How to Decipher Whether a House or an Apartment is the Right Move for You

It’s about that time again. Where am I going to live next year? Who am I going to live with? How do I choose where to live when there are so many options? All of these questions can run through our minds and it can be very stressful. Essentially, you have two options – a house or an apartment complex. For those going into their sophomore year, this can be an even harder decision to make since nearly all freshmen spend their first year living in a dorm on campus. Here are some of the pros and cons of both options.

Pros of living in an apartment complex: 

  1. Many apartment complexes have the option of coming fully furnished. This can be helpful and at times less expensive (you can’t be pressured into needing the cutest furniture out there). Most will come with furniture, a TV, refrigerator, dishwasher and washer and dryer if you decide that that would be the right move for you.
  2. Most apartment complexes will have a maintenance crew who are included in your rent. If a lightbulb goes out, your toilet won't flush, etc., you don’t have to worry about fixing it yourself. You can call someone up to come and fix it for you.
  3. Most apartment complexes also come with amenities such as a gym, a pool, pool tables, tanning beds, 24/7 security monitoring and much more depending on which complex you decide to live in.
  4. Lastly, many or most utilities are included in rent in an apartment complex. Since an apartment would typically be smaller than a house would, these prices are usually cheaper. It is also easier to keep up with considering they are smaller.

Cons of living in an Apartment Complex:

  1. There is less privacy in an apartment complex. Apartment complexes typically consist of a few thousand residents who live all around you.
  2. Apartment complexes can also be more expensive considering all of the amenities that are included and that they are typically nicer than any houses in a college student’s price range would be. In addition, paying for parking in an apartment complex can be very pricey.
  3. When signing a lease, many apartment complexes expect residents to abide by certain rules and regulations that you must follow in order to not be in violation of your lease. If you do decide that an apartment is a right decision for you, make sure to READ the lease beginning to end to know what the rules are.
  4. Apartment complexes offer less space than houses do. Living areas and especially bedrooms are typically smaller than they would be in a house.

Pros of living in a house:

  1. Living in a house will typically offer you more space than an apartment would. Many also come with a yard which is good if you are a dog owner. This gives your dog space to run around.
  2. Parking when you have a house is typically easier than in an apartment complex. Most will have a driveway where you can park your car for free. If your house does not have a driveway, there will usually be street parking. If not, there would be a small fee to pay for a city parking pass.
  3. Living in a home gives you much more freedom than an apartment complex would. You typically are on your own to make your own decisions.
  4. Rent for a house is most of the time cheaper considering a house does not come with all of the amenities that an apartment would come with. If amenities are not of importance to you, a house would be much more cost-efficient.

Cons of living in a house:

  1. When renting/buying a house, there is not an option to move into a furnished home. Along with paying for the home, you will then have to pay to furnish the entire house.
  2. Finding a house to live in is a lot more difficult than just being able to walk into an apartment complex and signing a lease. There are a lot more steps that need to be taken in finding a house that is right for you and available for rent/sale.
  3. Amenities, such as a gym, pool, security and activities, will not be included when living in a house.
  4. A house is typically not as safe as an apartment complex is. After hours when the faculty of the apartment complex leaves, security guards usually are guarding the door to ensure the safety of the residents. This will not be the case in a home.

Taking all of these factors into consideration, it is up to you to decide which option seems to be a better fit. It is a difficult decision to make but remember, you learn from your mistakes!