Flat vs House: Which is better?

While apartments are cheaper than independent houses, there are certain advantages of each property type that home buyers must be aware of, before making a purchase

Most home buyers give a lot of importance to the location and the type of interiors, while choosing their homes. A better location promises better appreciation on property investment. When it comes to the type of property, there are few choices for buyers in metro cities, as high real estate prices compel people to look for projects within their budgets. While apartments are cheaper than independent houses, such as villas or independent floors, there are certain advantages of each property type that a home buyer must know of, before making a purchase.


Flat vs House: Which is better?

See also: Semi-furnished vs furnished vs fully-furnished apartment: How are they different?


Flat vs house: Amenities

If you are buying an apartment in a housing society, you may get access to all modern amenities, including security, surveillance, parking spaces, power back-up, fire safety mechanisms, etc. but all these facilities come at an additional cost of around 20%-25% of the property’s cost. For independent houses, such amenities are not available and extra effort may be required, for setting up these services. These may include setting up a power back-up system for each room, hiring security staff or installing cameras and arranging for water storage tanks, etc. If your independent home is located in a gated colony, the security system is likely to be arranged by the residents’ welfare association (RWA).

Nowadays, developers are offering mixed residential projects, consisting of flats, as well as plotted developments, where the amenities and facilities are accessible to all owners at a small additional cost. To have the best of both the worlds, such plotted options are a great choice.


Flat vs house: Mortgage facility

It is easier to take a home loan for buying an apartment than an independent house. Major banks usually offer pre-approved loans for residential projects. For independent homes, the lending process includes tight scrutiny of all property papers and the borrower’s credit history. Additionally, it may be difficult for a lender to perform the property valuation for an independent house. Consequently, banks provide only up to 70% of the plot’s value as loan. The remaining amount, including the stamp duty and registration charges, has to be arranged by the borrower. For an apartment, banks usually provide up to 90% of the property’s cost, as loan.


Flat vs house: Maintenance cost

All properties need constant maintenance and repair. In an apartment, the buyer has to bear monthly maintenance charges, depending on the property’s size. In an independent house the maintenance cost has to be borne by the owner and it is higher than what would be paid in an apartment. Moreover, in a residential complex, everyone pools in and therefore, the maintenance charges reduces drastically.


Flats vs house: Saleability

There is no doubt that it takes more time to liquidate a property asset. An independent house is likely to take more time to sell than an apartment, due to its high value. Moreover, it also depends on the demand in the market where the property is located. As apartments are more in demand, owing their small ticket sizes, it is easier to sell an apartment than a bungalow. However, in tier-II cities where people still prefer independent houses, finding a buyer for an apartment, could be difficult.


Flat vs House: Buying cost

In the case of flats, generally, the contractors or the developer or the authorities of the property, take the responsibility of consulting lawyers and look into the legal rules and regulations for construction. This reduces the legal costs. On the other hand, owners of independent houses need to consult a lawyer on their own and look into the construction legalities, thereby increasing the costs.


Flat vs House: Insurance

The owners of a house need to pay a premium for their home insurance. The home insurance generally covers their entire house and provides financial coverage for any mishap. In the case of flats, the insurance for any damage to the flat or the entire complex, is undertaken by the main owner of the property, which can be the residents’ welfare association or the society, which gets the entire property insured. However, individuals can insure their personal belongings in a flat.



What is better house or flat?

This will depend on the purpose of investment. A house may be better for end-users but will involve higher capital expenditure and will also offer greater returns. A flat offers limited customisation options but has a lower cost of acquisition and maintenance also and is easier to liquidate.

Is it safer to live in a house or flat?

This will depend on the security services available in the property. In a flat, the security arrangements are likely to be taken care of by the residents’ welfare association (RWA) and its expenses shared by all the members.

Should I buy a house or flat for investment?

While land could offer better long-term capital appreciation, apartments can offer regular returns in the form of rent.


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