Pros & cons of apartment living

20 November 2018
Apartments have long been a popular option for people attracted to living in a central urban location, or who crave a sea view and a short stroll to the beach. The prospect of low maintenance and, in some cases, lower costs compared to living in a house are among the other selling points for some apartment dwellers.

An apartment can also be a good option for people who ultimately intend to buy a house but aren’t ready for the often larger financial commitment, or don’t need to yet. But there can be potential drawbacks to consider when deciding whether apartment living is for you. Here we have compiled a list of some of the key pros and cons.

Pros for living in an apartment

  • Less maintenance – with nearly all apartments, most maintenance is covered and taken care of by the landlord or the body corporate, including gardens and amenities. Apartment owners may still be responsible for some of the non-structural maintenance of the space they own.
  • Amenities – living in an apartment complex can bring access to a large array of amenities that you might not get after buying a home. This potentially includes things like a common room, swimming pool, communal barbeques, a gym, covered parking and a security system.
  • Security – apartment living often offers a more secure setting, which may include intercom to enter the building, a lock-up garage or even the fact more people are around to keep an eye on the property.
  • Location – opting to live in an apartment could give you access to a particular area at a lower price tag than if you chose a house.

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Possible cons for living in an apartment

  • Smaller living space – apartments may be smaller than the average house or have little to no private outdoor space. You also may not have access to a clothes line.
  • Privacy and noise – the privacy afforded by apartment living can be less than that of living in a house. Depending on the apartment, you might overhear other tenants or be more visible within your home.
  • Personalisation – because most apartments are overseen by body corporate, the extent to which you can modifty and personalise your apartment is potentially limited and may require body corporate approval.
  • Parking – parking spaces can be harder to come by in an apartment block, especially if there is no allocated parking, as there is increased competition and particularly for apartment blocks that are centrally located in or near a city where there isn’t an abundance of street parking. This can also pose a challenge for visitors, particularly in areas where permits are required for on-street parking.

So while apartment living may be well suited to some, there are some notable disadvantages you might want to take into consideration before you choose whether it is for you.

If you’re currently considering a home loan, the comparison table below displays some of the variable rate home loans on our database with links to lenders’ websites that are available for first home buyers. This table is sorted by Star Rating (highest to lowest), followed by comparison rate (lowest-highest). Products shown are principal and interest home loans available for a loan amount of $350K in NSW with an LVR of 80% of the property value.

Before committing to a particular home loan product, check upfront with your lender and read the applicable loan documentation to confirm whether the terms of the loan meet your needs and repayment capacity. Use Canstar’s home loan selector to view a wider range of home loan products.

*Comparison rate based on loan amount of $150,000 and a term of 25 years. Read the Comparison Rate Warning.

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