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Which is better - Apartments or Independent houses

Is it better to live in an apartment or in an independent house? Well, this depends on individual preferences and budget and both have their own pros and cons. Apartment culture is increasingly becoming popular in big cities. Let us find out different aspects of both in this article.


Many years ago independent houses and villas were a common sight in big cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi etc and apartments were very less to be seen. But with the lack of construction space, increase in land cost and migration of outsiders population for jobs led to the flourishing of apartments culture in the big cities. Nowadays condition is that independent houses are lesser to be seen and everywhere you can see apartments and skyscrapers. But still, there are some areas and colonies in the cities where there are only independent houses. The city has become divided into areas with apartments and areas with independent houses. We find that old areas of the city have more independent houses while the newly developing areas have more apartments. Any new construction happening in the city is most likely to be an apartment these days. It would be interesting to compare pros and cons of living in apartments versus living in independent houses. Given a choice what we should opt for? Well, let's see below.

Apartments versus Independent houses - Pros and cons

  • Community and socializing - When you live in a multi-storeyed apartment then depending on the size of the apartment there can be anywhere between 50 to 500 flats or even more. Normally apartments have different blocks and each block has a number of apartments. These large number of flats in a single apartment builds a very huge community of families and there will always be a hustle and bustle. Family members staying in apartments are less likely to feel lonely and get bored as each member of their family can get persons of their age group to talk with. For example, children can make friends with the children of other apartments, old age people can also find their matching company. Same with working women, housewives and male members. Hence staying in an apartment you will not need to go outside to find a company. This community seems the biggest plus point of staying in apartments. When there is such a big community there is always a chance that it can be of help sometimes when needed.

    In this regard staying in an independent house has a drawback that you do not get such a big community to socialize with. Though there are houses around your house, still the number of people you will be able to meet and socialize will not be that much. Sometimes staying in independent houses might make a person or children feel lonely especially if they are not able to get well with their neighboring house people. But nowadays gated community concept has emerged which has a single colony having a large number of villas and row houses in a line. In such an environment it becomes more or less like an apartment and there will be a huge community staying together. This is better than isolated independent houses and environment will seem more or less like an apartment.

  • Security - Security is a prime concern for people living in independent houses which are not inside a gated community. Generally, it is not common for people living in independent houses to invest in keeping an individual security guard. At most, there can be a security guard for a group of houses. Hence independent houses are easy to access for burglars as they are exposed as separate units, unlike the apartments. Hence independent houses are more likely to be robbed. In contrast, apartments are safe in this regard. Since apartments have many flats inside located on different floors and blocks and there is a dedicated security at the gate, the probability of external burglars coming in is less. Also with so many flats probability of each flat getting robbed is very low. But there are cases in apartments where people working inside the flats Iike maids etc sometimes steal the things in the flat they work or they know.

  • Cost - If we consider from the purchasing point of view, buying an independent house or villa can be quite costly compared to buying the apartment for the same quality.

  • Maintenance charges - Monthly maintenance charges in apartments are usually high as a lot of expenses are involved in security, water, electricity, plumbing, lifts, and breakdowns etc. All these charges get divided on per flat basis as monthly maintenance charges. Some flats also take corpus amount to build interest income. The individual flat has no control over the maintenance charges as it is decided by the management committee in place. Hence we cannot normally save on monthly maintenance charges if we are staying in an apartment as we need to pay fixed monthly or quarterly charges. On the other hand, independent houses have an advantage in this regard. Here we ourselves will be responsible for the maintenance of our house. Hence we can optimize the maintenance charges as per our wish. Charges are incurred as per the problems and requirement and there is no fixed monthly maintenance charge.
    But in apartments, we do not need to take the headache of finding the workers like electricians or plumbers when something goes wrong as normally every apartment employs full-time plumber and electricians to attend the problems in different flats. But in case of independent houses, we need to find the workers ourselves and also negotiate with them on charges, so it might seem an overhead.

  • Disturbance - In the apartments as the flats are close together the chances of disturbances are high. It is very common to see a person in one flat getting disturbed by the noise in the adjacent or opposite flats. Since the apartments on the same floor share common walls, floors and ceilings noise transmission from one flat to the other is very common. Due to a large number of apartments, there is disturbance from common areas due to people talking, vehicle noise and repair work is very common. Repair work going on in one flat can also disturb the nearby flats. Independent houses are generally free from this disturbance problem as they are isolated and far from other houses.

  • Extra space - In apartments apart from the flat inside area and balcony we do not get any extra dedicated space like verandah, terrace etc like independent houses. All the common areas in the apartment are mostly shared among different flats and are not dedicated. So in an apartment, you cannot get a dedicated terrace, lobby etc. This I feel is a major drawback of the apartments.

  • Events and celebrations - Apartments have a large community of people staying together and hence there are celebrations of festivals together, parties, get-togethers and fun events which keep the families engaged and entertained at regular intervals. This advantage is not there in independent houses.

  • Conclusion

    So we see both apartments and independent houses have their own pros and cons and different people have different preferences regarding them. Nowadays more and more people are preferring apartments giving rise to so-called apartment culture in the city. But still, there are some people who still like staying in independent houses.


    Author: NK SHARMA28 Jun 2018 Member Level: Gold   Points : 2

    The author has discussed a very good topic. It is the mindset of the people as to what they like, an apartment or an independent house. Rich and high profile people prefer to live in gated community apartments. If both, the husband and wife, are working and there is no one to look after the house, then an apartment is a better option from the security point of view. If someone has large and a joint family, an independent house is the better option.

    Author: Reena Upadhya30 Jun 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 5

    If the property is an independent house, it will take lots of efforts to resell it. There's a high demand for an apartment nowadays. This is the reason they sell easily and sale can be done within no time. Thus, if someone is trying to buy a property and wants to resell it at a later stage, the apartment would definitely be a good idea.

    Buying an under construction independent property and going through all the hard work of building the property on it isn't an easy task. On the other hand, the apartment does not demand all the hard labour work. If building an individual house, work can be completed within a specific duration. In case of an apartment building, construction work is very much dependent on the mercy of developer. Construction delays can cause lots of frustration in such cases.

    It is easy to get a mortgage to buy an apartment in comparison with the independent house. There is no strict scrutiny which is seen in case of purchasing of independent houses. Also, it is difficult to estimate the value of independent properties.

    Author: Umesh01 Jul 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 8

    A nice article where the author has brought the pros and cons of living in an independent house versus a flat.

    In my opinion, the choice is governed by various factors. A person who is an animal lover and keeps pets will like to be in an independent house where sufficient space is there as well as a quick approach to open areas is accessible. Further, a person interested in gardening and associated activities will also like an independent house. Nowadays independent houses are very costly and beyond the capacity of an ordinary person but given a choice, a person having above hobbies will prefer an independent house.

    People who do not have such outdoor oriented interests and can simply read a book in a corner of a room and pass their time may prefer a small flat with no attached strings. Especially in old age, maintaining a small flat is easier than living in an independent house where a lot of manpower is required for cleaning and maintaining of additional verandah and courtyards full of vegetation and plants shedding their leaves frequently.

    So it basically depends on one's lifestyles and hobbies that what type of house one will prefer.

    Author: T.M.Sankaran09 Jul 2018 Member Level: Gold   Points : 8

    This article is giving a detailed picture of the two major modes of community living. In cities and large towns, the lack of space has given birth to the flat system. Actually, the concentration of employment opportunities in the cities is the major reason for the change over to flat culture. Of course, the lack of landed properties in the city area also led to this.

    As detailed by the author there are plusses and minuses for both setups. The choice is based on mainly different needs of the concerned persons. The concept of a house in earlier days contains some extra space outside where certain vegetations will be available. Vegetation means certain fruit-bearing trees, vegetable gardens maintained by the owners themselves which meet the vegetable needs of the inmates to a very large extent. One or two coconut trees would meet the coconut requirements of the family. A small well using concrete rings will help when the water supply is not there. If such houses are scattered in a specified area then security issues can be jointly solved. There are different technologies available these days to solve the waste issues. In flats, there will be some mechanisms to get rid of waste. But it will be a common one and extra charge will be there included in the monthly charges. If in an independent house one can install a biogas plant and the gas produced can be used in the kitchen, which will save the consumption of petroleum gas generally used to a certain extent. The waste (slurry) from the biogas plant can be used as a manure for vegetable cultivation.

    However, the choice between flat and independent house depends on several other factors, mainly based on the family size and the number of visitors too.

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