Apartment vs Independent House: What to Buy

Apartment vs Independent House: What to Buy?

Updated on 2021-08-30

In Architecture

Having or owning a house is one of the three basic needs for survival. It is one of the major goals that people look forward to fulfilling in their lifetime everywhere around the world. Once a person is financially stable to take the leap in order to fulfill the dream, the major question pops up – buy an apartment? Or but an independent house/bungalow/villa?
Some people are very clear about their choices regarding their home between an apartment and an independent house. However, for others, the decision between the two choices depends on a few factors that are taken into consideration. The decision is an important one as it involves huge investments and for some people buying a house means giving up on all the savings. Moreover, this is a type of investment that most people make once in their lifetime. The following article discusses the factors that might help one decide between buying an apartment or an independent house –


In the present times, apartments are a popular choice amongst people. One of the reasons is that they are being produced by builders at an incredible pace. Owing to a dearth of space and migration giving rise to vertical development, apartments have become a common sight and option especially in the cities. Apartments are preferred by people for amenities, maintenance services and security. 

ApartmentsImage Courtesy  - Pexels

Looking for ideas to upgrade or decorate your apartment, read 9 Decor Ideas to Upgrade your Rental Apartment  and 10 Minimalist Home Decor Items To Give Your Home A Modern Upgrade

Independent House 

Independent houses also go by the connotations - bungalow and villa. These are independent units constructed on a piece of land. These days independent houses are also an option in gated societies. In the case of individual houses, the owner has the sole discretion regarding the internal and external design, material selection and usage, space usage, amenities, etc.

Looking for ideas to decorate your home, read 10 Affordable Ways To Decorate Your HOME and The Art of Accessorizing in Interiors. 

Independent house

Image Courtesy  - Pexels

Both an apartment and an independent house come with their sets of advantages and disadvantages. To make your call if the apartment is a right fit for you or an independent house, the following are the factors that one must consider before taking the plunge – 

1. Purpose   

It is essential to decide on the purpose for buying the property - an apartment or an independent house. Once you decide the purpose, the other factors would start falling into place. The purpose of purchase could be self-inhabitation, investment or asset building, to seek tenancy, etc.  

2. Location and Accessibility   

The purpose for the purchase would help you evaluate the choice based on the factors such as location and accessibility. These are factors that might be different for people at different phases of their lives. Therefore, it is important to analyze the purpose and the requirements thereof to be able to weigh in the factor of location and accessibility of either an apartment or an independent house. Location and accessibility of property would also determine the ease of getting tenants, for people seeking apartments or independent houses to rent out or investing. 

3. Family and Family Size    

One of the points that help settle the confusion between the two typologies is the size of the family or the type of family (nuclear or joint). The size of the family and foresight can help in determining the right choice for your family in line with the requirements. For instance, a joint family might opt for an independent house or apartments in the same society or precinct, depending on their space requirements, personal choices, family congeniality, etc. 
This by no means implies that the apartments are for nuclear families or couples. Nuclear families or newlywed couples could opt for independent houses as well depending on the location, their personal requirement, ambitions and foresight. However, family size does not matter in choosing between an apartment and an independent house. 

4. Amenities 

When it comes to amenities, the apartments offer an edge with their provision of diverse amenities. Some amenities that most of the apartments offer are elevators, power backup, 24-hour security, waste management, parking space, social and physical aids, water management, cleaning, maintained green spaces, etc. Certain amenities can not be integrated with an independent house until perhaps it is a part of a gated society. 
The provision of amenities makes the living of apartment inhabitants a tad bit easier and hassle-free. This by no means implies that this is not possible in an independent house, but the incorporation of amenities is solely at the discretion of the owners of the house. 

*The amenities provided in apartments are determined based on the size and type of housing. Consider all factors before making the choice. Go through the information brochure regarding the nitty-gritty of the amenities provided and the maintenance cost thereof before that final choice. 

Indoor Swimming pool

Photo by Origin Leisure Ltd - More swimming pool photos

5. Security       

Apartments are usually quite secured owing to the security measures like security personnel, CCTV surveillance, secured guest check-in and check-out firefighting, etc. This is rarely the case with independent houses, apart from the possibility that the house or plot forms a part of a gated society. 

6. Design, Space Utilization and Decor    

When it comes to design and space utilization, one can say that apartments are more rigid owing to their fixed plans in contrast with complete design freedom in independent houses. With independent houses, the residents or the owners have the choice of designing the spaces according to their utilitarian purposes. The design language can be experimented and explored to suit the design ambitions of the owners. 
The internal decor can be manipulated according to the residents in apartments as well as independent houses. The grid-based construction of apartments gives a little freedom to remove or introduce walls as none of the walls are load-bearing. While the apartments offer clutter-free and compact living, the independent houses offer expandability according to the expanding requirements of the family in line with the local norms. 

You must check out 10 Unique Living Room Decor Items That Will Completely Transform Your Space

Living Room Interior design

Photo by Cornerstone Architects - Search living room design ideas

The benefit of independent houses is that one can choose the material palette for construction. This gives an option to opt for materials that are natural, sustainable or greener options of construction

To know more about unique building materials, read 10 Unique Building Materials That are Perfect for Modern Homes

7. Costs 

Costs incurred to determine the choice between an apartment and an independent house. Following are the costs that one should consider while comparing and deciding on an option –

a. Purchase Cost or Building Cost: 

Purchase cost for an apartment is based on the area and circle rates of the locality that the apartment is based in. 
For an independent house, the purchase cost would imply the cost of the land and the related expenses (approval, registry, clearances, etc.). In addition to the purchase cost, the independent houses incur the building costs (inclusive of fees, materials, construction cost, taxes, so on and so forth) too. A person should be well aware of the costs that would be incurred in both scenarios to make an informed decision.  

b. Maintenance Cost 

Maintenance is the key to preserve any property – apartment or independent house. The apartments have a maintenance plan and they charge an annual cost for the same. Since the amenities are shared the maintenance is shared as well. The maintenance cost is borne by the owners of each unit. The maintenance cost is directly proportional to the number of amenities available for the residents. 
In contrast, maintenance of an independent house is a task full of effort, time and hassles. At times a proper foresight during the inception phase of the project can lead to overbearing maintenance costs. However, the material and amenity choice lie with the owners, therefore they can make choices that can help in reducing the maintenance costs in the long run.   

8. Selling out    

A property is an asset and can be sold out in case of need (increased requirements, cash requirement, moving out, etc.). The ease of selling out an apartment or an independent house would depend on its age and location. Therefore, considering the location and prospects in the future is an important factor while determining the property you consider buying. 

Bonus Point – For people considering to buy under construction or proposed properties  

If you are considering a property, be it an apartment or an individual house, that is under construction or a proposed one. Be sure to do a background check of the builder in case of an apartment and a thorough check of the plot of land for the independent house. 

In the case of apartments, one can expect delays in getting possession of your apartment. This could lead to an undue financial load if you have not planned for it. Therefore, it is advisable to keep flexible timelines and financial flow. In the case of an independent house, where one has to deal with building everything from the scratch could be cumbersome if not planned properly. However, an independent house gives the benefit of choosing the budget, materials and thereby the timeline. Buying a house is a decision that gives rise to a choice between an apartment and an independent house. There might be people who are clear with their vision and their type of house but for most people, the confusion persists. The factors that influence the decision are aforementioned. 
If you are someone who wants the amenities offered by the apartments and still has an independent house, try to explore row house options. 

We would certainly love to read your thoughts about your experiences of buying a house, please feel free to share them with us in the comments below!


Apartment vs Independent House Apartment vs House Difference Advantages of Independent House Advantages of Apartment

Article Category Architecture

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Aditi Garg

written on Thu, 08/19/2021 - 08:30

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