If you're tired of being disturbed by the quarreling couple above and your neighbor's blown-out stereo speakers below, life in a single family home is probably right for you. But before calling the movers, consider all of the pros and cons of saying goodbye to apartment life. Oftentimes home dwellers pay significantly more to live without shared walls, so verify that your current income can support this kind of major lifestyle change.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
Living in a single family home offers you privacy, more space and the freedom to work outside and customize your residence. However, these benefits come with higher costs, additional responsibilities and more isolation.
Privacy and Isolation
The thin, shared walls of an apartment or condominium are no match for the increased solitude and privacy you'll enjoy from living in a stand-alone house on its own piece of land. On the other hand, a single-family home can isolate its inhabitants by robbing them of the opportunity to build community. Since most typical stand-alone homes are designed to encourage backyard activity, house dwellers have fewer opportunities to interact with neighbors and create lasting friendships.
Consuming and Spending
The compact nature of apartment life can quickly lead to hoarder-like conditions if you don't manage your consumption habits. But when you're living in your own house, you'll have the space to indulge in more consumer-oriented recreational activities, like warehouse club shopping and yard sale excursions.
Should you run out of room inside the house, you can usually add extra shelving in the garage. However, you'll need to keep an eye on your bank account, since it's easy to fall into the habit of spending more to stock up, just because you have empty space to accommodate it.
Working Outside and Gardening
If you have a green thumb, having your own house gives you the freedom to exercise your favorite hobby. From growing your own vegetables to decorating your front lawn with ferns boxwood, a house offers the chance to be outside, doing what you love while getting closer to nature. However, unless you can pay a gardener to handle the drudge work like weeding and hedge trimming, you'll spend a significant amount of time doing boring, routine maintenance.
Paying for Freedom
The greatest advantage of having your own house is the ability to express your individuality however you see fit. Want to paint your house pink? Park your motorcycle in your living room? Build a castle out of recycled junk in your backyard?
As long as you don't live in a neighborhood with strict regulations or pay rent to a landlord, you can thumb your nose to typical rules regulating apartment dwellers. But the personal freedom you enjoy when living in a house comes with a heavy price tag, like higher monthly payments, property taxes, insurance and replacing the carpet after your Harley leaks oil on the floor.
Rene Agredano is a traveling journalist and entrepreneur based in Fort Collins, Colo. Since 1998, she has covered travel, home-and-garden, fitness, animal care and other lifestyle topics for publications such as "The Times-Standard" newspaper of northern California. Agredano holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Chapman University.