Finding the perfect place to call home has a huge impact on your entire life. You spend the majority of your time in your home, if you don’t like the setup, if your home has poor maintenance, or you just don’t like the side of town you live on, it can be a real bummer. When you have a spouse and three kids, finding a nice two-story in the suburbs with a white picket fence might be a perfect fit for you. If you aren’t about that life, you might find apartment living a better fit for you. A few of the reasons why people prefer renting an apartment over renting of buying a house include:
- Maintenance. Generally, if you rent an apartment, all of your maintenance and repairs are included in your lease. Not only does this the financial perk of not having to replace the hot water heater when it goes out, or put a new AC unit up if your current one dies, you also get the relief of not having to add that responsibility to your already stressful life.
- Amenities. The best apartments offer amenities that you would never find renting or buying a house. This often includes a laundry mat, gym, swimming pools, and even convenient stores either onsite or nearby.
- Community. When you live in a house, it’s easy to never meet your next-door neighbors. When you live in apartment, you live a few feet from another person. It’s impossible to not get to know them. The best apartments include neighbors who are awesome, giving you the opportunity to make great friends.
- Savings. Between not being responsible for upgrades and repairs and not taking the risk of your asset depreciating, choosing to rent an apartment saves a national average of $560 each month over buying the house. In fact, even if your investment in a home purchase appreciates, the returns won’t be as great as if you’d put that same money in a high-yield stock or CD offer with lower risk.
- Flexibility. When you are not ready to settle down for the next 30+ years, renting an apartment gives you the flexibility to have a great roof over your head, while deciding what path to take next in life.
Finding the Right Apartment Rental
Not all apartments are created equally. Make sure to consider these factors before getting yourself stuck in a lease:
- Budget. Make sure that your awesome new apartment fits into your monthly budget, so figuring out how to make rent every month doesn’t suck the joy out of your life.
- Ambiance. Before signing the lease, stop by the area a few times, around different times of days. Make sure the feel for the community is something that jives with you.
- Surrounding area. Is there a grocery store nearby? If you have children, is childcare accessible? Are there sidewalks to walk your dog, if your apartment allows pets? Make sure the essential places you need are convenient.
- Read over the lease in detail. The best apartments don’t have to include hidden fees or clauses in the lease to trick you into renting. Make sure there’s nothing in the lease that makes you feel uncomfortable. There’s a $1000 cleaning fee at move out? Not cool. The manager has the right to enter the premises unannounced and take pictures any time he chooses? Um…no thanks.
Do you love or hate your apartment? What makes it great or awful? We want to hear all about your apartment experience.