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Renting an Apartment Vs. Buying a House

Updated on June 29, 2020
NateB11 profile image

Like most people, I'm concerned with the practical needs of everyday life, and therefore research issues of health and livelihood.

Many apartment complexes have fun amenities like tennis courts and basketball courts.
Many apartment complexes have fun amenities like tennis courts and basketball courts. | Source

When I was growing up, raised by my Mom, we always rented an apartment or house. As an adult, living on my own, I always rented an apartment or house. I have a lot of experience renting, is what I'm saying. Currently I live in a very nice complex in a roomy apartment and lots of decent amenities, like a swimming pool, a club house, a sauna, hot tub and a gym. It's not a bad life, as long as I can pay the rent.

I've known a lot of people who are buying their houses. And I know there are some work and burdens in doing so.

So, in this article we will explore how, in my opinion, renting an apartment is actually the better deal compared with buying a house.

Owners and management at apartment complex often put effort into making the environment beautiful and comfortable, including have big redwoods like these at my complex.
Owners and management at apartment complex often put effort into making the environment beautiful and comfortable, including have big redwoods like these at my complex. | Source

Management Handles Noise and Neighbors' Behaviors

If you are troubled by noisy neighbors or belligerent jerks, you normally either have to fight to work it out or call the cops. Fortunately these things are often already worked out in the lease when you rent an apartment. Residents are expected to be quiet especially after a certain time of night and they usually agree to it when they sign the lease, as it is often part of the rules to be quiet and not disturb neighbors. As a matter of respect.

Making a call to the manager is easy and it's also easy to remind your neighbor that you can. It makes the whole issue easier to deal with. They just plain don't want to get kicked out on their keisters.

Maintenance is Handled by the Handy Man

Landlords provide some kind of service for the maintenance of their apartments. They either use a company or a particular person for hire or the landlord is the handy man. At my complex there is a very professional company that handles repairs and they are always quick to respond and get the job done. Much easier than me having to handle it myself and, probably, in the end, it is cheaper too. They also do things like change the filters in the vents for our central heating and air. You don't have to do the work and it's just part of the rent to have this service.

This is the walk up to the Clubhouse, a recreation room at my place that has a pool table, a TV, a kitchen, a dining room and couches and chairs and a gym. We often have social events there.
This is the walk up to the Clubhouse, a recreation room at my place that has a pool table, a TV, a kitchen, a dining room and couches and chairs and a gym. We often have social events there. | Source

Landlords Often Pay for Some Utilities

At my apartment complex, the owner pays for garbage and water, which is pretty cool. Of course, as a home owner you'd have to pay for it yourself on top of electricity and gas.

Security

Your safety is more assured at an apartment complex, if you live in a good one. Some of them hire armed security that patrol the grounds all through the night. You never know when someone will wander on to the grounds to steal your bike or break into your apartment. They literally have armed guards at my place. They are not imposing to residents but they do keep the place safe.

Pest Control

It's a horror to get an infestation of ants or, worse, roaches, but management will usually handle this problem by sending out pest control to your apartment and spraying. It's great, again, you avoid the cost of this inconvenience.

Many apartment complexes offer amenities like swimming pools, hot tubs and saunas.
Many apartment complexes offer amenities like swimming pools, hot tubs and saunas. | Source

Community Events

My complex has a community team that puts on community events where residents get together in a social building called the Clubhouse and have dinner or play games and other such activities. It's a great way to have fun and meet neighbors. It adds a social aspect to your living arrangement that adds value to your life.

Amenities

At my place we have a swimming pool, a hot tub, a sauna, and a gym. We also have a building referred to as The Clubhouse that has a pool table, a large screen TV, couches and chairs, a dining room and a kitchen. This kind of thing gives you all kinds of entertainment and comforts without you having to dish out money for them. And, of course, the management maintains and cleans all these amenities.

Disadvantages of Buying a House

When you own a house you have to pay taxes on it and the property. And you have to know about the law as far as what you can do with your property and then, of course, you have to follow that law. You will likely have to pay for insurance too. You have to pay for all repairs and maintenance to boot. While of course you can move, you have to make arrangements to sell the house and contact and negotiate with a real estate agent and bank, do paperwork and close. At an apartment when you move you hand over the keys and that's about it.

Advantages of Buying

Well, it's all yours. You do what you want with it. You build what you want, modify what you want and you don't need permission. Also, this is your investment. Later you could rent it out or sell it. But anyway, you have a lot of security owning your house because it's YOUR place. If you have a family it will be a place of sentimental value for your family too. No doubt about it, this has been many people's dream.

You also have the advantage of basically having the equivalent of a savings account and you can borrow against your mortgage if necessary. Not only that but there are tax deductions for property and home owners that give you advantages too.

If you buy a house, if you move you'll have to close, sell and buy, and do a lot of paperwork.
If you buy a house, if you move you'll have to close, sell and buy, and do a lot of paperwork. | Source

So, obviously you are relieved of a certain amount of stress when you rent because so much is handled by management. But you don't own the property and so are limited on what you can do with it. Renting is not an investment. You won't get anything out of it in the future and you can't borrow against it. But then again you're also not paying for a lot of things, like maintenance or amenities.

Renting offers it's own security though, in the sense that management will handle other neighbors and also criminals who trespass. A good apartment complex has a beautiful and relaxing environment characterized by respect and enjoyment. When a complex has these aspects it can be a joy to live in an apartment.

It seems you will have to weigh what you want most: Security and a future investment that you might be able to use when necessary or relaxation while letting the manager handle repairs and while they provide a safe and comfortable environment.

Right now, my preference is apartment living. I've found the right place to live and I'll be here awhile.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

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    • NateB11 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathan Bernardo 

      13 months ago from California, United States of America

      Actually I know exactly what you mean, I've lived in places like that too. It depends on the landlord or management I suppose. I knew someone who had a nightmare landlord who used to go into her apartment all the time and it was hell for her. Of course, you can have nightmare neighbors if you own your place too. Fortunately, either way, I live in a great complex.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      13 months ago from Texas

      Nathan, this is very informative. The one thing I dislike the most about apartments is the landlord has a key to all apartments. I am a private person and do not like that someone can go into my apartment when I am not there.

      One apartment we lived in was actually a condo, and when I went to the laundry room which had enough washers but the other tenants would leave their clothing in them. The only thing you really own is the inside of you condo, if anything broke outside even in the outside hall way, all tenants had to pay equal portions to pay for the repairs.

      A man/boy lived in the apartment above us and he brought his motorcycle down the hall and up the stairs and because it was leaking oil the hallway carpeting had to be replaced.

      The place was a nightmare.

      That being said, if you are happy wherever you are that is what counts.

      Blessings my friend.

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