Are condominiums the right homes for seniors? The answer is predictably ‘sometimes." As a long time expert in Kitslano real estate, I have helped many seniors relocate into a home that meets their needs in form and function. The key to doing so successfully is being aware that seniors are as diverse a group as they come, and what works for one may not be the perfect fit for another. Luckily, condominiums can be diverse too, especially in sparkling Vancouver! With a wide variation in amenities, services, and communities, the right condo can be a great option. If you or a senior you care about is pondering a move to a condominium, take a look at these tips designed to help with the decision.
First, what is a condominium? Well, a condo is a property that exists in a larger complex of properties, but each property is owned individually. This means that you can have the convenience of an apartment without having the hassle of renting, a lease and a landlord. Having control over one’s property can be a comfort, not to mention the financial asset of owning a home. Condo owners are usually responsible for the maintenance of their own properties as a result of their ownership, so keep maintenance needs in mind when shopping. While residents are largely free to do what they wish with their property, there are often administrative bodies within condo complexes that establish some rules in an effort to maintain the overall property values, and keep everyone living in harmony.
Something else to consider is whether or not you desire a yard or garden. While some side by side properties could be considered condominiums, a majority of condos are apartment block style and will at most have a balcony or deck for private outdoor space. Of course, no yard means no yard work, which is very handy for seniors who are tired of time consuming and sweaty outdoor maintenance. If you aren’t sure you’re ready to give up a pleasant outdoor space, try looking for a condo that has a communal lawn, garden or courtyard that is maintained for the residents. This will present the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors without all of the work.
Speaking on communal spaces, there are lots of social advantages to moving into a condo. A fall or sudden illness when isolated can be terrifying, so from a safety standpoint having neighbours very nearby can save a small accident from becoming a real ordeal. Many condo complexes even limit their residents to people who are over fifty years old, helping to build a greater sense of community amongst neighbours who are likely to have things in common. A fifty plus condo complex with plenty of amenities and communal spaces could be a great way to make friends and socialize.
Complexes that cater to seniors have other advantages as well. Many complexes offer shuttle service, housekeeping, and/or organized activities for their residents. This not only helps build on the community aspect of condo living, but ensures that their residents can remain in their homes independently for as long as possible. They also have a high level of accessibility, meaning that seniors won’t lose access to their homes if their health suffers.
I hope this advice on condominiums helps you to make the right decision and get the property that fits just right.