All parents crave space for their kids, a place for them to play and romp and run. That’s why more and more families are intent on finding condo communities that offer something for the whole family, from playgrounds to swimming pools to playdate-friendly guest policies. The number of condo associations offering these kinds of amenities, however, remains relatively select. Why are these amenities so rare, and does it have an impact on family living?
Finding What Kids and Parents Need
For most families—especially young families—the first thing they search for when it comes to a place to live is a sense of community. “They’re looking for other families,” says Marisa Kochnover, director of operations for the online community CityMommy.com (northjersey.citymommy.com) for northern New Jersey and the “gold coast” area. “If you’re thinking of starting a family or have one already, you gravitate toward other families,” she says. “You’re looking for other moms with strollers.”
Especially for New Jersey families, that promise of the suburban lifestyle is a big draw. “A lot of people move out of Manhattan in order to have other families nearby,” Kochnover continues. “They’ve been missing that backyard. So when you buy a condo with a pool or a playground, that’s a huge plus.”
So far however, those family-friendly amenities are not emerging en masse. “Here on the Gold Coast, I’m finding that there’s very little to do for kids, even though the area is densely-populated with families,” Kochnover says. “You would hope that building owners and developers would do a little bit of research to understand the community that they’re building in and try and meet some of those needs.”
Perhaps part of the problem rests with the fact that most new condo construction these days is geared toward the adult community, as Baby Boomers hit retirement age and are looking for new places to live and socialize. Some adult communities, though, are finding ways to merge the needs of seniors and their younger family members.