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Are Condos for Singles and Couples Only?

20 February 2013

Putting aside all the talk of price drops and the ‘cookie cutter condo,’ today we look at another stereotype given to condos: that they’re only meant for couples and single people. It’s true we’ve talked quite a bit on this blog about how condos are great for young people, young professionals, couples with no children, and those who are entering their retirement years. But does this mean that condos aren’t a viable option for a family? That the couple with two children will be much better off considering a detached bungalow, instead of a “box in the sky”?

Of course there could be several arguments made as to why condos are not in fact, family friendly. They’re considerably smaller than detached homes, they have balconies that could be viewed as unsafe, and what about all those elevators that children could quickly find trouble with?

Yes indeed. If there were to be any arguments against the fact that condos are family friendly, those listed above would certainly fit the bill. But houses have steep staircases that children could fall down, yards that aren’t always supervised, as well as other dangers that could be lurking just around the corner. The simple truth is that a home – any home – has certain dangers. And yes, parents will always need to supervise and ensure that their child is safe and not partaking in any dangerous activities. But that’s something to be dealt with whether they’re living in a detached home, or a condo; so they can’t really be applied to only the latter.

In fact once you knock down all the arguments, condos might actually make a greater case for being family friendly than a detached home. And much of that stems from the fact that there are simply many more people in a condo than in a detached home.

The sociability advantage that condos bring to kids (and their parents!) just cannot be denied. When living in a condo, kids are exposed to people every day – multiple times a day. Whether it’s in the lobby, in the elevator, on the stairwell, or in the parking lot, when you live in a condo you very often see the same residents of that same building milling around. When children especially are exposed to this, it can help develop their social skills, greeting people when they see them, and teaching them about respecting others.

For parents, this sociability factor also comes into play. Need to car pool? Need someone to babysit while you run a few errands? Know a neighbour who needs their kids watched in exchange, while they go out? Just looking for another married couple to have dinner with? The condo lifestyle provides answers to all of these, because condos quickly form their own small communities, in which everyone gets along and tries to help one another (for the most part.) Not only does this give a boost to social life, but it can also be a great example to kids about how everyone pitches in to help one another!

With so many people living in the same place, there’s bound to be some diversity between them – especially when it comes to condos in big cities. Living so close to them, and interacting with them every day, children become more adept at being with people of all walks of life, no matter their age, their religion, or their ethnicity.

But while that may be terrific that there are so many people and so many opportunities that come with condo living, what about the lack of space? This is one element that many parents are most concerned with, as they envision their large backyard suddenly being reduced to four concrete walls. Where will kids exercise? What will there be for them to do?

Luckily, many condos (and in Toronto, you can find family friendly condos that will always provide these amenities,) offer exercise rooms, tennis courts, basketball courts, swimming pools, and other physical activity centers for the residents within the building. These once again can not only provide for the physical activity you need your child to receive, but they can also give them even more opportunities than a home would (such as a swimming pool in many cases.)

It’s true that when you’re thinking about family friendly housing, condos might not be the first type that jump into your mind. But in fact, condos can be just as family friendly as any single detached home and in many cases, even more so!

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