How to Buy Your First Condo in Calgary

Posted by Jared Chamberlain

How_to_Buy_Your_First_Condo_in_CalgaryWe invited a fantastic, young couple to talk about their recent condo purchase. This couple shared how they did it, why they did it and much more.

Zendalee works at a school, and Davey is a freelance photographer & videographer. They have been married for two years now.

Their perception of real estate people is from the movies. They think agents are just out to make a dollar and get crazy commissions.

Education is Key

Before the purchase of their condo, the couple had some fears. Primarily, they were unsure about what they were looking for.

They don’t know a lot of real estate terminology, which gave them the feeling of not being educated enough to make the right decision.

Their mindset shifted when Zendalee attended a class for first time home buyers hosted by Chamberlain Real Estate Group.

She enjoyed it because she met real estate people who don’t seem too pushy about sales. They didn’t bug her about buying anything. She felt like these people genuinely want to educate her and help her in making the right decision.

Working on a Budget

The pandemic helped clear up their priorities. It made them rethink how secure their jobs were. It made them think twice about how much money they are willing to spend. Buying a house is one of the largest decisions in life; they have to make it right.

They were looking for a traditional starter family home in the inner city with a backyard. And their maximum budget was $500,000.

While looking around, they found houses in good locations within their budget but seemingly unlivable until it gets an overhaul.

They also found great homes with everything they want, but they are just way out of budget. In the end, money scared them off from buying a house.

The couple had plenty of conversations with us while working with Chad, their mortgage broker. They also talked to their family about money. They understood the interest rates tied to the house purchase and were shocked to see how high the payments could be.

They figured out that they could afford a condo much more easily. Now, Zendalee & Davey have been in their condo for a few weeks, and they are very grateful for it.

Davey's deterrent from the beginning of buying a house was doing all the snow shovelling and mowing the lawn, which he hates. Now, all they have to do is pay a condo board to do that for them.

Looking at All Angles

Throughout the process, the biggest thing was patience. Simmi, their realtor, didn’t pressure them into making rushed decisions. She was very patient.

She understands whenever the couple changed their minds or didn't want to make an offer after viewing a house a couple of times. Simmi was very keen on processing them in thinking if the homes have the criteria they are looking for. It helped that she kept reminding them of what they thought was important.

Looking at different properties brought so much clarity to them. It felt like they were getting closer and closer to their home.

They appreciated how Simmi has been very critical of the properties they went to. She pointed out concerns like the smell of smoke throughout the house, the caving roof and every other tiny detail.

Buying a house can be a very emotional process; buyers fall in love with a place at a glance. Having an agent who helps you look at the negative stuff without any personal bias can help you decide rationally.

Zendalee was the emotional one; she cried a few times as she figures out their lives in the properties they checked. But Davey was more concerned about the money involved. It was the right balance when their realtor came to play as she doesn't care if they buy the house or not. She just wants them to make the right choice.

Simmi made herself very available even on evenings and weekends. She communicated with her clients well. Often, she went above and beyond in helping with stuff like inquiring about a condo board or parking situation. She looks into that and gets back to them promptly.

Financing the Purchase

The first piece of advice that Zendalee has for those who are thinking of buying a new property is to get a pre-approved mortgage and get your financing in order. If you don't know what you can afford, there's no point looking.

In their experience, they didn't know what they were pre-approved for, which made the process a little bit more frustrating. As a freelancer, it's a little bit tough to get the numbers in for Davey.

When they got married, they decided to live off of one income. They live with Zendalees salary because they knew exactly how much money would be coming in every month. They planned their monthly expenses around that. Then save all of Davey's compensation for two years.

They also made some sacrifices. They lived in not the best apartment to save an additional couple hundred bucks a month.

They cut their spending in areas that weren't valuable to them. They listed out their priorities and made sure that every dollar they spend is in line with it.

On top of that, they also did their best to fund their Tax-Free Savings Accounts and larger high-income savings so that money works for them.

Their savings allowed them to give a significant down payment for the condo.

The money will flow where your intention is, and if you intend to save, then it'll work.

Zendalee & Davey felt very valued as they worked with the Chamberlain Group. They appreciated all of the education they received and learned many terms they didn’t know before.

They also appreciated all the resources the team offered to help them in the process. They highly recommend Simmi as she has proven to be an expert realtor. She provided them with house listings and answered all their questions at a moment's notice.

When they were touring houses, she knew what to look for and was very knowledgeable about the neighbourhoods.

If you also need help in figuring out your next real estate move, we are here to help you. Please send us an email at

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