The Pros And Cons Of Buying An Apartment

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Collaborative Post¦ Buying an apartment can have many benefits compared to buying a house. However, there are also a few drawbacks. These are worth weighing up before you place a deposit on an apartment. Below are some of the pros and cons compared. 

The Pros

Cheaper to buy

Apartments are generally much cheaper than houses unless you’re buying in a very sought after area. This means a cheaper mortgage and a lower deposit. For many first-time buyers, an apartment is the most affordable way to get on the property ladder. There can even be incentives available to first-time buyers to help reduce the buying costs further. 


Another advantage of apartments is that they can often be a cheap way of accessing great locations. There are often more apartments than houses in city centres, and they are priced much lower. Upper floor apartments can also give you access to views that can be hard to get in houses – you could pay half the amount for a sea view from an apartment compared to a sea view from a house (and the apartment’s sea view could be much better).

Less maintenance

Because apartments are smaller, they are generally easier to maintain. Cleaning is easier and there aren’t as many repairs to make. You also generally don’t have to pay for exterior repairs like windows or fixes to shared facilities like door access controls, as this is the responsibility of the apartment building owner.  

Cheaper energy bills

You may find that energy bills are much cheaper in an apartment too. This is not just because there’s less space to heat and power up, but also because heat from surrounding apartments can help to keep your apartment warm. This is particularly the case if you buy an upper storey apartment – hot air will rise from the apartments below and help heat up your apartment. 

Increased security

You’re much less likely to have your home broken into when living in an apartment. Burglars tend not to target apartments because there’s more chance of being seen by a neighbour, plus many apartment blocks can only be accessed using security controls such as a fob key, which cannot be easily bypassed. Upper storey apartments are the most secure option as burglars often cannot climb into the windows.

Shared amenities

Some apartments may give you access to private amenities that only you and fellow residents can use. This includes private off-road car parks, kids’ play areas, gyms and even swimming pools in some cases. You will usually pay more for these amenities, but it’s usually a lot less than if you were to buy a house with these private amenities. 

The Cons

Lack of space

Apartments are generally much smaller than houses and therefore may not be suitable for larger families. Less space for storing belongings could mean that you need to live a little more minimally, plus you may be limited when it comes to furniture options. If you do one day decide that you need the extra space, you also don’t have the option to extend as you might do with a house. 

Less outdoor space 

A growing number of apartments are being built with balconies, but this is usually as much outdoor private space as you can get when buying an apartment. Keeping pets like dogs could be a lot more tricky because of this, plus you won’t be able to do any gardening unless you rent an allotment. 

Greater potential neighbour issues

Living in an apartment typically requires sharing certain facilities like bins and stairways, as well as living in closer proximity to multiple neighbours (you may have neighbours directly above and below you). This can result in a greater risk of disputes as a result of things like noise or mess. In fact, many common strata legal issues are due to problems with neighbours. This is something you need to be prepared for – it’s possible that you may get lucky and have wonderful neighbours, but this may not always be the case.

Leasehold restraints

You also generally do not have the same freedoms when buying an apartment as you do when buying a house. Most apartments are leasehold properties, which means you only partly-own them – the owner of the apartment building is the true owner. Leasehold properties may come with maximum lease term, so you cannot own them forever. There could also be many restrictions when it comes to remodelling such as not being able to move walls or even install a new front door in some cases. 

Ground rent

Buying an apartment does not always free you of rent. Often you will have to still pay the apartment building owner ground rent. This is usually no more than £400 per year, but still a cost to factor into your annual expenses. Not all apartment building owners charge ground rent, but most do. Before buying an apartment, it is always worth checking this cost. 

Service charges

Service charges are charged by the apartment building owner to help maintain the building and any amenities. The average annual service charge is between £1000 and £2000. You will generally pay more when buying an apartment in an apartment block with more luxurious amenities like a pool or gym. In apartment buildings where services are minimal, you may only pay a small fee. However, in almost all cases when buying a leasehold apartment, there will be some service charges. Make sure that you budget for this cost. 

Should you buy an apartment?

Apartments are a cheaper option than houses. There are more costs to juggle including service charges and ground rent, but overall you will pay less for an apartment than you would a house. This makes apartments a better option for those with less funds.

An apartment is also a good option when buying property in a city – particularly somewhere central. Opting for an apartment will give you more options, better views and increased security compared to buying a house.

An apartment is not a good option if you need lots of space (particularly outdoor space) and the option to completely remodel a property to your image. Houses offer more freedom when renovating and will give you more space. 

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.