Apartment or house: which is best?

Unless you’re a “house person” or an “apartment person” there are many factors that you need to take into account in making the apartment/house decision.

Is this going to be your home or are you buying it for an investment is perhaps the most important question. On the whole, investment properties are generally assumed to require apartments rather than houses in that they’re usually aimed at a transient population who don’t want the hassle of looking after a garden. This isn’t always the case though and in areas where there is rapid price inflation of property which isn’t accompanied by a similar rise in salaries then you could be better looking at houses as families often find themselves priced out of the market in such circumstances. This is good for property investors in that you get a more stable base of rental clients than is typical in most areas.

That paragraph provides the first part of the answer for you too. If your stay is likely to be of a short duration such as for a university course or for a short-term contract then clearly apartments are the way to go. That avoids all the hassle of looking after the surroundings of a house and yet you can still get lovely surroundings in some of the apartment developments.

Have you any children or planning to have them? If they’re fairly young, usually it’s best to be looking at a house in that they’re usually larger in comparable circumstances. Of course, that extra size means more initial expense. For example, in the estate which we bought our property the two bedroom houses are around 15% more expensive than the two bedroom apartments.

Rent or purchase? If your move is temporary then rental is the way to go and that will usually push you towards apartments as there are usually more apartments for rent than houses in most areas.

Purchasing implies a longer term stay but if you are moving into an area distant from where you currently live you can find yourself with a choice between a rental apartment in an ideal area or a house purchase into a less than perfect area. If this applies to you and you need to move relatively quickly the thing to do is to rent the apartment in the ideal area first and make your purchase when a suitable property appears on the market. Despite what people think, you don’t need to move directly from one permanent home to another.

City or country? Whilst you get both houses and apartments in cities, you usually only get houses in the country. Therefore if you hope to live in the country, whether it be miles from anywhere or in a small village, then you will almost certainly have to choose to live in a house.

That’s just a brief overview of some of the main deciders; I’m sure that you can add to that list!

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