apartment or house?

[deleted account] ( 30 moms have responded )

We need to find a cheaper place so we are considering moving to an apartment. We have never lived attached to anyone before. I would like to hear others experiences with this pros and cons etc...



We looked at an apartment in our price range but are on a waiting list. I want to be sure what to do when one comes available. I asked for a bottom unit preferably on an end and near the playground.



So far its 50/50... everyone i talked to just makes it harder to decide. I cant tell if it right for MY family or not. I guess what it is going to come down to is price. Its a 100+ difference doesnt sound like much but when ur both going to school working and supporting 2 kids that $100 or more helps.



these are the specifics...



Our current house is slightly smaller than apartment but has a fenced yard costs 725/month but landlord lowered to 675/month starting in may if we mow his parents yard and the yard of his vacant property. Utilities (internet, water, sewage, trash) NOT included.



The apartment is slightly bigger with no yard but there is a pool and playground on site. no yard maintainance =) 650/month including ALL utilities except power and cable which we dont have anyways (netflix lol $8)

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Amber - posted on 04/20/2011

1,909

13

145

I'm kind of in an interesting situation because of Chad being military.
We own our home out the country and the fenced in acre of property that it sits on.
We also have an apartment 3 hours away from the home we own because Chad got activated this year.

I love owning my home. I can decorate it as I want, paint whenever I feel the urge, plant a garden, have dogs, it's a lot bigger, and we have lots of room to play that we don't have to share. Plus, my son can play in the backyard while I finish up dinner real quick and watch him out the window.

The apartment has it's perks too. We don't have to pay a lawn care service, we don't pay for repairs, there are more kids for our son to play with, they have a pool, he can ride his bike on the sidewalks, and we don't have to shovel the driveway out when it snows.

So, I guess it just depends on what the things you want are.
Personally, I think it might be best to rent the cheaper place for a year; save up some money and get your credit rating up, then you can buy your own place.

Jane - posted on 04/20/2011

2,390

262

487

The advantage of an apartment is that you don't have to mow anything or fix things like bad plumbing. When you are on a tight budget those repairs can make a huge difference.

Unfortunately, you need to have a fairly high tolerance for noise if you live in an apartment simply because the other people around you can be heard fairly easily through walls and floors.

When I was first starting out and was a busy college student I found an apartment to be the best deal and a major time-saver. I do like to garden and so on, but with a limited income I couldn't have afforded plants or tools anyway. In addition, I really wanted pets but had to wait until I could have a yard.

In your case I would suspect the apartment would be a good idea. In addition, if you are careful about paying on time it can help improve your credit rating.

A bottom unit is not only more convenient, the power costs tend to be lower since your unit is sheltered from losing cool air by having other units above. However, be aware that the bottom units are the ones most likely to be broken into so always arrange your stuff so nothing worth stealing can be seen from any of the windows.

Lacye - posted on 04/20/2011

2,011

31

164

From the sounds of it, I would move into an apartment if I were you. It will be cheaper and probably better suited for you and your family. You will still have a playground for the kids to play in and with summer coming up you could take them to the pool to have some fun.

I live in an apartment and I enjoy it. It's smaller than we would like but the neighbors are pretty nice. The main problem we have is the person that lives above us! We can hear every single move she makes and it doesn't help that she is a heavy walker.

Rosie - posted on 04/20/2011

8,657

30

321

i don't know how it is where you live, but my house payment is around $725 a month. i would suggest buying a house if you could. if you live in some area that you can't buy a house for that much (dont' assume, actually look into it) then i would still rent a house. i've done both renting a house and apartments. i like not having crappy neighbors whom i can hear having sex or partying all the time.

30 Comments

View replies by

Becky - posted on 04/22/2011

2,892

44

93

Those actually look quite nice. Being smaller buildings, they're probably much quieter than a highrise would be, and I like that they have the community centre too. That's a nice feature. When I think apartment, I tend to think highrise on a busy downtown street, which, as a parent, does not appeal to me at all. But of course, that's not the only type of apartment there is! :) Having seen the pictures, I would say it would be worth it to save the money.



Editted to add: I went back and looked at the pictures again. I didn't see the pool the first time. Since I'm a big fan of having a swimming pool, now I'd definitely say go for it! :)

[deleted account]

Becky- I will have my own washer and dryer in my unit. Good question! I think the big problem here is that apartments are different in different states so here is a link so everyone can understand what type I mean.



http://www.apartments.com/avsummary.aspx...



These pictures are old though we went in person and all the apartments have new appliances in kitchen.

Becky - posted on 04/21/2011

2,892

44

93

I haven't lived in an apartment since I was single, and even then, I wasn't crazy about it, so it'd definitely not something I personally would want to do with kids. But that's just me, and it would definitely depend on the building too. I lived in an apartment as a university student and in my first year of work when I was still broke, so they weren't top quality buildings. After the baby across the hall from me was apprehended by my coworkers in my first year of work as a child protection worker, I was pretty much done with apartment living!
Having a yard is something that's important to us. In fact, we moved from a bigger house, that I loved, into a smaller house that I don't like quite as much, because it gave us 20 times the yard. and got us closer to family and friends.
One consideration I don't think I've seen anyone mention yet is laundry. Does this building have laundry or laundry capabilities in the units, or will you have to use a common, coin operated laundry? For me, with young children, that would be a big deal, because you have a lot of laundry to do and doing it in a common room with coin machines is a major inconvenience when you're caring for your young kids.

Charlie - posted on 04/20/2011

11,203

111

409

You have to do what is right fo YOUR family .

We decided after living in an apartment in the city that we wanted our kids to have a backyard so we moved to the coast in a smaller community with cheaper rent , personally I didnt like the idea of being in an apartment .

Bonnie - posted on 04/20/2011

4,813

22

262

Oops sorry. I took it as the landlord of the apartment will decrease the rent if you mow the lawns specified, but I just re-read what you said again and it's your current home the landlord is willing to decrease if the mowing is done.

Johnny - posted on 04/20/2011

8,686

26

322

Since I moved out of my parent's house, I have always lived in attached dwellings. Even now, we live in a townhouse with a neighbor on one side. I'm really used to it, being a city girl. But like anything, it really depends on the place. Most of the ones I have been in were fairly quiet, but I did live in one townhouse development during college that had terrible soundproofing. It often felt like the frat boys beside us were actually in our place.

The thing that would stress me out now that I have a child is having small children and someone below you. It's really hard to keep kids from running around, but if the floor/ceiling isn't concrete, it will make a ruckus. The kind of noise that could even drive a mild-mannered child-lover a bit batty. So I'd recommend ground floor.

Otherwise, as long as you are near nice parks or have good grounds in your development, it shouldn't be too big of a deal in terms of the yard. We have a yard, but it's mostly garden and patio, so no place for my daughter to play on the grass. But there are lots of open green spaces and a playground for her, so it doesn't really matter.

Stifler's - posted on 04/20/2011

15,141

154

604

I'd hate to live in an apartment with kids. A huge percentage of welcome page problems are from living in an apartment with kids and arsehole neighbours threatening them and complaining about the noise.

Bonnie - posted on 04/20/2011

4,813

22

262

If the apartment is a bit bigger than your current house and like you said, the apartment has a playground on site. I would go for it. The only thing is, one of the joys of living in an apartment is that you don't have to worry about yard work and in this case he would. If he doesn't mind, it is likely worth it though.

Jenn - posted on 04/20/2011

2,683

36

96

I'd look at buying a starter home - it's usually easy to get approved for a mortgage even if your credit isn't great. But if you're scared to take that leap, and it comes down to money as the deciding factor, then I'd go with the apartment.

[deleted account]

I've been in this apartment for 2.5 years. It's not TOO bad considering that it's the only place I can afford, but I'm desperately looking for a house that HUD will still cover. You only having 2 kids it may work well for a couple of years if you are looking to buy a house after that. Me though? It's me and 3 kids in this tiny 2 bedroom apartment and I am OVER it.... We need space and a yard desperately.

[deleted account]

haha thats what im saying! Its nice the landlord offered but we are just returning to warm weather and we r in florida for goodness sake he is gonna have to mow 3 yards at least once a week! we bearly keep just ours done regularly cuz we r so busy with school kids n work. thats the angle im gonna use i still have time while we are waiting for an opening lol

[deleted account]

I want to do it Im just not sure if hubby is on same page he has never liked the idea of attached housing although he does admit the apt we saw was nice and good size.

Krista - posted on 04/20/2011

12,562

16

847

Well, it might be worth a go, even if it's just for a couple of years to help you get your feet under you financially. A 3-month old isn't going to care if she has access to a yard, but she WILL enjoy the baby swings in the playground in another 4 months or so. Like I said, just make sure the apartment is big enough that you won't go nuts.

[deleted account]

Krista- We did go see one and the entire complex seemed very quiet. It was about 2 o'clock though. I was also told there was sound proofing in the walls. Hard choice my hubby hates moving no matter what the reason. We do not garden although we have a few potted plants we could put them on the screened porch at the apartment. We do like have cook outs tho. I bet if we chose apt we would spend a lot of time at pool and playground. There is also a small gym and stores etc in walking distance including the college campus/ nature preserve we could go on nature walks and not use gas to drive there.

Krista - posted on 04/20/2011

12,562

16

847

It might work out well, Ashley. If they have a playground, it's obviously a kid-friendly building, so it's not like people are going to look at you cross-eyed if your babies make a bit of noise. If you can, ask to visit an available unit, and go sometime between the hours of 5 and 6. That tends to be the most chaotic hour for most families, right? It'll give you a good idea as to how noisy the place is.

As far as the lack of a yard, that really depends on your own lifestyle and priorities. If you have no interest in gardening and don't often have people over for BBQs, then a yard may be more of a chore than a benefit.

Just make sure that the place is big enough for the four of you. When you DON'T have your own yard, you need to have a place that has a bit more breathing room indoors, so that you don't feel like you're all jammed in together.

Jenny - posted on 04/20/2011

4,426

16

129

I'm anti apartment but that's just my preference. I don't like the idea of living in stacked up boxes. It's too clinical feeling for me. I believe it important to have access to land for the kids to play, to have friends for BBQ's and to garden. I need to roll around in the grass and get my hands in the dirt, it brings me peace.

My house is 920 sq. ft. with 4 people and two big dogs and 1 bathroom but I have 1/4 acre of land that is all mine.

I guess you just have to figure what is really a priority for you and what you are willing to sacrifice to get it.

[deleted account]

Krista- my kids are 20 months and 3 months old.

Kati- I requested a bottom unit on the end. I also told them we would like to be on the side next to the playground if possible. I am on a waiting list so may be 2-3 months but if they can accommodate our requests im definitely interested in the idea.

Lady Heather - posted on 04/20/2011

2,448

17

91

I've had apartments I really liked and apartments I really hated. If you click with the landlord, it's a real bonus. Our last apartment was fantastic and that was mainly because the landlord was so cool. She enforced the rules but she also got to know everyone. Never had any problems with partying or rude neighbours because everyone knew Charlene was going to be on them about it. I think if it is really going to make a big difference to your financial state, I would definitely give it a shot. Having all those utilities included is a definite bonus.

Krista - posted on 04/20/2011

12,562

16

847

A lot of it really depends on the apartment, I'd say. I used to live in a new building that had really good soundproofing, and I NEVER heard my neighbours unless the guy above me dropped something heavy on the floor.

How old are your kids? That makes a difference as well.

Rosie - posted on 04/20/2011

8,657

30

321

well, then having all the info i think you should probably do the apartment. have you ever lived in one before? they are rather invonvienant if you end up on the second floor or higher. but hopefully you'll save enough money for the inconvienance to be just a little blip on the radar. :)

[deleted account]

kati- sadly ive checked our report and everything is correct. We have the opposite problem hubby has bad credit and I dont have much yet. We have some small things on there we are gonna work on payng off before attempting to buy but until we r done with school money is super tight.

Rosie - posted on 04/20/2011

8,657

30

321

ours did too, my hubby had none, and mine sucked. at first we thought we couldn't qualify, and the bank even told us so. but they gave us a copy of the credit report, and there were sooooooo many things on there that were either paid forever ago, or things that shouldn't of been on there at all. it took a little while to fix it, but we got it fixed, and barely creeped in over the limit. have you tried yet? or do you just assume? :)

[deleted account]

Kati- we aren't ina position to buy a house just yet at least not until we both finish college our credit sucks

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms