There’s nothing quite like condo living. The convenience, the affordability, that sense of community—it really stands out as something special when you take a moment as a condo owner to appreciate it, hey?
That being said, we’re well aware that condo living isn’t for everybody. Particularly, condos are often associated with younger professionals and older retirees; when it comes to families, there’s not quite as strong an innate connection, although maybe there should be.
For our money, though, there’s no better place to call home than a comfortable condo unit—and that goes for families, single folks, and couples of all ages alike—just so long as you’re aware of the little idiosyncrasies that come part-and-parcel with condo living.
Have we piqued your interest? Read on to learn more!
Putting the “family” in Multi-Family Living
Single-Family Living: This Ain’t
Let’s be clear right out of the gate about one thing: multi-family living is not the same as abiding within a single-family detached home. Not even close. We don’t mean to do condos a disservice by saying so, but it’s absolutely true and 100% worth knowing before you load up the family and head down to sign the lease on that brand-new unit that just opened up down the road.
It doesn’t matter how close you are to your neighbors or how social a person you might be; living in a multi-person dwelling is simply a whole different beast. You don’t just come and go from your front or back door; instead, you pass through (sometimes multiple) common areas before you find yourself at home, faced with the hustle and bustle of sometimes fairly intense traffic and activity. If your kids are having a bad day, the neighbors are going to know about it, so be sure to have that friendly smile and wave ready!
You’ll also be obliged to follow your condo community’s rules and bylaws to the letter. For some folks, this won’t have much of an impact on their day-to-day lives at all. For other individuals—say, teenagers who only know how to listen to music extremely loudly or kids who only know how to express their feelings, well, extremely loudly—these changes can take some getting used to, for sure.
That said, if there’s an aspect of your lifestyle that you particularly can’t bear to give up, it’s worth noting that not all condo buildings share the same set of bylaws and rules. You might be able to find a happy middle ground by spending the time to hunt for a community whose bylaws align with your preferred way of living, provided you’re in a situation where you’ve got the time to be picky.
You still might need to convince your 15-year-old that music can be listened to at volume settings other than MAX, though. 😉
Earmuffs are optional.
Speaking of rackets! The other thing that people often overlook when considering life in a condo community is the additional noise they might need to put up with. Depending on what sort of building you’re in, this might be more or less of an issue for you. Concrete builds are often fairly quiet and sound-proof, but timber-built units give you the inside scoop on every footstep your neighbor takes—and even every toilet flush they make!
Our advice when it comes to noise in a condo building is to give you and your family a bit of time to get used to it. Coming from a single-family dwelling, you might not hear anything but your upstairs neighbor tromping around for the first week or two—but just like living alongside a train track, the extra bit of ambience will soon likely just fade unnoticeably into the background. Heck, it might even come to the point where you eventually move back into a single-family home and find you can’t stand all the dang quiet!
Relationships are key—and basically mandatory.
Whether you like it or not, living in a multi-family dwelling means you’re going to have relationships with each and every resident sharing the same roof, so you may as well work to keep those relationships positive, or at the very least, indifferent, right?
There are benefits to connecting with your fellow residents, too! Living in a close-knit community like a condo building, people begin to know one another’s comings and goings. That means that you’ve essentially got a built-in security system in your fellow neighbors and residents—and built-in childcare, too, if you’re friendly and gregarious enough!
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and nowhere are you better set up to realize that metaphor than in a condo complex. Suddenly, your home has become a de facto community for your kids to grow up in, with all the rich experiences and learning opportunities that come along with it. Plus, as we’d mentioned, you’ll never be hard-up for finding someone to keep an eye on the kids for a minute with a whole community of friends and support behind each and every unit door.
Sure, there are a few drawbacks, but those benefits are fantastic.
Managing a family is a stressful business, and this is where condo life stands apart.
They do everything for you.
No more yard work. No more shoveling. Less day-to-day maintenance. There is less physical floorspace to stress about and clean. Less time is spent doing chores. More convenience. More amenities. Possible gym access. POSSIBLE POOL ACCESS.
Yup. There are some serious benefits to condo living, especially for busy families for whom life feels hectic enough as it is!
As we’ve outlined, there are definitely some changes you might need to get used to (especially if you’re coming from a single-family home), but ultimately, so long as you can adapt to those few unique eccentricities that come along with multi-family living, particularly the big touchpoints of noise and relationship-building, we imagine you’ll fall in love with condo living just the same as we have!
Have additional questions about multi-family living? Not quite sure if condo living is for you, but keen to learn more? Get in touch with us at Catalyst Condo Management today; we promise, we’ll do our best to offer you as unbiased an opinion as we can!