Renting an Apartment or Buying a House

Welcome to, a guide to finding your next home, whether it's renting an apartment or buying a house. Either choice requires a lot of work and planning before you start loading the moving van.

You can choose a topic from the menu on the left or just read on for a description of each section. You can never do too much research, so be sure to check out these real estate books when you're done.

Location, Location, Location!

You've probably heard that the three L's of real estate are location, location, location. Choosing the right location is an important part of the moving process, whether you're renting an apartment or buying a house. If you're happy where you're at, that makes the moving process much easier. Otherwise, now might be the right time to consider a new area.

Read more about choosing the right location.

Research the Area

Choosing a location is more than just picking the city and state you want to call home. Take some time and research the neighborhood. Crime rate, climate and schools are just a few other things to consider. Is there a beach nearby? How about a mall? Do you have to drive 20 miles to buy groceries?

Read more about knowing the area.

Renting vs. Buying

Renting and buying both have their advantages and disadvantages. Price alone can be a deciding factor for some. Maintenance, property taxes and insurance are just a few more things that come into play.

Read more about renting vs. buying a home.

Apartments vs. Houses

If you choose to buy, instead of rent, the decision is pretty much made for you. If you decide to rent, you'll still have to between between an apartment or a house. Both have their advantages, so it's really just a matter of personal preference. If you have any large animals, or play a loud instrument, it's doubtful that renting an apartment be an option.

Read more about choosing between a house or apartment.

Apartment Features

Certain things stand out as soon as you set foot on the property, like nice buildings, well-maintained landscape, friendly office staff and great parking. How about the features that don't stand out? Does the apartment come with a washer and dryer? If not, is there at least space for them with a washer & dryer hookup, or do you have to share a laundry room?

Read more about determining your requirements.

Things to Watch Out For

It's easy to get distracted with some of the finer points of a property and look right past what will later become problems. Many would consider living 5 minutes from the airport extremely convenient. Others might disagree because their windows rattle every time a plane takes off and roars over their home. There are many things like this to think about before committing yourself to a lease or contract.

Learn more about what to watch out for.