House or apartment
Advantages and Disadvantages – Independent House vs Apartment?
Once you have made up your mind to buy a home, the next question that comes into our mind is “Should I buy an independent house or an apartment ?”
Not considering the cost factor, there are several pros and cons for either option. The decision to opt for an independent house or an apartment depends on several factors such as
• Are you buying in a city to which you have resettled .Normally in this case we would have very few family members around?
• The stage of your life i.e single, married without kids yet, having very young kids, having teens who demands their private room, retired.
• If you have a job like my husband which may require you to travel frequently or which would involve transfer from current location every few years or you are likely to look for careers in other cities in the future.
Well I have not been able to decide on what I need to go for, however each of the options seem to have their pros and cons.
Apartments have become the first home for majority of new home buyers in large cities.
Advantages of an apartment
• One of the key advantage of an apartment is security for your family members in the event you are traveling or for the expensive house hold goods.
• Facilities such as power and water backup, uninterrupted supply of cooking gas would help you to live a hazzle free life. The scarcity of power and good water is becoming a serious problem in most top cities and the problem is expected to escalate more in the future.
• An apartment which is part of a large development will have a well maintained garden and landscaping as part of the complex. This will provide space for you and your family to take a stroll and relax.
• Club facilities will provide you access to gym, sports, swimming pool etc which will help you to lead an active and healthy life – a must need in the current high stress environment.
• Services such as plumber, electrician are available on call (from the society) which will help to reduce the hazel of maintaining your home.
• If you own an apartment and you get transferred, some societies help the apartment owners to rent out the apartment which will enable you to generate revenue from the asset with limited efforts.
• No war of words with neighbor for parking space which has become a daily phenomenon in the larger cities. The parking slots are well defined and allocated in case of flats.
• If you are staying in a city where you don’t have any friends or relatives nearby it’s always better to go for a flat as you can get acquainted to some of the many families in the apartment.
• Availability of convenience stores with the apartment complex help you to shop for basic essential / groceries easily.
• Apartment complexes have staff that comes to collect payments for usage of utilities such as electricity, water, internet etc which removes any hazel of setting reminders for making payment.
Disadvantages of an apartment
• Maintenance of the common facilities would come at a cost. Typically they range from Rs 1 per sqft to Rs 2.5 (for luxury properties) per month.
• Limited or no freedom to make modifications to the exteriors your home.
• Very limited space to develop interests such gardening or growing smaller farm animals (societies mostly object to the same).
• Sound seepage between the wall of the adjoining apartments or voice from lower or higher floor could irritate you and visa versa especially if you have a nocturnal neighbour.
• If you are a believer in “good walls make good neighbors”, then apartment may not be the best option. A life long problem if you cannot get along with your neighbours in the same floor.
• No flexibility to expand the space for future needs as your children grow or if your parents move in to live with you.
When anyone dream of a home, the picture that emerges in the mind is that of a independent house. Ofcourse there are advantages and disadvantages of living in an independent house.
Advantages of independent house
• An independent house provides you greater degree of freedom.
• Ability to design the house as per your wish.
• Future modification of exteriors as per the latest trends and wishes.
• If you have keen interest in gardening then you would have a space to build on your interest or grow your pets.
• More privacy with no more problems with regard to sound sweepage.
• You can always expand the space as per requirement in the future when your children grow up.
• You can develop the higher floors when you want to make some additional income through rent.
Disadvantages of independent house
• Security is a concern and will come at a significant cost i.e if you want to keep a watchman or gate keeper.
• Facilities such as power backup (especially if you want to install generators to run A/C’s etc) and water supply would be expensive and a managing the same would be a hassle.
• You would need to get access to external clubs and sport facilities. This would be an expensive proposition for e.g monthly access to a good gym could cost you anywhere between Rs 2500/- to 3500/-.
• Services such as plumbers, electricians etc would need to be identified and called for at the time of need.
• If you have a job which requires you to be traveling to different cities, then security of your household goods would be a cause for worry.
• If you are in the metros or in the tier-1 cities where land is scarce and expensive, you may end up owning precious little space and there will be very little space for garden and to walk around.
An alternate option which could help to capitalize on the advantages of an apartment and independent house would be to own villas in gated colonies or large residential projects. This option would provide the key advantages of an apartment such as security and other facilities and also provides a greater degree of freedom similar to an independent house. However there are few disadvantages such as limited flexibility to design the exterior and amount of independent space in front of the house.