For a long time, apartments have been the go-to alternative for many people who opt not to live in a full-scale house. Obviously, there are advantages and disadvantages to both living situations, depending on your preferences and any issues regarding the property.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of living in large apartment blocks? Living in a large apartment block has its advantages, such as never having to worry about maintenance, and having access to shared facilities such as a gym. There are some downsides as well, such as a smaller living space and renovation limitations.
This article takes a look at both the advantages and disadvantages of living in a large apartment complex to help you make up an informed decision.
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In most apartments, the responsibility of maintenance usually falls on the landlord or body corporate. Landlords typically have a handyman who handles a wide variety of issue that they may have, and for specialized needs, a responsive contractor is probably only a phone call away. Some top quality apartment blocks even offer a 24/7 hotline, so that even if your sink unexpectedly clogs in the middle of the night, you have no need to worry. Furthermore, you don’t have to sweep driveways, mow lawns, or worry about garden maintenance.
However, you may still be responsible for some of the non-structural maintenance within your apartment. Maintenance is usually done at no additional costs since it is already accounted for in your monthly rent.
2. Reduced cost
Renting an apartment is generally cheaper than paying a mortgage, especially when you compare an apartment and a house with the same number of bedrooms. The price of buying a home has been on a first rise, and mortgage rates are not getting any lower. On the other hand, the number of local housing markets where payable monthly rent is cheaper is constantly growing.
Another benefit of renting in a large apartment block is having access to amenities that would otherwise be an enormous financial expense. Amenities that could potentially come with an apartment complex include a swimming pool, a fitness center or gym, a communal outdoor barbecue area, and a security system. Tenants can use these luxuries at no additional cost.
On the other hand, even if a house has a pool, it comes with many responsibilities such as paying for installation, upkeep, and cleaning.
4. Utilities are cheaper
Homes tend to be larger than apartments, therefore the cost of utilities such as electricity, gas, cable, water, and trash is generally higher. However, utility bills vary depending on a number of factors such as apartment size, consumption rates, the city you live in, and latitude.
Large apartment buildings typically invest in the overall safety of its tenants by installing 24/7 video –surround surveillance coverage, or other forms of security such security guards and a code to get into the building limited to the tenants. This is usually at no additional cost.
Furthermore, living in close proximity to other people leaves you less vulnerable than living in a private and secluded space. Most of the time, you will find at least two apartments per floor, so that even if a burglar manages to get past security, there will be at least one neighbor to serve as a witness.
Additionally, large apartment buildings usually have relatively complex floor plans, which gives burglars a tough time when it comes to gaining access to a particular apartment without being noticed.
On the contrary, living in single-family homes means that you will have to bear with the cost of installing security systems.
Most apartment developers usually perform a careful assessment before setting up complexes in order to land on geographical locations that are in close proximity to services and amenities such as shopping centers, schools, offices, and entertainment spots. On the other hand, single-family homes tend to be situated further from such conveniences.
7. Sense of community
There is a sense of community that comes with living in a large apartment. It allows you to form connections and even life-long friendships with your neighbors since you live in close proximity. Neighborly connections can come in handy when you need help in an emergency. If you have children, they are likely to find playmates easily, and you won’t have to worry about them going far for playdates.
Living in an apartment building that is close to your work means that you won’t have to worry about the headache that comes with a daily commute. This means potentially less time sitting in traffic, and consequently an earlier arrival time at work.
9. No real estate taxes
When you live in an apartment building, you don’t have to worry about paying real estate taxes, which are hefty costs that homeowners have to bear with. The larger the house, the higher the property tax.
10. No big down payments to be made
Buying a house with a mortgage automatically subjects you to make a sizeable down payment. In contrast, you do not have to make a huge deposit in order to move into an apartment block. Usually, landlords will require a rental deposit that is equal to the amount of one month’s rent, which is significantly less than the down payment you will make for a house of the same size.
11. Rent is fixed
The amount of rent you pay each month living in an apartment building is what is indicated on your lease agreement. Landlords may raise the rent, but they will notify you beforehand so that you can make the necessary adjustments to your budget. Meanwhile, homeowners have to contend with the amount they pay for mortgages and property tax potentially fluctuating.
12. Effortless cleaning
Houses tend to be larger than apartments, which means that you have will less square footage to cover when it comes to cleaning.
Unfortunately, the close proximity to neighbors that comes with living in an apartment building is a double-edged sword. For example, if you have thin walls, your neighbors might be able to hear everything that goes on in your apartment, which greatly compromises your privacy.
Living in close quarters with several people means that you have to deal with noises emanating from various sources. Living in an apartment building can be a nightmare in situations such as your upstairs neighbor being a bass guitar player, or the dogs next door barking at odd hours of the night. Noise is amplified if your apartment is not soundproof, which results in a less than conducive environment in your own living space.
3. Small living space and outdoor space
When you live in an apartment, size is often a compromise, since they tend to be smaller than houses. The cheaper price comes with smaller rooms, and you will just have to learn to live with less furniture and appliances so that your space is not too cramped. Similarly, living in an apartment means that you have to settle for floor space and a balcony in place of private outdoor space.
4. Parking issues
In case you have a car, you always have to take parking space availability in an apartment building into consideration. Most of them will have assigned parking, but this does not mean that your space will always be free, especially if one of your neighbors decides to park in your spot. If you don’t have allocated parking, you are faced with the challenge of finding on-street parking, which is not always easy.
5. Renovation restriction
Some apartment buildings have strict rules when it comes to making renovations. This is usually indicated in the lease agreement, or your landlord will specifically ask you not to adjust some fixtures or paint the walls. As a result, you have very limited control, especially when want to personalize your space.
6. Decision-making systems by body corporate
The body corporate is a collective of apartment owners in a building. They are in charge of making decisions regarding the usage of apartments. Ideally, it is a shared decision-making system, but it is not uncommon to find that you hardly know the group of people who make decisions on what you can or can’t in your apartment. If you are just a renter, you don’t normally get to have a say in these decisions.
7. Conflict with neighbors
Living in harmony with your neighbor is the ideal situation when you are a renter in an apartment building. However, conflicts are bound to arise, especially when your neighbors are problematic. This may result in an uncomfortable living situation, especially when you have to interact with them from time to time.
- Are apartments on higher floors more expensive? Apartments on higher floors are typically more expensive, even when all the spaces in the building have the same or comparable floor plan, simply because they are more desirable.
- Is it cheaper to buy an apartment instead of renting? Buying an apartment is more expensive since you have to bear with costs such as property tax, HOA fees, and mortgage payment.
- Is a house or apartment a better investment? For a long term financial strategy, invest in houses since they are evidenced to be the more stable and profitable option. Meanwhile, apartments have shown to yield more profitable returns in shorter time frames.