Through my life I've lived extensively, in both, houses and apartments. I'm not one to say: "Oh, I will never live in apartments again" or vice-versa. If you live in a big city, like NY, Tokyo, London you might not have a choice, unless you're a millionaire or are living far from the city center. The same goes for living in a suburb, you might not have any apartments , and who knows what life will bring, right? Below are my opinions about advantages/disadvantages of living in each different type of dwelling, I know there's an exception to each topic, as usual, but in average what I wrote holds true.
- There is no one above or below you
- You might be able to have grass/front and/or back garden (although some homes nowadays have a garden that is the size of a shoe closet)
- Larger spaces, rooms
- Garage/car port
- When you go food shopping you can just park the car and bring everything in at once.
- You might have a chance to have a laundry room.
- You're more vulnerable to robbers.
- No pet rules (unless you live in a community with a HOA)
- More privacy
- You usually get to host yard/garage sales
- More security
- Hardly any storage space
- Neighbors on all sides, except for the top/bottom floors, for obvious reasons.
- Bringing your groceries up or down is a real pain
- Usually you have a gym/pool and other facilities
- If you live on the top floor of a very tall building you have an unbeatable view of the city
- Room sizes are smaller
- Usually your washer/dryer are in the kitchen/bathroom
- Less chances of kids running around, climbing trees, getting muddy
- The rooms are very close together
Funny story: When we moved from Alexandria, USA to Lincoln, UK, we went from a 4-bedroom home to a 3-bedroom home. We had already gotten rid of a lot of our stuff, but even so, we still had to get rid of a lot more. When we moved from Lincoln to London, UK, we moved to a 2-bedroom apartment... oh it was tight. And believe me, we got rid of a lot! Then we moved with my father-in-law, which meant we had a bedroom! Yeap, you read it right, 1 bedroom for a family of 3! Some of our furniture was spread through the rest of the flat, but if you've ever seen flats in London, they're small... Then we moved back to a 3-bed home in the US and had to buy all the stuff again... oh well, it's life.
My advice when downgrading:
- Sell your stuff on classified websites, such as Craigslist (USA), Gumtree (UK).
- Donate, we found that some charities wouldn't take a lot of stuff. I was actually shocked when we were living Alexandria and we were told that they would only certain items. But in AZ or in the UK I didn't come across that, except for a push chair that we were donating and for safety reasons one charity shop didn't take it.
- Give away to friends
- Hold a yard/garage sale
- Don't accumulate too much, I've gotten much better through the years and I'm always donating things that we don't use anymore, but it can still be an issue.
- If you know your move is temporary, and you can, place your larger furniture in storage. In our case, except for the 1st move, the others weren't planned, they happened because of circumstances.
- Maybe a family member can keep some of your stuff, if they have the space, if you have a date to come back for it, if they're willing to help.
Each person has a preference whether they like house vs apartment living, but sometimes due to unforeseen and temporary periods of our lives, we don't have a choice. Especially if you choose a nomad lifestyle, but you can always strive to get what you want no matter where you live.