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Life Enriching Communities Blog

Downsizing in Retirement: Patio Home vs Condo

Posted by Twin Towers on September 7, 2017

Single story patio home Ready to rid yourself of the four-bedroom home you no longer need and that requires too much time and work to maintain? Searching for a one-level, low-maintenance home? You’re not alone. Today’s empty nesters are seeking out homes that give them more time, yet maintain their independence and privacy. Within the Cincinnati area, those 62+ are typically weighing the patio home vs. the condominium.

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, but in a standalone neighborhood.

5 Differences in Patio Homes and Condos

  1. Patio homes found in a senior living community, such as ours at Twin Towers, are built specifically for post-career adults. Our patio home residents must be age 62+. At a condo, who will be your neighbor now and into the future? You have no control over that.

  1. Patio homes often include additional services and amenities. While you may pay a fee that you don’t have with a condo, you typically gain home maintenance, housekeeping, dining, daily activities, an aquatic center, etc., that are included within the senior living community. Home responsibility, maintenance and repair costs remain yours with a condo.

  1. Patio home floor plans typically do not include a basement nor stairways. They are designed for low maintenance with easily accessible garages, walkways and safety/security features. Condos typically have several levels with units sharing walls. Some have elevators; some do not. Even if the unit has elevators, where are the elevators located in relation to the garage or walkways?

Take a virtual tour inside a patio home at Twin Towers. Watch now.


  1. By being part of a community living neighborhood, a patio home comes with built-in security. For example, our patio homes at Twin Towers are located within a gated community with security features throughout the community and in the homes. You also gain a sense of neighborhood protection when you are part of a community. It can be hard to find this in a condominium unit or any stand-alone neighborhood.

  1. Patio homes often include services offered within the community. At Twin Towers, we are a Continuing Care Retirement Community, also known as a Life Plan Community. Within our community, we have services and accommodations for rehabilitation, therapy, assisted living, memory support and skilled nursing.

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 their 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

Some pros are:


  • No neighbors above or below.
  • 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.

Some cons are:


  • Less common than townhouses or condominiums.
  • Patio homes in senior living communities often fill up fast, with some communities having waitlist.
  • 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 compared 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 55+, that a condominium in a stand-alone neighborhood may not have. (Although, many people consider this a pro, not a con!)

Patio Homes at Twin Towers

Living room in single story patio home

Patio Home Floor Plans

At Twin Towers, we have 11 different floor plans for studio, one- or two-bedroom designs. Our patio homes feature attractive finishes, fully equipped kitchens, attached garages, sunrooms and screened porches. They are located in our South Ridge and Towerwoods neighborhoods, just minutes away from the cultural hub of downtown Cincinnati.


For more information or a tour, contact Twin Towers today. 513-853-2000.  


Take a virtual tour inside out patio homes. Watch the video

 

Topics: Senior Living Trends

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