It’s a buyers’ market for new condos in northwest Calgary and customers need to pay careful consideration to what they’re paying for. As they say, sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know.

For example, buyers have 10 days to reconsider their purchase after they’ve signed an agreement and paid a deposit. Which is a good thing, especially for a young professional buying their first home or a seasoned single-family homeowner who is now downsizing.

But, when the 10 days are over and the buyer can no longer back out, they might get trapped into paying more for features they thought were included, says Kevin Taylor, general manager of Shane Homes’ Multi-Family division, builders of Mark 101 in Sage Hill.

“After they’ve committed to a new condo, a buyer might meet with an interior designer who will ask them questions like, do you want to mount a TV on the wall? If you do, the backing will cost $95. Do you want upper cabinets in the kitchen? That’s another $1,700. Who sells a condo without upper cabinets?” he asks rhetorically.

“Before you know it, you’ve spent $20,000 in upgrades. That’s not how Shane Homes does business.”

Taylor explains that knowledgeable sales staff at Shane Homes will take condo buyers through the entire process, including the fine print. That includes a thorough explanation of the features that buyers won’t have to pay extra for.

Shane has created a 19-point comparative checklist so that consumers can educate themselves as to what other builders are offering and what they’re offering at Mark 101.

“A pantry is included. A storage locker is included. Towel rods. Two-inch blinds, including the blinds on your patio door. It might sound funny, but some builders don’t include these as standard,” Taylor says.

Shane has taken four decades of experience and buyer feedback to create value for their customers. That’s why one of the most important standard features of the Mark 101 is the enhanced security, with high-definition cameras on every floor and in the parkade.

“All doors are locked. The only way you can access the floors from the stairwell is with fob or key access. You need a fob to access the elevator as well. Security is not an upgrade — it’s our highest priority,” he says.

Natural light is important in smaller spaces, so units in Mark 101 have nine-foot ceilings and six-foot tall windows. The luxury vinyl flooring has an acoustic sound mat underneath. Every window is a casement-style window and not a slider. Every kitchen has double USB plugs, water lines to the fridge and two sets of deeper drawers for pots and pans. The cabinets are lacquered maple, not foil wrapped. Shane uses high-quality paint that will not fade or discolour quickly.

The builder also has a down-payment savings plan where a buyer can make instalments over six months, with no hidden fees or service charges.

“The one-bedroom one-bathroom model starts at $187,000, with one-bedroom plus den and two-bedroom models available. They’re ready for occupancy right now,” Taylor explains. “Plus, our condos have lots of cupboard and counter space similar to what you’d find in a single-family home. That’s what people love about our condos.”

Building 1 in Mark 101 is sold out and there are 24 units available immediately in Building 2, with no condo fees for the first year. Customers who register through the website and follow through with a purchase will get $6,000 off the purchase price.

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Shane Homes.