Whether you’re looking for a new investment option or you’re ready to purchase your first home, it’s likely that you’ve toyed with the idea of purchasing a flat or house at some point during your search.

If you’re asking yourself “should I buy a flat or a house as a first-time buyer?” then you’re in the right place.

Taking a detailed look at your options will provide you with all the information you need to make that all important decision. That’s why we’ve put together our top house vs flat pros and cons to help you decide which is the best option for you, along with advice on how to buy your first house or flat. Read on to learn more.

Is it better to live in a house or an apartment?

Deciding whether to live in a house or an apartment is largely up to personal preference, however, there are some common aspects that you may want to look at to make your decision easier, including:

  • Neighbours
  • Space (square footage)
  • Location
  • Safety
  • Maintenance
  • Costs
  • Noise level

These are just a few of the things to be mindful of when comparing houses and apartments. In reality, there will be a whole host of additional factors that you will realise are important to you when choosing the perfect home. Below, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each option to help you decide which is the best investment.

House vs flat pros and cons

 

Home type:                                                          Pros: 

Cons:

Flat
  • Usually under a leasehold agreement
  • Usually cheaper to buy than houses
  • Security e.g. coded entrances, security cameras, above ground apartments
  • Sometimes come with on-site amenities
  • Smaller than houses
  • Can’t separate yourself from noisy or nuisance neighbours
  • Usually under a leasehold agreement
  • Mandatory building maintenance fees
House
  • Usually under a freehold agreement
  • You tend to have more freedom to decorate the interior and exterior as you wish
  • Greater privacy
  • Responsible for all maintenance costs
  • Usually more expensive to buy than apartments
  • Long-term financial commitment
  • House values may not increase at first

 

Many prefer the convenience and flexibility of living in a flat, whereas others prefer the long-term security and returns associated with buying a house. As a first time buyer, your options should be based off your finances, as well as the pros and cons above to see which is better suited to your situation.

Should I buy a flat or house for investment?

If you’re looking for an investment opportunity rather than a family home, you will need to look at different factors before deciding on whether a flat or house is best, including:

Returns on investment

Buying a flat or a house is a significant investment, so naturally, you’ll want to ensure that you maximise your potential returns.

With a house, you can add value to the property with renovations, extensions and conversions. However, with a flat your renovation options are more limited. On the other hand, they typically have a lower purchase price than houses and the costs of maintaining the building is shared, so there is potential for high cash returns and yields. There may also be a bigger rental market for flats which would increase the likelihood of a regular income.

Costs

If you opt for a flat rather than a house, your initial purchase costs will be lower. However, you will need to pay ground rent and service charges. With a house, you have a higher potential for capital growth in the long run, but it is typically a larger investment with high initial costs to go with it – including many ’hidden’ extra costs associated with buying a house.

Risks

If you’re looking to start a property portfolio, flats tend to be cheaper to buy, so it’s easy to build up a portfolio and spread your risk over a number of properties. Alternatively, if you can only afford to buy one or two homes, you increase your risk as an empty house can significantly reduce your income and increase costs.

First-time buyers solicitors

Regardless of whether you’re looking for a new home or an investment opportunity, our specialist solicitors here at ET Law have the expertise and experience to help you make your first investment a sound one.

We have offices in both Warrington and Manchester, so if you’re ready to get your foot onto the property ladder, be sure to get in touch and get a helping hand from our excellent team. Fill in our contact form and we will be in touch promptly.

If you’ve found the perfect flat or house, don’t forget to research the neighbourhood before purchasing the property.

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