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Finally ready to shop for the perfect Canmore condo? Here's what you need to know:

So you're ready to start the hunt for the perfect mountain getaway? Great! Canmore is a truly unique and special place. What used to be a somewhat unknown small town off to the side of the Trans-Canada is now a hugely popular travel destination. There is so much to do in Canmore and the surrounding areas. From sight-seeing and shopping to spas, galleries, restaurants, hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, fishing and so much more. Purchasing a property in this picturesque town is high on the wish-list of many buyers from all corners of the country and beyond.

IS BUYING A CONDO IN CANMORE ANY DIFFERENT THAN BUYING A CONDO ELSEWHERE IN CANADA?

The short answer is: Yes. There are several differences to familiarize yourself with that will help you understand the condo listings you see online and help steer you in the right direction.

The first type of property to familiarize yourself are Fractional Condos which, are a unique opportunity to own a portion of a condo and access the unit on specified dates of the year. Options range anywhere from 1/12th ownership that gives owners 4 weeks' use per year, up to 1/4 ownership giving owners 1 week to use the property per month. Owners can also own multiple fractions in any number of combinations. In most complexes owners commit to a set schedule to use the property while one in particular, Sunset Resorts, offers owners the flexibility to pick and choose some of the weeks when they can stay. Fractional condos differ from timeshares in that you are purchasing an actual fraction of the condo unit, often with its own accompanying title, as opposed to buying time at a resort. These properties fluctuate in value just like a full-ownership condo and are seen as a great way to secure a piece of Canmore real estate without the big commitment. As an added bonus, if you chose not to utilize your time in the condo you have the option to earn income by renting it out on a nightly basis to help offset the costs of ownership. The first sign that should tip you off you are looking at a fractional condo is the list price. Most of these condos are going to be priced $200,000 and lower and there are no full-ownership opportunities for that price at the time this was written.

Another type of condo listing you may come across in your search are Employee Zoned condos. These properties are reserved for persons who work a minimum of 20 hours per week in the Bow Valley. These properties are intended to be an affordable housing option for people who need to live in Canmore because of their employment. There are these types of condo complexes located on Kananaskis Way and there may be others in different areas of town as well.

If you intend to use your Canmore Condo for nightly rentals using sites like AirBnb and VRBO you may be surprised to learn that you can not simply use any property in town for such purposes. Or maybe not, since it is becoming more common for cities and towns to regulate which properties can and can not be rented nightly. The Town of Canmore uses zoning classifications to determine which properties are eligible for nightly rentals. Properties zoned as Vacation or Tourist Use are permit nightly rentals while condos and other property types that have residential zoning do not. Many of the Tourist Use of Vacation Zoned properties are located in a hotel-style complex, but not all. The zoning type is not always easily discernable in the listing although it may be indicated in the listing writeup. Some hotel-condo complexes will have an on-site rental pool program that owners can chose to participate in. The benefit being the convenience and peace of mind knowing that you have someone on hand at the front desk to look after your guests as well as maintenance and cleaning, etc. Other owners may choose to manage the nightly rentals themselves or enlist the services of a third party property management company to take care of it. We can provide you with the necessary referrals to get you started operating your own business, or help find the right property manager for you.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Canmore is a popular destination and many other buyers are also on the hunt for that perfect place. In my experience, some prospective buyers watch the market for a long time while they wait for their life circumstances to align. The point is that there is a chance you may be competing with another buyer for the same property so having your financing, if required, in place is a good place to start.   A Realtor who has expertise in the Canmore market can help you navigate all of these factors and may be your best asset in your search. Please feel free to contact me when you are ready to get started on your journey! contact the team at Canmore.net online or call (587) 579-9500

Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
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