The RV lifestyle has long been a lure for those looking to hit the open road while bringing a bit of home with them. In Edmonton, Canada, interest in that lifestyle, even in a slower economy, is still quite strong, according to the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) of Alberta, with the recent Edmonton RV Expo and Sale show drawing around 28,000 people.
“About 21% of households in Alberta own an RV, the highest proportion in Canada,” said Dan Merkowsky, executive vice president of the RVDA of Alberta.
But while buying an RV definitely has its pros, one con for those who want to pamper their new vehicle could be the question of where do you park it? If you’re an Edmonton homeowner you can only park your RV — if you’re parking on a city street between April 1 and Oct. 31 — immediately beside your residence and for no more than 72 consecutive hours. Further, RVs cannot be stored on city streets between November 1 and March 31. If you actively use your RV between Nov. 1 and March 31, the same 72-hour parking limit applies.
“I’ve worked with a couple of clients in recent years where it has been a bit of an issue when they have larger RVs,” said realtor Steve Sedgwick, with Royal LePage Noralta. “It’s challenging to find a property with room to park it within Edmonton’s city limits. Most of those people have been shopping for a property in the metro area, and what they find is there are a lot more acreage or rural options available, but they typically reject that option due to the maintenance obligations that come with a property of that style.”
That doesn’t mean you can’t find an Edmonton home that will work for RVs or have covered garages able to accommodate the larger vehicles, added Sedgwick, who was voted best realtor in Edmonton for 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 in the Best of Edmonton Awards.
“Within the city there are still properties like this that come to market. They can be found sporadically throughout the city and with a wide range of price points, but it is quite uncommon to find covered RV parking,” said Sedgwick. “They don’t come up often in the resale market. Demand for that type of property feature is higher than the supply. There’s always a list of people waiting for that type of property, and if it’s priced appropriately it’s going to sell quickly.”
Susan Johnson calls it an untapped market.
“We feel that it is a market that is underserved,” said Johnson, area manager for Bedrock Homes’ new Arrive at Allard development, explaining the thinking behind the southwest Edmonton project that will allow RV owners to park their vehicles indoors. “This is a market where they’re probably already in their dream home. The reason they’re looking into this is because the RV has become part of their lifestyle and they want their protected (parking) space nearby to store it.”
Arrive at Allard, which is still in its early stages, is a condominium bungalow project that is expected to be completed by late spring or early summer 2017. Eighteen duplexes and one-single family unit will be built with RVers in mind. The condos, which range in price from $575,000 to about $800,000, all include two-car garages and an up to 50-foot-long RV garage with 14-foot high garage doors. Depending on the model selected — there are four styles to choose from — square footage starts at 1,176 and goes to 1,292, with the possibility of adding 800-plus square feet by having the basement finished.
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