Apartments vs. Houses

Neither is inherently better – a house (presumably rural to suburban) and an apartment (presumably urban) – each serve different needs and appeal to different people.

Some (stupid annoying) people think that whenever you have a certain life change (graduating college, having a baby) then you automatically have a change in your preferences and needs which demands a certain style of residence. In reality, that happens sometimes, other time not. Not everyone wants to deal with home repairs, lawns, etc. There is nothing wrong with that. Contrary to popular belief that real estate is always a beneficial investment, in some areas, renting is actually a better choice financially than owning.

I’m the OP.

To be clear,** I did not rent my apartment**. I and my wife own the home we live in now.

That’s the stigma, apartments are for renters, houses are for owners.

Like Bob and Carol on “The Bob Newhart Show”. I thought as a kid, cool. No grass to cut. No loud annoying lawn tools. No painting the house, cleaning the gutters and all the rest of the taxing bullshit which is required as a property owner. It is also nice to have only one entry into the place to thwart the thieves.

Houses get rented and apartments are bought. Rented vs bought and apartment vs townhouse vs house are different subjects altogether.

I grew up living in apartments, have no interest in gardening, don’t ever want to have stairs inside my home. I’ve lived in independent houses where someone else handled the “outdoors” part of it. My mother used to dream of having a garden; given that she’s always had the rest of the family do the heavy lifting for her personal forest, the Bros and I dreaded the thought all through growing up.

I’m the complete opposite. I don’t feel right unless I walk upstairs to go to bed.

…and downstairs to go to the basement to do laundry, etc.

I live ina a house because my wife prefers a house and I prefer not to listen to her complain all the time. BUT if it was up to me, I’d live in a 4 bedroom condo before our 7 bedroom house and pay the same price just because the commute is killing me.

I owned a home in NY (Queens) and I was thrilled to sell and move into an apartment. I grew up in a house and my family considered owning a home a much greater thing than owning or renting an apartment.

The constant repairs (plumbing, roof, electric) and yard work and the need to shovel my sidewalk are things I don’t miss at all.

I live in a rented duplex and my landlord responds immediately to any repair issue.

I have friends and family encouraging me to buy, but I don’t want the headache.

If I buy again, I’ll live Downtown or Mitown and it will be an apartment in a high rise - I don’t like the suburbs.

Yep, and with an apartment all you have to do is call the landlord with maintenance issues, and zip! they’re taken care of. :dubious:

Even with having to get stuff fixed and doing things like replacing the furnace (next on the agenda) I am far happier having my own house with separation from the neighbors, not having to live on top of their noise and smells, not dealing with complaints about my activities, not needing to comply with a renters or condo owners association’s bullshit, not needing to tip/bribe apartment building workers every Xmas (or more frequently) and so on.

And while we have more grass to cut than I’d like, I’ve converted a fair amount of it to growing worthwhile things. As an avid gardener there’s no way I’d be satisfied with an apartment or pseudo-house without property.

Yeah, but from this thread it sounds like in the US they use the term “condo” to specifically mean an apartment that you own, which means that “apartment” implies rented accommodation. (Maybe? I could be reading it wrong.) Whereas here we just say apartment, or “flat”, and there’s no implication either way. A large proportion of flats are owner-occupied.

What about Ted and Alice? :wink: I think you mean Bob and Emily.

And what about this, from Condo by condo, Seattle has become a lot like ‘Frasier’:

It seems that you are becoming like your parents. You are a property owner, right? I guess it depends on the definition of “property”.

I really enjoy the feeling of security from being in a second floor flat (second floor up, maybe Americans call that the third floor?). There is no real chance of someone breaking through the window, which means the only ways in are via ladder to my balcony, which would look somewhat suspicious in a built up area, or via the front door, which is behind a coded door to the building and breaking through would create a hell of a racket that others in the building would definitely hear.

I guess what i am saying is that i feel safe from opportunistic burglary, whereas in any place with a ground floor all it takes is a window left open.

I think I have the bestest compromise ever - I rent a single story ranch house. And I love it. I wish it was a tiny bit bigger, with perhaps one more room, but other than that I am perfectly happy.
I would have a seriously hard time going back to an apartment with shared walls and floor/ceiling now. And I don’t like the HOAs that come with many condos.

In another 5-10 years I may finally consider buying a house. Until then, I am very happy.

In some parts of the country, those would be called condos (e.g., in Georgia, if you can buy it, it ain’t an apartment, it’s a condo regulated by condo laws and financing). When I think of an apartment, it’s in an apartment complex, maybe with a community pool. Some are nice. Still, most are pretty middlebrow with lots of turnover.

Flats are fine if you have decent neighbors. I’ve only lived in flats and I’ve not had too many problems but they do exist.

Houses give you space. It’s easier to keep your space clean and livable. If your flat, for instance has bed bugs or roaches, and you get rid of them, unless your neighbors do as well, they simply come back.

A house has enough space, so you’re not as effected. Yes, I know you can be effected, but it’s no where near as bad as apartments.

That’s a good thing about a house is your next door neighbors don’t usually come and go as often. If you have a high turnover of neighbors, your living situation can be horrible to nice, to horrible and back quickly

To the extent this statement means to imply that houses are excluviely rented and apartments are exclusivley bought, it’s simply wrong. Houses can be bought or rented. In most parts of the country a high-density, multi-unit residential dwelling that is not owner-occupied is called an apartment. A high density, multi-unit dwelling that is owner occupied is called a condo (a type of subdivided, co-ownership, regulated by condo laws). In New York, what most peopel thinf of as condos (as described above) are called apartments.

Actually, the first luxury apartment that I cited is not a condo – it is a cooperative, which often refers to lower-cost dwellings, but not in this case. The second one is a condo.

I don’t hear my neighbor’s foot steps on my ceiling or hear their TV set through the wall. My house was cheaper than paying rent (because of the down payment) and it accrued value over time. It’s now paid for so the living expenses are the taxes paid divided by 12 months. I went from paying less than an apartment to paying WAAAAY less than an apartment. If I wanted to I could apply some of that savings toward having someone else do the yard work. I’d still be ahead of the cost of living in an apartment. But since I’m unemployed, I have time to mow the lawn while not worrying about getting evicted.

As far as gossip and people spying on you goes, that’s a function of knowing the people around you and being part of a neighborhood. I look out for my neighbors as do they for me. We’ve stopped burglars and ner-do-wells from causing us grief.

Yes, it does. I guess that’s why I hate home ownership. The old man and his dad grilled it into me that no blade of grass must be unkempt or nary a weed should be found on your property at any time.

Never mind that Granddad was retired and spent all of his days looking for stray weeds. I must keep my property looking like a National Park lest I be looked down upon from above.

Your living expenses are more than just the taxes, unless you never use any utilities and you never repair or maintain any part of your house.

Also, it seems that you are comparing buying a house with renting an apartment. Perhaps you missed this post:

I’ve rented (houses and apartments) and owned (house, with the bank of course) and I prefer to own my own house.

Apartments have their good points, sure (and especially if they’re a lot nicer than any we ever rented) but the downsides for me are:

  1. I have several cats, and it would be tough to find an apartment that would allow them, even with a hefty deposit.

  2. I’m a rather antisocial type (not in a mean way–it’s just that getting to know the neighbors has never been a high priority with me) and having that many people that close to me is kind of stifling. I like a little space. Our house isn’t that big and neither is our yard, but we have a little space around us and I like that.

  3. Probably the #1 reason: I hate the thought that somebody else’s stupidity/inattentiveness/carelessness will screw up my life. In a house, odds are decent that even if the neighbor gets wasted, smokes in bed, and starts a house fire, the fire department will deal with it before it does significant damage to my house. Not so in an apartment. One idiot can ruin it for a whole housefull of people. Not to mention gas leaks/explosions, water leaks, etc. Yeah, they happen in houses too, but I’d rather have my own problems, not somebody else’s.

  4. I like having my own garage to park my car in, store my stuff in, and close up. My own parking space in a communal garage just isn’t the same.

All that said, though, I do like loft apartments, especially big ones with lots of windows. Assuming I could still have my cats, I might be persuaded to overlook my other objections in order to live in a cool, modern loft.

BTW, we don’t have a lawn at our house. Our friend who’s got his own drought tolerant landscaping business on the side has convinced us to plant dwarf thyme in our yard. It’s taking forever to fill in, but the parts that have look quite nice, you don’t have to mow them, and they don’t require a lot of water. The downside is your yard looks like it has green hair plugs until it fills in.