Which is better? Renting an apartment? Or owning a home? Below is a comparison broken into categories.
With few exceptions, renting a house will afford you a much greater living space than renting an apartment. Not only are there more rooms in a typical house rental-more bedrooms, more bathrooms, and potentially more living rooms-but each room typically has greater floor space than corresponding rooms in an apartment.
If you’re moving in with your family or with a number of roommates, a house can afford you greater living space. If you’re living on your own or with just one other person, though, the extra rent you’d have to pay for the bigger space may not be worth it.
Most apartments run in the 1-2 bedroom range, and are laid out in a very economical way.
That’s fine for when you’re single or a couple, but once you have kid, it’s amazing how a place that once seemed decently roomy now feels like a confining hole. A house (and the backyard that typically accompanies it) gives the kiddos room to roam and parents space to breathe.
When you rent and something goes wrong with your place, you just have to pick up the phone and call the landlord to take care of it.
If you’re renting at an apartment complex, there’s no lawn to mow, weeds to pull, or walkways to shovel. You can spend more time doing stuff that you want to do instead spending your weekends puttering around the house.
In national surveys among homeowners on why they bought a home, emotional factors are always the top reasons. Homeownership is wrapped up in so many emotional layers.
For many people owning a home makes them feel secure; for others, homeownership provides a sense of independence, pride, and fulfillment.
A lot depends on where you’re looking to move and the current housing market, but if you’re comparing renting a house to apartment rentals in the same area, you’ll most likely find that apartments are a more affordable option, particularly if you’re renting on your own or with only one other paying person.
However, when the housing market is flooded with excess homes to sell, you’ll find that many home owners decide to put their homes up for rent instead of selling. This will work to your advantage when renting a house, as prices are more competitive.
As a general rule, if you’re looking at places near a metropolitan area or the housing market is stable, an apartment will cost less to rent than a house.
However, if there’s a surplus of houses on the market and/or you’re looking at more rural areas, you can find affordable deals on house rentals as well.
Apartments have low maintenance. Depending on your rental agreement, renting a house may also mean taking on shoveling the walkway, mowing the lawn, maintaining the garden and general upkeep of the house. In an apartment, the grounds and outdoor maintenance are all taken care of for you.
Homes have high maintenance. Along with the space and size of a house comes additional maintenance. There are more windows to clean, more floors to vacuum, more lawns to mow and more gardens to tend.
Apartment wins because no tax is paid when you’re just renting.
On the other hand, homeowners can deduct their mortgage interest payments and property taxes when they itemize their federal income taxes. These deductions offset the cost of your housing.
While there are always exceptions, you’re likely to find rental houses with more amenities than apartments.
For example, washing machines and dryers are typically included with house rentals but are only sometimes included with apartments, which instead offer a communal coin-operated laundromat or leave you to find your own place at which to wash your laundry.
However, if you’re looking at something like a duplex rental, it’s possible that your part of the house won’t have a washing machine or dryer, either.
If amenities like included washing machines, dryers and dishwashers are important to you, you’re more likely to find them in houses than apartments, although you can find apartments with amenities included if you do your research. If you have a family or a number of roommates, these amenities can make life much easier.
On the other hand, if you’re living alone or with just one other person, having amenities included in the place you are renting shouldn’t be a make-or-break deal.
Owning a house is often more expensive than renting an apartment, but there are a number of advantages to choosing a house over an apartment regardless. You can consider splitting the greater expense by getting additional roommates, as you’ll have more room to share.