Calgary is one of the most affordable major cities in Canada when it comes to real estate. With the city having one of the highest overall average single incomes, historically lower unemployment rate, and general population growth,  its no surprise that Calgary is a highly sought after hot spot for single people looking to purchase a property.

Whether you're looking to buy a loft, condominium, townhome, or single family home with some backyard space, this city has it all, with many different and dynamic lifestyle opportunities. From living in the downtown core or in one of the many lake communities, to living in the West for quick escapes to the mountains, there's an enormous amount of options for single home buyers and in this article, we'll cover a few more additional factors to consider when deciding where you should live in Calgary.

First things first, on a single income, we recommend getting a pre-approval for your mortgage started, this is a great first step to getting your started and truly understanding and knowing what you can afford. 

In other major cities like Vancouver, Montreal, or Toronto, home ownership for singles is often seen as being often unattainable, without a partner to split or share the expenses, the weight of a mortgage, car payment, and other bills can quickly stack up. 

In this blog, we break down how to buy a home when you're single in Calgary,  important factors you should consider

Important factors to consider when buying a home when single

There are plenty of things to consider when you're single and on the mingle... For a new home. (Don't think for a second that we wont make another joke like that again) Below are a few important factors that you should consider as a single home purchaser. 

Resale - Why does resale matter when it comes to being single and buying a home? Simply put, resale value should always matter, even if it's your forever dream home, the fact is, plans change, people move, and situations evolve! It's important to truly understand the big picture of the resale value your home just in case you run into a situation where you need to resell the home. If you're at risk for a quick shift in your living / job situation, we highly recommend you discuss your resale value both in the long and short terms with your REALTOR® - Important factors to consider are 1 vs 2 bedroom setups, maybe you're set on a 1 bedroom home as it's "All I'll ever need" when the reality is a room mate could be an option, you could be forced to work from home and need an office space, there are many different situations and having a thorough understanding of a homes resale value will put you in the best position to have options. 

Rentability - Much like resale value, the ability to have a home that's highly rentable means you'll have options and opportunities. 

We work with many different Calgary Air BNB property investors who purchase picture perfect properties (say that four times fast) to attract and drive clientele seeking short term rental investments. We know that flexibility in life, typically comes with the territory of being single, having a highly rentable property means you have the opportunity to rent it while you travel and have it sustain most of its costs, all while giving you the ability to come back home, to your home! It's become more and more common for us to see single buyers purchase with long term real estate goals in mind vs addressing immediate needs.

Lifestyle  - This encompasses a few different factors but here's a quick breakdown of some lifestyle factors to consider when purchasing a home

  • Close to transit: How important is public transportation for you, do you need access to the LRT? 
  • Community features - How important are good restaurants, beach access, tennis courts, running paths, river runways, etc. Many communities in Calgary have something special to offer,  consider what's most important for you and let your REALTOR® know so they can help further refine the best communities for you. Try your best to think ahead, plan on getting a dog? Maybe an off leash dog park being nearby is important. As mentioned above, maybe getting out to the mountains is your biggest priority, or having a home with lake access is your biggest draw, this would include communities like Auburn Bay, Mahogany, Sundance, Midnapore, Lake Bonavista (The first lake community in Canada), Arbour Lake, Heritage Pointe, etc. 
  • Landscaping - Yay or nay? If you plan on buying a home are you prepared to take this on yourself? 
  • Renovating? What type of home is your best bet for return, and what are your limitations with condominiums? 
  • Commuting? Some communities like Woodlands and Woodbine are now have full access to the ring road, giving them far better access to the rest of the city and alleviating some of the traffic pressures. We recommend that you try to find a balance of close to work + features in a community that you want, we've worked with buyers who make their home purchase based on how close to their work it is, only to lose their job or be hired elsewhere leaving them feeling remorse in their choices. 
  • Your budget. While you may be approved for $550k, you might find a better balance not maxing out your purchase power and utilizing the extra cash for other events / savings / activities that enhance your life/lifestyle. 
  • Amenities / Shopping - Take into account your needs, especially day to day. For example, do you have a car? If not, a grocery store within walking distance probably becomes a high priority for you and your home buying needs. 
  • Security - An important factor for many, but especially for those living alone. Factor in crime rates, building / home security, and what makes you feel the most comfortable. 
  • Maintenance - Is this something you're prepared financially to take on, can you fix minor things in a home or would you require someone more handy to come and help you out? Many of our younger single home buyers rely and learn from family and friends, however, it's still a factor you should consider when deciding what type of home to purchase. 

Investment scenarios for single home buyers

Homes that are suited with legal basements priced under $500,000 (Scenario) 

$500,000 purchase price (25 year amortization) with a 2% interest rate. 

5% Down ($25,000) is roughly $2,000 per month. 

While we can't share specific properties and sold data publicly in the blog, we're going to sample a few investment property scenarios of homes that have sold in 2021 (YTD) that are similar to the scenario above. 

A home in Radisson Heights / Albert Park sold a few months ago just above the $500,000 mark, it was on an R-C2 lot, and was a duplex that featured 4 legal rental suites. With 5% down (roughly $25,000) a single home buyer could have an investment property on their hands that is a cash flow generator. Assuming each unit could rent for $850 on average, your home would generate $2,550 in monthly rental income, over one year that's $30,600 in total rental income with a total mortgage cost of $25,104 you'd net nearly $5,500 in excess rental income. Factoring in property taxes, utilities, and insurance, you'd likely end up getting close to breaking even in the year.

In a five year period, you would have $78,000 worth of principal paid off on your home, and would have saved around $44,000 in interest payments. On top of that, you'd have your unit / place to stay. A motivated owner could even consider renovating the properties while occupying them, generating sweat equity and higher rental/resale rates. 

At the end of five years, you would only owe $386,000 on the property. If you had accelerated your payments and put the money that you normally would have paid for rent/mortgage on top of your rental payments, lets say $1,250, you would only owe roughly $291,000 on the home after the five year mortgage term and would be on track to be mortgage free in 15 years. For someone single, this type of property offers an incredible amount of freedom and flexibility, with the home generating income, you could look to move to your next rental and have all four units rented out, paying down your mortgage and  building you a residual income cash flow for years to come. 

Additional costs of invesment home ownership

There are a few other factors to consider that will cost you money. Rental periods with no occupancy, damages, repairs, maintenance, fees associated with condominiums, market decreases, and your time, that could all effect your bottom line.

Additional savings of invesment Home Ownership

On the flip side, you should consider some of the additional benefits - Market increases in property value, saavy landlords could have tenants take over landscaping / outdoor maintenance, and of course the previously mentioned payment of your mortgage and many other costs. 

investment scenario for single home buyers (scenario 2)

While that scenario is ideal, it's definitely not typical for most investors, at the time of this article being published, there are presently 15 homes on the market with legal suites priced under $450,000 At the same interest rates previously, a home under this price point would have a mortgage of roughly $1,800 per month. Average rent for a fully finished suited basement with over 1,000 sq ft of living space should be $900 to $1,100 This means up to half or more of your mortgage payment, plus potential utilities could be covered for you every single month. Compare this with purchasing a $300,000 condominium, that would be $1,207 per month + Condominium fees which would typically range from $250 - $500+ meaning you could be potentially paying hundreds of dollars less per month to own a home vs a condominium even with a much higher price point. 

Bonus tip: Some of our young investor clients have purchased homes similar to this but also rent an upstairs bedroom to a friend / family member and can generate $500 to $750 on average in rent from them. This brings their potential rental income on the low end to $1,400 or to $1,800+ on the higher side, which again lands them in a position of having little to no mortgage obligations, with all the benefits of home ownership and equity growth.

Mortgage tips for single home buyers

Fixed vs Variable - Talk with your mortgage representative about which type of mortgage is best for you, fixed mortgages can have incredibly high fees for cancelling early and this should be taken into heavy consideration for single home buyers as they're more likely to see a quicker change in their situation than other home buyers. 

Co-borrower or guarantor -Adding someone to your mortgage can help alleviate some apprehension a lender may have with you as a home buyer if your overall application isn't strong. 

Government programs - With programs like the first time home buyers plan, you are able to withdraw a portion of your down payment from your RRSP contributions, your mortgage partner will be able to assist you with various programs and options to ensure your taking advantage of any programs that could benefit you. 

 Mortgage protection insurance - Discuss disability insurance and mortgage protection insurance options, while it may not be needed for everyone, it's important to educate yourself on your options and know what you may or may not require when getting a mortgage.

Calgary Market Snapshot 

Below we captured some of Calgary's census data that demonstrates a few key metrics for housing data that is seen throughout various communities - This data can help you understand the various price points seen in communities in Calgary.


Year Established

Number of Homes

Single Detached %


Median Income

Ave. Sale Price

Beddington Heights







Country Hills







Coventry Hills







Hidden Valley







Harvest Hills







Huntington Hills







West Springs



































Bonavista Downs



































Final thoughts for single men and women buying a home

While this may seem like a daunting experience for some, buying a home when you're single can be equally as rewarding, you've already taken the right steps by reading articles like this to educate yourself. Our only recommendations going forward as you begin the journey is that you align yourself with the right real estate team (obviously we have our bias there) and don't be afraid to involve mom and dad, friends, etc with your search, it'll help bring a different outside perspective and provide for others who know you to help you consider factors that you might overthink. 

Posted by Cody Tritter on
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