Condos, Three-Plus Units and Families

I’m a condo person.  I was raised in a house, but have lived in a condominium since I was 19 years old, first with my family and now with my husband.  I like the lifestyle.  No need to worry about shoveling the snow in the winter, raking the leaves in the fall or mowing and watering the lawn in the warmer months.  The buildings I’ve lived in also have a gym, pool and other recreational areas on site.  It’s all good.  Until, of course, you look at the units themselves.  The vast majority of them are one or two bedroom suites.

Condos like this one are great, but very few have “family-friendly”, three bedroom units

The lack of three bedroom suites, with the exception of very expensive units or condo townhouses makes it difficult for those who want to raise families.  While it’s fine if there’s only one kid, what happens when a second comes along?  Sure, they can share a bedroom, but what if there’s a bigger age gap with very different bedtimes?  A boy and a girl?  Condos shouldn’t only be for child-free people.

I don’t understand why people seem to believe that houses are better for kids.  It can’t only be the bedroom issue, can it?  If it’s about indoor space, then how would you explain people from parts of Asia and Europe, where it’s the norm to live in apartments?  I think we’re very spoiled in this part of the world.  If one thinks that schools are better in the suburbs, I have news for you, not only are there condo developments in the ‘burbs, but there can be good schools in the city as well.  In any case, how can we improve the so-called BAD city schools if we abandon them?  And with good boards and committees, a building can create an amazing community, perhaps even better than a regular suburban street.  With all the amenities buildings tend to have, anything seminars, playgroups and so forth can be created, provided that there is interest.  The conclusion I’ve come up with is that it’s all about price (including condo fees) and availability.

That said, I do think that there needs to be more three plus (three real bedrooms plus a den) units at affordable prices.  Raising kids in a slightly smaller space isn’t that bad. In fact, it teaches them to be more sociable. Other than one’s own room, there is very little space for a kid to be by him or herself meaning that there is more interaction with the rest of the family.  It’ll teach them more too.  A good thing, I think.   Let’s hope that developers take note of that and more buildings will have this option.

Image: © Dean Tomlinson/iStockphoto

About Cynthia Cheng Mintz


Cynthia Cheng Mintz is the founder and webitor-in-chief of this site and the petite-focused site, Shorty Stories. She has also written for other publications including the Toronto Star and has blogged for The Huffington Post. Her first novel, Aspirations, was published in 2007. Outside of writing, Cynthia researches and advises philanthropic ideas for family funds and foundations and also volunteers.

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Cynthia Cheng Mintz

Cynthia Cheng Mintz is the founder and webitor-in-chief of this site and the petite-focused site, Shorty Stories. She has also written for other publications including the Toronto Star and has blogged for The Huffington Post. Her first novel, Aspirations, was published in 2007. Outside of writing, Cynthia researches and advises philanthropic ideas for family funds and foundations and also volunteers.