The Pros and Cons of Common Types of Housing

Every adult has had to look for a place to live at some point in their life. You may look at a variety of different options. It is important to understand the difference in types of living quarters when looking for a place to rent or buy.

For today’s purposes, four common types of housing will be defined. There may other types, but most places you can live will fit into one of these larger categories.


For our purposes, an apartment is any living space that is rented to you that is generally one level and has more than one unit. Typical apartments, basement apartments, and most duplexes fall into this category. You don’t own anything, you pay rent, and are able to live there.


The upside to renting an apartment is that it is likely the cheapest option of housing. Price does depend on the number of rooms, amenities, and area but is almost always the cheapest option. You can find the number of rooms to meet your needs. You also generally aren’t responsible for most maintenance, unless you cause serious damage. It is a good option when a short term rental is needed, like while you are building a home.


You don’t own anything. You are generally under contract, and at the mercy of the landlord. If you need to leave before the lease is up, you can be charged a lot of fees. To sum it up, you are replaceable as a tenant.


A townhome is like an apartment, except a little more upscale. They are usually multi-level layouts and typically contain nicer features. Townhomes are found in complexes, like many apartments. They are usually owned by the same company or individual. Many contain garages and extra storage, so it feels more like a house than an apartment.


Townhomes are usually nicer than apartments and contain more and fancier features than apartments. They still fall under the umbrella of a company or individual, so there is usually an HOA that manages problems and repairs.


Due to the fact that they are more like homes, townhomes are generally treated like it. You can be responsible for a lot of maintenance, depending on where you live. Townhomes can get pricey, and so you are paying in rent what might be close to a low mortgage on a home.


Condos are individually owned residences in buildings or neighborhoods. They are typically large apartments or small homes, though that can vary. You can buy a condo and it is yours, meaning you are paying a mortgage rather than a rent.


It can be yours. You can own it and not be paying a landlord for the “privilege” of being human and needing a place to live. Now, you are still paying a mortgage, but mortgages are a little more flexible depending on your down payment and loan details.


You are responsible for everything that is yours. If the condo has an internal problem, you need to get it fixed. The association that runs the condo building or subdivision usually takes care of common spaces (outdoors for homes), but everything else falls on you. They can be very expensive, so look carefully before buying.


A home is a residence owned by you. They vary from small to large, but at the end of the day, you are paying the mortgage and responsible for the maintenance of your home.


It’s yours, well once you pay off the mortgage. As mentioned before, mortgages are affected by downpayment and loan details. You have your own space and can do with the home what you want. You are not subjected to a landlord’s restrictions or preferences.


It’s yours. You are responsible for it. If anything goes wrong, that’s on you. If you miss a month of payment, you could run into problems with the bank. Landlords may get a bad wrap, but at least you are talking to a person, not a business.


There are pros and cons to every place you could live in. It is important to understand your responsibilities and the responsibilities of your landlord or owner. At the end of the day, hopefully, all your searching helps you to find a place you can call home.

If you have ever had a desire to own property to rent or to just own your own home, check out what is on the market in your area or visit a residential construction company if you have the funds to build your custom design.

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