Valley Mayor

When homes do come on the market, they can include everything from mobile homes on their own lots priced from $130,000 to larger, single-family homes starting at $300,000.

Turner Valley Mayor Barry Crane says the community has attracted a lot of young families, including his own, that want to raise their children in a safe and quiet setting.

“Everyone knows everyone,” said Crane. “If you want to know where your kids are, you just phone someone.”

He adds that Turner Valley has great schools, a recently expanded pathway system and many local amenities. If residents do need something that’s not available locally, “we can be in Okotoks in 15 minutes.”

Black Diamond Mayor Ruth Goodwin says a lot of the town’s residents moved from Calgary to get away from the hectic lifestyle. Many of these transplants still commute to the city, but when they head west after work and see the mountains in the distance, “the stress level starts melting away by the kilometre.”

Goodwin says the community has excellent schools, stores, services, restaurants and community organizations; plenty of local recreation opportunities; and impressive health care facilities for a town of its size, including a hospital.

“By population, we have more health care than any other small town in southern Alberta,” she said.

Longview Mayor Kathie Wight has lived in the community since 1976 and says it’s “just so peaceful and quiet.” The village is located at the entrance to Kananaskis Country and offers a smattering of stores and services.

Wight says they also have a school for Grades 1-6, various local clubs and an array of recreational amenities, including a skating rink, skateboard park and walking pathway along the Highwood River Valley. On top of it all, Okotoks is only about 40 kilometres away.