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Not too long ago, living in a house was the ultimate Australian dream.

Apartments were usually for university students, singles or just anyone who could not afford a house. The weight of your pocket mattered.

Things have changed though. Apartment style living has become a lifestyle choice for many people, even the wealthy and a 2015 study performed by McCrindle found apartments and unit dwellers represent 41% of the total population in Sydney.

However, this does not mean that apartments are better than houses. At the end of the day, it all comes down to an individual’s priorities, preference and budget.

To make the choice the little bit easier, here are some of the pros and cons of each.

1. Expenses

Though an apartment is relatively cheaper to buy or rent, it is consequently smaller. You also need to keep in mind that apartments also have the added expense of strata and body corporate fees which amount to thousands of dollars every year.

On the other hand, utility bills like electricity would be less in an apartment since it’s a smaller space which means it’ll take less power to heat or cool. You also don’t need to worry about watering the lawn which saves on your water bills.

2. Cleaning and Maintenance

In an apartment, you won’t have to worry too much about cleaning and maintenance since there’s usually a property manager who takes care of it.

All the common areas like the garden, bbq, and pool are the responsibility of the strata management team which has a team of electricians, plumbers, and cleaners to maintain the property.

Owning a house, you’ll need to do your cleaning and repairs or hire cleaners and tradespeople yourself. Anyone who has lived in Sydney for a good length of time will tell you that finding a good one can be difficult at the best of times.

3. Privacy and lifestyle

If you are the lead drummer for a heavy metal rock band, you better get a house as there’s a better chance your neighbors will put up with the noise. In an apartment, you’ve got no chance since you’d be sharing your floors and walls with four other households, one of them are bound to make a noise complaint to the strata committee.

Wondering whether you can own a dog in an apartment? Of course, you can – that’s if you can somehow tape its mouth shut! The vast majority of apartments are known to have strict rules in place when it comes to pet ownership, so pet ownership is usually out of the question.

Have you always dreamed of designing your dream home? Well, in a house you can renovate whenever and however you like. In an apartment, you need to get permission from the strata committee, and they can control the color you paint your doors and balcony.

4. Security

Unless you can afford to hire a full-time security guard, a house isn’t as safe as an apartment. The main entry of most modern apartments requires a pin code, security card or buzz in for access.

Larger strata communities may even have a full security guard or concierge looking after the premises which make cases of break-ins exceedingly rare compared to a house which has nothing other than a freestanding house guarded by only a picket fence.

5. Convenience & Access to Amenities

Apartments are the winner here; they are usually located close to public transport and built with added amenities such as swimming pools, a gym, laundry rooms, barbecue, entertainment areas and storage cages.

It’s increasingly common these days to have apartment block developers to include some commercial space for cafes, convenience stores, and dry cleaners, so you have everything you need right on your doorstep. A benefit which you can never have in a house.

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