If you’re about to move homes, choosing between buying and renting isn’t the only decision you’d have to make. Even when most people decide to rent a home instead of buying one, they’re uncertain about which type of property fits their needs the best. Renting a house vs. an apartment is, therefore, an important debate, and the factors we’ve listed in this post will help you make the right choice for your family.
Renting a House vs. an Apartment—What to Consider
Here are all of the critical factors to keep in mind when you are deliberating between renting a house vs. an apartment for your family:
- Easy Access to Commute
- Additional Amenities
- Rental Costs
- Flexibility of Rules
- Maintenance Concerns
Let’s discuss each of these in detail now.
The amount of space you need in your home is the biggest deciding factor and will help you finalise your choice of a house or an apartment for rent.
Generally, renting a house means having larger living areas, more bedrooms, and bathrooms, as well as access to a yard or garden. This might be the ideal setting for a large family or a growing one. In contrast, apartment living offers considerably smaller spaces, with little to no options for outdoor play.
Thus, you need to determine your family’s requirements before you finalise the type of property that you want to rent. The available space, both inside and around the home, needs to be perfectly suited to your requirements.
Renting an apartment without a dedicated parking space might also be problematic for many, especially in congested parts of the city. In contrast, most houses offer indoor or roadside parking that is dedicated to residents.
Easy Access to Commute
Since rental apartments are generally located in densely populated localities, public transport is often easily available as soon as you reach the main road. The same, unfortunately, is not true for housing communities that have gated and secured neighbourhoods where public transport is only available once you exit the society itself.
Moreover, living in an apartment often gives you close access to a commercial area, a few eateries, or a local market. On the other hand, purely residential projects with houses for rent might not offer the same convenience.
The decision between renting a house vs. an apartment also depends on the amenities you want in a particular rental. If you’re looking for a private pool, a spacious backyard, or private parking, you’ll need to look for a house on rent that fits your budget. In contrast, if you don’t mind sharing the facilities with other members of the same apartment complex, you can find indoor pools, gyms, car parks, and even rooftop gardens in some of the more luxurious flats being built nowadays.
While renting an apartment often comes with a range of amenities, you should also consider the fact that most of these facilities are shared and public, giving little to no privacy to residents. Moreover, apartment living is all about living in a community, with fairly nosy neighbours, a row of flats on the same floor in close proximity, and barely any soundproofing, meaning that your private conversations are rarely that private.
In contrast, houses often have a mandatory five feet distance from one another in most major cities of Pakistan, especially in the newly built communities. This distance, along with your own separate living space, surrounded by high walls, gives a sense of privacy and peace that cannot be found when you find your neighbours peeking in through the windows.
Along with privacy, we also have to talk about security concerns. While renting an apartment might not give you the privacy you seek, a guarded entrance to the building, CCTV surveillance, and the possibility of helpful neighbours that will come running at a shout is always reassuring.
Housing communities, in contrast, are more private, with very little being known about what goes on behind closed doors. But then again, it’s quite easy for intruders to enter your premises by climbing up walls or breaking open a window if you do not take proper measures to secure the house, such as installing security alarms, setting up cameras on the premises, and so on.
Since renting a house allows you to live in a bigger home with a better lifestyle, it obviously costs you more. Add the cost of home maintenance to that, and you’ve got a major expense on your hands. In comparison, if you only have a limited budget, renting an apartment that comes with a range of additional facilities might be a better option. A rental unit in an apartment complex, no matter how luxurious, will generally cost you less and require lesser maintenance than a rental house.
In terms of rent, you also need to consider the location of a property. Houses in residential communities that are away from major parts of the city might be cheaper, but if you want to live in the heart of the city, it will generally be easier to rent an apartment than a house. The costs of renting also include your utility bills. More space = higher power consumption = higher bills.
Flexibility of Rules
Do you love to live by your own rules? Want to keep pets, have loud parties, or the freedom to park your car where you want? Renting a house comes with the freedom to do all that and more. You’re generally not answerable to anybody, and the homeowner’s association, if any, will not bother you unless you’re really disturbing your neighbours. In contrast, most apartment blocks will have certain rules that might restrict your freedom, such as a no-pets policy.
Many landlords will also offer greater interior design freedom to tenants who rent houses in comparison to those who rent flats, allowing you the greater creative freedom to style your interior as per your preference.
Intertwined with the costs of renting a house or an apartment are the maintenance concerns and their respective charges. It has been observed that landlords of flats generally take care of the urgent maintenance and repairs themselves if you just let them know about it timely. But with house rentals, you’re often on your own. From the yard to the house, and its repairs, you might be responsible for all possible repairs and concerns.
The best way to determine what you’re signing up for is to read the rental agreement thoroughly. Also, try to find a good landlord before you agree to become their tenant, as renting from the wrong one will land you in a lot of trouble down the road.
Ultimately, renting a house vs. an apartment comes down to the lifestyle you want to enjoy, the amenities you want, the rent you can afford, and the compromises you are willing to make on all of the factors above because both sides have their share of pros and cons to consider.