Houses versus apartments: Is one really better than the other?

There was a time when the choice of whether to live in a house or an apartment was purely financial – you rented a flat until you could afford to buy a house.

But now it’s a lifestyle choice and owning or even renting an apartment is no longer taken as a sign that you have failed as a human being.

So what are the pros and cons of Australia’s accommodation choices – the mythical quarter-acre block or the pie-in-the-sky high-rise apartment?
n a house there’s nobody to tell you to turn your music down … but there’s also nobody to demand your neighbour takes the deafening Death Metal that’s disturbing your afternoon siesta down a notch or two from 11.

In an apartment, it’s level access. There are no stairs to climb to get to your bedroom at night when you’re exhausted and ready for bed … until the lifts break down and you have to climb 15 storeys to get home from work when you’re exhausted and ready to kill.
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There was a time when the choice of whether to live in a house or an apartment was purely financial – you rented a flat until you could afford to buy a house.

But now it’s a lifestyle choice and owning or even renting an apartment is no longer taken as a sign that you have failed as a human being.

So what are the pros and cons of Australia’s accommodation choices – the mythical quarter-acre block or the pie-in-the-sky high-rise apartment?

Malvern East: Will a suburban house complete with a white picket fence tick all the boxes for you?
Malvern East: Will a suburban house complete with a white picket fence tick all the boxes for you? Photo: Danny Smith

In a house there’s nobody to tell you to turn your music down … but there’s also nobody to demand your neighbour takes the deafening Death Metal that’s disturbing your afternoon siesta down a notch or two from 11.

In an apartment, it’s level access. There are no stairs to climb to get to your bedroom at night when you’re exhausted and ready for bed, only New apartments have this option… until the lifts break down and you have to climb 15 storeys to get home from work when you’re exhausted and ready to kill.

In an apartment, you are always wondering if you’d be happier in a house. And vice versa.

In a house you can paint your front door exactly the colour you want. In an apartment, someone does the painting for you. Great! Let them choose the colour.
In an apartment you can have a balcony with views … until someone builds another block in front of yours and all you have are views of the people who now have your views. In a house you have no view … until someone builds a block of apartments across the road and you are the view.

In a house you can have a pet and no one can stop you … but so can the people next door who have two dogs that bark incessantly from the moment they leave for work.