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Old 23rd May 2020, 11:01   #16
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Default re: Living in an Apartment vs Individual House

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Old 23rd May 2020, 11:39   #17
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Always a Individual house. Having grown up and still staying in individual house, the freedom is too much to let go. Like others mentioned, you are free to do whatever you want.

I would choose apartment only for renting and that too, for a short term. Ask me why? My cousin stays in an apartment. Bureaucracy and high-handedness of RWA is next to none. They make laws which are borderline absurd. For ex: keeping rangoli outside door is not permitted. And monthly maintenance is almost equal to renting a 1bhk elsewhere.

All these were factored in when I wanted to invest. I paid 30% more to buy a land(3kms further) instead of an apartment but it's 3 times the size. Even after factoring in loss of rent and construction cost, it's fully mine and I'm ok with premium price for my freedom and stay away from RWA rules
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Old 23rd May 2020, 11:41   #18
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The problem with the perspective is whose perspective it is....Whatever mix we want I have experienced it?

I lived in a individual house in first two decades of my life. It was a 3 storied one of 6000sft, without surrounding space in a row house locality in a tier 3 town. Had a memorable childhood in that house with Grandparents and Parents - funny thing is we did not have a provision to lock the main door from outside as it was always filled with people - built in 1969 - fixed lock in 2002 after passing away of grandparents and sold in 2007 as a part of family settlement. Had sense of ownership, pride and all but never a quiet and personal time in that home as the neighbourhood is so much invested in any happening in anybody's house.

Lived in similar row individual house during Undergraduate education, in a tier 2 city. Enjoyed the freedom it offered in comparison to hostel or apartments.

Moved into the apartment during post graduation time. No looking back, though tempted at times seeing the single homes/bungalows of the friends and my parents and relatives. I would never be comfortable in a single home probably till I retire. I work 15/6/350 and hardly can allot time for my self, I cant even think of spending time for upkeep etc., My wife and children are also happy with the present apartment I live in. We pay 5k as maintenance for a 3 bhk apartment which includes Water supply, Plumber/electrician/carpenter(for basic upkeep),Security, Lift, Swimming pool, club house, Gym and Play area. Lots of classes and activities for children happen inside the campus secure with CCTV everywhere. In individual house for each activity one of the parent should be running around dropping and picking up children.

My family elders all live in single houses, though in crowded areas, their safety always creates anxiety. I have extended family members who struggle to maintain their individual houses but have a sense of pride when we have a conversation. I feel sad for them when it is difficult for them to balance social events and home safety and upkeep.

IMHO - If we don't have a false sense of pride and ready to live as a society, apartment is the way to go in our country where still safety is an issue and civic amenities are elite oriented and land is scarce/expensive. We should choose an apartment with similar strata of society and be non confrontational. I even see lots of old timers enjoying the apartment living once they live in a good one and see the advantages.

Last edited by aadya : 23rd May 2020 at 11:46.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 13:44   #19
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The answer is simple a 22 storey sea facing independent "villa" at Altamount road housing a party hall, gymnasium, infinity pool, movie theatre, 4 floors of support staff, round the clock service folks, a couple of floors for the collection of automobiles, 2 floors for visitor parking, and a helipad on top.

Jokes aside, for mortals like me a lot depends on the location. IMO in metro cities, independent villas make less sense. Other than the price, for someone who has ever lived in a high-rise before living to the ground will be difficult to adapt to. Also there would be privacy concerns depending on what surrounds your property. And not to mention the pollution if you are roadside.

On the other hand, in smaller cities or natives a independent unit makes more sense as that is mostly the way of life there, its the common standard and anyway apartment projects there are not as well made like the cities. Also many non cities have sanitation issues due to no municipal drainage line.

So despite pros and cons my preference would be an apartment in a city (Mumbai, Hyderabad etc) and an independent villa in smaller cities ( kochi, Vadodara etc) and rural anywhere.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 13:57   #20
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Originally Posted by Thermodynamics View Post
Apartment fires are disasters.
Great point and very pertinent. Although I've not faced issues related to this and have only read news on the topic, one anecdote comes to mind -

Was staying in a rented place in South Bangalore. It was Diwali time. Many folks were lighting some fireworks on outside of the main gates. My apartment was on the 2nd floor. I was stepping out of my apartment when I see some fire sparks moving about - one idiot (with his family + kids etc) was lighting sparklers and those "chakras" in the corridors of the apartment complex.

Gave the guy an earful and spoke to the committee to take some action against against the moron that was endangering everyones lives and also setting horrible example as a parent to his kids.

Probability of running into such pyromaniacs increases with increasing size of the apartment complexes.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 14:17   #21
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When my parents moved to Hyderabad, they were staying in a 3-bedroom flat located in the dead heart of the city from 1983 to 1997. With the increase in population and pollution in the surroundings, parents decided to leave the concrete jungle for the good and move towards the outskirts of the city in some kind of a colony that is located away from the highway and in a silent place.

The aim was to build an individual house (3 bedrooms) with the construction planned in the centre of the plot leaving aside a place for the garden and a small garage to park 2 cars. The plot we got also has a road adjacent that leads to a dead-end so no vehicular movement at all. The colony association where we stay currently has made a rule since inception that it shall be individual houses only (Ground + 2 floors maximum allowed), any apartments constructed shall be demolished. Due to this the colony is silent, peaceful and doesn't give that over-populated feeling.

With apartments I feel, it is just a house that we own for namesake with no real authority over it whereas an individual house, it gives a sense of complete ownership. Freedom to customise and build the house how one wants. No issues with privacy also.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 14:19   #22
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Would prefer a apartment over individual house. I was searching for a new flat sometime back. Zeroed upon a flat in a big society in a somewhat interior location as living in a society has it's own set of advantages.

1. Security - You get 24 hours security back up in a society who record the visitor's s details everytime.
2. Facilities - Most of the big societies come with lots of facilities now a days like gym, swimming pool, club, library etc.
3. Open areas - There are lots of open areas for childrens to play as well as residents to walk.
4. Maintenance - There's a dedicated maintenance office to take care of all breakdowns. Maintenance staff are mostly available as they live in the society itself or nearby.
5. Market- Most societies have dedicated markets in the complex itself to cater to resident's daily needs.
6. Social Media presence - Most societies have facebook pages and whatsapp groups which help the residents connect better and also ensure timely help from neighbours in case of any emergency.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 18:06   #23
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Default re: Living in an Apartment vs Individual House

Since childhood we have been in company quarters/flats as dad used to work for TATA Steel. Post that have stayed in different states and countries throughout the career. So permanent settlement was never our thing. Hence apartments made all the sense in the world to me and my family till now.

Advantages:

1. Security: This is the biggest factor. I had locked my apartment for two years straight while abroad without an iota of worry as it was a proper gated community with ample security.
2. You don't have to run around those government officials for all approvals while constructing. Just pay and get keys like a car. Works for lazy people like me
3. 24/7 Water, electricity backup etc makes life that much easier after toiling with office pressure & traffic. One less thing to worry.
4. Finding domestic help is always easy. And most of them are regulated by society committee.
5. Facilities like swimming pool, snooker, squash courts and all which I can't expect in individual house.
6. Safer for kids and senior citizens to play or walk within the gated premises. During lockdown it was easy to give that running to the idle car without bothering about a cop hitting you.
7. Usually you have grocery stores and all within society which helps a lot (was a boon during lockdown).

Disadvantages:

1. Indisciplined/annoying neighbours: I have one above my head who has this habit of grinding stuff throughout the day manually (no mixer grinder) and clean their house by moving all furniture every second day. Took me more than a year to explain them that this is an apartment and not the individual house back in their hometown where this was normal.
2. Privacy is at a premium, so can't keep all window/balcony curtains open all the time.
3. If you are not a pet person and your neighbour has one which keeps barking in the balcony, good luck with those webex calls.
4. I doubt if an apartment can outlast even one generation. So it's not really an investment that you can pass on to next generation. This is the reason I don't find logic in spending over a crore in apartments these days.

So my working years definitely will be in apartments. However I feel my retirement home, if at all I manage the finances, would be an individual house but in a gated community where you get the best of both worlds. Security & amenities of a gated community, space & privacy of an individual house.

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Old 23rd May 2020, 18:40   #24
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Default re: Living in an Apartment vs Individual House

Quote:
Originally Posted by hondafanboy View Post
I wanted to see what your experiences , thoughts and plans are for your ideal house especially to live when you are done working.
Quote:
Can we share pros and cons from your own experience of living in apartment vs house/villa and also some perspective on this topic.
I am probably one of the very few on Team BHP who can honestly answer this question. Other members have put forth very complete and lucid answers so I wont repeat those points.

In my 50s, in anticipation that we will eventually get older, that our children will move out, that our elders {who live/lived with us} will pass away, that we'll need a more easily manageable home and our knees might at some point start getting frightened of the stair case in our two storey bunglow {the word seems to be out of fashion now} we moved into an apartment in a well managed gated community. Quality wise both are similar. Size wise the apartment is smaller but here smaller is a relative term and amenities and support services wise it is far far more convenient than managing everything yourself in an independent house.

At one point all four parents were housed with us. Quite a colourful scene. Bit by bit the entire ground floor was nationalized by the four Gramps!!! They simply stopped climbing up the stairs at all. I told my wife, 'that is us 20 years from now'.

Quote:
e.g. If one can think from the long term perspective, the ever increasing monthly maintenance cost in gated communities can be quite burdensome e.g. during the retirement. This cost is not there when one is living in a independent house.
Eventually the costs are all there. Even in an independent house you have to fund the costs of water supply, water shortfalls, back-up electricity, security {in case you've hired some service} etc. For example our gated apartment has a full fledged club so this year we closed our membership of one club we'd been members of for over 20 years. One cost replaced another.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 19:13   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post


With apartments I feel, it is just a house that we own for namesake with no real authority over it whereas an individual house, it gives a sense of complete ownership. Freedom to customise and build the house how one wants. No issues with privacy also.
Couldn't agree more. These days you even have fully functional gated communities with independent plots and houses which have every facility that a typical apartment has and more like ample parking even for visitors.
You do get the feeling of complete ownership like you said and that feeling/satisfaction of customising at will is worth every other trouble.
An apartment somehow feels crowded to me with neighbors who are just a few feet away. You only feel you're at home once in your cosy bedroom. With independent houses, the entire land and building belong to you, at your disposal.

The maintenance costs too are far much lesser compared to apartments.

But in cities like Bangalore, it is simply not worth risking to invest in unknown localities especially if you're new to the city and a spacious flat makes more sense. However, there are beautiful villaments springing up here and there bringing positives of both apartments and individual homes and the higher cost is worth it.

Last edited by abhi7013 : 23rd May 2020 at 19:14.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 19:15   #26
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Default re: Living in an Apartment vs Individual House

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
we moved into an apartment in a well managed gated community.
If I may ask, what were your requirements when you were looking for an apartment and would you call it your ideal and forever house ? They say, location, location, location when it comes to the real estate. Does it count during the old age ( not saying you are old ) or retirement years ?

Thanks for sharing your perspective, very helpful.

In my opinion, individual houses provides a good opportunity to improve one's qualify of life ( from the space, freedom, ownership point of view). I live in a apartment and apart from the rules and restrictions and ever increasing maintenance cost, I find 2 things very frustrating 1) the building and the actual apartment layout 2) too many flats per floor . e.g. In most projects in Pune you will find 6-8 flats per floor and their main doors facing each others).

Last edited by hondafanboy : 23rd May 2020 at 19:30.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 21:30   #27
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Originally Posted by hondafanboy View Post
If I may ask, what were your requirements when you were looking for an apartment and would you call it your ideal and forever house ?
This would vary widely with each person based on needs, budget, city, desires etc. My priorities were to move into a well managed high end gated complex with amenities most of us have come to expect - club, pool, stores, laundry, lots of parking, place to walk, yoga club etc. Carpet area of apartment was also key given our needs then and now. My wife took a while to adjust to having only a couple of balconies to place her plant versus the back & front garden. But we all adjust with time.

Quote:
They say, location, location, location when it comes to the real estate. Does it count during the old age ( not saying you are old ) or retirement years ?
Yes location is very very important. Not just location as in geographical proximity & access but location as in status. So I went for the highest end gated complex my budget could afford. Many years later I sold the independent house. In old age even more than in your younger years it is useful to live well and with status and never having to be embarrassed about your address {my personal philosophy, others may differ}. At 35 you live with the hope that one day with career success you'll trade up. At 60 I am reasonably sure I must live within the savings I have built up and I am almost never ever going to be able to trade up on my accommodation. So go for the best you can afford. With age comes a humbling finality that you are in the second half of the football game.
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Old 24th May 2020, 15:20   #28
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The problem with apartments is the absolute disregard for individual property rights, though they have clear advantages too like security and amenities.

Take for example, visitor cars should make be allowed to park (after registering with security and permission from owner, so no security threat to anyone) in my parking slot considering I have purchased the slot for my parking needs. Some of them allow it and some of them don't. I remember when I brought this topic on another thread, one member went ballistic making all imaginary arguments to reason that it cant be allowed. Many similar folks exist in apartments sadly with respect for individual rights. Add to it, moral policing like no bachelors, non vegetarians and certain religions not allowed. That all should be left to the discretion of individual owners.

Also, some apartments even require visitors to deposit IDs. Excessive paranoia and I don't want friends and relatives visiting my home to be treated like potential rapists or murderers. An apartment is no high security prison.

Quote:
Originally Posted by am1m View Post
well if construction in Bangalore was done following regulations, with enough offset and FSI and things like that,
I don't stay in an apartment complex with a paranoid RWA.
This is a serious problem. My parents built our family home with huge offsets and the neighbors that built later never left more than 1 feet of offset. Just ruins privacy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Love the facilities, luxury, security & strict systems
How strict is good and how strict is violating property rights ? For example, during lockdown some apartments have banned entry of all outsiders. So who exactly is an outsider /insider? If my parents, sister or uncle visit my house, are they outsiders?

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Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
The colony association where we stay currently has made a rule since inception that it shall be individual houses only
Only a gated colony would be able to enforce such a rule, otherwise they can be sued in court. However, its a nice rule to have , provided everyone buying is aware of such a restriction while buying. Kind of like zoning laws abroad.

I think this is the best compromise, individual villa in a gated community, with all its benefits like security, gym, swimming pool, shops, clubs etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
club, pool, stores, laundry, lots of parking, place to walk, yoga club etc.
Your insights as usual are excellent. My parents now in their late fifties no longer visit the 1st or 2nd floors of our house and are planning to fix a small elevator. I don't agree with the status part though.

My approach would be to buying a large enough plot to build a small apartment complex( say 4-8 apartments). I should be able to afford them 3-4 years down the line considering I live in the suburbs. Can get rental returns plus enjoy the advantages like having a guard, elevator etc.

Last edited by Ragavsr : 24th May 2020 at 15:32.
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Old 25th May 2020, 01:09   #29
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My preference would be a villa in a gated community that offers the best of both worlds.

Most of the pros and cons of either option are already discussed, but I felt most of the cons of apartments are from members who have never stayed in an apartment, at least not in one from a reputed builder run with healthy participation from the residents. The absurd examples of the rules mentioned here won't stand in any court. For example
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
Apartment rules prohibit any kind of pets except aquarium fish.
In a spur of anger colleague's wife sent a mail/tweet to Menaka Gandhi about the pet ban in their apartment. To her surprise, she got a response along with Mrs. Gandhi's lawyer's note offering his services if need be. Needless to say, that response was all that required for the rule to get squashed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragavsr View Post
Also, some apartments even require visitors to deposit IDs.

How strict is good and how strict is violating property rights ? For example, during lockdown some apartments have banned entry of all outsiders. So who exactly is an outsider /insider?
In which country are you staying my friend? If it in your apartment, you need to have some serious conversations with the association rule-makers in the presence of your lawyer.


Individual rented properties that way can have much more retarded landlords. A friend's landlord had a ban on any female entry (including my friend's sister) That guy was so paranoid that he once came out in pouring rain to check who had parked a car in front of the house when I had gone for a visit.
Quote:
My approach would be to buying a large enough plot to build a small apartment complex( say 4-8 apartments). Can get rental returns plus enjoy the advantages like having a guard, elevator etc.
Sounds good if you don't mind spending your retirement years acting as a caretaker/manager/security/parent/agony-aunt and take the sole responsibility of all the renters .
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Old 25th May 2020, 05:15   #30
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Independent house always. You can have a garden there and maintain a connect with Nature. But as pointed out, avoid the houses with an upper floor. In older years you simply will not have energy to climb the stairs.

Another reason is kids usually lay claim to the room upstairs as their own. And while kids should have their own rooms, a room upstairs kind of removes any parental supervision as to what they are upto. I know this is off-thread but my friends have been through this and this is number one reason they gave me on why having houses with upper floors is a bad idea.
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