Rent a Home or an Apartment?
Sometimes quick and easy isn't always the best choice...
As a Realtor for 3.5 years and primarily a leasing agent for most of that time, as well as working for and with local property management companies I was able to learn a lot about our local leasing market.
Many people choose to rent when they are first moving to an area or are wanting to save money to buy a home. We all have to start somewhere.
The requirements to rent an apartment or a single family home are generally the same. Both require a decent credit score, proof of employment/income as well as a background check.
I often hear the objection that renting a home is more "expensive". Unlike an apartment, there is no additional fee for a garage on a home (most likely a 2 car garage instead of just a single garage!), trash service or storage space if the complex even offers it. Apartments may offer a lower deposit initially but they do also charge administrative fees as well as "set up" fees along with higher application costs typically. Apartments are quite a bit smaller than a single family home in our area and will cost you approximately the same amount in monthly rent. If you are looking at it in a cost per square foot point of view on leasing a house is quite a bit less expensive.
The lifestyle is different from apartment living to living in a single family home. Single family home living offers more privacy with no shared walls or overhead neighbors as you would have in an apartment.
A standard lease term on a single family home in our area is 12 months. Apartments locally have a standard of 13 months to get the "best rate". Apartments also are far less likely to permit any customization of the space. You are not likely to be granted permission to paint the walls, mount a television or simply hang a shelf at an apartment. Landlords of single family homes are generally open to paint changes or anything that can easily be taken care of upon move out. After all, they want you to feel at home. Apartments also have strict rules on types of pets permitted. This means no large dogs or exotic pets. Single family homes are much more conducive for pet owners. Both will require a pet deposit in roughly the same amount. I have not found a large notable difference when it comes to pet deposits. Other major differences you will find are guest policies will be very different in an apartment complex vs a single family home. Parking is an obvious. Some homes in our area even have a pool in the backyard if that is important and if not almost all homes have a neighborhood pool close by. If a pool is important to you then you can rest assured this is also possible when renting a home vs an apartment.
The availability of rentals in our area is incredible. There are plenty of options for renting a home if you decide the apartment life is just not for you. After all, everything is bigger and better in Texas!
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And, if you think an apartment is too small?