SO and I are coming up at the end of our lease on our apartment. We spend $1000/month on a 2 story, 2 bedroom/2bath apartment, in not the nicest area of our state. Our rent is going to go up to $1100/month, but the complex, as far as I know, will still pay water. We have pets, including a dog, and 2 cats.
Friends of the family have a 2 bedroom/1 bath rancher for rent for $1200/month but they won't pay any of the utilities. It's right down the road from where we are now, but its a nicer area, and its in a non busy part. It has a non-fenced yard for the puppy and honestly, it would be nice not living over someone... having to worry about parking, having to worry about neighbors... wondering if the cars are going to get broken into... a list of things.
SO's main concern is the price of utilites, which the house has a wood burning fire place to keep our heating cost down. I think his main concern is if we spend that much and have a house, will we ever save up to buy our own, but he isn't telling me this. I just feel for a $100 extra a month in rent, the house will be worth it.
Does anyone here rent a house that has been in an apartment? Do you enjoy it better? Is it worth the extra money?
I would love to rent a house instead of an apartment! But in our area (Seattle) we pay about that much for a 650 sq ft 1 bed/1 bath apartment! I have friends that rent a house, and while that's a slightly different situation (they're renting while their home is being renovated), they seem happy. Utilities might be more just because you'll have exposed outter walls instead of sharing with neighbors (which keeps heat/cool in). But they might be less if your new place has better thermostats/heating etc. Usually you can find that out through utlity companies (call or check the website).
We went from an apartment ($1700pm) to a house($1860pm) & love our house so much more. It is more than the apartment but so worth it. We pay the same in bills here as the apartment though. Maybe slightly more for gas. Our apartment was smaller, had no yard, parking or storage. It was closer to town though. I much prefer the space personally
We've been in our rental home for just over a year now and we really love it. We pay $1450 plus utilities and have made it work. The advantages of having our own garage, yard, street parking, larger sq footage has been so worth it. We are currently saving for a home so I know it can be done!
@KellyLouise: Ask the landlords for copies of the recent utility bills to see what you can expect to pay.
Also, in some houses youare responsible for mowing and other maintenance you are not responsible for in an apartment that you need to allocate time and possibly money too (IE are they going to provide pruning shears for those pushes? gas for the mower? the mower?)
you may have a wood fireplace, but wood is not free if you are buying it. do you know what a cord of word costs? how to stack it and keep it dry? Cost to clean the flu as necessary. Wood stoves can also make everything smell. Are you ready for that?
So it is possible that you could be paying $200-$300 more a month.
heating and cooling can cost more since you are not sharing a wall/floor with neighbors that act as insulation.
We rent a house and we love it. Now, that we are thinking about buying a house soon I wish we would have rented something a little smaller and cheaper, but I still would have gone with a house. We pay $1100 a month for our 3 bedroom 2 bath house, it's a little too much room for just the two of us but I really love this house and could never see myself living in an apartment. Both FI and I are night owls, so I like to vacuum at midnight, or play my banjo in the middle of the night. I like that I don't have to worry about bothering my neighbors.
Lived in an apartmemt, moved to a rental house, back to an apartmemt because our house was in a scary part of.town and a mess we didn't realize but are going back to a rental house. I hate sharing walls and parking and not having a yard. The utilities weren't that different. The pluses to a rental house to me far outweigh any cons assuming you don't get a really awful house like we got suckered into.
@ThreeMeers: Yes, that is a good point. At my rental house we have to pay for an exterminator, I live in Arizona so scorpions and other creepy crawlies are in the area. I also have to pay for yard maintenance. It isn't too expensive, but certainly something to consider. I will still take these bills over an apartment any day!
@ccantics: My Fi and I are renting a house now for 1100 a month plus utilities, but I wish we were in an apartment. It would be so much more worth it for us to save money and pay 700-800 for an apartment where we live, but no apartment complex will let us rent with a 90 lb rottweiler. I would say check out your budget and see how much it will set you back from buying a house. Our utilities are 60 for water, 135 for cox and entergy varies from 100-200 depending on the season. We also had to spend money on little house things that we assumed our landlord would have taken care of such as a door falling off and our garbage disposal breaking.
Make those things clear with who you are renting from and see what kind of maintance you have to do with the house.
DH and I are renting a townhouse, and we like it a lot better than the condo we were renting before. For just $100 more a month we are getting more square footage, a garage, a backyard and way more peace and quiet. It's worth it to us. We plan to save up and buy a house in a couple years.
we rent a house (1500) and I love it SO much! I think it is totally worth it. I hate apartments because they are so loud. I live in a college town.
We rent a town house 3200 feet.
We rent our house and we LOVE it. But we do pay significantly more in utilities - especially electric. We think it's worth it though. We have two dogs, so the yard is amazing for us!
We were renting an itty bitty one bedroom apartment for $550 a month when we first moved in together but a couple months after we got married, the lease was up. We could have rented a 2 bed/2 bath apartment with a private balcony for $725 a month but we found a much bigger rental house with 3 bed/2 bath, a large yard, wood burning fireplace, 2 car garage, and a shed out back for storage(bonus!) for $800 a month so of course we felt like it was worth it to opt for the house. We've been in it now since August and couldn't be happier!! We're in a rural area and it is SO much more quiet and peaceful. We also just adopted a sweet little dog so we couldn't be happier. However, we do have to mow our own yard but that's really not a huge deal. I say go for the house if you can afford the extra+the utilities! It really is worth it.
We rent a house. It is so much better than an apartment because of no shared walls and they accept pets.
You can call the utility companies and get averages for the last year! That is really helpful when looking.
We rent a townhouse and it is so much better than renting an apartment. But if given the choice I'd rather rent a house.
You just have to work out what you could afford with still being able to put money away.
@ccantics: We lived in an apartment for about 10 months. There were three adults and a 75lb dog cramped into 886 sq ft. Honestly, it was the most depressing 10 months of my life. I hated the loud neighbors, the parties (lots of college kids) and the tight space. I felt like we were always on top of each other.
After our lease was up, we rented a duplex. It looks like a house on the outside, but it is connected to one other unit. There is a brick wall in between and it is about 1200 sq ft with a garage and back yard. It is amazing!!!
We pay $850 a month for a 2 bed/2 bath duplex, which is $75 more a month than our apartment was and our utlity bill did go up because it costs more to heat/cool more space, but it is worth it! If you can spare the extra expense, I would do it.
I love living in more of a "home" environment, and if I can help it, I will not move into another apartment again!
We rented a house in Berkeley instead of an apartment. The houses here aren't actually bigger than the apartments - 1000 sq ft or less 2-bedroom bungalows are the norm. But, the sound separation is soooo nice, as is having a yard/porch. The majority of apartments here are geared towards students, too, so that means they aren't that nice. It was definitely worth the few hundred a month more! We actually had to buy a new condo to go up in sq footage - just moved into a 1600 sq ft townhouse this weekend, yay!!
We moved from our apartment into our house and actually spend less on utilities now. Our old apartment was 1150 sqft and our current place is 1900 sqft, but because many apartments are built cheaply, you spend more on heating and cooling. I'd definitely check with the landlord like other bees have said though. Best of luck!
We moved from a 750sqft apartment into a 2,000sqft house 3 years ago. And it was the best decision we ever made. Our rent went from 700/mo to 750/mo. We are in an older neighborhood - so no parties, loud mufflers, argueing neighbors, ect. We have soooo much space that we cannot fill it all and we are on 1 acre of cleared land.
We are responsible for yard maintenace. But that is it. Anything the house itself needs, the landlord handles. Fridge was leaking, she sent a repair man. Door fell off its hinges, she sent a repair man. Shes sending someone in the beginning of the year for repainting. She comes up once a year for inspection.
The only, and I mean the ONLY, downfalls that we have in this house vs. the apartment is having to cut the grass of a full acre of land and higher utilities. Our light bill has been in the 300's each month over the summer. - This house is SUPER old and uninsulated and we had one of those "I just want to die of heat exhaustion" summers.
Our home is on the market while we are living here. We are ok with this. When the realtor wants to show the home he is required to give us 24 hours notice and a courtesy call. He is also required to be with the prostective buyers when they come into the home. It has worked out great. He has actually begun scheduling showings around my schedule as I work from home. In 3 years, we have had 4 people see the home.
We close down the home and do not allow any realtors or prospective buyers in when we are on vacation. The owner/landlord and the realtor respect this. We also have no problems with people coming into the house without warning. For example, when we were in the apartment the maintenance man walked in on me right after I got out of the shower and had nothing on but a towel. They came into our apartment all the time without notice. That is the main reason we moved!
We rent a house. It's just slightly more than we were paying in rent, but even if you consider that and the extra utilities we have to pay, it's totally worth it. We have a garage, a fenced-in backyard for our pup, a much nicer neighborhood, and the landlord lets us plant a garden.
We rent a house and LOVE IT. We were paying around 1200 for a 600sft apartment in Seattle. We rent a house for 1400+ utilities in the suburbs.
We have really caring neighbors that treat us very well...in Seattle we barely exchanged glances with the neighbors. The guy directly below us used to call the landlord all the time to complain about us walking on the hardwood floors (they were squeaky because the house converted into two apartments was built in the 20's).
We have a yard and love spending time in it. We also have plenty of space for hosting guests...before we could barely walk around it was so small.
We're thinking that once we're through with the wedding we might talk to the landlord about rent to own...or saving up for a down payment. Since the family knows us and we know they were wanting to sell but ended up renting out because of the slow market they might go for it.
We rent primarily because we don't know how long we'll be in the city. It's awesome, we have two dogs that get a little loud and it's nice not having to worry about neighbors. Plus, our neighborhood is so charming. Totally worth it! Only downside is the upkeep - that lawn doesn't rake itself.
Before we bought the house last year, I lived in a small 2 bedroom house for 15 years and the rent was $500 a month. But that included no utilities. I was incredibly happy there and I deeply resent being forced to move. I see no advantages to home ownership. My mortgage is almost triple what my rent was!
I don't now, but I used to. It was a 3 bedroom, 2 bathrm house, and if I remember correctly, the rent was around $1500. Totally worth it - I have WAY too much stuff to fit in an apartment!
@ccantics: My husband and I just moved into a rental home in October after renting apartments for years! We were paying $1035 for our apartment which included cable and internet. The house we moved into is $1150/month and does not include any unitilies and runs on gas heat/water. Its defnintly pricier but we are also 100000x happier there. We have a baby on the way and needed the extra space and quietness of a home vs apartment. We look forward to buying but aren't quite sure where we want to put down roots yet.
We went from an apartment to a townhouse and I love it. Cost wise, the townhouse is actually a tad cheaper than the apartment. Our electricity bill is half of what it was at the apartment even though the townhouse is twice the size! and we don't have to pay for internet since the rental is part of an HOA.
A house overall is going to be more expensive and time consuming but I think it's worth it!
We pay 750 plus utilities for a 2 bedroom duplex house. It has a big back yard and we have two dogs and a cat. It's really nice and right in our budget !
We found the best of both worlds - we're in a duplex that functions exactly like a house. Our path never crosses with the other side, the only adjoining wall is in storage closets for both sides, we have an extra deep two-car garage (can fit two small cars deep), and the landlord takes care of snow and lawn. We each have our own street address, laundry, front door, etc. It's awesome!
There are townhouses with similar situations too. We looked at some houses, and while it's nice to have your own house, I wasn't thrilled about the lawn and snow commitments. The duplex is a great solution for us.
We used to rent a house here until we bought. I like it better than an apartment because you don't have to worry about restrictions and we had a garage for all my husband's tools. We couldn't rent an apartment without having a storage space for all the stuff that wouldn't fit in an apartment. Plus the price was a lot less for us.
The thing you have to consider is the management. We didn't have a very involved management company so if something got broken, we usually fixed it ourselves if we could so that we didn't have to go without.
My husband and I like to invest in property- we own an apartment complex to rent, as well as a house that we rent out. From our experiece (on the other side) our renters in the home get more bang for their buck. Our apartment goes for $1000 a month- its one bedroom, basic fixtures, decent neighborhood- however its gated community. The house has a nice backyard/frontyar, two parking drives, garage, 4 bedroom 3 bath, very nice amenities/fixtures, cute/nice neighborhood and we rent it for $2,500. (For granted this is Southern CA). The apartment, we have to be more involved in to keep other tenants happy- so you don't get as much of a say as you do in a home. (They basically call us if something needs repaired). However if you are trying to pay under a certain amount- then apartment would be your cheaper route. Anyways just thought I would provide a perspective from the other side :)
We will be renting a 2 bedroom apartment, newly renovated bathroom and kitchen, huge laundry room, open concept kitchen/dining room.
For 900 dollars.
We rent part of a two family house (3 BR, 1 BA, 2 story, laundry, updated kitchen and bath)-its $1400/month
My husband and I were living in a tiny 1bd/1ba/1 car agrage with a postage stamp size kitchen for $975. We knew it was only a matter of time before we had to look for something bigger and moved when we we saw a townhouse for rent last year.
For an extra $375 in rent we got a 1200sq ft townhouse with 2 car garage, 2 1/2 baths, large master bedroom, guest/craft room, 18x15 family room, larger eat in kitchen and 2 balcony/patios. There are positives and negatives but the good definately out weighs the bad.
I love pushing a button to open the garage and park my car (which is a savings on auto insurance) especially when it's raining or unloading groceries. We use to have to park on the street and if we came home later then 8pm we could count on parking at least a block away. I have my own washer and dryer, no more getting quarters from the bank for laundry. If I want to throw a load of clothes in at night ans dry them in the morning I can and forget about having to wait for a dryer because someone didn't take their clothes out.
Our electrcity bill did go up and we did spend quite a bit the first few months due to buying a refrigerater/washer/dryer plus we bought a down filled sectional, 60" plasma for the family room aka "The Man Cave".
I love it here and all thought the neighbors can get a bit noisy I wouldn't go back to that small place for anything. The elbow room is worth every penny.
I would never involve business with family or friends, meaning I would not rent a property off of someone I know. Bad idea, more often than not it ends badly with a falling out when money is involved.
@mishagirls79: +1 Any friend we have every rented property out to has always had some type of negative affect on our relationship.
Grrr, can I just say that I hate(translation: I'm jealous of) all of you and your cheap rent? Sigh.
Anyway, we're currently looking for a 3 bedroom for around 2500, preferably 2400, but that will take some serious negotiating. It's worth it to me for the extra space and ability to feel a bit more at home. I like to blast music and have people over, and my pup enjoys laying her lazy ass in the same corner of a huge yard.
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