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How to Choose Between a House or an Apartment

Categories: Moving TipsReal Estate

When you need to find a new place, it can be challenging at times to know if a house or an apartment would be a better fit.

There are several points of consideration that you must review during this process. Do you want to have roommates living with you? Is there an upper limit to the amount in utilities or rent that you’re willing to pay? Do you want to deal with the hassle of maintaining a yard?

Benefits of Choosing a House Over an Apartment

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  • A house typically provides you with more space to enjoy. You’ll also get access to a yard in most situations that you can use within the guidelines of your lease. Although these benefits mean you’ll spend more time cleaning and taking care of the property, it is also an opportunity to experience independent living.
  • You don’t need to worry about strangers living in the apartment above or below you creating too much noise. A house can become a quiet place where you can study, watch TV, or even create a home office for your job.
  • Your neighbors will still be unpredictable, but they are at least living in a different building.
  • A house usually costs more than an apartment if you live by yourself. If you rent a home that has several bedrooms and shared common spaces, it could be cheaper to take that option.
  • Landlords tend to be a little more flexible with interior changes when you rent a house. Although the alterations might be considered permanent, you could have the option to change the light fixtures or paint the walls.
  • Because houses tend to be in the suburbs, you’ll be closer to most schools. You could have more options for shopping. It is the option to consider if having a domestic lifestyle seems appealing.

Reasons Why an Apartment Is Better Than a House

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  1. Apartments are a better solution if you prefer a low-maintenance lifestyle. You might sacrifice some living space for this benefit, but then you won’t need to worry about mowing the lawn or cleaning as much space.
  2. Most apartments are in secure buildings, so there is an extra level of protection against burglars or door-to-door salespeople. Living in a house might mean needing to pay for a security system that can do this job for you.
  3. There are utility benefits to living in an apartment vs. a house to consider, such as the inclusion of cable television, water, sewer, and sometimes even electricity. All of the costs should be outlined in your lease, so you will have a clear picture of your expense profile.
  4. Some apartments offer amenities that a house cannot provide.
  5. A house won’t have tennis courts, a fitness facility, or walking trails like some buildings and complexes provide. You might be able to rent a single-family structure with a pool in the backyard.

Most apartments tend to be closer to the activities in the city. If you like to visit art exhibits, museums, or attend sporting events, renting near these locations is very convenient. Living in a house means you’re out in the suburbs, so life focuses more on what happens there instead of in the community around you.

What You Can Expect from Either Experience

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The renting experience remains the same in many ways when choosing either a house or an apartment. If you do not own the property, then the landlord or property manager will charge a security deposit at the time you sign the lease. It is usually equal to the cost of one month’s rent. If you have a pet, an additional amount is often necessary. You might not get all or any of these funds back when it is time to find a new place.

Renting allows you to avoid the expense of maintenance or repair when items inevitably break down. That means if the wax ring under your toilet fails, you’re not responsible for the cost of fixing the situation unless there is direct evidence that you caused the damage. Hot water heaters, furnaces, and appliances can get rather expensive.

The one downside to renting is that you have no way to build equity in a property. That means there is no way to access the potential tax benefits that come with owning a home.

Renting a house or an apartment provides more flexibility to your lifestyle. There is more freedom to move where you want. Deciding between these two options involves the privacy you want and the price you can afford