Written by Rachel Kinbar
While single-family homes are the dreams of many, my family has found condo living to be the perfect lifestyle for us. Don’t believe me? Let me tell you about the amenities, location, and community that let us spend more time living and doing the things we love.
Convenience is a biggie for any homeowner, and condo living allows us to take advantage. Within our building, friends are nearby to help with carpooling to school (for mom and dad) and arranging playdates (for our kids). A small grocery store, the post office, two cafes, and a park are all within walking distance; a short drive adds an elementary school, a movie theater, eateries, shops, and medical resources to the list.
That’s not to mention the amenities that come standard in most condo buildings. We have a heated pool that we don’t have to lift a finger to maintain, and a community garden that lets me enjoy nature without having to deal with major landscaping and maintenance. Chris Murphy, who runs the Baby & Life blog with his wife, loves that, in their condo, “the blistering heat of summer and bone-chilling cold of winter are not a factor” thanks to the indoor athletic courts; their kids have built-in entertainment spaces year-round.
Having these resources within the building cuts down on commute time for my family – when my kids want to socialize, traffic doesn’t cut into play time. Plus, I can spend weekends traveling to visit family and friends instead of dealing with maintenance, such as landscaping.
We don’t live in a large building, but there are over a dozen other families with elementary-aged children. Our kids not only have friends to play with, but there are people nearby in a similar phase of life, facing similar challenges. For us, condo living provides a balance between privacy and community. Having a nearby support network to supplement our religious community and family and friends further afield adds to the rich tapestry of our relationships. The proximity of our neighbors also gives us a feeling of great security.
The condo board does an excellent job of organizing activities and events for residents, which vary from family-friendly movie nights to adult-only cocktail evenings. Once a month, they even arrange a fun-filled and supervised evening for kids so we parents can get out for our own fun time.
If you think our condo community is an exception, think again! “We feel extremely fortunate to be able to give our sons this kind of childhood. They’re surrounded by friends — 50 kids in the building, and counting,” says Jackie Burns, who lives with her husband and two kids in a high-rise condo. “Over the years, the condo parents have come together to organize swimming lessons, tennis lessons, and a weekly chess club. There are cooking lessons in the condo’s restaurant and the children gather to make greeting cards to bring to patients at nursing homes and hospitals.” No matter which condo you live in, the emphasis on developing a sense of community remains consistent.
Considering the location, the size of our home, and all of the amenities and community perks, our condo offers incredible value. Owning a single-family home in this part of the city would be unaffordable for us, between the price tag of the house itself and the cost and hassle of upkeep. Not to mention we’d have to wave goodbye to a lot of the benefits we’ve become accustomed to! Some people really want a backyard with a swing set, but we’re happy with our condo’s playground and the nearby park.
Before buying our condo, we rented a home, but it came to be more than our mortgage and condo fees combined because of its size and location. When we learned we could save money, have access to wonderful community resources, and own property that appreciates faster than a single-family home, we were hooked!
Everyone has their preferences when it comes to housing, and there are many families who find that condo living is the right lifestyle for them. We certainly love living in a condo and can’t imagine living anywhere else! Curious about what condos are available in your city? Start your search online at NewHomeSource.com.