How To Live in a Condo with Your Family

Kids + condos = a great combination in the right location, argues GVHBA CEO Bob de Wit

Source: West Coast Condominium
By Bob De Wit

When I was a kid, no yard was ever big enough. We all had back yards, but we always ended up in the local park for a game of football or soccer. Today, young families wanting to live in Vancouver are looking to the condo as an affordable housing choice. And I’m here to say I believe there are a host of benefits to living in a condo with kids – many of which outshine the traditional single family home.

On the simplest level, limited indoor space fosters getting outside and going for a walk. Not only is walking a health benefit, there are endless discoveries to be made. As Vancouver’s density increases, communities and neighbourhoods are focusing on creating liveable, usable outdoor space. With parks, art installations, outdoor meeting places, and walkable paths and bike lanes, urban communities have never been more vibrant and connected to people.

Benefits of Urban Living

Heading out for a walk? Running an errand is easy. Urban living offers amenities within walking distance, eliminating or reducing the need for a car. Running around the corner to quickly run errands saves time, is less stressful, and promotes physical activity. You might even meet a neighbour along the way and strike up an interesting conversation. Taking time to walk actually creates time in your day to step out of the rat race and enjoy your surroundings. In a world where we have become so accustomed to driving everywhere, walking the kids to school, running errands on foot, and enjoying the cityscape has never been so refreshing.

Just as condos encourage healthy outdoor living, there is also a reduction in consumption. Lower energy bills, and less maintenance and work around the house mean more family time. Less space also limits the amount of “things” so easily collectable with a home and young family.  Limited space helps clear the clutter and bring to the forefront real needs, how we use things, and what is really important.

Condo living supports the sharing generation. Children who grow up in smaller spaces, sharing a room – possibly toys – have the opportunity to learn from an early age how to be respectful of others, to share, and to cohabitate without the need for excess.

The Role of Amenities

Admittedly, there will be times when cabin fever may set in. Amenities play an important role in supporting healthy, happy families. It is a good idea when shopping around for a condo to check into the building and surrounding community’s amenities. Gyms, pools, yoga rooms, access to community gardens, dog parks – what is important to you and your children’s lifestyle?  Amenities foster community connections, healthy living and provide the extra space we all need once in a while.

It is a great time to consider the condo as a form of affordable housing to raise a family. As many parts of Metro Vancouver densify, local municipalities and builders are working together to make our cities more liveable.


Bob de Wit is the CEO of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (GVHBA), the voice of the residential construction industry in Metro Vancouver. GVHBA has more than 850 members and is proudly affiliated with the provincial and national Canadian Home Builders’ Associations.
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