Are Homes Better Than Apartments and Units?


Choosing whether they want a house or an apartment sits at the top of first-home buyers' decisions. That makes sense – the two types allow for different preferences and needs that are thrown into the mix of finding the perfect first home. Apartments and houses have always been perceived as a selection between cost, location and space; just ask yourself what comes to mind when you think of a house vs an apartment.

But these views aren't as solid as they're generally believed to be. While, on paper, an apartment appears to be the low-budget option, buyers can score a much bigger property that better supports their lifestyle within their budget by considering their options. Apartments can be a great option for some people, but the odds are that houses match people's needs much more effectively over time.

Let's find out why.

Price and location

Price and location are two primary factors in the formula for finding the perfect first home. They both influence each other, and you should aim to thoroughly understand what you want in these elements to help you make the right decision. Working out your budget by speaking with an expert will help you hone in on your options.

Creating a list of needs, non-negotiables and wants for your property will give you enough information to determine which location has houses within your budget or where you can hunt for an apartment. We've sadly seen that this can be the stage where people believe they have to let go of the idea of building a house and opt for an apartment instead.

Nowadays, price doesn't need to be a factor that rules out houses for you. There are many options in great locations to build a house and live your spacious, peaceful, and family-orientated dreams.

Property size and space

First-time buyers know a thing about space and the lack of it from their rental or share-house days. Houses come with more space: in the floorplan, the external areas of the property and between their neighbours. Houses can also be built multi-story, with double or triple the space of a one-story home, while apartments have highly restricted floor space to fit into a larger building structure.

This makes houses perfect for big or growing families, allowing everyone enough space to coexist harmoniously and with enough privacy. However, they also work well for couples who like to have spare guest rooms, are planning for a future family or want rooms to dedicate to their hobbies or work.


Privacy is one of those things you don't always realise you need until you're kept up by your neighbour-night-owls four days in a row. Privacy comes with increased security and comfortability, as living in a house has less proximity to your neighbours. Houses also benefit from increased privacy because there are no shared walls, floors or ceilings with neighbours. More internal and external space naturally means more privacy.

Apartment living doesn't have the same privacy, and many owners or tenants can notice these limitations through shared walls where they can hear noise from neighbouring apartments or restrict their indoor activities to keep their volume down.

Community and lifestyle

The type of lifestyle you prefer, whether a community is a priority, factors into the house or apartment decision. Apartments are typically located in busy and dense areas, which means they can lack wide open spaces and nearby parks, but you could be closer to other amenities such as gyms or restaurants.

On the other hand, houses typically offer a calmer way of life, with more personal space, nearby wide-open spaces and a more relaxed, engaging and friendly environment. This can be perfect for professionals needing a stress-free place to live and families benefiting from community and connection.


If you own a house, you have your little boundaries to do whatever you want within reason. Apartments are often tied into rules and restrictions to ensure everyone in the building is comfortable and secure.

Houses offer a lot more flexibility than apartments, and this is especially true when you're building your own. You can choose from ample floorplan options to materialise a house that works perfectly for you. An orange bathtub with shiny gold tiles might be an interior design recommendation, but it's your nightmare to create, should you wish.

Beyond a housing structure that works for you, you'll also have the freedom to live with pets, have multiple parking spaces on your property, entertain guests and extend the property's footprint if your future needs change.

Personal outdoor space

Most houses in the property market come with some form of front and backyards and an alfresco. What's more, building your own house means you can optimise the amount of outdoor and indoor space, so you'll have the freedom to enjoy your own private space under the Aussie sun and retreat to a spacious indoors.

If you've got kids, you can let them run free safely in the confines of your property, or if summer entertaining is a must, you'll have space for that too. Some apartment blocks have communal outdoor areas, but you'll have less freedom in what you can do and when you can use them.

Long-term investment

Owning any property is always a positive long-term investment, but the differences in value increases substantially between apartments and houses. Without making any changes throughout its life, studies and history tell us that the value of a house increases with time, so owners can make money when they sell them.

However, with the flexibility and freedom of houses, owners can also choose to make extensions, layout changes and renovations to match what the market desires as it evolves. That means houses offer a lot of potential to increase their value and become an investment asset and a home.

We're here for first-time buyers

The decision-making stage of purchasing your first property always comes with a little uncertainty; it means you're doing it right! Once you've made the important decisions and know which direction you might like to go, it's time to engage with the specialists. First-Place is here to help first-time buyers get the most out of their first property. Space, quality and affordable homes are our speciality. Check out our first home buyer guide and price your home with our home configurator. Get in touch today on 1800 134 778 or enquire to find out more.

This advice in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs. It is recommended you seek professional advice from a financial adviser before making any important decisions. 
First Place is not a financial adviser. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial or other advice to check how the website information relates to your unique circumstances.


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