College Living: Apartments vs. Houses

As my first quarter at college comes to a close I’m switching rooms with a friend to live in a different hall, although this move is simple and relatively easy it made me think about moving for next year. Where do I want to live? How do I decide between on campus or off campus? If I live off campus should I live in an apartment or house? After just briefly looking into these questions I realized that this can be a very tough choice that depends on what you’re looking for personally. For me it was an easy choice to rule out on campus living, I didn’t want to have to deal with the constant possibility of being written up and also I wanted to have a real kitchen so I could cook for myself. The choice between an apartment and a house, however, was more challenging.

First I decided to look into apartments because the majority of my friends who had decided to live off campus this year and in previous years had chosen them. I figured that since so many of them had made the same choice there must be some merit to it. My first way to help to decide my opinion on living in an apartment was to create a pros and cons list. Apartments have their own kitchen, separate rooms for the people living in the apartment, options for various amounts of renters, and also they require less maintenance than a house. However apartments also have more (and also closer) neighbors on all sides, more rules to follow, and importantly less general freedom than a house (“Finding a Place”). After looking those up I was rather disappointed that living in an apartment was not looking to be all I had hoped it would, I decided to try my luck with houses.

I don’t have many friends that have rented houses so I hadn’t heard too many opinions on it, however when I first moved to Washington my mom rented a house. When my mom was renting a house her landlord had treated us rather poorly and that had put me off slightly on renting houses. I figured it was still worth a shot to research and find out if I prefer houses to apartments. Again I decided to make a pros and cons list since it had worked out well for apartments. The advantages of houses that it had in common with apartments were many also have their own kitchen, separate rooms for the people living there, and some options for various amounts of renters. The advantages of houses that were separate from apartments are less neighbors, no quiet hours, and more freedom over what you do there. However houses came with their disadvantages as well, including possibly having a poor landlord, having less options than apartments for number of renters, and also having some house maintenance that may be required while you live there (Here’s What Student”). When looking at the advantages and disadvantages of houses and apartments it still remained a tough choice between them.

Ultimately I decided that renting a house was the best choice for me, after looking at how to keep your landlord from treating you poorly I found out that there are laws in place that you can use to make sure you are getting treated properly (Stewart). To find the best choice for yourself is tough, however I found the best way to go at it is to try to find which values are most important to you. Once you know what you value you’re able to look at the pros and cons and rather easily find which option is the best for you.

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