Single-Family Home vs. Apartment: Which is Better For You?

But, what do you need to know before renting a house? And, what are the differences between renting a single-family home and an apartment? We’ve got you covered.

1. More living space

Though apartments come in all different sizes, generally, a single-family home has more living space than an apartment. More space also comes with some drawbacks – higher utility bills, more maintenance and higher rent.

If you’ll be renting with several people, a single-family home might make sense. However, if you’re renting alone or with just one other person, you should double check that you can handle the extra space both in terms of price and upkeep.

2. Different amenities

One of the perks of living in an apartment community is the amenities offered to residents. Apartment complexes frequently have fitness areas, swimming pools, on-site laundry services and much more.

Single-family home rentals typically don’t offer these same amenities. If you think you’d miss the offerings of an apartment complex, you likely won’t be satisfied with a single-family home.

An important note; however, is parking. Single-family homes often have at least a driveway and maybe even an enclosed garage. Apartment complexes sometimes don’t even offer a parking space, much less front-door parking.

3. Like your privacy?

One factor that might have you leaning more towards renting a single-family home instead of an apartment is privacy. The Urban Land Institute surveyed millennials asking why they chose to rent a single-family home as opposed to an apartment. Privacy was the most common response.

Apartment complexes have multiple residents living on one lot, meaning apartment dwellers often share walls and common spaces with their neighbors.

If you’re concerned about privacy or are especially picky about sharing your space with strangers, you should avoid renting an apartment and seek out a single-family home if your means allow you to.

4. Location, location, location

One difference between a single-family home and an apartment is the location they tend to be available in. There are exceptions, but generally speaking, apartments are located in more urban areas and single-family homes tend to be found in suburbia.

Even if the neighborhood is not fully-walkable, it’s more likely that an apartment complex would at least be located within walking distance of public transport. This can be a huge perk for younger people without the means to commute from the suburbs into their city.

5. What are your landlord’s future plans?

It’s a known fact that you should think about your future before committing to a rental. But have you ever thought about your landlord’s future plans? It’s especially important when renting a single-family home.

Property owners can sell their home at any point in time, even when there are renters already in place. When renting a single-family home, this is a risk you should keep in mind.

It won’t hurt to simply ask your landlord if they intend to sell in the near future. They can always deceive you, but many will tell you the truth. Open and honest communication between a tenant and a landlord is key to a happy and long-lasting rental relationship.

Photo by Breno Assis on Unsplash

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Timothy HarrisTimothy Harris is a freelance writer based in Albuquerque. He brings a professional background in event marketing, residential real estate and journalism to the table to provide useful and relevant content for the modern renter. Timothy has previously written content for Karsten & Associates in New Mexico and Up 'til Dawn, a philanthropic fundraiser that benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

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