Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Houses: What $500,000 buys in Calgary

Downtown Core:

This little 798ft2 dump can be had for a cool $450, 000 which is cheap for downtown. Quite likely, a 6-storey apartment building sits next door. Larger, renovated character homes start in these neighborhoods at around $750k!

Inner (Older) Suburbs:

This house is 2300ft2 with 4 bedrooms and is listed for a cool $605,000 in the neighborhood we love! The yard and garden are stunning and the interior has been mostly renovated. It's a great neighborhood with beautifully landscaped yards, once-lovely houses and great schools.
We're waiting for a slightly smaller one to come on the market.

The only trouble is these neighborhoods are expensive and the houses often need renovations since they've been built in the 60's and 70's. Once you pay this much for a house, who has another $100k to put into renovating???

New (Outer) Suburbs:

For $500,000, you can live in THIS box, which is identical to the other TWO boxes on either side. Notice how close together the houses are. Everyone says it gets better once you go inside. I'm sure it does and that the houses are great inside, all shiny and new. But still, I would need a map to find my house, which looks identical to the other 10,000 houses in my sub-division. By the way, people are paying at least $350,000 for houses just like this even farther out of the city. I find that to be an obscene price to pay for a "starter" home in a city that isn't particularly interesting. I like Calgary and all, but it's not like we're sitting on the ocean. The mountains are 1 hour away, but it's the oil boom that is causing prices to sky rocket!


  1. Darcy3:46 pm

    In the San Francisco bay area where I live, those same houses would cost about twice as much.

  2. yes, but it's san francisco(!!) and not some small canadian prairie town...

    definitely all relative, i know. housing prices are outrageous in many american and canadian cities, but it is still shocking considering that a year ago, prices here were 50% lower. our population has just exceeded a million people, so not exactly a booming metropolis, and not an old, established city either. we're a new city with new money! and our population is rocketing with the oil economy here, all thanks to the world's hunger for oil (and our hunger for good jobs).

  3. WOW! You can buy twice the house where I live, and they're actually big and beautiful. Hey, maybe you should consider relocating! I'll put you up for a little while, introduce you to my neuro and pain docs, we'll have a ball together!!!

  4. Christine7:14 pm

    Hi, Terri, I've been enjoying reading your blog--like you, I have chronic tension-type headache, so I can really relate to a lot of what you've written.

    I've been pondering getting into the market here in Victoria for a while and am now starting to look at properties. I just saw a report that TD Economics released yesterday called "Housing Bubble Watch"--it's at
    You might find it interesting--I sure did!
    Anyway, good luck and keep posting--Victoria is bad enough, but I sure don't envy you having to deal with the Calgary market.


  5. Your home prices are very surprising to me. I will say that we are much more expensive in the San Francisco bay area but still...

    Remember you only need to find one house that you can make into a home. With patience and a little luck, I hope that you can find the right deal.

  6. when you lay it out like that, it's really depressing, isn't it? Someone's getting rich off of this and it just be criminal how they have gotten away with this dramatic surge in prices in our fair city over the past 18 mos.

    Unreal !