Living in a house and living in an apartment have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. An apartment is relatively cheaper and easier to maintain than a real house. An apartment dweller, however, has to deal with responsibilities such as paying the rent on time and complying with the rules of apartment personnel. A house, meanwhile, is considered as an investment in property. But homeowners have to deal with mortgage payments, as well as utility bills.
Living at Home or in an Apartment? Advantages and Disadvantages
For most people, living in an apartment is one of the first real steps towards independence.
They view the apartment as an oasis of freedom – it is relatively cheaper and easier to maintain than a real house. But as the saying goes, with freedom comes responsibility. Living in an apartment is synonymous to responsibilities such as being able to pay the rent on time and complying with the rules of apartment personnel.
Living in a house, on the other hand, is considered as a wise investment.
Many years of mortgage payments will result in property that one can call his or her own. But it also means having to pay for utilities such as electricity, gas, water and repairs. Indeed, which one is better – living at home or in an apartment? What are their respective advantages and disadvantages?
The Apartment: The “Mini-Kingdom”
It is amazing that such a small space is equivalent to relatively huge freedom. For most apartment dwellers, the largest fixed expense that they have to deal with is the monthly rent. In addition, it is easier for them to look for an apartment than a house that their paycheck can afford. Not having to worry about utilities such as electricity, gas, water and fire insurance allows them to focus on work, hobbies and other activities.
Freedom to Leave a Bad Job
When an apartment dweller becomes dissatisfied with his or her job, he or she can quit without worrying about the money. Apartment dwellers, after all, only have to meet the rent on time to be able to keep their respective apartments. When the rent is paid, they are free to find a new job without having to worry about other utilities. In sharp contrast, house owners have to look for a new job first before leaving their present one (Kjerulf, 2006).
Given the small space of most apartments, they are easier to maintain than most houses. Apartment dwellers maximize the space of their apartments by buying only the things that they really need. In addition, they learn to let go of linens, clothes, furniture, kitchenware and other knick-knacks that they do not need (Kjerulf, 2006). Clutter actually costs more because of money spent on storage, repair, cleaning, etc.
Freedom to Take a Chance
The fixed cost of an apartment has allowed many apartment dwellers to venture into activities such as entrepreneurship. Because they do not have the need to bring home a huge paycheck to be able to keep up with the mortgage and utility bills, they have the time to focus on other worthwhile activities. The Internet has provided them a venue for opening a business without having to actually rent store space. As long as the rent and the Internet bill are paid, they are good to go (Kjerulf, 2006).
One disadvantage of living in an apartment is that apartment dwellers have to comply with rules regarding maintenance and yard work. Apartment personnel usually have the last say on whether or not things outdoors should be put away and when they must be put away. In sharp contrast, homeowners can take their time in putting away their things. Although the said rule may appear stifling, it actually does make sense – an apartment community would indeed look cluttered if its dwellers left garbage, bikes and toys out front (Ray, 2007).
Another disadvantage of living in an apartment is that written permission from apartment personnel is necessary before dwellers can paint or redecorate their respective units. Furthermore, should dwellers be allowed to do so, they have to return whatever they have changed to their former condition before moving out. This rule may likewise appear to be strict, but it is also for the good of the dwellers. Not everyone enjoys the same color and neither is everyone good at painting. Hence, almost every apartment is painted in neutral colors – nobody would wish to move into an apartment with loud colors or sloppily done paintwork (Ray, 2007).
The House: A “Castle” of one’s Own
There is truth to the cliché that a house is a good investment for the future. Paying mortgage for several years will certainly pay off upon receiving full ownership of the house. If ever they wish to resell their house, it is up to the homeowners to decide how much would it be sold. And of course, there are also other fringe benefits such as more expansive living spaces (Bateman, 2007).
Apart from having a place to go to after reaching retirement age, homeowners can also avail of unique tax advantages through property tax refunds. Depending on how much they earn in a month, they can have full access to property tax credits including taxes for municipal dues, school expenses and water bills. Furthermore, whatever profits homeowners make from selling their houses is nontaxable (Krupp, 2009).
Bigger and More Flexible Abode
A house is a smart investment, especially for large families. Houses in general have more spacious rooms and gardens. Homeowners also have the option to convert their house from a primary residence into a vacation house. In addition, houses that are located in subdivisions offer cleaner environments and additional facilities like parking areas, parks, swimming pools and function rooms (Bateman, 2007).
Proximity to Facilities
One disadvantage of living in a house is that there is the possibility that it is far from facilities such as hospitals, schools and malls. Unless their house is located near central business districts, homeowners may end up spending more on fuel due to long travel time. Higher expenditures on fuel, in turn, will translate to higher household expenses. Before buying a house, therefore, homeowners must first determine its proximity to places of interest (Bateman, 2007).
Bills, Bills, Bills
Homeowners must be conscientious with paying the bills (mortgage, insurance, water, electricity, etc.). An unpaid bill may mean disconnection of certain facilities or even foreclosure. As a result, homeowners must have a bigger and steadier income than apartment dwellers. In addition, they must learn how to budget their money so that they can always pay the bills on time.
Living in an apartment and in a house has their respective advantages and disadvantages. At the end of the day, it is still up to the owner to decide where he or she decides to live. For him or her to be able to make this decision, self-knowledge is crucial. He or she must determine whether it would be easier for him or her to maintain an apartment over a house or vice versa. In addition, he or she must find out which one of the two living facilities would be more convenient for his or her everyday life. Only when these questions are answered will the saying “There is no place like home” finally come true.
Bateman, M. Associated Content. (2007, May 15). House Living Vs. Condominium Living:
Advantages and Disadvantages. Retrieved March 8, 2009, from
Kjerulf, A. Chief Happiness Officer. (2006, August 11). Retrieved March 8, 2009, from
Krupp, E. Westmont Examiner. (2009, February 20). Practical Benefits of Home Ownership.
Retrieved March 8, 2009, from http://www.westmountexaminer.com/article-305751- Practical-benefits-of-home-ownership.html
Ray, C. Associated Content. (2007, November 6). Retrieved March 8, 2009, from
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