• Downsizing in Retirement: Patio Home vs Condo

    Downsizing in Retirement: Patio Home vs Condo

Patio homes versus condos – that’s what retirees are evaluating. That’s because they want to get rid of the four-bedroom home that requires too much time and work to maintain. But they want to keep their privacy and independence.

So within the Cincinnati area, those 62+ are typically weighing the patio home vs. the condominium for their retirement.

Defining a Patio Home and Condo

For our comparison, let’s first define a patio home and condominium based on how they are most commonly found.

  • A patio home is a one-level home in a community living neighborhood that may include fees for included amenities such as maintenance or landscaping.
  • A condominium is a complex with several units/homes connected, in a standalone neighborhood.

4 Differences between Patio Homes and Condos

1. Age

  • Our patio home residents must be age 62+.
  • At a condo, you have no control over who will be your neighbor.

2. Services and Amenities

  • Patio homes often include additional services and amenities. You pay a fee that you don’t have with a condo. But you often gain home maintenance, housekeeping, dining and more included within the fee.
  • With a condo, home responsibility, maintenance and repair costs are yours.

3. Design

  • Patio home floor plans are typically single story. They’re designed for low maintenance with easily accessibility. No neighbors above or below.
  • Condos typically have several levels with units sharing walls. Some have elevators; some do not.

4. Community

  • Being part of a patio home community comes with built-in security. For example, our patio homes at Twin Towers are located within a gated community. There are security features throughout both the community and in the homes.
  • It can be hard to find this in a condo unit or any stand-alone neighborhood.

Most of our residents move into an independent living patio home while they are young, healthy and active. If or when assistance or care is needed, they can stay within the community but move into an assisted living apartment or other care arrangement.

Being a CCRC allows our residents to always remain living in the community where they have built friendships, know the staff and feel at home.

Pros and Cons of a Patio Home 

Pros are:

  • No stairs nor elevators, making them attractive for those who want to remain living independently for as long as possible.
  • Low maintenance makes them popular for the post-retired crowd ready to travel and spend their time doing what they love to do.
  • A patio home is usually less expensive than purchasing a single family home, especially when adding in costs of insurance, yard work, repairs, upkeep, etc.
  • Patio homes typically have open floor plans, making them not as crowded as townhomes or condominiums.
  • Patio homes within a community setting typically include amenities, such as a fitness center, pool, dining, etc.

Cons are:

  • Less common than townhouses or condominiums.
  • Patio homes in senior living communities often fill up fast, with some communities having a waiting list.
  • Determining costs may be more complicated as patio homes within a community may have entrance fees and monthly fees for the gained services, amenities and care. Use our cost comparison worksheet to see how your costs compare to the cost of living at Twin Towers.
  • When you compare to purchasing a single family home, a patio home may be smaller and include a smaller yard/overall lot.
  • A patio home may include community guidelines, such as residents must be age 62+, that a condominium in a stand-alone neighborhood may not have. (Although, many people consider this a pro, not a con!)

Thinking about moving to a senior living community? Learn what your options are with our FREE eBook, What are My Senior Living Options.

Twin Towers is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering patio homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Towers online or at 513-853-2000.