Deciding whether to purchase a house or purchase a condo has been a dilemma among first time homebuyers.


Here is a quick breakdown of the pros and cons of both choices:



  1. Opportunity to live in a high-profile neighborhood; areas where houses are usually unaffordable, such as the downtown core or entertainment district.
  2. Great selection of amenities offered with condominiums; pools, gyms and party spaces being a few examples.
  3. No hassles of many property maintenance tasks; no need to cut the lawn, take care of curb appeal or do any building maintenance. These should all covered by the maintenance fee
  4. Support from building management for repairs and fixes.
  5. Security and peace of mind, especially when travelling.
  6. Depending on the building, sometimes utilities are covered with the condo maintenance fee.


  1. Condo maintenance fees, on top of taxes and such, can become expensive.
  2. Depending on location, living space can limit growth, especially if a homebuyer wants to raise a family.
  3. You need management/builder approval for major property changes, which can be a tedious process.
  4. No real opportunity for an income property. 



  1. More bang for your buck, with greater living space.
  2. Potential for growing and renovating the property, especially when the homebuyer has a growing family
  3. Depending on location, properties come with great backyards which can serve for entertainment purposes and a space for kids to play.
  4. Potential for an income property.


  1. Homebuyer is responsible for maintaining the property, including taking care of the lawn, property maintenance and much more – this can become tedious and very expensive.
  2. Utilities are the homebuyers responsibility.
  3. Purchasing a house in a high-profile neighborhood is very expensive – thus, homebuyers need to move further away, creating the need for everyday transportation.
  4. Unless a part of a gate community or in an area where local services like neighborhood watch are in effect, security can be a big question.

If you are juggling the ideas of buying a home versus buying a condo and you feel you could benefit from some more advice please feel free to contact our Okotoks real estate team or contact our Calgary real estate team - we can offer insights into the two different markets and have Calgary experts who can help you select the perfect neighbourhood / community for your needs. 


The Calgary real estate market, including it's surrounding towns & cities - Okotoks, Airdrie, Cochrane - is holding strong and boasting record numbers coming off of 2012. The coming year is likely to bring nothing but bounty to our city and outlying areas with many economic factors showing positive and promising increases.  


calgary real estate prices

The Calgary Herald is reporting that many real estate companies like RE/MAX, Royal LePage and others are expecting Calgary house prices will increase 2.5% this year, which would mean an increased of $10,000 on a $400K home.


Todd Hirsch, senior economist with ATB Financial, said Calgary continues to buck the national downward trend in real estate. “Given the high level of incomes, the low borrowing costs, and strong in-migration, the market is likely to remain in balance in 2013,” he said. “There has been no evidence of price bubbles building - and with some moderation in Alberta’s economy in 2013, real estate prices should continue to make steady, healthy gains.


Average Calgary house price of $428,655 in 2012 - a new record! Not only had there been more people buying homes coupled with the supply of homes coming down slightly there was also a record number of luxury / high priced homes purcahsed, which tows the average up! 

What does this mean for the average home buyer? If you have been considering buying or making a move, now is the time to do so in the interest of saving what could be $10,000 if you wait another year!


There are so many factors that contribute to buying or selling real estate, including borrowing costs, lifestyle, your current employment situation and more - if all the dots connect - contact our RE/MAX real estate team for the BEST service!!! We specialize in Calgary & Okotoks real estate deasl!  


Please visit our Open House at 26 Summit Pointe DR in DE WINTON.
Open House on Saturday, January 19, 2013 1:00 pm
*OPEN HOUSE Sat Jan 19, 1-4* This custom built home has over 6000 sq ft of living space. Quality and thought were put into every detail of this home - custom walnut cabinetry, solid walnut core 8 ft doors, rounded drywall edges, painted ceiling boarders, tray ceilings, walnut columns, extensive built ins, 3 zone in floor heating on main floor with in floor heating in the basement and many more details. This home has recently been painted top to bottom with new travertine flooring installed on the main floor. Relax outside and enjoy the south facing views of Heritage Pointe Golf Course, backing onto the 9th tee box. The downstairs offers a media room, fitness room, wine room, complete wet-bar, bedroom and steam shower bath and more fantastic views from the walk-out basement. Upstairs are three additional bedrooms, two enjoy their own private sink area and the third large room has plenty of room for a generous sitting area. It's hard to find a family home of this size and quality, this is a must see.

Before you decide to take on the task of selling your own home - this very important and legally complicated process - remember not even most Real Estate Lawyer's recommend selling your own home yourself in today's market. 


Here are a few of the reasons why: 


1. You are limiting your exposure to potential buyers (less than 10% of what a good real estate broker will generate) which theoretically means your home will take ten to fifteen times longer to sell on the market.


2. The longer a home is on the market the lower the selling price is. Why? Because most buyers think that if the home has not sold after this long there must be something wrong with the home.


3. Because of the limited exposure you will very likely end up with a lower selling price. Remember, in order to generate the highest price possible for your home selling means exposure. You need the maximum exposure possible, to generate the highest price possible.


4. Most buyers find it extremely awkward to negotiate or even to talk directly with sellers and therefore avoid FSBO properties.


5. Lack of negotiating experience and lack of pertinent information often will result in a lower selling price, or worse yet, a bungled contract and possible lawsuits.


6. The majority of qualified buyers are working with experienced real estate professionals and realtors tend to avoid FSBO’s.


7. Many serious buyers will pass by a FSBO home merely because they recognize that it is not in the real estate mainstream, this can make people wary.


8. As most local buyers now retain an experienced real estate sales person to represent them as their buyer-agency, you will probably be negotiating against an experienced professional.


9. Expected savings in broker's fees will also be greatly reduced if you offer a selling commission to entice real estate agents to bring potential buyers.


10. If you are planning to use a Lawyer to help you negotiate the offer, then your lawyer's fees will be considerably higher than your realtor’s would have been.


11. Only real estate agents have access to the up-to-date market information. News reports cannot approach the timeliness or specificity available to agents. Further, real estate agents are involved in home sales much more

frequently than the average homeowner is. This familiarity leads to a degree of expertise that provides an edge on negotiating and successful selling.


12. You only pay the commission to the real estate broker if they successfully sell your home at the price you are happy with. 


Get to know our Calgary & Okotoks Real Estate Team by reading some of these interesting facts about our Realtors in a short series bio`s called BIO BLOG. You can also learn more about our tenacious realtors in the Meet Our Real Estate Team section of our website. 

For today’s BIO BLOG series we will get to know Jay Magnussen Real Estate Team Leader & Realtor JAY MAGNUSSEN


Why do you like being a Realtor?  I enjoy working as a realtor because I like meeting people and getting to help them. I like every aspect of this career - the responsibility that it involves, the fact that people are counting on me and the fact that I’m able to assist them with such an important decision. I get to work with both my daughter and some of my closest friends on our Remax real estate team.


What are your best skills as a Realtor?  My sense of responsibility, my friendly and outgoing personality and the fact that it is so important to me to do a good job for my clients and to have the respect I have for them. I’m punctual, professional and very results driven for my clients and friends. I’m also detail oriented and like to be very thorough. I like to work hard - which is something I also expect from each Realtor on our team. 


5 interesting facts about Jay:

  • I love my family - I have a wonderful wife, 3 kids & 2 grandsons.  
  • My wife and I have 2 dachshunds a.k.a. wiener dogs named Jeffrey & Rudy. 
  • I love hockey and helping out at many levels.
  • I love to golf, travel, enjoy cooking & working out.
  • I collect unique antique animal figurines.



Feel free to get in touch with Jay via our website: or send Jay a message on our ‘Jay Magnussen Real Estate Team’ Facebook page!  


Whether you are planning on selling your home or not - improvements to your home or yard can have a significant impact on the value and appeal of your home. The Calgary Home & Garden Show is an excellent source of ideas and trades people to help with improvements, upgrades and landscaping.


Our Calgary & Okotoks Real Estate Team is offering 25 FREE tickets to the exhibit. To get your tickets, you can reach us through our Facebook page or email First come, first serve - free tickets are limited.  




 Happy home improvements!! 

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