Your first home: Apartment vs. House

Buying your first home is an incredible and exciting experience, but is often fraught with numerous questions and decisions. Depending on where you live, the option of choosing an apartment or a house may already be decided for you, but for many first-time buyers there are a number of pros and cons for each. If all else is equal, how do you know whether an apartment or house is right for you?

Consider your goals

First, you have to know what your goals for your home are (beyond immediate shelter, of course). For instance, do you plan on buying a home to stay in for years, or are you looking for something that will work for a more temporary amount of time? Do you have, or will you have, a family? These kinds of factors can play into whether you would like a house or apartment.

Know your needs

imagesThat being said, you also need to factor in your immediate needs. Although chances are that you will own a number of homes over your lifetime, this first purchase can and will affect your happiness now and in the immediate future. You may have dreams of having a family and be able to acquire a single-family home with a yard, but is upkeep – whether do-it-yourself or paid – something that you are willing to take on? Apartments typically take care of all these concerns for you, although many do have maintenance fees – but these are substantially lower and less of a headache than taking care of it yourself. Do you come home late at night after work? You may want to consider a doorman-staffed building, although many apartment complexes come with extensive security features.

Rental potential

The great thing about a first home is that if everything works out perfectly (though don’t count on it), you will always have the option of renting it out and either living elsewhere or having a roommate. This is a viable option if you want the space and privacy of a house, and know you want to stay where you are, but don’t want to be solely responsible for the upkeep right now. A roommate can be great to fill empty rooms in a house, and will pitch in with chores and maintenance. An apartment, on the other hand, may have strict occupancy rules that don’t allow you to rent out your home, so be sure to check if this applies to you. That being said, if you need to live elsewhere for business or other reasons, the full-care maintenance aspects of an apartment building can relieve many of an absentee landlord’s headaches.

There are many pros and cons to buying either a house or an apartment for a first-time buyer, but by assessing your needs now and in the future, you will be able to find the right home for the right price. If you can’t decide between the two, try visiting as many options as you can and listing out features – this will allow you to make a personalized comparison, cutting down on some of the endless decisions involved in buying a home.

Here is a helpful guide to assist you through your decision if an apartment is your goal. Click Here

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