An apartment complex.

House Or Apartment?

So, you have chosen to rent a home either from necessity or because you do not want to commit to ownership. No problem, but you have a choice to make. Should you rent an apartment or a house? It is a big decision but one that comes with a lot of consequences. Take a look at some things that might help you decide.

Compromises & Hidden Costs

The decision between a house and an apartment can be a difficult one, especially if you have children. On the surface it might seem like a simple choice but when you dig in more, you see that there are numerous hidden costs.

Those hidden costs could be compromises that must be made or hidden expenses. Take a look and them make your choice as to what to do.

Argument For An Apartment

One of the chief reasons to choose an apartment is convenience. They are smaller and easier to take care of. In addition, much of the maintenance is done for you. The lawn and grounds are maintained and the complex will even provide you with much sought after amenities. Get a pool, a fitness room and even sports fields, all of which are maintained for you

Another benefit to an apartment is the cost of entry. Down payments are generally less than what they would be for a house. A house with a 2000 dollar a month rent would usually have  a deposit due that is equal to the rent which means that it would cost a minimum of 4000 dollars to get into a house.

An apartment on the other hand will usually have a much smaller deposit. That deposit on a 2000 dollar a month apartment might be just 500 dollars or it could even be waived. That means that to get into an apartment it might only cost you 2500 dollars or less. This is much easier to swallow.

Lastly, with an apartment you have many hidden savings. Utilities are typically much cheaper and that alone can save you thousands of dollars a year. With a house, you also have to do or pay for general maintenance. Things like pest control, lawn care and general upkeep are often left up to you. These are expenses that must be accounted for.

Argument For A House

Space is the thing that you give up most when you have an apartment. Given the same budget for a house or an apartment, you can usually get more space when you choose a house. Of course, this can vary based on the market, but in most areas, a similarly priced house will be larger than the apartment.If you are single, this might not be a huge compromise for you. If you have kids however, it can be a very big deal. If space is what you need, a house is where it is at.

Privacy is also greatly increased with a house. You will often have a yard all to yourselves and will not have people constantly walking by your window peeking in as you do with ground floor apartments. Also, since you have space between houses, you do not have all of the noise that you would have when you share a wall.

Wrapping Up

The decision between renting a house and renting an apartment really comes down to what you value and what you can afford.

If you do not need much space, value convenience and want to save some money, an apartment is the sure winner.

If, on the other hand, you need more space or privacy and are willing to pay for it, a house might be the way to go.

Given all of the little extra costs, renting a house with the same rent will cost you far more. A 2000 dollar apartment rental would be far cheaper than a 2000 dollar house rental. You would save, on average 1500 dollars in down payments and even more on utilities.

To pay utilities on a home, you would need hundreds of dollars more each and every month.


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James Car is a finance, loan and budget expert based in the United States. After attending Brookhaven college, he went on to become a successful entrepreneur. He now enjoys writing articles that help people save and make the most of their money.