Retirement Living in Winnipeg: Condos vs. Single-Family Homes

retirement living Winnipeg

Retirement is a time to reflect on life and relax. Deciding where to live is something many older people have to think about. There are lovely options in south Winnipeg, including condos and single-family homes. There are many factors to look at regarding where you will reside.

It is important to feel comfortable and safe where you live, no matter how old you are. For most people, retirement living is a huge decision because it is the last place they will move to. It can be hard to downsize from a large home you once shared with your family. When you have an empty nest, it may be too big of a place to keep up with on your own. Getting a round in certain homes can be challenging if you or your spouse has health issues.

Downsizing to a smaller condo or single-family home can be an excellent move for retirement. Plus, you may have plenty of equity in the home you sell, giving you money for a large down payment on your new place. If you own the home you are in, you may get enough from it to buy a new place outright and still have some funds left over. It all depends on the value of where you currently live and the cost of the home you have your eye on.


South Winnipeg is one of the most affordable housing markets, making it an excellent choice for a condo or a single-family home. There are lovely neighbourhoods, many of which have trails and outdoor activities everyone can participate in. Your budget dramatically affects what you buy and how much you spend. Staying within your budget is essential so you don't worry about your monthly expenses in your golden years.

Living in a home means you have to budget for the monthly expenses. Most people understand this and budget for their mortgage (if applicable) and utility costs. They also budget for food, medication, and leisurely activities. You may not be aware that various fees are attached when buying a condo. They may include:

  • Common area fees for maintenance and cleaning
  • Maintenance fees
  • Property insurance (this can be in addition to your personal condo insurance costs)
  • Property management fees
  • Utilities

A condo tends to be less expensive in south Winnipeg than a typical single-family home. For those with limited income, this can be the better choice. Condos appreciate less than homes do, which is the downside of going that route. Condos are low maintenance, and that helps with budgeting.


While you need insurance on both a condo and a single-family home you own, the coverage and the cost are different. With a condo, you have to insure the contents within your unit. The corporation for the condo will insure the building. They will add the cost for this to your fees for the condo. You may add additional coverage if you feel what they cover is inadequate. It is essential to review what is covered and what isn't so you aren't surprised if you need to file a claim.

Homeowners insurance costs more because you pay for the dwelling and the contents to be covered. The deductible can be higher, too, meaning what you pay out of pocket to replace a roof or other claim type can cost you plenty of money. This cost is in addition to your monthly or annual premium.


The location of the property can influence your decision. You may have a specific area in mind. Being close to loved ones is essential, as is being close to where you like to shop. You may want to live close to the forest area or close to the water. All those factors should be considered when evaluating available condos and single-family homes in south Winnipeg.


How much space do you need? Most condos are smaller than a single-family home but still spacious. You can find condos with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms too. If you often have company, having at least one extra bedroom and bathroom makes sense. A small but cozy home may be what you seek. Enjoy space to get around easily, and keeping it clean is a good rule of thumb.


For many retirees, a condo or a single-family home's layout influences where they live. They don't want to deal with stairs all the time. If they have any health issues, a one-level place is ideal. For those who use a wheelchair, the door openings have to be wide enough. The layout should be easy to get around and also safe for older people. The layout for 55+ condos is designed with older people in mind. This isn't the case when you look at single-family homes.


Are there certain perks you want? For example, do you want your own washer and dryer in your home or condo unit? Perhaps you want a porch where you can enjoy time outside on a beautiful day. Maybe a small yard where you can have green grass and tend to a garden is important to you. Make a list of the amenities that you must have and also a list of those you would like to have. This information can help you narrow down possible places to live.

A wonderful amenity with a condo is others are living around you. If you like to travel, you can leave your unit and not worry too much about it. When you have a home, you may have concerns about leaving it unattended for weeks.


With a condo for retirement living, you will likely have a monthly fee to pay that covers basic maintenance. This gives you peace of mind, and you can budget for it. When you own a home, you are responsible for anything that needs to be repaired or replaced. Some of these expenses can be extremely high. For example, if you need upgrades to your plumbing, electrical system, or a new water heater. It can be stressful to figure out how to pay for those unexpected but necessary costs when owning a home.

There tends to be more routine maintenance with a home than a condo. This can include taking care of your heating and cooling systems. If you have a lawn, you must water and mow it. Keeping trees healthy is also part of the ownership maintenance if you have trees. Think about what you can physically take care of and how much time you wish to spend on this type of maintenance. If you would rather have a home, you can always hire someone to take care of your routine things.


Before buying a home, paying a professional for an inspection is wise. This gives you insight into the quality of the house inside and out. You want to avoid being blindsided by severe problems such as structural or electrical problems after you purchase. The current condition of the home should reflect the price.

Before buying a condo, request a current copy of the reserve form study. This outlines all of the fees that will be collected and how they are allocated. This information can give you insight into the age of the building and its current condition. Some of them may need severe repairs in the upcoming years. Ask how much money is in the reserve fund; that should be information they share with potential buyers. There must be enough money in that fund to cover any necessary repairs.

If there isn't enough money, each condo unit owner will have to cover a portion of the cost on top of the fees they already pay. A reserve form study has to be updated every five years. When you review the information, confirm the date on it.

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Pros and Cons of a Condo

Take a look at the 55+ condos for sale. Many of them only allow people of that age and older to reside there. It is a community where you get to know and engage in activities with your neighbours. Living among peers and sharing similar interests is a great way to spend your free time and enjoy social elements.

When you buy a condo, you purchase the unit only and some of the shared spaces. You don't own the land it sits on or anything else on the property. Typically, maintenance is included with your unit but check on this. What is covered and other specific details should be something you are aware of before you buy a condo for retirement living. Find out how much the fee is each month for maintenance coverage.

Often, many of the things you may need are onsite. This may include:

  • Assigned parking space or parking garage
  • Easy access to public transportation
  • Gym/spa
  • Laundry facilities
  • Recreational Area

One con of owning a condo is the bylaws you must abide by. Those will be enforced; you can't get around them. These bylaws help keep the peace with all the units by sharing what you can and can't do with that unit. The specifics will vary by condo building. Some of them allow pets, and others don't. Some of them allow you to rent out your unit, and others require you to be the occupant.

There can be regulations about renovations of a condo unit, too. This may limit your ability to make it how you want it. In other scenarios, you must request approval for specific renovations from the board. Reviewing and approving this takes time, and the upgrades can only occur once approved.

Ask to see the bylaws for any condo building you consider before you look at it any further. It isn't the right place for you if you can't comfortably live there and abide by those agreed-upon terms. Most condos have bylaws relating to:

  • Noise
  • Parking
  • Pets
  • Renovations
  • Snow removal
  • Trash collection
  • Use of common facilities including the gym, swimming pool, and recreation room
  • Visitors

Pros and Cons of a Single-Family Home

You can do what you like when you own your home. Sure, you should be respectful of your neighbours, but they aren't going to hear the noise inside your home like others could in a condo unit next to yours. Many renovations for a home can be done when you want without a permit. More space may appeal to you than the typical condo unit offers.

If you love pets and visitors, your home can be your haven. You don't have to worry about bylaws that prevent you from having a dog or cat. You don't have to tell your friends and family they can't stay with you when they visit due to your condo's policies.

Parking outside your home, in a driveway, or a garage with your home can be ideal. If you have multiple vehicles, additional space for parking beyond what a condo offers you is essential. Most homes appreciate in Winnipeg, and the house will have more value as the years pass. You can make money if you decide to sell it or rent it out.

Owning a home can be expensive, and it can be hard to budget for the unknown factors that arise. It can be hard to keep up with everything as you get older. If you don't like relying on others for help, this may not be a good choice for your retirement years. When it snows, do you have someone who can shovel your sidewalk for you if you can't? Those are things to think about when you own a home.

Comes Down To Personal Preferences

A single-family home offers more privacy and freedom than a retirement living condo. In a home, you don't have to worry too much about what you do bothering the neighbours. You can have pets if you choose to do so. You can let people stay with you as long as you like. In a condo setting, you have to be respectful and mindful of those in units around you. There can be rules about overnight guests and how many nights they can stay.

Think about your lifestyle, habits, and personal preferences. Carefully evaluate the pros and cons of a condo or a single-family home. This isn't a decision to rush into; take your time to decide which will offer you the best outcome for retirement living. Once you have chosen, you can evaluate available properties and schedule to see them.

Carefully read the terms and conditions of any contract you sign for a single-family home or a condo purchase. Once you sign such documents, they are legally binding. Ask for clarification of anything you aren't sure of. Retirement living in south Winnipeg should be enjoyable and affordable. Choose your accommodations and location accordingly.