You need a place to live and you’ve chosen to rent. Maybe it’s easier, maybe it’s less stress, maybe it’s more affordable, maybe it’s for a short term. Whatever the reason, renting at this time seems like the best option. You prefer the ease of coming and going, light responsibility and having someone else care for the big issues that would otherwise be your problem if you had purchased a property rather than rented.
There is a freeing feeling to renting. Of course we all need to be responsible, especially with another person’s property, but you have the peace of mind to know that if the stove breaks, the furnace goes out or the roof leaks, you don’t have to be the one to fix it or pay for it.
Renting also gives you the freedom to up and leave if you have to. Perhaps your job takes you from place to place every so often and you need to pack up and move. Renting provides that ease of living in that you don’t need to list the house, wait for an offer and sell before moving.
Yes, renting in many ways is a great option for people but when it comes down to what type of home you need, does a condo/apartment or house make more sense? Let’s break it down.
Pros to an Apartment or Condominium.
A condominium or apartment is usually part of a larger complex. This complex is likely to have certain amenities that a single-family house would not. You’re likely to have a community swimming pool, clubhouse, fitness center or tennis courts.
Utilities may also be less expensive than a condominium, since you are sharing several walls with your neighbors. This keeps utility costs down and heating and cooling fees to a minimum. With a single-family house a lot of your air conditioning or heating costs can leak through the walls increasing utility costs.
Apartments and condominiums are typically located close to public transportation, local attractions and area businesses. It might be easier to catch the bus or travel to and from work faster and easier on a daily basis.
Cons to a Apartment or Condominium
When you choose a condominium your privacy may be compromised. You will be sharing at least one wall with the neighbor and this means that your noise level will need to be kept to a minimum and/or you’ll need to deal with the noise level of your closest neighbor.
You’ll have to deal with an association. If you live in a condominium complex were each unit is individually owned and then rented out, chances are you’ll have to contend with the rules and regulations of the complex. Similarly, an apartment complex may also have particular rules that you’ll need to abide by is a resident of the complex.
Pros to a single-family house
You’ll have more space, especially on the exterior of the home. You’re likely to have a backyard, possibly fenced, and more room for gardening, trees, grass and flowers. In an apartment or condominium you’re likely to settle for potted plants.
You’ll likely have better privacy in a single-family house. Homes are generally set away from modern commerce and on lots at least 7000 to 10,000 ft.², giving you several feet if not more between each home. This means that there are not as many rules or noise restrictions as in a condominium or apartment.
You could choose a home in a homeowners association and in many cases the homeowner actually pays for the association dues, not the renter. However, this could give you access to a community swimming pool, clubhouse or other perks.
Cons to a single-family house
The benefit of having that exterior space or backyard may be a disadvantage for those that prefer low maintenance or simply have an aversion to gardening, mowing the lawn and landscape upkeep.
Utilities could be higher than in a condominium. You’ll be paying for more space and exterior walls which have a tendency to leak cold and hot air increasing utilities.
The home you choose may not be in a particular association and you may not have certain amenities such as a swimming pool, tennis courts or playgrounds.
Clearly there are pros and cons to both living in a single-family home and an apartment or condominium. As a Savannah area real estate agent and property manager I can help guide you to the right neighborhood, home and style that fits your needs and your budget. Because I work in both the real estate market and the rental market, my experience is second to none helping renters connect with homeowners in setting a win-win for all.