Which is better, renting an apartment or a house? The answer to this question is how much privacy do you need?
Privacy is at a premium in an apartment building . . . neighbors, landlord. You never know what a neighbor will do with your personal information. Your neighbors have access to your mailbox since they are usually grouped and many times, if something is too big for the box, the mail will be left on a building's entrance steps or landing and neighbors can also see who comes and goes from your apartment, including the landlord.
You share a common laundry area and maybe even a common locker area although locked. The items you are storing are generally visible through the cage-like construction of the lockers. You also may share common parking areas, including a garage.
Another area of concern, if you have turmoil inside your apartment, the adjacent residents are usually privy to the turmoil. Let's face it, we all lose our cool at times.
Other disadvantages are you do not get to pick your neighbors and the calibre of some may be poor. You won't know your neighbors history, particularly legal. Many landlords do not do background checks prior to renting to a new tenant. Apartments generally lack space in comparison to a house. There also could be restrictions on pets.
There are pluses to living in an apartment. You may meet new friends to join your circle of friends. Apartments rent for less than houses. You may have recreational facilities and even a swimming pool. You have less responsibility than renting a house. No outside property maintenance is expected. Cleaning of common areas is arranged by the landlord (laundry, recreational facilities and garages).
Now renting a house is expensive. A consideration is the fact that you could almost purchase your own home for the same money.
Other disadvantages could be exterior and interior maintenance. In some cases the landscape maintenance (keeping property clear of dangerous items and clutter, lawn mowing and snow removal) is the the responsibility of the tenant. Sometimes the landlord will provide the equipment necessary to accomplish the maintenance.
Interior maintenance may be partially covered by the landlord (landlord may supply paint for your labor) but if there is an electrical, plumbing or heating problem, the landlord would most likely hire a professional unless the landlord is extremely experienced and knowledgeable in maintenance issues. There are some laws requiring repairs be made by a licensed individual. Garbage pickup is an expense which will probably be borne by you.
There are slum landlords in this world who do nothing to maintain their property and just let it deteriorate. However, there are also some very conscientious landlords who are interested in maintaining the value of their property.
The landlord could be discouraged from renting, maintenance and the responsibilites or purchased the property for investment purposes and put the property up for sale. When the property is sold, you may no longer have a home and will be required to find another place to live on a short time frame (30 days or less). You may not receive the notice until the next rent payment is due.
The foremost advantage of renting a house is the privacy factor. Your neighbors have very little access to your private information unless they are snooping in your mailbox (against the law) or lurking the exterior of the house.
Even if you have great neighbors, you can keep them an arms-length away by keeping private matters to yourself. You may also wish to do some gardening like grow your own crops to supplement the family's budget and nutrition. A house may provide more living space than an apartment. You also may be allowed pets providing you keep the premises free of pet paraphernalia.
Unless the landlord is casing his house, you will have freedom in entertaining. The noise should not bother anyone unless the party overflows to your neighbors. Hopefully, your family and friends will respect your home and surroundings.
Now that you have read some of the pros and cons of renting an apartment versus renting a house, you can make an informed decision on which way to move. I have attempted to cover both sides of the rent an apartment or rent a house issue to assist you in one of life's many decisions you must make.
© Norine Peardon 7-27-08
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