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The Cream of the Crop: Luxury's Calgary Market

Posted by Rachel R. Vanderveen on Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 at 2:14pm.

Calgary’s luxury real estate market has had a rich history that dates back more than 100 years. Everyone knows that the perfect piece of real estate will have something to do with water either because of proximity, view, or access. So it makes sense that Calgary’s oldest luxury real estate shoppers took up residence near Elbow River, which offers easy access to downtown and sprawling estate-sized lots and homes. These homes are still some of the most coveted in Calgary’s real estate market.

Infills and new construction are popping up everywhere in the Beltline area. Places such as Bankview, Altadore and Cliff Bungalow have all been experiencing revitalization in recent years and have many luxury options to choose from. Key in their appeal is, again, downtown accessibility, as well as all the latest innovations in home-building and décor.

Calgary Luxury HomesHaving run out of space to sell near the core, Calgary’s developers got wise and began to build lake communities all over the city. This gives residents access to a body of water or hilltop views and estate-sized lots and homes, just like those in luxurious inner-city enclaves. The outer estate communities, however, also benefit from brand new construction, features and finishings.

Oftentimes, in lake communities, homeowners will have their own private dock in their backyard where they can fish and park a paddle boat or canoe. Homes backing onto a lake start around the one million dollar mark, and go up from there depending on lot, location, and degree of luxury afforded by the home itself. In my opinion (and you must know I always have one of those) these are the most desirable luxury homes in all of Calgary because they blend home and vacation.

It’s sort of like living in your vacation cottage year-round. Summers are spent taking in gorgeous views of sunshine on the lake, fishing off the dock, paddle boat rides, swimming at sun-up, and sun-tanning on the dock. Winter time affords ice fishing, skating, hockey, and some lakes even have a lovely Christmas display on the island at the centre of the lake.

All of these things can be enjoyed only steps from your back door. For me, that sense of living life while on vacation has an incalculable appeal, but the trade-off is proximity to downtown. For the same price, one can often get a trendy luxury home close to the core, and for some of Calgary’s commuters, that is a draw that a lake can’t beat.

Another oft-used term in the lake-home market is lake access. This means that one’s backyard has a gate that leads to a pathway ending at the lake. The end of the pathway usually has a dock which is shared by the residents who are on that specific path, and can often be large enough for all residents to park their boats and fish from.

The number of homes sharing a pathway on lake access can range from very few in Lake Bonavista Estates, to very many in Auburn Bay and Mahogany. The closer the house is to the dock, the more valuable the real estate. Homes with first lake access can often be priced very close to homes which actually have a private backing onto the dock. Homes at the end of the lake access path are often valued closer to homes in the estate section which do not have direct lake access at all. However, values can differ widely from community to community. I grew up in such a home, and I loved it!

Whether you’re looking for a starter luxury estate, or the finest Calgary has to offer, the first question you’ll have to ask yourself is “What kind of lifestyle do I want to lead?”. Do you want to be close to the conveniences and excitement of the downtown core, or do you gravitate toward the slower peaceful life of the suburbs? Either way, you’re sure to find a piece of luxury Calgary real estate that will impress you for years to come!

Rachel Vanderveen

The Vanderveen Team
Maxwell South Star Realty
Phone: 403.253.5678 Fax: 403.592.6736

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