Recently, I came upon an article in one of the local neighbourhood newspapers about a choice a person living in a condominium building made. This man was going “on and on” about the lack of community in the building where his condo was located.
He thought that living in the suburbs offered a much better chance for “community”. After all, don’t we think of walking our dog, walking to the mailbox, summer barbeques and block parties as part of the local suburban scene?
However, this type of thinking regarding suburbia does not always exist. People often do not know their neighbors at all or even their neighbors’ names. Many in suburbia do not want to know their neighbours as they construct privacy screens on the decks. They just do not want to be bothered.
This all got me thinking about the concept of “community” wherever one lives. What is a “community”? How can one be a part of it?
As with all things in life, there are choices. We have a choice to stay home or go out with friends. We have a choice to attend leisure studies or to go back to school. We have a choice to eat healthy food or to eat junk food. Every day we make choices. Yes, it’s true!
The same applies to condominium living and ownership. When this person in the neighbourhood newspaper article lamented and complained about condo living lacking “community”, he had already made some choices. In waiting for the community to come to him, this individual had already made a choice! If this individual had been really looking for a sense of community, there are many different choices he could have made.
And this is true also for us either living in a condo or those of us thinking of purchasing a condominium. We have the choice to living in “community” or not to do so.
Join the Board
For those people living in condominiums, one of the best ways to meet people is to join the condo board. By joining the condominium board you are not only meeting your neighbors, but you are all working towards a common goal. As you “give back” to your community through working on the board, you will also feel a part of that community!
It is true that many condominium owners and condo boards place little emphasis on neighbours getting to know one another. This is probably due, in part, to our busy and hectic life styles. However, it is possible to know your neighbours while living in a condo. It is possible to have a sense of community.
Opportunities for “Meet and Greet” should be offered within the condominium. If there is a Social Room in your condo, make sure it is used. Use it for a Stampede Breakfast or a Christmas Social. Or what about meeting your condominium neighbours for coffee at the local coffee house a few blocks away? That’s always a great way to start a relationship with those around you. You may have more in common with your neighbours than you ever thought possible!
Your Community Choice
“Condominium Community” is what you make it. It is your choice to invest your time in relationships with others, and to get to know them. This is your responsibility. A relationship with your neighbours takes time. But it is well worth the effort to invest in such relationships to build a sense of community.
Where you chose to live is up to you. Depending upon circumstances you may live either downtown, in the beltline, in suburbia or on an acreage. Your home may be small or large. You may own a small home or a spacious condo. Or you may be living in a three story mansion or a bachelor condo. You may own your home outright or have a mortgage. You may chose to update it with the latest colour schemes and flooring or you may simply leave your home “as is”. But it is up to you, no matter where you live to find “community”. Check out this great condo in a building with an awesome sense of community. It’s in the heart of Eau Claire:
“Condo Community” will not come to you just as it did not come to the person in the local newspaper article. Community in the condominium, as in all places people live, will only happen when you invest your time in it and nurture it.
The choice is yours.