I would prefer the apartment. I grew up in a traditional home, and sadly, I currently live in one myself. This means that I have the yard to care for, the property taxes to pay, and the maintanence. So I guess you could say that my primary reason for choosing an apartment over a house is laziness.
I've always dreamed of living in a not too fancy-dancy but nice apartment, preferrably in NYC (because I also dream of becoming a successful writer). I did live in an apartment for a bit, and I enjoyed it very much.
Keeping up with an apartment is not as in depth as keeping up with a house. One, there is no yard, therefore, no yard work. Two, the area is more compact. Cleaning and straightening up takes less time. What takes me several hours to straingten up and clean in my house only took me about one or two in my apartment.
Maintenance is a tad easier as well. If something goes wrong, you call the super. I didn't have to pay out of pocket to fix things at my apartment. Yes, I had to wait for the super to finally make it to over my way, but it was still better than having to deal with it myself.
A big plus is that there are no property taxes. I, along with many other homeoweners, detest having to pay property taxes. They never stop going up. Any beautifications or additions you make to your property is just an excuse for the taxes to be raised even more. I often wonder, daydream, about the things I could do with the money I spend on property taxes.
Those are just my top three reasons. I enjoy the feel of an apartment, for lack of a better way to put it. It feels more independant. For me, an apartment feels like less of a commitment than a house. A house is a very big commitment. It's a huge long term responsibility whereas an apartment, though it does require a lease agreement, can be short term or long term, not lifelong if not so desired. That's just how I see it. Hmmmm, maybe my reasoning has a more deep rooted issue behind it.
As for privacy, I've always been a rather quiet person. I enjoy a quiet life. As for rowdy neighbors, I've always been an understanding person with a high tolerance for things. I don't let things get to me. I'm a single mom so in living with my little one, I have learned the skill of tuning things out in order to concentrate.
Now, if I were to meet someone who would prefer to live in a house as a couple rather than an apartment, I would not be completely opposed to the idea, but he would have to be pretty darn special for me to compromise for.