This might not come as a shocker, but we absolutely adore modern condo living. We know – big surprise, right? There’s just something about the sense of community, the convenience, the affordability – there’s nothing quite like it! Now, that being said, we’re well aware that condo living isn’t for everybody. As fantastic as it is, it’s like everything else in that it’s got its ups and its downs. For our money, though, there’s no better place to call home than a comfortable condo unit, and so long as you’re aware of the little idiosyncrasies that come part-and-parcel with condo living, we bet you’ll love the life, too.
This Isn’t Anything Like Single-Family Living
Let’s be clear right out the gate about one thing: multi-person living is not the same as abiding within a single-family detached home. Not even close. 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. Have that friendly smile and wave ready!
You’ll also be obliged to follow that 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 life at all. For other individuals – say, those who enjoy a bit of cannabis now and again, or anybody who loves going all-out on the Christmas decorations every year – these changes can be pretty shocking and 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, so 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.
Earmuffs Come Optional
The other thing that people often overlook when considering life in a condo community is the additional noise that 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 flushes they make. Howdy, neighbor!
Our advice when it comes to noise in a condo building is to give yourself 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 ambiance 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? Take the time to communicate and connect with your neighbors. Even a simple smile and wave when you pass other residents in the hallway will go a long way to keep the community from murmuring about the grumpy guy in 4F who never talks or says “hi” to anyone.
There are benefits to connecting with your fellow residents, as well! 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, always-on-the-job security system in your fellow neighbors and residents. Give them a reason to recognize your face and care one if you’re in danger or your unit’s being ransacked. And, vice versa!
Further to this point, if you have any ambitions about getting involved on the condo board and having a say in the direction your community (and investment) is heading, you’ll want to work extra hard at building up those relationships with your fellow unit owners. This extends beyond simple resident-to-resident relationships and includes working to build a positive relationship with your condo management companies as well. That way, you’ll be in a solid position to turn over contracts and save your corporation some money when the opportunity presents itself without worrying about losing all that knowledge and experience in the process because you’ll have been an integral part of things and will have an idea how it all came together and worked.
Relationships are the key to success in a multi-family dwelling – so, get out there and start schmoozing!
Sure, There are Drawbacks – But Those Benefits are Pretty Fantastic
Less maintenance. Less physical floorspace to stress about and clean. Less time spent during chores. More convenience. More amenities. Possible gym access. POSSIBLE POOL ACCESS. Yup, there are some serious benefits to condo living. 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, we imagine you’ll in love with condo living just the same as we have!
Have additional questions about multi-family living? Not quite sure if condo living’s for you, but want 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!