By JANET FERGUSON | The Globe and Mail Staff SAN TAN FALLS, Alta.
— If you’re thinking of buying a house here in Calgary, don’t count on a quick approval.
And if you’re the type of person who likes to do research, you may have to wait for a long time.
For a time, buyers had to make an application for a mortgage before they could move in.
Now, most of the applications are now processed by city hall.
But that doesn’t mean the process is easy.
A lot of the information is still not public, and the application process is still quite lengthy.
In some ways, it’s like trying to get a house loan from your parents, said Calgary-based real estate agent, Mark Lacey.
The process for homeowners in Calgary is so confusing that the process can be frustrating and time consuming, he said.
The most common questions you’re going to have is: Where are the utilities?
Is it on the ground floor?
Are there electrical boxes?
Are the windows boarded up?
Are they covered in graffiti?
Where is the kitchen?
Are you going to get rid of the carpet?
What are the water taps?
You’ll have to do some homework and make a lot of phone calls to get an answer.
If you have to ask someone for help, that can be a lot to ask, said Lacey, who has done real estate work in Calgary for more than 20 years.
And that is a good thing, he added.
There are lots of good information online, but it’s a lot harder to get the answers you need.
In many ways, Calgary is a new place for homebuyers.
Calgary is home to about 15,000 people.
About one-third of those live in the city.
In the downtown core, where the city’s population is about 65,000, home prices are around the average of $1 million.
The rest of the population in the downtown area is in the $800,000 range.
The city has a median household income of about $65,000.
Calgary’s average home price has been climbing steadily over the past five years.
In 2012, Calgary’s median home price was $1.26 million.
In 2016, the average price was a bit higher at $1,331,000 and it has remained that way since then.
Prices are expected to rise further in 2017, according to Zillow.
In Calgary, a typical house is valued at $3.8 million.
A typical house in the core has an average asking price of $4.2 million.
But if you want a bigger home, a smaller home can be more affordable.
The median price of a typical detached home in Calgary last year was $5.831 million, according the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.
But even a detached home can cost up to $3 million in Vancouver.
So when buying a home, it may make sense to go to the bigger city, where prices are a bit more affordable, said Paul Devereux, the president of Zillowing, an online real estate agency.
“Calgary is one of the most expensive markets for single-family homes in Canada,” he said in an interview.
Devereix said it’s not that Calgary doesn’t have great property values, but there are more people in Calgary than people in Vancouver, and it’s just a different market with different demographics.
There aren’t that many people who work in the real estate industry, he noted.
But the bigger picture is Calgary has a higher population than Vancouver, which is one reason for the high prices, DevereX said.
There is one exception to the price gap.
If people in the Calgary area need help finding a house, they can call the Calgary Real Estate Branch at 403-819-2777.
That branch is staffed 24 hours a day.
You can also call the realtor’s association, which operates out of the same building.
You’ll find a lot more help in Calgary when it comes to real estate.
In fact, if you get a phone call from a realtor, Deveux said you might want to do a little homework before you buy.
He recommends that you do some research before you walk into the realty office.
You might want some information about the area.
You want to know how much money people in that area have saved.
If there’s a certain area, like a neighbourhood, you might have to go there and look up the information.
You could also try to find out what the other properties are for sale.
“It’s important to find the realtors office and talk to them about it,” he advised.
Deveix said if you decide to buy the home, there are lots more things you can do to make sure it’s as good as possible.
For instance, you can make sure the home has adequate ventilation.
You should also make sure there’s plenty