Banff Real Estate
Banff real estate is attractive for many obvious reasons: it is a town in a protected national park in the Canadian Rockies with year round skiing, hiking, and other recreational opportunities and is less than an hour and a half from an international airport. In fact, if you visit Banff and don't feel the itch to own a place there, we suggest that there might be something wrong with you!
However, because the Town of Banff is located in a national park, its population is restricted to no more than 10,000 people. In addition, all residents must meet the Canadian federal "need to reside" requirement, which essentially means that they have to be employed or own a business in the Town or in the rest of Banff National Park. If you are really serious about owning in Banff, make sure you get in touch with a local realtor and a local lawyer so that they can guide you through the process.
Another deterrent to prospective owners of Banff real estate is the fact that all property is leased from the Federal Government. There is no full title ownership (known in Canada as "fee simple title") in Banff and, to some extent, those purchasing (really leasing) property in Banff are subject to changes in the rules and regulations surrounding the leasing of such lands.
THE CANMORE OPTION
Don't be disheartened by the above, however, as the Town of Canmore is only 20 minutes away down the Bow Valley (if you came to Banff from Calgary, you drove past it right before you hit the Banff National Park gates) and does not have the Banff restrictions on ownership or on population. Canmore is not located in the National Park and accordingly fee simple ownership of properties is the norm. Canmore has many more residential areas available which include houses, townhouses, and condos that you can purchase as a first or second property. Canmore is located an easy one hour's drive from Calgary and is a popular choice among Calgarians wishing to have a mountain retreat.
If you are touring Main Street in Canmore, make sure to check out the numerous store front realty agencies that have postings on the windows of the current listings in Canmore. If you just can't wait, surf to mls.ca and take a look for yourself.
A typical backyard view in Canmore. Trees, mountains, nature ... Who could ask for anything more?
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