Moving to Calgary
You made the big decision and are moving to Calgary! That's awesome. Calgary is an amazing city, a young city and it has so much to offer. The City of Calgary is ranked as one of the world's most livable cities, the world's most cleanest cities and also one of Canada's wealthiest cities. Sounds like a great combo to me. It would be my pleasure to help you find your new home so you can have a great start.
Calgary is a relatively young city with a lot of newer construciton options. The City grew from the core outwards so older homes tend to be closest to downtown and newer homes on the outskirts. Calgary real estate and the MLS system is organized based on 8 zones (City Centre, East, North, North East, North West, South, South East and West) and further divided into neighbourhoods. Many neighbourhoods have their own community associations with local programs, services and events.
Calgary is an affordable city compared to other metropolitan options but budget will determine your home options. I would be happy to help you figure out the best options within your budget.
3. Buy vs Rent
Rental properties are mostly managed directly by owners and property management companies in Calgary. It is still rare for a Realtor to assist with a rental. Local rentals can be found on numerous websites including RentFaster.ca. To purchase a property I would highly suggest choosing a Realtor to assist you.
The summer weather in Calgary is awesome. It is warm and sunny most of the time allowing everyone to enjoy everything the outdoors has to offer. Calgary is also a winter city. Yes, we have to talk about that. If you are unaccustomed to colder weather than it may be worth looking for a home with underground parking for condos, a gargage or maybe even easy access to the City +15 system. The +15 allows folks to wander around most of downtown without ever going outdoors. You won't even notice it is cold outside. Or just wait for a chinook and the temperatures will shift back up in just a day.
When I first looked into the school system as my own children grew up I was totally overwhelmed. When I grew up there was one school and we all went there. It was rather easy. Calgary has many options so there is this plethora of choice. Sometimes choice is good. The two main systems are the Calgary School Board of Education (CBE) and the Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD). Within each of these there are numerous alternative programs. Calgary also offers numerous Charter Schools and Private School Options. Capacity issues are an issue in some areas so if your plans centre around schools, do this research first. Calgary's Child Magazine is a good starting resource for all things kids related in the city.
In terms of higher education, The University of Calgary, Mount Royal University, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) and the Alberta College of Art and Design all offer amazing opportunities in Calgary.
Depending on your mode of transportation, Calgary has a way to get you there.
Car - The transporation network is strong in Calgary especially with the ongoing work to complete the Ring Road. Whether to the city of the mountains, the city infrastructive continues to grow.
LRT/Transit - The City of Calgary C-Train services much of the city with more expansion plans underway. A robust transit system is available to get you to your destination.
Bike/Walking - The pathway system around Calgary is quite impressive. You may be surprised to see folks biking even in the middle of winter.
We love our pets. And our dogs. The number of off-leash dog areas has grown over the years. There is the official list and also folks wander (on-leash) through the vast kilometers of pathway around the city. (Note: many apartments in Calgary have pet restrictions so check out details if you have a larger pup like I do.) I'm happily owned my two pups myself so I am totally with you in finding a home that works for you and your pets.
Calgary is a young and vibrant city with entertainment options across the map from family fun to evening entertainment or a sports night out. Calgary is also an outdoor city with a strong sports component partially as a legacy of the Olympic Games. There is never of shortage of something to do and whether you enjoy watching the Flames, checking out Stampede, figuring out Beakerheads or finding a great new restaurant to try. Have a peek at Avenue Magazine to get some ideas.
If you ski, hike, bike, golf, play soccer, hockey, lacrosse, run, skate, swim or anything in between, you will find it here. With a tradition of winter sport you may find some famous sports names at our local venues. Check out the half pipe at COP on the right day and you are in for a surprise.
Calgary is a young city but a rich tradition and sometimes folks just see the Stampede pictures and think we are rather cowboy like. We are, during Stampede that is. :) Calgary is a city built by hard-working, positive-minded entrepreneurs. It's a place where there is a 'White Hat' tradition, friendly people and a general spirit of community spirit. There are also a large number of highly educated folks here, creative, hard-working, educated folks. And from all over the world. It makes for fun dinner conversation so get out there and meet some great people.
So you made a great choice. Let's find you a new home.