Anyone beginning a new chapter in their life, be it just moving away from home or arriving to an entirely new area, is faced with the same all important question, where the hell am I going to live? Be it a townhouse or a waterfront apartment, where we live says a lot about who we are (and even more about our pocketbook). The biggest decision faced when deciding on a new residence often revolves around either purchasing a home or renting an apartment. Both have their advantages but it’s a decision that should not be taken lightly, after all a rash decision can lead to years of misery and headaches that could have been avoided with just a little bit of rational thinking. The following are a few simple questions one can ask themselves when deciding between a home or apartment as a place to rest their head:
Are You Staying Out?
If you have begun a career with plenty of promise then a down payment on a house may make plenty of sense. But if you are in an industry that requires lots of relocation or is particularly volatile then you may want to lean towards the situation with little risk. Owning a home is a long term commitment and before leaping headfirst into home ownership you need to make sure that you are in a situation thats stable enough that you won’t be throwing that new house right back on the market in a couple years.
How Often are you Home?
Does your job require long hours or lots of travel? If so than a ton of space should not be at the top of your priority list. After all what good is all that space if you’re rarely using it. But if you work from home or work more traditional hours than that extra kitchen space or study can be just what you are looking for. The main thing to remember is that you’re paying for that extra square footage, you damn well better be using it.
Can you Afford it?
Beyond the obvious price difference between a down payment on a house and first and last months rent, home ownership also provides a myriad of expenses that can add up very quickly. Regular maintenance can prove to be downright costly and utilities will vary greatly between even a small home and an average apartment. For example the difference in heating a 1,200 square foot home and a 700 square foot apartment can add up in the thousands of dollars a year. A good look at your current and possible future income is imperative when making these sorts of decisions.
How handy are you?
Beyond the general cost of home repairs and maintenance, which can prove to be astronomical in its own right, when deciding between a home or apartment one must seriously consider the question, what will I be able to tackle on my own? Just about anyone can fix a leaky faucet but what about when your furnace suddenly stops working? Will you be able to handle such a large issue or will you be consistently picking up the phone to dial the repairman? If the latter than you might want to consider the fact that most apartment complexes not only covers the cost of maintenance and repairs but also keep maintenance personnel on call for their tenants, saving one the time and pain of attempting to tackle a project simply out of their reach.