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Good Idea or Not? The Debate Continues about Ground Floor Condo Apartments...

If you're considering buying a condominium apartment, you’ll have a pretty wide variety to choose from in Calgary these days. Some view the top floor units as the best and therefore are willing to pay a small premium in price; with the middle and ground floors as somewhat less desirable. The debate about ground floor apartment condos is always pretty polarized. Either they are almost as highly desirable as the top floor or they are absolutely hated. There really doesn’t seem to be a view of “they’re the same as second or third floor apartments.


In the resale condominium market, they seem to be valued higher than second floor units, but less than third or fourth floor units. They do seem to take a little longer to sell because there are somewhat fewer people willing to consider them as a purchase option, I presume.


Some people love the fact that the ground floor condo apartments most often come with direct access to the outside and have a door that can be used as a second entry or exit. Other floors have the same door, but they only access a balcony and not a patio or the grassy areas of the condo. Some older buildings don’t even have balconies! And some builders are now trying to convince buyers that balconies aren’t needed at all since rarely do people use them! (You should probably read that as: They are expensive to build.)


Often, the ground floor condo apartment patio areas are fenced in and are twice the size of the balconies. Perhaps this is to help sell them when they are new! Now if you have a dog or puppy, the convenience of having your own direct entrance is really nice because you can bypass having to take your critter through the building when taking them out for a “walk.” It’s just less hassle. [Many buildings do not allow dogs, so ask your real estate agent about it prior to making a purchase decision, if that is a concern for you.]


Then, sometimes the construction of the unit is different too. In a wood-frame building, the upper floors usually have wooden floors and as a result baseboard heating. The ground floor apartments, because they are most often above the parking structure, often come with concrete floors. Nice solid (and quiet) concrete! It's great for installing hardwood flooring or ceramic tiles. It also allows the inclusion of in-floor heating in some buildings, which is a real bonus.


Of course there are some negatives, too. Some view the ground floor as somehow more prone to break-ins. I’m sure they are versus the upper floors, but consider this: Every single family home and townhouse has a ground floor and that doesn’t seem to deter people from buying them. In fact, I don’t even think it is a consideration.


The condo apartments that view the drive way or parking stalls or are near the front entrance, are the ones that the toughest to sell. Potential buyers are worried about privacy. And they don’t want to have headlights flashing into the windows. Okay, maybe that’s a valid point. But does that overcome the convenience of a second entrance and direct access to the green spaces?


While sitting on your ground floor patio you’ll likely get to know your neighbours quicker than sitting on your third floor balcony. It’s just so much more social!


Ground floor condominium apartments — are they a good idea for you or not?


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