Tips & Guides / Furnished Apartments

Should I Rent a House or Apartment?

By Barbara Zito | Jul 21, 2022

Looking for a new place to live? As you browse real estate listings, you’re likely thinking about what type of space will best fit your needs and budget. With more people working from home these days, extra space is always optimal, especially if you’ll be sharing it with roommates or family or if you plan to have guests.

You might be wondering whether renting a house or apartment is a better fit for both your living situation and financial situation. Let’s take a look at the advantages of each property type so you can make informed personal and financial decisions as a future tenant exploring the short-term housing market:

The advantages of renting an apartment

Whether you are moving into a rental property for the very first time or this next place is one of a string of units that you’ve paid monthly rent on over the past few years, apartment living has its benefits.

Here are some reasons apartment life might suit you:

Little to no maintenance

Man with snow shovel cleans sidewalks in winter. Winter time. Latvia. Europe.

An apartment renter has the luxury of avoiding many of the maintenance tasks that a homeowner has. This means not having to shovel snow in the winter or mowing the lawn in the summer—or in the case of condo owners, paying hefty HOA fees to have it done for them. If something needs to be repaired or replaced, a call to the landlord or property management company will usually set things in motion—though purchasing renters insurance is always a good move. For these reasons alone, apartment life is the way to live for busy individuals—and your bank account will likely appreciate saving on all those maintenance costs, too.

Easier to settle in

Beautiful young woman unpacking box while standing at the domestic kitchen

While some might relish the thought of creating a home out of multiple rooms and even floors, a new tenant will find that renting and settling into an apartment is much faster and easier. Whether you prefer to live simply or will be making the most out of every nook, cranny, and closet space, unpacking your things goes faster when it’s move-in day at your new apartment.

A sense of community

Friends having home party on balcony

Apartment communities are neighborhoods in their own right, offering a community and a sense of belonging. Even if you enjoy your alone time in your own space, it’s great to know that other people live right across the hall. You can trade pleasantries and explore potential friendships when you see neighbors in common areas like the lobby or the laundry room, or when you’re taking advantage of onsite amenities like the fitness center. You can always reach out to neighbors next door and across the street if you live in a house, of course, but it does require more effort on your part.

Security and peace of mind

A security camera in front of an apartment block

Especially in complexes that have a front door staff or require a passcode to get in the front door, apartment dwellers can feel confident that they and their belongings are secure. If you travel for work or pleasure, it’s easy to simply shut the door on your property and make your departure without much notice. When you purchase or sign a lease agreement for a house, you’ll likely want a home security system installed on the property perimeter as well as timers for your lights so that it’s not so obvious when you’re away from home for an extended period of time.

Less expensive

Always online. Black waking man working on laptop in bed, copy space. Early morning. Pleasant awakening.

Though there are certainly luxury properties out there that resemble homes both in terms of their size and rental expense, apartment rentals do tend to be cheaper than house rentals in many markets. Keep in mind that it’s not just about the monthly payment for rent, but also utility bills and additional upkeep because a bigger space simply costs more to maintain.

If you’re renting a house or a condo, you might also have to pay additional fees if it’s part of a homeowners’ association (HOA), whereas apartment maintenance fees typically get wrapped up in the monthly cost of rent and are taken care of by the property manager or landlord.

The advantages of renting a house

If you are thinking of joining the ranks of first-time homebuyers, you might be dismayed by the high home prices you see in your local real estate market as you browse listings on Zillow and other sites. If you want the benefits of extra space without the added financial stress of a hefty down payment and monthly mortgage, renting a single-family home might be the better option for you.

Let’s take a look at some of the perks of renting a house instead of an apartment:

More living space

Beautiful family portrait smiling outside their new house with sunset, this photo canuse for family, father, mother and home concept

The biggest advantage of renting a house is also the most obvious: all that extra space! Many apartments tend to be compact, while even a modest-sized house offers more living space and an extra bedroom or two, often on multiple floors.

Whether you have a family or roommates or simply want more breathing room for you and all your stuff, even a small single-family home will typically offer a more spacious floorplan than, say, a two-bedroom property in a multi-apartment building.

Plenty of room for pets

German Shepherd Dog playing on Grass

Your furry companions will also benefit from having more square footage. While pets can certainly thrive in apartments that permit them, dog owners especially will enjoy having more room for their beloved companions to roam. When you rent a house, you’ll likely have yard or some type of private outdoor space, making it much easier for both humans and animals to get fresh air and exercise. Of course, check your rental agreement to ensure that pets are indeed welcome, as not all single-family housing will automatically allow tenants to have pets.

Easier for indoor activities

Real photo of a colorful room interior with a desk, sewing machine and threads

If you dabble in various hobbies and activities, then you know that living in an apartment can cramp your style in that respect. Renting a home likely means additional rooms or at least roomier closet space for storing equipment and/or taking part in all of those activities and hobbies that you love. If you’ve been putting off your pastimes because you’ve got equipment or supplies in storage or have held off on buying them until you’ve got a bigger place, now’s your chance. Having the opportunity to explore more of what makes you happy is one of the best reasons to rent a house instead of an apartment.

Lots of natural light

High angle view of a stylish, nordic living room interior with a wooden dining table, gray sofa and view on terrace and backyard. Real photo

Unless you’ve got floor-to-ceiling windows in your apartment building and a view that stretches for miles, it can feel dim and stuffy inside apartments—especially those where windows are hard to come by. Of course, not every home will be completely bathed in sunlight, but having more windows and doors to the outside will allow you access to fresh air and sunshine.

Convenient outdoor access

Two blue Adirondack chairs and matching drum table sitting on lawn in front of shuttered window in blue brick house landscaped with azaleas in dappled light

Open the front door to your apartment and you’ll see—other apartment doors. But when you rent a house, you can open the door and greet the day full on. Aside from the bonus of having instant fresh air, you’ll love having the convenience of easier access to the outside for moving in, toting in groceries, accepting packages, and more quickly than you would if you had to navigate a walk-up apartment or an elevator in a high-rise building.

There are certainly pros and cons to both renting an apartment and renting a house. If you are searching the rental property market for a new home, consider well the possibilities of each—along with your monthly budget, of course—to see which living situation is right for you.

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Our beautiful apartment complexes feature many in-demand amenities such as fitness centers, onsite laundry, and remote working space, so you can enjoy the benefits of more living space without the hassle of maintaining a house or townhouse—not to mention skipping out on the hefty closing costs, property taxes, and mortgage payments that come with homeownership. Plus, many of our spacious units are pet-friendly, so your furry companions can feel at home, too.

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Barbara Zito

Barbara Bellesi Zito is a freelance lifestyle writer from Staten Island, NY, where she lives with her husband and their dog. She covers real estate and home improvement for a variety of digital publications including Apartment Therapy, Better Homes & Gardens, Real Simple, and of course, Landing’s blog.