Whether you are considering buying a new condo or townhome for your family due to preference or necessity, rest assured that kids can thrive in this type of new home environment.
There is a commonly held belief that children must grow up in a single-family home with their own room, a yard, a dog, and preferably a white picket fence. In reality, that’s not always possible, or even desirable. In large cities, families commonly live in apartments. Even in smaller cities, some families choose to live in condos that are in close proximity to work, school, shopping, and activities. Yumna Siddiqui-Khan lives in a two-bedroom condo with her husband and daughter. The reason? Simplicity. “While people question our decision to raise a child in a luxury-sized chicken coop, there are reasons why we chose this life. I see my workplace from our living room window. My daughter’s daycare is a five-minute walk. My husband’s work is a ten-minute drive. Life has been simple, oh so simple.”
Beyond preference, the reality of the current housing market is that some families simply find condos or townhomes to be more affordable than single family houses.
If you are shopping for a new home for your family, don’t rule out condos and townhomes just yet. Review this, first:
6 Factors of Kid-Friendly Condo or Townhome Living
To maximize the comfort level of living in a condo or townhome, there are some things to consider:
Size matters, but not as much as you think! I lived in approximately 500 square feet with my husband and son. It worked out fine for us because we didn’t have too much furniture and we kept it tidy. Was it ideal? No. But it was perfectly fine, and my son still misses the bakery across the street and I miss the easy access to the excellent public transportation system (which had a stop right outside our building’s front door). Living in a smaller home also got us out to the park more often, which was great for all of us.
Even more important than size is the layout. A condo or townhome designed for families and making the most of available space makes all the difference! More and more townhomes are being designed to mimic the layout of houses. Making a townhome wide instead deep creates a feeling of spaciousness.
In an urban setting, a condo or townhome strikes a balance between affordability and location. If you want to live downtown or be in walking distance of shopping, a local library, the weekend farmer’s market, and much more, a condo or townhome is likely your best or even only option. Spending less time commuting and more quality time with your kids means you’ll be creating more great memories with your family. Or maybe you would like to live on a lake, but can’t afford to spend a cool million (or more) on a lake-front property? In that case, look for a condo or townhome community built next to a lake for affordable access to beautiful nature.
No matter where you choose to live with your kids, safety is likely a concern. Some condo and townhome communities are gated with security guards and cameras.
4. Other Kids
Interaction with neighborhood kids can be such a wonderful part of childhood! I remember moving as a child from a street with lots of children to a quieter street with older residents. I could play with their grandchildren when they visited, but it wasn’t the same. When considering condo or townhome communities to live in, visit the playground or ask around to get a sense of the demographics.
5. Kid-Friendly Amenities
Check out what amenities are available for your kids. Playrooms, community centers, gyms, swimming pools, and tennis courts are commonly-found amenities. Some luxury residences are upping their game by having a kid concierge on staff to arrange activities, IMAX theaters, and 3D gaming rooms. According to Leonard Steinberg of Compass Realty in New York City, “Buildings are in an arms race to compete to appeal to kids.” And it’s true, even in more humble communities, because builders and property managers are aware that millennials are the largest share of homebuyers and that many of them have children or are starting families.
Living in close proximity to other people may mean less privacy and less quiet, but not necessarily. New condos and townhomes are being built with privacy in mind, which means better sound insulation in walls, ceilings, and floors, careful positioning of windows, and more.
When considering any condo or townhome community, it is important to always thoroughly read the rules and regulations. Sometimes the rules place a limit on number of people per bedroom, or limit the number and type of pets. When reading through the rules, consider your current circumstances as well as how they fit with your future plans.
For the last 16 years, Rachel Kinbar has been a writer of articles, blog posts, white papers, essays, infographics, web copy, sales copy, scripts, poetry, lyrics, and more. She has keen research skills that she applies to a wide variety of topics, and she especially loves topics related to design, history, and sustainable living.