For some consumers, paying rental fees on an apartment can make more financial sense than paying rent on a house, and vice versa. There's more to the decision than cost, however. When considering whether to rent a house or an apartment, you'll also need to consider the property's location, amenities, privacy and whether you can customize it to suit your needs.
Consider the Amenities
The amenities included in apartment and home rentals are distinctly different, each catering toward different lifestyles. House rentals are more likely to have larger yards and garages. If you have a dog or several vehicles, then these amenities make home rental a more enticing option. Conversely, many apartment complexes have complimentary gyms, community pools or other recreational amenities. Those who work out regularly usually find apartments more suitable.
Factor in Expenses
Compare the utility expenses at each location. In most instances, apartment rentals will feature lower utility bills than home rentals, saving you more on your bottom line. It's important to check the lease, however. Sometimes, the rent will include an amount for utilities. Other times, you'll be expected to organize a utility supply to the home and pay the bills yourself. Make sure you're comparing apples with apples. Other expenses include the cost of yard maintenance such a lawn mowing which you'll be expected to do if you rent a house with outside space.
Weigh Your Privacy Needs
Apartment buildings often feature thicker, more heavily insulated walls. The purpose of these walls is to dampen noise from neighboring apartments, but an added benefit is increased heating and cooling efficiency. While apartments do usually have good sound-proofing, there is no way to completely separate you from noisy neighbors. If privacy is very important to you, then a secluded home property may be more fitting for your lifestyle.
Look at Rent-to-buy Options
If you think you'll be renting long-term, but cannot afford full mortgage payments, some companies offer rent-to-buy leases that culminate in eventual property ownership. House rentals are more likely to include rent-to-buy clauses in the lease. The only time that you'll likely be able to buy an apartment is if the building is already in mid-transition from an apartment complex to a condominium complex.
Consider Customization Differences
Apartment complexes typically prefer that each rental unit remains consistently laid out and designed. This means that your lease will likely prohibit painting the walls, adding new kitchen amenities or other modifications. House rentals will usually require landlord permission prior to customizing the premises, though they are more prone to allowing unit modification. If you want to create a customized interior design scheme, a house usually offers better options.
Consider Centralization Needs
Apartment buildings are more likely to be centrally located near public transportation, local attractions and area businesses. Houses are more commonly found on the outlying areas of cities or in suburban areas, farther from the center. Of course, houses do exist within centralized city limits as well; they're just not as prevalent as apartments.