Do You Prefer House or Apartment?

I think most Australians probably prefer to live in a house because it's the Australian dream to have a nice big house with a giant backyard and maybe a pool etc…

Personally I prefer apartments mainly because I grew up in one and am fairly used to the coziness and the lack of need to maintain a giant backyard. I've been to many houses that have abandoned backyards and honestly they look horrible…I even have a friend that just let's their dog shit everywhere in there and never clean it.

So what's your preference, and why?

Poll Options

  • 729
    House
  • 123
    Apartment
  • 17
    Something else (?)

Comments

  • House, with land for myself, future kids, and dog to play in. Also a shed for hobby stuff.

  • Right now I wouldn't mind living in an apartment. I've always lived in houses.

    • I've experienced it all. Depends on the situation. Single/Married/Own the Property/Renting/Age. Mine is Married/Renting/Age 30-35 at the moment.

      Single/Renting: Apartment.
      Pros (In most cases): Good Location. Good views. Walking Distance to CBD. Pubs and bars with in walking distance*. Shopping is convenient/walking distance. Young age. Go out often. Too many events/concerts/fairs/festivals to participate in. Heaps of restaurants to choose from. Go clubbing, pick up girls and bring them to your apartment, enjoy and have fun. Have a drink on your balcony while watching the lights of city skyline flicker.

      Married/Have enough money to own the Property: House.
      Pros: Blast that music on your 7.1 speaker system and watch movies in surround sound feeling like a king and having the experience of a cinema in your house. Have your Mrs yell at you at full blast because you were a (profanity) and forgot to do something she asked you to, and not worry about what your neighbours will hear that'll diminish your manhood.**

      Single/Have enough money to own the Property: House.
      Same as point 2, but now you can go out and bring birds home.

      Married/Renting/Young Age: Apartment
      Same as point 1, but can't bring the birds home.

      Married/Renting/OldAge: House
      You are dumb arse for not cashing out your super and buying a property.

      *Not talking about current COVID-19 situation.
      **This was a joke. Getting abused is not to be taken as a joke. Every couple has arguments, but know the difference between abuse and good old argument.

      • “ Married/Renting/OldAge: House
        You are dumb arse for not cashing out your super and buying a property.”

        That’s a deeply privileged thing to say. Not everyone is doing as well as your bad advice suggests and it’s not always their fault either. Life is nuanced.

        • That was a joke. Sorry to hurt your feelings my friend. Yes life is funny like that.. no matter what you have, you will always want more. Millionaires want to become billionaires, and peasants like are happy with just couple of million so I can stop paying off someone's else's house.

      • one Mrs is over your shit Divorce she how own half super and most of the house.

      • Best post I read on this forum. I am young single and live in apartment and plan on doing so for a few more years.

  • House for me, I understand your issues but I feel like it all depends on how you keep your house, for example if you don't have a dog, don't keep grass in your front or back yards etc, then its essentially a nice free space for everyone for BBQs and stuff, and usually houses are bigger as well, allowance for more freedom with sound. And less issues with things like elevators, strata or neighbours that are literally on the other side of the wall.

  • House.

    If you own an apartment you don't own any land. You share walls with your neighbours and you had better hope they don't set up an Air BnB in there or like to watch movies with the volume up. It's impossible to have solar panels in an apartment so you're at the mercy of whatever the power company feels like charging you. Every time you go outside you might have to use an elevator, which is doubly unattractive during times of COVID.

    • Other than the potential for noisy neighbours (which I've luckily not had in the 10 years of being here - the noisy ones have all been in neigbouring houses) I'm lucky in that I live in an apartment without an elevator, the ability to have solar panels and technically 1/4 ownership of the land.

    • If you own an apartment you don't own any land.

      You obviously haven't seen council rates notice. You do but just not a lot and you don't get a big whooping land tax bill.

      You share walls with your neighbours and you had better hope they don't set up an Air BnB in there or like to watch movies with the volume up.

      Like we haven't heard of stories of AirBnB houses getting parties with cops turning up.

      It's impossible to have solar panels in an apartment so you're at the mercy of whatever the power company feels like charging you.

      Two people living in an apartment I'm using 4 - 6 kwh a day. Why would you be putting in solar panels? I'd make more money investing it and using the dividends to pay the bill.

      Every time you go outside you might have to use an elevator, which is doubly unattractive during times of COVID.

      As opposed to peak out banked up traffic everywhere you want to go but obviously no traffic during COVID times.

      • Two people living in an apartment I'm using 4 - 6 kwh a day. Why would you be putting in solar panels? I'd make more money investing it and using the dividends to pay the bill.

        You wouldn't even come close to solar returns from dividends. You can install a 6.6kwh system for $1900, it will generate on average 22kwh in Melb a day. So take your 6kwh usage and at 16kwh a day x 10.2c FIT you are looking at about $700 credit, take off your daily supply charge of about $1.20 a day and you find yourself in a position where you don't have an energy bill and your energy provider actually owes you $262. Oh and it's tax free too unlike most people's dividends even after imputations and no capital gain tax on releasing the shares, and solar can't really crash unlike your shares.

        • Don't forget. The cost of infrastructure underlying being a $600k house verses a $400k apartment. Take the $200k and invest it in shares, can definitely get enough dividends to cover.

          If you look at it in isolation then yeah. It is like free car mats. Don't forget to look at price of the car that goes with it. Ain't free.

          solar can't really crash unlike your shares.

          You mean premium feed in that was 60c, previously 12c, now 10 odd cents (depending on state of course).

          • @netjock: Premium FIT was always completely different government incentive scheme and has no weight in the figures I presented. Actual FIT fluctuates a bit, has gone up and down marginally in recent years, Snowy Hydro 2 should help keep FIT's up when it comes online.

            I'm not sure your point on costs, you can also purchase a 400k house and a 600k apartment take the 200k and invest in shares. But anyway land appreciates and infrastructure depreciates, houses overall (due to land component) have much greater capital growth than apartments

            • @donkcat:

              I'm not sure your point on costs, you can also purchase a 400k house and a 600k apartment take the 200k and invest in shares. But anyway land appreciates and infrastructure depreciates, houses overall (due to land component) have much greater capital growth than apartments

              Apartments will be cheaper than houses in each suburb. Simple fact. If you want a roof to put panels on then prepare to pay for it. The additional you pay for a house if you invest in shares then you've got more than enough to pay for your electricity bill.

              The oversight of the argument that house is best. If you buy a $600k house you are forced to pay your mortgage, it is like paying the bank $1.025 every year so you are forced to save $1 of principle. If you can force yourself to save $1 every year into the index you're paid 2.5c assuming 2.5% dividend.

              Lets get into the example that a $100k investment property will go up to $1m in 30 years time.
              IF $100k shares goes up to $1m in 30 years time.

              The headache you are going to have for an investment property is you will need to pay $450k of capital gain at your marginal tax rate. ($900k cap gain with 50% discount)

              $1m in shares you can sell $80k every year and pay capital gains on $40k at marginal tax rate.

              Don't forget that $450k of capital gains on an investment property is now money not deferred over a longer period of over say 10 years.

              • @netjock: The old real estate vs stock market argument has gone on for years, not going to go into all the merits of investing in real estate other than to say if you pick shares then you're better off actually not purchasing anything and just renting than trying to save 200k on a poorer investment of an apartment vs a house. To add to that real estate investment is always a well looked after asset by our government, and as long as government's continue to treat housing as an investment vehicle and not an essential right for all Australians to have affordable housing then it will continue to be a sound investment.

                • @donkcat:

                  The old real estate vs stock market argument

                  It isn't an argument when I said they both same cost, same final value over same 30 years.

                  It becomes a taxation problem. You want to pay marginal tax on $450k in 1 financial year or spread it over multiple years.

                  It is also a savings problem. Do you need to be forced to save by paying out 3% interest or forcing yourself to save by paying in and getting 3% interest.

                  You think share market isn't a looked after asset class? You realised during COVID19 the only ones not being told to take a hair cut is the banks. You get a mortgage holiday but interest accrues on the interest.

                  Everyone thinks it is an asset class problem but the it is a free cash flow (you spend less than you earn) and a savings problem (even if you have free cash flow are you paying out rather than someone else paying in).

                  • @netjock: It’s not a tax issue because you don’t have to pay capital gains tax on your main residence when selling

                    • @donkcat: You didn't get my original point of comparing apples and apples. If you don't pay tax on it then it isn't an investment. Don't pretend it is.

                      It is like saying you live in a tax haven and therefore everyone else in Australia is getting ripped off.

                      • @netjock: That's one of the most ridiculous thing's I've ever heard, the literal definition of an investment is the action or process of investing money for profit. Has nothing to do with the amount of tax paid, it's just a great benefit that tax isn't paid on the capital gains unlike shares.

                        • @donkcat:

                          it's just a great benefit that tax isn't paid on the capital gains unlike shares.

                          Wrong. Capital gains tax is paid on any investment. Except for the family home because the ATO does not consider it an investment because you do not derive an income.

                          Try selling it to anyone that put $1m down and no you won't get any income, no deduction on interest. Only thing close is zero coupon bonds and that doesn't sell like hot cakes.

                          • @netjock: Deriving an income is irrelevant, you also don't derive an income from small cap shares that don't offer dividends. A house is an investment because property prices appreciate, you make capital gains, it's just the government doesn't tax that capital gain like they do other investments.

                            • @donkcat:

                              you also don't derive an income from small cap shares that don't offer dividends

                              But you have to pay tax on the capital gains. Holes in your own story.

                              A house is an investment because property prices appreciate

                              Tell that to people who sell for a loss. Just because price appreciates it doesn't make it an investment. Just like a new BMW might appreciate in 30 years when it is a rare car it doesn't mean it is an investment right now. Holes in the story.

                              If the family home is an investment you'll be subject to fringe benefits tax. It is either a consumerable or an investment. It can't be both. Your family goes up in price simply because everyone else's investment goes up. People with investment property sell, pay tax and make a profit. If you sell your house without owning another home you are just committing yourself to paying rent with your profits.

                              • @netjock: But you make a capital gain, how could it possibly be that you make a capital gain but yet aren't taxed, holes in your story.

                                You are really arguing semantics at this point, for some strange reason you seem to think because the government doesn't consider the main residence an investment that all of a sudden paying no tax on capital gains means that shares is a better investment. It's quite strange logic really but frankly, but by all means go and invest in your shares and feel good about paying your capital gains tax.

                                • @donkcat:

                                  for some strange reason you seem to think because the government doesn't consider the main residence an investment that all of a sudden paying no tax on capital gains means that shares is a better investment.

                                  It isn't strange when you missed out the fact I am comparing apples with apples. Both shares and investment property is taxed on exit.

                                  Key assumption is you can invest in both and both are equal.

                                  You seem to believe that your primary residence is an investment and compare to shares which you cannot live in it and have to pay tax on it. A motorbike and a car will get you from point A to B except you can't compare the two because one has half the number of wheels and lot less capacity. Do not compare primary residence to share investments.

                                  You don't see financial planners put in people's retirement financial plans to do improvements to their primary residences simply because it might help the values it doesn't generate any retirement cash income.

                                  • @netjock: Look I'm really done here, we're a long way off the original OP and will just have to agree to disagree

                                  • @netjock:

                                    You seem to believe that your primary residence is an investment

                                    I think what you are failing to see is that just because something isn't classed as an investment in the tax legislation, doesn't mean it can't be. Lets face it, the way property is structured in Australia, it can absolutely be an investment vehicle. Plus you don't even need to live in the place 100% of the time you own it.

                                    You can buy an investment property. live in it for the first 12 months, leave, rent it out for 5 years and 11 months. Move back and repeat. Never have to pay a cent of CGT. Can't tell me that still isn't an investment property even though the ATO will happily allow me to call it my PPOR?

                                  • @netjock: Every place I've lived in has been an investment since I stopped renting. If you don't see it that way you either have money to burn or your doing it wrong.

      • I own an apartment and I can tell you the council rates plus body corporate fee cost exceed council rates for a house my parents own (just the next suburb but different council). The upside for all of this is I got into the property far cheaper than buying a house and I won't be homeless when I'm old and retired.

        • I won't be homeless when I'm old and retired.

          Providing you can afford those ever escalating council rates, strata fees and sinking fund. I hope your apartment isn't a large complex with fancy features.

          • @serpserpserp: Well, I'd just sell the apartment if that's the case and then move to overseas somewhere.

            • @squall3031:

              Well, I'd just sell the apartment if that's the case and then move to overseas somewhere.

              Trust me when your old and retired, you don't want to be a plane trip away from the Australian health system. Being caught out overseas when something major goes wrong is not good.

        • I own an apartment and I can tell you the council rates plus body corporate fee cost exceed council rates

          If you don't have a gym and a pool then you are getting ripped off. Can tell you if I add up cost of pool and gym then my apartment strata + council is less than my parent's council rates.

    • only thing is very good for living in a apartment block is using Tinder

      Although not many people are willing to admit this.

  • House. Owning apartment is like owning a time bomb (exhibit a: mascot tower…)

    • Like we never heard of a house with structural problems. Nice try at mass hysteria. Just because of the Titanic all cruise ships are ticking time bombs.

      • No, due to COVID-19 all cruise ships are ticking time bombs.

        The point is a valid one. Structural defects in a house are a lot less of a problem than structural defects in an apartment block with hundreds of different owners. The issue of dodgy cladding isn’t a problem because it is in people’s houses it is because it is in massive tower blocks with a large number of owners and working out who is responsible for what is a nightmare.

      • If something goes wrong with my house, I can just fix it. Good luck doing that with your flat.

      • Can't believe your comment has so many upvotes. It's not hard to understand that fixing a high rise apartment building isn't as simple as fixing a single (or even double) storey house.

        It's quite sad that in this country we can't even build apartments to a high standard. That's greed and laziness for you.

        • Can't believe your comment has so many upvotes.

          It is called common sense. It is always a few cases that people sensationalise.

          • @netjock: The issue of dodgy cladding, and apartment faults, is not a few cases being sensationalised it is a multi billion dollar remediation problem. Yes, some of the press overcooks things but these places are a risk to the people living in them and an expensive remediation bill that will require the cooperation of, potentially, hundreds of apartment owners.

            • @try2bhelpful: It's already causing massive headaches in the Insurance industry.

              Because of cladding, some Insurers won't insure architects, fire surveyor, builders etc. It's a mess.

              And I went to the talk from the Lawyers who were the lawyers for the Melbourne Spencer St cladding mess class action - it's a whole (profanity) of problems and it's made me personally wary about buying apartments made between 2000-2018 by anyone who aren't Grenville/Lend Lease/Porter Davis/every other really large domestic construction company worth half their salt.

    • I own a mix of both. Never had a single issue with any of my apartments, save for minor repairs but had big bills for repairs on my house.

      As a side note, I have made just under 3 times what I paid for each apartment in capital gains and not even close on the house (although it was purchased more recently).

      Never had any issues having anything fixed on any of my properties. Don't know why this would be an issue anyway.

      If you bought in Mascot Towers, that's on you. Any fool could see how poorly they (and others) were built.

      Not representative of even 1% of apartments.

      • You have a good eye.

        People do not understand fundamentals of investing in apartments are different. For starters apartment rent is suppose to cover all costs (6% - 7% gross yield). You are basically putting down a deposit and someone else pay it off for you over 25 - 30 years then you get a cashflow (unless you choose to sell).
        If you are negatively geared then you have it wrong.

        Houses you expect rent to not cover your P&I repayments, negatively gear and good capital appreciation (because you swap low rental yield).

        • I agree. Not a difficult premise to grasp, but so many don't understand basic economics and treat property investment like gambling for short term gains. Those days are gone.

          It's far less risk if you play the long game rather than over mortgage in the hopes that you make a 100% return in 12 months.

          Although I do love to capitalise on those who dug themselves into a hole.

  • Strata fees with apartment can sometimes be rather high, a bit of a turnoff for many.

    Checking the surrounding areas in Olympic park, Rhodes and Newington, they are nice apartments with good views, close proximity to green space for exercise and shopping malls but often with obscenely high strata fees

    You're looking anywhere from $1500 to $3,500 per quarter for high rise. Average is around $2k in this sort of urban area and you also need to account for increase in levies every year or so when the building ages or develops structural problems.

    • Starta is a double edged sword.

      If it is high, the obvious drawback is there.

      The lower the cost, the lower the bar for entry.

    • here I am complaining about my $700 strata levy. Though we don't have anything fancy other than a shared underground garage for 20 units.

    • People who don't look at strata fees before they buy.

      There is the middle ground of having enough units to get costs low enough and uneconomical number of units.

      I have a studio in 1 building with 10 stories and it is $4500 a year in strata fees (no car park, no pool, no gym, no 24hr reception).

      In another building 40 stories with pool, gym, 24 hour receiption (car park but I don't have to pay fees as it is only for owners of spaces) and $5000 a year.

      Can be a lot but don't go in blind.

  • Id prefer a house. I bought a town house and already share one wall which is ok but I wouldn't like to be getting noise from neighbours above or below as you might in an apartment. Renovations and major changes would also be much more difficult in an apartment.

  • House is better. But where can you find an affordable house in the city center, there's not enough room for houses. There's all kinds of apartments, from small and shabby to big and fancy. If your entire life is in the city anyway then an affordable house outside of the city might not make much sense. If you have a humble income and plan on having kids, then owning a small shabby apartment won't do you much good either. A long commute can be nice, a time to relax and listen to podcasts. Or clock in early during the commute and work on emails.

  • I play drums….

    Apartment….

  • Can't handle Karens and Kevins in a body corporate system.

  • Apartment

    Better views, no garden maintenance, less bugs/spiders/snakes etc

    As long as you do your homework and buy into a building which has been designed with acoustic underlay on the floors, the noise is minimal.

  • Acreage

    Never have or desired to live in an apartment/unit.
    Lockdown in an apartment would be torture

    Why acreage?
    Freedom, and by that I mean freedom to do "whatever" you might think of (funding aside). The list really is only limited by imagination
    Why not?
    Work load can be overwhelming if you treat it like a suburban yard. We have around an acre at the house which is neat and tidy, the rest less so
    .

    • My primary residence is acreage.

      Council is still a thorn in my butthole when it comes to building permits. Looking to build a nice workshop (not a tin can) and I'm having to jump through hoops to prove it is not an additional dwelling.

      (But yeah, it is awesome. When I can hear my neighbour's music, I am annoyed bloody impressed.)

      • An easy way to prove it is not an additional dwelling is to not include a bathroom, toilet or kitchen in your plans.

        • I know that if it doesn't have all those, then it is not a dwelling but I do want a bathroom and a wash up area.

          I'm sure it won't be a problem and I'm just going to have to play their game.

          The plan is obviously not a dwelling. It's almost 100sqm open rectangle (except bathroom) with vaulted ceilings.

  • House is great for the space - apartment is great for the lack of maintenance.

    • +1 vote

      You do pay for maintenance for an apartment too… Just someone else does it

      You could do the same for a house.. Outsource cleaning, lawn mowing, pest control etc.

  • Apartment living doesn’t suit if you are like me and enjoy spending time in the shed building, fixing etc.

    I lived in an apartment for a while and it sucked having to lock up and head down to the garage to work on the car etc then lock up the garage to go get a snack or something I’d forgotten. It also sucked carrying my bike up flights of stairs to work on with good lighting or even just to keep them secure. Apartment garages are notorious for having stuff nicked from.

  • Townhouse, a hybrid between the two :D

    • The hermaphrodite of dwellings.

    • As long as there is no strata, it's the best of both worlds - less maintenance and usually better location than a freestanding house, but more space and freedom than an apartment.

  • freehold micro lot 2-4 story homes

    vertical and horizontal sprawl diminish social quality of life.

  • Apartment. No garden or exterior maintenance. Walk to shops, park, transport. In house gym and pool. No temptation to hoard useless stuff.

    • The best thing is I can lock one door and it's secure. In the last house I lived in I had to lock 3 doors and close all the windows to go anywhere!!

      • Agreed. And i still never felt entirely secure doing that. Easy for someone to smash a window and get in, smash and grab!