Post # 1
We’re trying to buy a home. On the weekend we found an apartment we love! It’s new, stylish, and in a great location. BUT I’m worried it might be too small as we’ve never lived in an apartment before. We rent a 2 bedroom house with a small garden. This apartment has 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, a Euro laundry and an open plan living/dining area with the kitchen against the wall.
Before we make an offer, is there anything you want to tell/warn me about living in an apartment?
Post # 3
Apartment living has it’s ups and downs. It’s great that they’re low maintenance, and a great place to get a foot in the door of property ownership. This is the parts that bug me about our condo. I might be biased, because I’ve just recently reached the point that I’m really tired of it (we’ve been in our condo 3 years)
1) Neighbours. Not everybody will rise up to your standards, and common space is an issue. We have neighbours that let their dogs poop in the elevators and don’t clean it up. When people move in/out they’ll damage the walls, and in common space, this has to be paid for by strata fees, which burns my butt in the first place that I have to pay for it, but can also take a long time to get approved through the process, during which time you have to look at damage.
Shared garbage is also an issue. If other people throw a sofa in the dumpster there won’t be room for the rest of people’s stuff. Noise too… you can complain to the building manager, but if other units are owner occupied, you can’t really evict people.
2) Space. Often there’s a lack of storage with apartments. We currently store the camping gear we received for our wedding in the trunk of my car. We have a tiny locker in the basement that holds our christmas tree and some sports equipment, but if you’re used to a shed or garage, you may have to pare down.
3) Entertaining. If you like having outside BBQ’s/parties, it might not be for you.
4) Yard space in general. I’d like to be able to plant some flowers or something.
5) Boredom – if you like to putter… an apartment’s probably not for you.
Hope that helps, but for us the main thing is being the ones with the higher standards in the building. We follow the rules and keep our unit and common space in great shape when we use it. Other people don’t, and that’s hard to swallow when you know EVERYBODY pays when people damage things. I’d love to have a stand alone house that I can just maintain to my own standards.
Post # 4
I’ve lived in apartments my whole life. Some of the downsides are noise from neighbors (especially if walls are thin), restrictions on the noise you or your guests might make after 10pm, possible restrictions on pets, no immediate outside play area for kids & dogs. Other than these it works great for us. A good HOA who’s on top of your maintenance needs makes a HUGE difference, so I would do some research on that.
Post # 5
I have never lived in an apartment, but have always wanted to (weird, I know).
I spent some time with my cousin who lives in an apartment, and realized that you need to deal with your neighbours from all sides (next door to your right and left, underneath you, perhaps across the hall, and especially above you). I get soooo annoyed with noise when I’m trying to sleep/watch tv, etc. so if someone is above me and has heavy footsteps, it will make me nuts!
I think that’s my biggest thing 😉
Post # 6
As people mentioned, there are usually greater shared financial burdens in an apartment. These can save you money overall, since things like external maintenance, yardwork, etc are shared between all owners. However, you need to know that the condo/coop association is in good financial shape. Does it have sufficient reserves to cover emergency repairs? Have there been any issues with nonpayment of HOA/condo fees by other owners (it can be hard to force people to pay)? Are any units in foreclosure? If any of these issues exist, your monthly fees could go up dramatically in the future.
That said, I really hope to never have to move back to a house (I think in some areas, there aren’t a lot of nice apartment buildings, so if we move out of the city, it might happen). Talking to my parents about roof repairs, yardwork, etc all makes me pretty happy to just pay a monthly fee and have someone else worry about it.
Post # 7
I love apartments! No responsibility, really. As long as your neighbors are okay, and your super/landlord responds to your maintenance requests, it rocks. How many people do you know who own a house and out of nowhere need to pay $3000 on a deck or a roof? You’ll never need to do that with an apartment. Until you’re ready to settle down – and even after that – apartments are the way to go. The only thing we’re lacking is a fireplace! Which you still might be able to find…
Post # 8
Get a place with as good of insulation as you can find. Cause noise and power bills can go up. Neighbors are usually the biggest complaint I have had living in apts for about 11 years now. THE WORST THING? Hearing your neighbors have sex..it’s awful. And I have heard it many times with many different neighbors. I had heard probably 5 couples in the last apt I lived in for several years. It’s bad..especially when someone is cheating/has different guys/girls over to have sex with. It’s bad when you can hear every single detail of their sex lives, what they do..etc. GET A TOP APT as opposed to the bottom. Cause I lived on the bottom and heard people’s beds knock a lot from sex. It’s horrible. Living on a top apt is better. Hearing your neighbors fight too..this can be bad..I have had to call the cops on one couple and another couple actually got evicted from all the fighting/noise. PET RENT..they are starting to do this now which I think is really insane. One day I hope to live in a house..one day!
Post # 9
I have zero desire to want to live in a traditional house. I grew up in one and while they’re great for privacy and what not, they are also a huge burden. Like a PP said, something major breaks, you need to fix it on your dime. Fiance and I live in a condo and we love it, however our condo is different than most. We have our own attached 1 1/2 car garage, private entrance, 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, more than enough storage, all modern amenities (a/c, dishwasher, garbage disposal, private laundry room with full size washer/dryer, etc…). Sure, we have to deal with the occasional annoyance from our neighbors but those are few and far between. I have no desire to deal with having to maintain a house. For example, I’ve never mowed a lawn in my life and I don’t plan to start now! Everything is done for us. We get a blizzard during the night, we pull our dry (and warm) car out of our garage into our plowed and shoveled driveway. Our washing machine stops working, maintenance is here to fix it the next day on their dime, not ours. The roof needs to be replaced, doesn’t cost us anything. So yea, there are pros and cons to living in a condo/apartment but we are very content and have no desire to move to a traditional house.
Post # 10
Its really personal preference. I lived in an apartment for years and just recently boguht a house. For us, we wanted something that we could grow into with a decent size yard. We love working on the yard, fixing up different rooms, etc. You might not be able to do that in an apartment. But if you don’t want to deal with the maintenance (and there is a LOT in a house), then maybe an apartment is that right thing for you.
Post # 11
i’d loooove to live in a house rather than an apt! mostly for the yard and to have more living and storage space. our current apt barely has any natural lighting and it drives me crazy, i can’t tell what the weather’s like or even the time of day except from one window. noise too, like other posters have said. i often want to vaccuum at night because that’s when i think of it, but don’t because i don’t want to be inconsiderate. we have a dog who barks any time he hears someone come in the building, which is a lot! and i can’t always tell if the doorbell is for our apt or for the neighbors.
Post # 12
Parking can be a challenge in some apartments. If there are not assigned spots, you are fighting for a place to park closest to your unit. A lot of groceries are a pain in the ass in an apartment if the parking is not close.
This may or may not be true, but safety. When you have that many more people living right on top of you plus their friends, there is always the risk that some of those people could be criminals. In a house, you have neighbors, but less of them.
Pride of ownership. People take better care of something that is theirs rather than something they are borrowing. I lived in one of the nicest apartment buildings in downtown Phoenix and late at night people would puke in the pool area and spill their drinks all over the elevators. In the morning when I would be up and walking my dog, she would run straight for any of the messes to investigate- yuck!
Post # 13
Like others have said, apartments are great if you get a good one. There’s no way to know what your neighbors are going to be like until you’re actually living there, but that’s a huge factor. If you can get the top floor unit that will help a lot. Or, if you have a lot of space or at least great insulation (some apartment buildings specifically advertise this feature) then you’ll be okay. Also some apartment buildings allow storage space for bikes and extra stuff, so check it out and see if yours does.
Finding out a little history about the apartment building will help. Definitely find out how many units are in foreclosure and ask to see a financial statement for the association if they’ll let you see it. I look at these a lot and most are underfunded and fees will probably go up once the economy recovers. Ask how often they raise fees and at what percentage. Look closely at the building rules, you want to make sure that loud pets are not tolerated, find out if you can if the people around you have small children, and make absolutely sure there are rules enforced about not being loud past 10:00pm. Rules may seem annoying at first, but you will be SO thankful for them after you’re actually living there.
Right now I live in an apartment and others are totally right that it’s almost impossible to sleep during the day. I can hear people coming in and out of the building, walking up and down the stairs and the buzzer is really loud. I”m tolerating it for now since the rent is so cheap, but once we move I’m upgrading to a nicer building. Since it’s a rental, people totally go against the rules and are constantly moving in and out of the building during the weekends. They put up walls and turn a 1 bedroom apartment into a 3 bedroom (illegally) so there are 3 times as many people in our building than there are suppsed to be. So you obvioulsy want to make sure construction and moving can only be done from 9-5 mon-friday.
Post # 14
Don’t forget that you are at the whim of the homeowner’s association in an apartment or condo. They can limit the number and size of pets you can have, might have noise restriction rules, and you will probably have to pay them a fee that you may not have to pay for a home.
Post # 15
Darling Husband and I have lived in 4 apartments and a townhouse that we rent. We are about to move into a SFH for rent and we cannot wait!!!
Apartment living can be annoying if you dont have a washer/dryer, having to take trash to a trash room, not much storage space, no yard space usually, restrictions on pets, noise from neighbors, restrictions on parking, restrictions on what you put on your balcony/deck area (a lot dont let you have grills), restrictions on what cable service you have to use, etc.
I would much rather live in a single family home than an apartment or townhouse. To me it just feels more like a home!
Post # 16
Disadvantage: Pet weight limits, lack of space, can hear your neighbors at times, lack of a backyard. You also can’t make many changes to the place (new carpet, paint the walls, etc). Sometimes it’s irritating when maintaince wants to come in and do a fire inspection or something and we have to lock the dog up.
Advantages: You don’t ever have to put out money for repairs and if the AC is broken it’s fixed immediatly, the grass is always mowed and the parking lot is always plowed when it snows. Also, we live on the second floor and the people below us have their heat on high and even though it’s 29 degrees outside, we’ve barely used our heat at all because the heat from below is being trapped in our apartment 😀 We have use of a pool, gym, etc and don’t have to pay for them/take care of them. There’s always someone at the office to sign for packages so they don’t get left at your doorstep.