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Home vs. Apartment

Things sure are nice when you live at home with your parents and don’t have to worry about the costs of renting and apartment or owning your own home, but all too soon in life, either one of these options becomes necessary and a reality that we all must face. When deciding whether to rent an apartment or own a home, there are many factors that will help you you’re your decision such as location, space, and your likes and dislikes of the building. However, when making the final decision on whether to rent or own, there are mainly two primary factors to consider: responsibility and cost.

There are responsibilities entailed with renting an apartment, but they are usually minimal. Almost anyone can handle renting an apartment because there is minimal to no upkeep. Besides keeping your place livable and fixing anything you break, such as a hole in the wall or sopping up spills to prevent stains, little to maintenance is required for an apartment. The responsibilities for the unit as a whole lie with the home owner or apartment building complex owners. There also are usually no landscape requirements with renting an apartment.

While this may mean that you cannot garden or plant flowers, you do not have to mow the grass or remove snow, either. Most apartments also come furnished in terms of major appliances, so you don’t have to worry about buying a refrigerator or stove, not to mention a water heater or furnace. The responsibilities with renting are minimal, but there are costs involved. Usually renters have to pay a security deposit equal to or less than the amount of one month’s rent prior to moving in. There are also costs involved with set up or transfer of utility bills.

Renters should also have renter’s insurance because home owners’ policies do not cover tenants’ belongings. The highest cost associated with renting is the monthly rent, as tenants usually are not responsible for any major replacements or improvements unless they have seriously damaged the property. Although the responsibility and cost are minimal, renters do not have any rights to the property that they rent and are not putting their money toward their own property. Home owners have many responsibilities with their homes. Anything that goes wrong with the house must be fixed, and the owners must do it.

If the roof leaks, you better have a few thousand dollars for a new one. While minor repairs can usually be put off, major ones cannot, and the sole responsibility to fix these lies with the homeowner. Landscaping can also be a major expense for a homeowner. At the very least the lawn must be mowed due to city ordinances and the snow must be shoveled to prevent injury. There are also codes in certain areas of towns that require a certain color of fence or type of landscaping for homes; these rules must be followed or stiff penalties can be enacted. Homeowners also have to be sure that their appliances are running and running efficiently.

If an appliance breaks, they must replace it themselves as quickly as possible. The costs associated with home ownership can be stellar. The down payment on most homes alone is twenty percent of the asking price if the buyer chooses not to go with a first time buyers program. This significantly lowers the monthly payment, but can be very difficult to come up with. There are also bank charges and closing costs in the thousands of dollars. It is advised also to have several thousand dollars available for any emergency that may happen, such as a bad roof within the first year.

In addition to these fees are insurance and taxes. Most cities have homeowners’ taxes that can be paid upfront or included in the payment. This goes for insurance as well. The mortgage and monthly bills must be paid on time in addition to the taxes and insurance on the home. Owning a home is very costly, but an investment that few people regret. It just depends on what you’re prepared for. Renting doesn’t come without its responsibilities, but these are far fewer than owning a home. If you can get the money together to buy a home, you are investing in your own future, but adding a lot of responsibility to your life.

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