Is it Costly to Live in Calgary?

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For the average Canadian, thinking of Calgary brings to mind cowboys on horseback and modern players playing hockey.  Although this rugged energy is a tradition that the city prides itself on, sitting at the oil capital of Canada: people are never really sure what to expect when they arrive.

Photo by Deane Bayas from Pexels

To many, Calgary sounds like a large city with a small-city energy.  They're not wrong!  Sprawled out flat across many lands, living in Calgary can feel a lot like vanishing into dozens of towns molded into one piece.

What does that mean about home price, though?

Here are the top things to consider when deciding if Calgary homes for sale are going to fit your budget.  

The Expanse of Land

It can feel like there’s endless land in Calgary.  Stopped only by the surrounding mountains and developers' wallets, the city seems to lose space quickly.  This is driving up the cost of homes, increasing the expense people have to pay on fuel, and leaving many fed up with city life.

The ample open space can also work against homeowners, especially if they live on the outskirts because the traffic and distance they have to travel to work or enjoy the city can add up to a lot of missed time.  For many, it's worth buying a condo instead.

The Types of Jobs Available

Because of Calgary's past, many may assume they'll have to find a hands-on job; it's not the case!  Most of Calgary's workforce makes between $50,000 and $500,000 a year, depending on the role and the company.  Calgary's central money-making functions are those involved in oil and those in the technology sector.  Although this city isn't known yet as a technological metropolis, it's gaining a more techy reputation by investing a lot in start-ups and smaller companies.

These jobs bring in more money than the average hourly job.

The Snowbirds

Although you may not think snowbirds (people who fly South for the winter) would affect much of the price in Calgary, it does!  Although many people slip south in the winter: there are even more who come up north during the summer for cooler weather and partying.

Calgary has a severe issue with landlords renting out entire apartment buildings on listing sites like Airbnb because it limits the living situations for those who spend every day of the year in the city.  This can boost up the prices of housing that is available and stops many people from being able to buy a home.

The average cost of a house in Calgary is 1.5x the price of a home in a larger city like Houston in the United States.  Although you can get a Houstonian home for $225,000 easily, in Calgary, similar homes sell for $350,000.

My Say

If you can balance out the cost with saving money in other parts of your life, buying a home in Calgary is a great idea!  That said, you’re almost guaranteed to gain money in the long term, as long as you can handle the upfront cost.

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