The Pros and Cons of Living in an Apartment versus a House
A home is a place that you live in, where you keep your stuff and where you sleep. Every home is made by the people that live within it, and it differs with each person. Some people like to live in large lavish houses and may even go broke to do so. Others live within their means and will only afford what they can, but they still make it work.
A house is a piece of property that you own, (at least once you pay off the bank.) An apartment is a place that you rent or lease for a set amount of time. There are pros and cons to living in each place, and we have outline a few for you so you can make a more informed decision with where you want your money to go. While some people will say it is better to own, others will argue that renting is the way to go.
Owning / Living in a House
For those of you that want to have something you can truly call your own, then owning a house is for you. When we see house though, we mean a house, not a condo or a townhouse. While you own those pieces of property they are smaller and are too close to an apartment to be considered a house. They can also be a home, but they have different standards and guides that we won’t address now.
A house comes in many sizes and can be as small as a one bedroom house (although with these new tiny houses in the market they can be even smaller.) , they have a garage, a driveway, a front yard and a backyard. This is traditional, as they also include at least one bathroom, at least one bedroom, a kitchen, dining room and living room. Consider your options when buying a house as it is something that is permanent and it will mean payments for years. True you can sell it, but it will be a gamble and a risk as to whether you will come out ahead or behind when you do.
Owning a house means that it is yours, at least once it is paid for.
You can do what you want inside and outside (as far as decorations go) so long as it follows the law and association rules.
Values rise in time and your house could be worth more in the future.
It is something to pass on to the kids when you pass away.
Owning equity drives up your credit score in most cases and is something you can use as collateral when applying for a loan.
Your payment is always the same and can be lowered by refinancing or raised if you take a mortgage out on the house.
A house means there is more space to put things, and more room for the family. Of course, this depends on the size of the house, but a typical two-bedroom home is larger than most apartment homes.
You can paint the walls or hang pictures on them with no restrictions but your own.
You can put what you want in the backyard or garage.
You can own a washer and dryer, and do laundry when you want to.
You have a choice of going solar and green for the environment.
With a garage, there is guaranteed parking at your home.
There are no limits on the pets you can have (to an extent) or the type of pets.
A larger house means there is more to clean, and the more you put into it needs to be cleaned too.
Having a yard means that it needs to be taken care of. So, either the cost of equipment and your time each week, or hiring a gardener to take care of it.
If anything breaks in the house you need to fix it, or pay to have it fixed. This is everything from appliances, windows, doors, pipes, electrical work, pests and more.
Pest Control is something you now must pay for.
Trash is something you now must pay for.
Insurance costs are higher for a house but well worth the cost.
Security is now something that you are responsible for, and something to worry about.
Association fees are often applied in most areas, and are difficult to fight. They can limit what you can and can’t do with your house or to it.
The utilities can run a bit higher and you have more of them to pay for.
Living in an Apartment
Apartments are always popping up and they are constantly fighting to get your attention. They may all have similar prices and will compete, sighting the amenities that they have available for you. There are always costs involved with an apartment, and while most of them are up front before you move in, be sure and read the fine print in your lease. Make sure you do your research before you move in (as mentioned in a previous article), and inspect the place thoroughly. Ask a lot of questions and know all the fees up front before you apply. Everything might look great at first, but there could be more than meets the eye.
There are less utilities to pay for and the ones you do cost less than they would in a house.
Some apartments are equipped with gyms, business centers, pools, and recreation rooms. Most are included although if you want the rec room to yourself it can be rented out.
Not all apartments have them, but security is usually available in most units to keep everyone safe and following the rules.
In some places, the manager is available and lives on site, in others they only work there throughout the week. This can work as a pro and a con.
Maintenance is always provided, and there is usually someone that works there during the day or lives on site for 24-hour care. Most problems are fixed within 24 hours or less.
Gardening is provided by the complex or company that owns the building.
Pest control is provided by the complex or company that owns the building.
Apartments are generally built near conveniences such as shopping, freeways and schools.
Security comes at a cost that might be included as part of your rent or lease. And it could mean some strict rules are enforced, making sure you know them right away. They may only be there during the day, and problems usually occur at night. Some places might claim to have security, but only have a gate that cars go through and cameras.
Those same amenities that are a bonus, mean sharing them with dozens to hundreds of other residents. Many of them may not take care of the equipment or report when they are broken.
Not every resident follows the rules, some people only follow them when they are being enforced.
A laundry room, means sharing with other residents and some residents will hog the entire room for hours.
Parking could be a problem.
If there is a pathway that runs along your unit, and it leads to something, be sure that people will try and look into your apartment.
Sometimes your neighbors are a little too close for comfort.