It’s often difficult to determine what is best for you when you’re just starting out in life and trying to find your place in the world. Are you considering renting a small apartment? Or perhaps you believe that purchasing a home would provide you with more stability and something to look forward to at the end of the day?
Culturally speaking, there are some stereotypes about which types of housing options are best for different people. For example, an apartment is often seen as a starter home that young professionals live in while they’re still trying to figure things out. Meanwhile, buying a house is seen as something older people do when they have a more established life and their kids have moved out.
To ease your apartment vs. house dilemma, we’ve highlighted key differences between these two housing options. Read on.
Differences Between an Apartment and a House
These two separate dwellings each have their own set of benefits and drawbacks. An apartment is usually part of a larger building with multiple people living in different units. The house is often a single-family residence occupied by only one family. Obviously, that means a house will be bigger than an apartment.
If you’re single or a young couple, living in an apartment may be better for you than a house. Furthermore, if you’re still struggling to find your career path or you’re waiting to get married and have kids, an apartment might be a good option. Owning a bigger house usually means more expenses and requires more upkeep.
To help you decide between a house or apartment, let’s look at the pros of both living situations.
Pros of Living in Apartment Buildings
Apartment complexes offer several advantages, namely:
Apartments are usually available in the heart of a bustling city. Many apartment complexes are located near convenience stores, fitness centers, government buildings, etcetera, which are good locations.
You can find a decent house in a calm and crime-free area with relative ease. When you buy an apartment, you’re certain that you’re living in a secure neighborhood.
Many apartments embody modern designs and features, especially if they’re located in bustling regions. Living in an urban apartment complex might provide you with new lifestyle options.
When moving into an apartment, safety is also a primary issue. Many residential complexes feature gated entrances and security guards. In contrast to living in a house where you must address these concerns yourself, an apartment can provide you with additional security.
Apartment living costs less than house living (whether a bought or rented home). Utilities often make up part of your monthly rent, so you spend less on them. When comparing the prices of renting an apartment vs. a house, the apartment often wins.
Apartment living gives you the freedom to move anytime you choose. If your job demands that you travel from one location to another often, you’ll find it easier to move into and out of your house. Furthermore, you’re more likely to find an already furnished apartment, saving you money and time.
Cons of Apartment Living
While it has its advantages, apartment living also has disadvantages, like:
In many cases, the walls in an apartment are not as thick as those in a house. So, you’ll have to listen to your neighbors if they have a loud night out or if they have a screaming baby.
Having a shared space means you have to follow strict rules about what you can do in the common areas.
You might have a smaller yard if you live in an apartment, and you’re unlikely to have your own yard or balcony.
For tenants who own automobiles, parking lots are available in most apartments. However, much of this land is for public use. Apartment living doesn’t guarantee you a private parking lot.
Your neighbors are likely to fancy your preferred parking space. As a result, you’ll find yourself driving around the parking lot to locate a vacant spot.
Lacking space in an apartment might save you money, but it can also burden you with finding room to fit your belongings. You may eventually do away with a few pieces of furniture or appliances since you don’t have enough space.
If you know this is likely the case but would still like to rent an apartment, consider selling or donating the items you don’t need.
Pros of Living in a House
Staying in a house offers several benefits, including:
If privacy is important to you, a house provides more of it than an apartment does. Unlike in apartments where you share walls with other families, in a house, the additional physical space between you and your neighbors cuts you off from most nearby sounds.
A typical apartment building often has thinner walls, and you may have noisy neighbors above, beside, or underneath you. Also, packages delivered to you are safer in your house than in an apartment complex.
You won’t directly influence what your neighbors do in an apartment. It isn’t unusual to share a building with noisy neighbors.
More Living Space
Living in a house means more room than living in an apartment, because there’s a limit to how much space you can rent, especially since it’ll require higher monthly payments. If you have a large family, buying or renting a house may be the best option for you.
House living might provide some seclusion for each member of a large family. Many residences include spacious kitchens and living spaces for family gatherings. If you want a pleasant home for your family, consider renting a single family home.
The vast majority of residences on the market have separate garages. If you’re a car owner, you’ll enjoy house living. Homeowners enjoy the luxury of individual parking spaces without permits or fees.
You won’t have to contend with neighbors about parking when you own a home. Choose home-living if you value parking space.
You build equity when you make loan payments and/or as the value of your house rises. The wider the gap between your mortgage balance and the value of your home, the more equity you have.
You can borrow against this equity or renegotiate your mortgage to obtain cash. This financial cushion appeals to many individuals and may be less risky than other investment opportunities.
One major benefit of renting a home is that if you love it, you might persuade the owner to agree to a rent-to-own arrangement. Rent-to-own arrangements are ideal for you if you want to purchase a property in the future but love the one you’re renting now.
A rent-to-own property provides the benefit of a percentage of the rent going toward the property’s future buying price. The disadvantage of renting an apartment is that there’s no possibility to own it. Renting a property provides you with the opportunity to become a homeowner sooner.
Cons of Living in a House
Before you rent or buy a house, consider the following drawbacks:
High Upfront Costs
Due to its convenience, homeownership is every American’s dream. However, a huge 70 percent of these individuals can’t afford a house because in most popular US cities, house living can exceed an individual’s income.
There are several expenses associated with house-living. Also included are mortgage payments, property taxes, house inspections, insurance, and other costs. If, after evaluating your financial situation, you’ve confirmed that you’re not financially prepared to purchase a house, consider renting an apartment.
Owning a home may not be in your best interests if you live alone. Houses have hefty upkeep costs. Technical issues like plumbing and air conditioning are your responsibility.
It’s costlier to maintain a house than an apartment, especially because in the latter, your rent includes maintenance fees. Houses have larger surface areas and various exteriors and materials. If you opt to renovate, the expenses will be added to your account.
Houses are Illiquid
A house might be a terrific investment, but it is also an illiquid asset. Illiquidity is the situation of an asset that can’t be exchanged for money without losing value in legal terms. Private securities, such as real estate, fall under this category.
The vast majority of real estate auctions don’t take place in public spaces. Purchasing a home also necessitates a significant amount of paperwork, making it tough to convert real estate into physical cash.
Houses, unlike other assets like equities, don’t often sell quickly. Even if you sell the property, you may still have to pay the mortgage.
What to Consider When Buying a House
Before buying or renting a house, keep in mind that there are several factors to consider, including:
The House’s Condition
When purchasing or renting a house, you must confirm that it’s in decent condition. Buying an ancient building may necessitate extensive renovations, which could eventually cost you money. Such a scenario wouldn’t be desirable. So, to avoid tension, later on, it’s crucial you thoroughly evaluate a property before purchasing it.
The Type of House
Your needs and tastes will determine the type of house you buy. To suit your desires, several alternatives are available, including bungalows, flats, mansions, and condominiums. Your lifestyle also influences your choice of a house. After choosing the building you desire, you can focus on interior and exterior design.
Homebuyers fancy living in an area close to locations they frequently visit, including school, workplace, religious institution, fitness center, market, etcetera. Look out for convenient access to major highways. Observe the traffic flow as well.
Taking these steps before purchasing a property helps you avoid the problems of getting out or into the neighborhood. Buying a home close to your workplace or school will save you time and money on commuting.
Consider the Costs
What is your monthly budget? Remember to budget for property taxes, homeowners’ insurance, and maintenance fees.
Another factor to consider is how the cost of the home will affect your monthly spending. If you buy a larger home, your mortgage payment, property taxes, and homeowners’ insurance may be greater than if you buy a smaller home.
Work with a lender or mortgage broker to determine what you can afford and what type of mortgage is best for you.
What to Consider When Renting an Apartment
Before renting an apartment, it’s crucial you think things through to determine if the accommodation you have in mind is worth your money.
Here are several things to consider before renting an apartment:
Examine your budget before contemplating an apartment. Gather online information on the neighborhood’s typical rental fees. If you decide to pay a premium for a particular area, you’ll need to find other ways to save money.
Furthermore, it’s often a red flag if an apartment’s rent is unbelievably cheap compared to other places in the region. So, ensure you understand the market before negotiating a price.
Your landlord has the power to make or break your tenancy. You could end up in your own renting nightmare (or worse, a lawsuit) if you have a lousy landlord who ignores boundaries.
To avoid such situations, attempt to meet with your landlord or have a phone conversation with them. Gather information from your neighbors, and ask about their overall experience.
Before signing a lease, always have a real estate agent or lawyer review the terms to ensure they’re legal. Examine the lease to ensure that it meets your requirements as well. Is it possible, for example, to sublease your unit in the future if this contract allows it?
Check the lease duration, when the rent is due each month, if roommates are permitted, who is responsible for upkeep, parking restrictions, and whether your deposit is refundable.
Before you start looking for an apartment, you’ll want to figure out how many bedrooms and bathrooms you’ll need. Also, consider other amenities and features that are essential to you, including a dishwasher, new appliances, a private balcony, swimming pools, a fitness center, etcetera.
The Final Verdict: Which Is Better for You?
The ultimate decider in the apartment vs. house debate is you. It’s up to you to choose which form of living situation is ideal for you. If you prefer a large property in the suburbs while still having a smaller, less expensive apartment in the city, go for it! With numerous housing options and relevant information available, you can decide whether you’re buying a house or renting an apartment easily.
If you’ve decided to buy a house but still have trouble locating the perfect one that suits your needs, worry not, Homes by Ardor is here for you.
We offer a diverse portfolio of assets that includes high-value villas, single family homes, apartments, commercial property, flats, townhouses, residential land, farms, investment properties, and many more.
Visit our website now to find your new home.
Kris Reid is the CEO of Ardor SEO, a company that helps real estate professionals get more leads and customers to predictably grow their business.
Over the years, Kris acquired extensive knowledge of SEO and its practical applications in various industries, with the main focus on real estate.
In 2021 Ardor launched the Icons of Real Estate Podcast to share proven strategies from the top producing icon agents with the real estate community.
After obtaining the real estate license in 2022, Kris joined eXp Realty and launched Homes by Ardor, the platform that was built to be the fastest way to buy or sell a house. Homes by Ardor also provides leads for its partner companies and realtors.