Independent House vs Apartment Flat
As few people call it, we are growing vertically in cities. Every shopping complex, schools, offices and even housing societies are turning into high rise buildings and people are making their homes at as high as 200 feet height. With this phenomenon, we often ask ourselves the question as to what is better for living: Independent house or a high rise apartment flat.
As a matter of fact, both have their own pros and cons and in this article we will discuss every aspect of this so that if you are looking forward to own a home in near future, you may weight your decision with logic.
Why are cities growing vertically?
This is one question we need to ask ourselves. Why are there so many high rise buildings coming up in cities like Delhi, Bombay, Pune, Gurgaon, Bangalore, etc. This is only because the geographical area of these cities could not be increased however the number of people moving in the cities is increasing day by day.
To adjust this growing population within the same geographical area, there is no choice but to increase the living area vertically. This is one of the core reasons why cities are growing with so many high rise buildings.
Some of the prominent reasons for this growth are:
- The population explosion has lead to a high rise in the level of land prices in India. Thus, people are not able to afford a piece of land in cities and thus they have to settle for virtual lands/plots, i.e. apartment flats.
- Retail lending has facilitated banks to go for large scale long term finance for housing. This has given a lot of working capital for the real estate companies to go for mega constructions.
- The prospective home buyers are finding a respite in real estate builders from the hassles of getting into corrupt practices of land sale and purchase, government rules as per land acquisition, etc.
- Above all, apartments have a fairly low price tag as compared to plots and thus a lot of people aspiring to own their own home are investing in high rise apartment constructions and this is where most of the money is coming for these high rise constructions.
Now, that we know the reason why there is increase in the number of high rise apartments or builder flats, we would further discuss the advantages and disadvantages of buying both an apartment flat as well as independent houses.
Advantages of buying an Apartment Flat
- You a wide range to choose from, based on location and specifications. The real estate market is a super market now. You choose what you like and you make no compromises as such.
- Apartment living is a community living. You have the chance to live in a community that is gated and interact with people living in your vicinity. Apartments have common places of sports and recreation, which binds people with each other considering the fact that all have to live life long using the same common infrastructure.
- Apartments house a large number of families and thus a large populations starts living in within no time. This attracts many business centers and school to open in the vicinity and in no time the place becomes quite inhabited.
- If you are living in an apartment, you have access to most of the things in just one place without paying the individual rents for facilities like swimming pools, shopping complexes, club houses, sports complexes, etc.
- Since a number of other households are living within the next door, you can rest assured about the security of your house if you are moving out on a long vacation.
- United we stand, divided we fall. This becomes quite relevant when you are living in apartments. By virtue of large number of people living and sharing the same facilities, civic authorities pay more heed to the needs of those living in apartment as a lot of people raise their voice at the same time.
- All of your problems of inhabitance are addressed commonly. If there is no electricity in your house, it wouldn’t be in other houses too and thus the problems are addresses collectively and you don’t have to run around alone.
- You can buy or sell your apartment house in no time, however, it takes a big deal to buy or sell your independent house due to the high prices involved.
- High rise apartments provide better sunlight and ventilation due to the planned structure they are.
- Apartments are planned according to public conveniences like proximity to bus stands and railways stations. While buying an apartment, you have the choice to choose from a wider range of apartments which are in close proximity to their public convenience centers.
- Private land deals are more susceptible to cheatings and frauds, since they are individual in terms of transactions. This makes apartments a safer bet for those wanting to buy a home within limited budget and stay away from any nonsense.
- Apartments are a great choice for those families which have lonely women, senior citizens and children. When male member of family is not in the town, apartments are still safer.
- Apartments are great during festive season. Every apartment has a special set of event and recreation during festive season. Even if you are living away from your native place, you would feel yourself a part of society and a bigger family.
Disadvantages of buying an Apartment Flat
- One of the major disadvantages of an apartment is that you can’t work out any independent alterations or add-on constructions in your property
- There is maintenance charges associated with each resident association. You need to pay the maintenance charges whether you are using the facility or not. This is something that goes every month and may weight heavy on your pocket.
- As a matter of observation, costs incurred on water management in apartments are quite higher. The usage of water can’t be controlled for everyone. There are a number of times, when association has to get water from private bodies and the cost incurred is shared by all, equally. So whether you are using it or not, you would have to pay the same amount. This is one of the major dissatisfaction areas for those living in apartment societies.
- Neighbors could be good and they can be bad too. If you are living in close proximity with a bad neighbor, your family and personal life can go for a toss. The point is that you can’t control the fact that your neighbor living beside your bedroom bangs on your wall during night and you go out fighting every morning. Such nuisances are quite common in apartments.
- In continuation to the above point, if your neighbor is a party animal and you are a family centric disciplined person, your peace can go for a toss and since your neighbor’s property is as much theirs, you don’t have much control on this nuisance.
- The code of conduct of living in apartments like using common facilities and parking area, the decision of resident welfare association is final and binding. You may disagree with their decision, but you have no choice other than to live with it.
- If you are a person who loves plants and gardening, apartments may not be the best place for you. At the most, all you can do is keep few plant pots in your balcony and that is it. This however, if not really feasible if your balcony is not quite big as you would need space for sitting as well.
- Keeping pets is another aspect that you would need to forego if you are living in an apartment. The residents may have a problem with it and you may have no choice but to abandon your pet.
- Regular maintenance in the apartments is carried out by the association. However, after a certain time, the corpus depletes and new and fresh contributions are called for to maintain the society. This may be an additional liability for you.
- One of the major disadvantages or risks of living in an apartment is that you do not really know the kind of building material used in buildings of the apartment. If your builder is hell bent on making money, they can use substandard material and you can risk your family’s life while living in an apartment. For example, after an earthquake, if the building collapses, the government authorities would certainly take action against the builders; however, in this entire process you may have already lost a lot in terms of risking lives of your family members.
- There have been cases, where the house owners have paid the amount in full to the builder and at a later stage it is found that the building was an illegal construction or a large scale deviation from the norms. Under such conditions, the buildings are demolished thereby demolishing your dream home and your hard earned money.
- Groups within groups are a common phenomenon for us humans. Sometimes, living in an apartment leads you to get attached to a certain group of people and fights and foul talks are quite random for you to spoil your overall peace of mind.
Advantages and Disadvantages of living in an Independent House
The answer to most of the advantages and disadvantages of living in an independent house can be already inferred from the points made in the section for apartment houses; however, we would still dwell upon each point one by one.
Advantages of living in independent house
- One of the major advantages of buying and independent house is that you can apply the designs that you have in your mind for your house. This is something which you would never get while buying a house in apartment. In independent houses, if you want your kitchen to be a huge size, you can do it with no one telling you that you can’t.
- If you want the best material to be used in your house, you can do it at your convenience and can ensure that nothing goes wrong as far as building material is concerned.
- If you have already acquired the land, you can do construction as per your convenience and budget. You don’t have to take out money from your pocket on builder’s decision. If you have money to construct just the basic structure, you can do that. On later stages, you can plan for woodwork and finishing part.
- If you are a garden or gardening lover, you can enjoy both of them if you get an independent house. Since, the area of construction would be allocated by you, you can plan out a simple garden for yourself and engage in the kind of gardening you would want. An independent house is a complete home where you get the space required for yourself.
- Independent houses are bests places for joint families. One of the major benefits of independent houses is that you can increase the number of floors up to the permissible limit as and when required.
- If you are paying your home loan for an independent house and have build at least two floors, you can rent out one floor and get a decent rent amount which would help you pay off the loan. Whether you give your premises to just one family or a number of people, the rent amount is something that would keep coming to you. The only condition that applies in terms of renting is that your house/property should be in an area where rents and occupancy are decent.
- With an independent house, you own the piece of land. In case of demolition, you can alter or change your entire design as per your wish and requirement. There is no binding design on your house.
- You have the independence to choose who you would interact with. If you don’t like your neighbors, you can stay indifferent to them as long as you want since both of you are not using any common facility/area.
Disadvantages of buying an independent house
- If you have a limited and low budget and want a house sooner to live in, independent houses are not really suitable for you. For it takes a lot of money in order to own the land, build the construction and complete the finishing work.
- Independent houses do not offer good and interactive societies in short runs. Since everyone in the vicinity is living in their own houses and using their own facilities, interactions are limited and thus it takes a lot of time for families to mingle.
- Independent houses are not great choices for lone female occupants or old age people. Security is one of the major concerns and if you wish to ensure security in your independent house, you need to hire a security agency for this.
- You need to pay additionally if you want to avail recreational facilities like clubhouses, gymnasium, swimming pools, etc., which usually come within the package when you go for an apartment house.
- The interactive relationship in independent house societies is limited and grows at a slower pace. Everyone lives within their confined premises.
As we have already discussed, both independent houses and apartment flats have their own advantages and disadvantages and choosing them would not depend entirely on their merits and demits alone, but on your requirements and the nature of requirements.
To conclude, following are the factors on which your choice should largely depend:
- The Budget
- The size of your family
- Time left for moving in
- Your Personal belief on community living
- Your hobbies and aspirations
- Duration of possession
If you are a joint family with grandparents, parents, uncles, etc. living in together, independent houses are something that would provide a one stop solution. However, for nuclear families who want to move in independently, apartment flats are certainly the best choice. They can lock their homes if they are moving out for few weeks and can rest assured that their property and house is safe back home.