The rental lifestyle is admittedly comfortable. You don’t have to factor maintenance into your budget or worry about the black hole of time and labor that the homebuying process can be. Among a dozen other perks, it makes sense why some people are perfectly content in an apartment versus. a house.
But as the years pass and the lifestyle begins to lose its luster, a renter has questions they need to confront. What if I want to raise a family? Can I afford something roomier now that I’m making more money? The quintessential conundrum — should I move from an apartment to a house?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, unfortunately. But there are certain indicators which can help you make a decision. Let’s highlight seven signs that it’s time for you to make an upgrade from your cramped apartment to a rental house — or even homeownership.
#1: You’re a Big Fish
Eventually, your pond may feel a bit too small. If you have ambitions that a cramped apartment doesn’t allow for, you’re stunting your growth. You might want your own breakfast nook or even the simple luxury of a lawn, but you won’t have these things in the typical one-bedroom.
This feeling is usually an early sign that it’s time to start searching for more comfortable accommodations. A studio can be awesome when you’re just starting out, but if your household is growing, your interests are expanding, or you just really want a reasonably-sized kitchen, it may be time to move into a house.
When this happens, start doing some preliminary research to figure out how much space and which features you need in a home. You don’t always have to buy, either. Look at renting a house versus an apartment for a little financial wiggle room.
#2: Your Area is in Decline
If you’ve rented the same apartment for several years, you might’ve noticed that the community you once enjoyed isn’t the same as it once was. Maybe the crime rate has increased or your favorite local businesses started shutting down. Maybe the novelty of living near the coolest bars just doesn’t matter that much to you anymore.
Of course, moving to a different apartment complex is always a solid option. But many suburban neighborhoods are less public and have more houses to offer, so they’re worth looking into if you’re interested in a starter house in a less hectic neighborhood.
#3: You Actually Make the Necessary Income
Year by year, the older you get, the more money you tend to earn. While this isn’t universally applicable, consider whether your once-broke self has climbed the ladder high enough to afford a down payment. If this is the case, you can start to calculate what mortgage payments and expenses you can afford.
It may come as a pleasant surprise that buying is cheaper than renting in 42 states. If you’re able to overcome the price of the down payment, you may find that you’re spending less money than you expected to in the long run. That’s a check for homeownership in the “apartments vs. house” battle.
#4: Your Family is Growing – and Outgrowing Your Apartment
It might start with your significant other moving in, filling the closet with their clothes and cluttering your living room with their extra furniture. And while an apartment is often spacious enough for two people, it’s not always the best place to raise children. In fact, some landlords actively discriminate against tenants with young children.
When you begin to feel cramped in your current living space and need more room, a house is your best solution. More than that, if you and your partner are combining incomes, it will make affording a property a far less daunting proposition. It’s an important step and a significant commitment, but not one to fear.
#5: It’s Time for Some New Beginnings
Following your regular routine can get old, and you might be ready for a change. As you get older, living the same lifestyle you did in your early 20s can make you feel stuck. While you shouldn’t make an important decision just because you feel pressured, you might be emotionally ready to make the next step.
If you want to enter a new chapter of your life, homeownership provides an exciting challenge. Full of new opportunities and possibilities, you may find that a change in location and the chance to decorate a new, larger space was exactly what you needed. As long as it’s financially responsible, you should take the leap.
#6: Limited Storage
Are your closets overflowing with shirts, sweaters, coats, shoes and a whole array of miscellaneous items that aren’t essential — but you just can’t throw away? For those who rent apartments versus a house, storage can prove a challenge as their belongings begin to accumulate.
While a storage unit is a potential solution to the problem, they’re not easily accessed if you’re on the go and need a specific item. One of the many advantages of homeownership or renting a house versus an apartment is increased storage space. If you feel like you’re outgrowing your apartment, it’s a benefit to consider.
#7: You’re Ready to Invest
There are a few ways to know if an investment in a home is a safe choice. If you’re no longer paying off student loan debt and have freed up that extra money, and you have enough saved for a sizable emergency fund on top of the initial down payment, you can trust that you’re secure in your purchase.
Buying a home is no small leap, and you shouldn’t approach the subject without the proper research. You’ll know that you’re ready to make the upgrade from your apartment to a larger property when you’re confident that you can account for any unexpected expenses or trouble.
Renting a House vs. Apartment
No formula exists to account for every single variable, so consider all of the factors above to reach the best conclusion for you. Ultimately, the question of renting an apartment versus owning a house is something deeply personal, but the upgrade can be rewarding.
If you’ve done your research and are ready to upgrade from an apartment to a house, let Dolly take care of one big part of the equation: moving. Our Helpers can do the heavy lifting so you can get your stuff into your new home without breaking a sweat.
Dolly helps you move on your schedule and at an affordable price. Book now and see the difference: https://dolly.com.