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  #1  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2014, 8:27 PM
PVG-YYC PVG-YYC is offline
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Evanston VS The Hills

Just want more information and opinion comparing Evanston with Conventry and Harvest Hills.

I am recently looking into purchasing a single family house in the NW.

What do you guys think of these neighborhoods?
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  #2  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2014, 8:49 PM
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Originally Posted by PVG-YYC View Post
Just want more information and opinion comparing Evanston with Conventry and Harvest Hills.

I am recently looking into purchasing a single family house in the NW.

What do you guys think of these neighborhoods?
Main points from my perspective:
- Age: Evanston is newer
- Public Transit: Coverntry and HH are along the 301 BRT and by North Pointe terminus, whereas Evanston is serviced poorly (and it will remain serviced by only feeder buses)
- Recreation: Coventry and HH have or are very close to Cardel Place, golf courses, movie theatres, etc.
- Food: Coventry and HH have or are close to way more food options than Evanston
- Shopping: Coventry and HH have or are close to food stores including superstore, T&T, several smaller multi-cultural stores, sobey's, save-on-foods, canadian tire, home depot, future shop, michael's, marks, and on and on
- Schools: Coventry and HH have way more schools in general
- Other services: Coventry and HH have or are close to numerous banks, registry, etc.
- Evanston and Coventry have great access to Stoney Trail, but Harvest Hills and Coventry have great access to Deerfoot
- Depending on where in Coventry or HH you're looking at, train noise could be an issue (I'd stay away from the East edges
- South edge of HH could have some airport noise, but in all honesty, it is much less a concern than the train, so stay away from East edge before staying away from south edge of HH.

Some portions of Panorama can compare to the higher end the areas you mentioned, but Panorama can also go much more expensive also. There is new building still going on in the north edge of panorama, which is walking distance to the gates of panorama (save-on, etc.).

Personally, I always look at transit and services, so while I'm a suburban SFH type, I actually consider aspects that many urbanites also consider important. I can't imaging being in Evanston because of transit, but perhaps that is not a concern for your context.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2014, 8:52 PM
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Run for the Hills! lol
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  #4  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2014, 10:15 PM
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If you're gonna live in the NW, and transit is even remotely a concern, move to one of the communities near the LRT line. It's a night and day experience vs busing.

Beyond that, those 3 communities are basically clones of every other suburban community in Calgary. Evanston is newer, which has a certain attraction for some, but it also has shit for access. Residents have done nothing but complain about the roads for years. Them and Kincora.
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Old Posted Jun 18, 2014, 10:31 PM
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If the housing market were in poor shape, there would be a good payoff in Evanston for short term pain for long term gain. With today's hot housing market about the only thing going for Evanston is that you get to build your own house.

Coventry Hills is mostly built out within the past 7-4 years. Biggest problem is that its solidily in the NE. In poor housing market there is a minor price hit (about 20-40k) for being attached to the NE moniker. In a hot housing market the price differential gets removed cause demand far exceeds supply.

Harvest Hills is the oldest neighbourhood of the three. Its coming into its own as a community and most of the SFH supports (schools, retail, etc) have matured.

I guess the biggest question for the OP is are they looking to rent, buy, or build their home?
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  #6  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2014, 10:36 PM
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They said purchase a SFH, so I assume they're looking at an already built home.
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  #7  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2014, 12:02 AM
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I have a co-worker who just moved from Banff Trail to Evanston. She tried the bus options, but it took far to long to get downtown. So now her husband drives her to Brentwood station and she takes the train the rest of the way. She's admitted that they didn't think that one fully through. Just a warning, if you work downtown.

My uncle-in-law are in Harvest hills, moved from Country Hills. They prefer it, except airplane noise is worse. I'd recommend spending some time in the communities and see what you think. Do the commute a few times. If you plan on staying long term, I think its worth the time to experience it before you buy. Keep in mind the commutes are only going to get worse, especially in Evanston, as more people move there.
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  #8  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2014, 1:03 AM
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My wife and I looked at both Harvest Hills and Coventry when we bought back in 2009 and ended up in harvest hills. Our house backs out onto 96th ave (harvest rose circle).

So far its been an interesting but good ride. In the years we have lived here our property taxes have remained within the 150-175 range per month which is quite good. Our lowest city assessment has not been lower then what we paid which is also good. The house is at the point where it needs some renovation but not huge and other then one minor plumbing issue has been very solid. The previous owners did some half assed renovations but I don't hold the house quality accountable for a shitty laminate floor installation. In contrast my friend who bought a house in Coventry 6 months before I did has had to replace his garburator, kitchen faucet, dishwasher, fridge, had his chimney blow off in a wind storm and had his siding melted because his neighbors house lit on fire 3 doors down from an electrical fault.

Harvest hills also has wider spaces between the houses so you aren't as close to your neighbors. The airport noise is not very bad at all and honestly we don't even notice it is there now. We also have a view of downtown from our backyard and as it is a flythrough space there is a height limit on what can be developed. Access to deerfoot is fantastic now that 96 is complete and stoney is just as easy. An added bonus is that the North/South LRT will have a few stops around us, one on 96th ave and harvest hills blvd and one in the future aurora business park.

My neighbors have been really great to deal with as well, very helpful and friendly. Overall we have been very happy with harvest hills. Its been a great community so far.
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  #9  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2014, 4:11 AM
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I'm under the impression that aircraft noise will be significantly reduced (but not completely gone) over the Beddington Trail corridor once the new runway is in operation.

I lived in Evanston pre-Stoney in 07/08. It didn't fit my lifestyle at all.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2014, 5:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Cage View Post
Coventry Hills is mostly built out within the past 7-4 years. Biggest problem is that its solidily in the NE. In poor housing market there is a minor price hit (about 20-40k) for being attached to the NE moniker. In a hot housing market the price differential gets removed cause demand far exceeds supply.

Harvest Hills is the oldest neighbourhood of the three. Its coming into its own as a community and most of the SFH supports (schools, retail, etc) have matured.
Coventry is absolutely as old as Harvest Hills. In fact, Coventry may have even been first. Housing definitely started there by 1992. For a while I lived in a place there built in 1993.

Regarding someone's comment about living by an LRT, obviously that is better, but that wasn't one of the choices. That's like someone asking about Calgary and the person responding saying central Manhattan is better. Evanston is the clear looser when it comes to public transit between the three. 301 BRT is not LRT, but is extremely good as busing goes.
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Old Posted Jun 19, 2014, 5:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Ominus View Post
My wife and I looked at both Harvest Hills and Coventry when we bought back in 2009 and ended up in harvest hills. Our house backs out onto 96th ave (harvest rose circle).

So far its been an interesting but good ride. In the years we have lived here our property taxes have remained within the 150-175 range per month which is quite good. Our lowest city assessment has not been lower then what we paid which is also good. The house is at the point where it needs some renovation but not huge and other then one minor plumbing issue has been very solid. The previous owners did some half assed renovations but I don't hold the house quality accountable for a shitty laminate floor installation. In contrast my friend who bought a house in Coventry 6 months before I did has had to replace his garburator, kitchen faucet, dishwasher, fridge, had his chimney blow off in a wind storm and had his siding melted because his neighbors house lit on fire 3 doors down from an electrical fault.

Harvest hills also has wider spaces between the houses so you aren't as close to your neighbors. The airport noise is not very bad at all and honestly we don't even notice it is there now. We also have a view of downtown from our backyard and as it is a flythrough space there is a height limit on what can be developed. Access to deerfoot is fantastic now that 96 is complete and stoney is just as easy. An added bonus is that the North/South LRT will have a few stops around us, one on 96th ave and harvest hills blvd and one in the future aurora business park.

My neighbors have been really great to deal with as well, very helpful and friendly. Overall we have been very happy with harvest hills. Its been a great community so far.
Harvest Hills has potential upside as Aurora Business Park gets built also. I've also lived in this area, and did quite well there.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2014, 5:03 AM
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I have a co-worker who just moved from Banff Trail to Evanston. She tried the bus options, but it took far to long to get downtown. So now her husband drives her to Brentwood station and she takes the train the rest of the way. She's admitted that they didn't think that one fully through. Just a warning, if you work downtown.

My uncle-in-law are in Harvest hills, moved from Country Hills. They prefer it, except airplane noise is worse. I'd recommend spending some time in the communities and see what you think. Do the commute a few times. If you plan on staying long term, I think its worth the time to experience it before you buy. Keep in mind the commutes are only going to get worse, especially in Evanston, as more people move there.
Moving to Evanston and then using transit from there is just stupid.
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  #13  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2014, 2:12 PM
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Moving to Evanston and then using transit from there is just stupid.
Like I said... they didn't thin that one through. It seamed to be a very quick decision, I think their were external pressure to get in a house NOW! I'm sure someone told them if they didn't buy soon, they'd never afford a house and they may have been steered that direction. They haven't been in Calgary long.
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Old Posted Jun 19, 2014, 2:49 PM
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If you plan on staying long term, I think its worth the time to experience it before you buy. Keep in mind the commutes are only going to get worse, especially in Evanston, as more people move there.
It's shocking how many people don't factor this in. Calgary is definitely going to get worse, on average, when it comes to commute times. It's just a by-product of our success.

Fortunately while the LRT is getting busier, it isn't really getting any slower. A key distinction. If anything, it's faster than it was 10 years ago (more frequent trains).
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Old Posted Jun 19, 2014, 2:50 PM
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Regarding someone's comment about living by an LRT, obviously that is better, but that wasn't one of the choices. That's like someone asking about Calgary and the person responding saying central Manhattan is better.
No, that's like someone asking about NW Calgary and the person responding by saying "hey, NW Calgary has a few more options available". Believe it or not, it's actually possible that this person is new to Calgary and doesn't know the city well, and it's not even occurred to them to take factors like the LRT into consideration. And hell, I've even met Calgarians who don't even think about this sort of stuff until it's mentioned. I don't see why it "wasn't one of the choices", it's not like there's a city by-law forbidding this person from living near the LRT. Perhaps they don't care at all, or perhaps they've never considered it.

Stop being an ass with ridiculous hyperbole about everything. And I'd really rather not see your retort to this be the typical "oh well then you might as well suggest they move to Okotoks by that logic!".

Manhattan, seriously? You honestly don't see a difference between a neighbourhood a few km over, and a city a couple of thousand km away?
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Old Posted Jun 19, 2014, 3:58 PM
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Thanks for all the input.

I lived in Panorama/Coventry for two years now and been in the city since 2007.
I spoke to couple people about the area:

1. co-worker that lives there in a town house. He wants to move out because of the commute and lack of garage space.
2. My real-state agent told me that City just revealed a development plan for Evanston and Sage Hill area not too long ago at Cardel, it is going to be the next Panorama/Harvest/Coventry hills.
3. Someone else in the real-state industry that has no conflict of interest said the same thing, once the area become developed, the value is going to be up.
4. someone lives in sage hill, they said the commute to DT is about 45 mins to an hour. Driving to Crowfoot and take the train. I am taking 116 and sometimes 301 to work, it is around the same amount of time.
5. A friend moving from Coventry to Evanston. This person's family business works closely with the builders in the past few decades and they also suggest Evanston due to its future development.

I did some research on my own and have made my mind. I just have to endure the commute for a while. I can go live there for a year, if I really hate the commute I can always rent the place out and move somewhere closer.
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Old Posted Jun 19, 2014, 4:11 PM
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From a development perspective, what you've heard is absolutely correct. Evanston and Sage Hill (and the immediate surroundings) are basically "it" in terms of NW expansion, at least for a few decades. So they're going to grow massively. If you're looking for a place to build, they're where it's at. I don't agree with the "value is going up" statements - Calgary rarely sees this in practice. Most property here increases in value in lockstep with any other similar neighbourhood. There's no reason to think your dollars are better spent in Evanston/Sage Hill than they are in any other NW community. I speak from experience - I went from "middle of nowhere" to "tons of services, 2 freeways, and LRT" and our house value has increased exactly the same as any other community, both those that were already well developed and those that are still mostly undeveloped. Calgarians simply don't put a premium on nearby schools and shops, if you're gonna drive 5 minutes anyway (let's face it, most suburbs are like this), 10 minutes isn't really any further. Maybe that'll change in 20 years, but at the moment...

If you ARE talking about DT commutes... just out of curiosity, why on earth would you look at places so far from the LRT, when the NW has many neighbourhoods so much closer? Is there a benefit in being more north-central than NW? Or are you anticipating the NCLRT alleviating things? I find it a bit bizarre to contemplate moving to Sage Hill and driving to Crowfoot every day, when there are houses so much closer - unless a person is set on building, of course. I understand that - building a new home was a hell of a lot of fun.
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Old Posted Jun 19, 2014, 7:15 PM
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I have a condo being built in Core at the moment, but won't be done till 2016. Tired of paying rent for another year and half, that's 20k paying someone else's mortgage. Purchase a suburb place for now, once condo is built, then I can decide where to live and rent out the other. I am not in it for the re-selling, but for a long term investment.

I am also very specific on what I want with the house, kitchen, cabinets, layout etc...

I debated between Coventry and Evanston for a while, Coventry is actually perfect for me at the moment, but in a long run I have better feeling for Evanston.


My budget is already at max, with it, purchasing in inner city means I will have a really old house and no money to renovate or even fix. Evanston's commute will suffer for a year or two, but it will improve.


Makes sense now?
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Old Posted Jun 20, 2014, 3:28 AM
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Originally Posted by PVG-YYC View Post
I have a condo being built in Core at the moment, but won't be done till 2016. Tired of paying rent for another year and half, that's 20k paying someone else's mortgage. Purchase a suburb place for now, once condo is built, then I can decide where to live and rent out the other. I am not in it for the re-selling, but for a long term investment.

I am also very specific on what I want with the house, kitchen, cabinets, layout etc...

I debated between Coventry and Evanston for a while, Coventry is actually perfect for me at the moment, but in a long run I have better feeling for Evanston.

My budget is already at max, with it, purchasing in inner city means I will have a really old house and no money to renovate or even fix. Evanston's commute will suffer for a year or two, but it will improve.

Makes sense now?
When your condo downtown is done, Evanston will still suck. If you're buying for the longer term and there is more development, it could get okay.

301 BRT to downtown is generally 25 minutes from North Pointe, so you must be in areas far from the transit corridor and taking a commuter if you're saying it takes you 45-60 minutes.
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Old Posted Jun 20, 2014, 1:48 PM
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Originally Posted by PVG-YYC View Post
I have a condo being built in Core at the moment, but won't be done till 2016. Tired of paying rent for another year and half, that's 20k paying someone else's mortgage. Purchase a suburb place for now, once condo is built, then I can decide where to live and rent out the other. I am not in it for the re-selling, but for a long term investment.

I am also very specific on what I want with the house, kitchen, cabinets, layout etc...

I debated between Coventry and Evanston for a while, Coventry is actually perfect for me at the moment, but in a long run I have better feeling for Evanston.


My budget is already at max, with it, purchasing in inner city means I will have a really old house and no money to renovate or even fix. Evanston's commute will suffer for a year or two, but it will improve.


Makes sense now?
Thanks. I always find it interesting to hear people's stories. A few general questions lead to general advice - but I find the details much more enlightening. This also gives me a very different view on what I'd suggest.

Presuming you're into the longer term investment/rental option, then Evanston is an interesting choice. It'll be a good idea in one sense - there won't be a lot of rental competition for you, at least not compared to Coventry/Harvest. And there's ALWAYS someone wanting to rent in even the newest, most inaccessible location. So I think there's a lot of merit in doing this. And hey, if in 2 years you decide to not live/work downtown... there are worse areas to live in for sure. Other than the DT commute I can't really think of a negative to the area - Stoney gives great transportation access.

And buying new, I completely understand. You can control your finances a lot better, especially in those first few years. And as you said, you have control over so many little details that otherwise require compromise. I absolutely loved being able to pick everything to be the way I wanted, instead of spending the next 5 years making the house my own.
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