Are Apartments Safer Than Houses?

Whether it’s better to live in an apartment or a house is a long-standing debate that won’t be ending anytime soon. 

On the one hand, apartment advocates appreciate the easy maintenance, amenities, lower costs, and mobility that come with that style of living. If you don’t like being tied down to one place, an apartment dweller can easily pack up and leave at any time because they are traditionally not locked down with a mortgage. On the other hand, house lovers like to boast about having more space, privacy, their own parking, room for pets and more.

Regardless of their preferences, everyone wants their rented or owned home to be safe.  The general consensus is that apartment living is safer than staying in a house, but the truth is that no place can guarantee absolute safety. Instead, it’s wiser to approach the debate holistically by acknowledging the different factors that impact safety in an apartment or house and then making your own decision.

Location 

It would be irresponsible to compare apartments and houses in terms of safety without considering the surrounding area. Before moving into an apartment, do some due diligence by researching the community where it is located, such as finding out what the local crime rates are. 

It’s near impossible to find a place with a crime rate of zero, but you can still compare the neighborhood with that of other areas. Check if the apartment is in a well-lit neighborhood with working street lights. Ask your prospective neighbors how they perceive the safety in the area before making any decision. Apartments on higher floors are also safer than their lower-floor counterparts, all things being equal.

The same factors come into play if you decide to live in a house. You do get to enjoy more privacy in a house, but the reality is that criminals tend to look for easy targets—and isolated houses are easy targets. It’s best to pick a well-lit and close-knit neighborhood to live in to ensure there are friendly neighbors watching out for each other and you’re not completely isolated if an emergency arises.

Security 

Most people believe apartments offer better security because they have a single point of entry, extra security measures, and that you’re not alone. Having said that, an apartment is only as safe as the security measures in place. You need to know if the security cameras work, windows have bar locks, and there is an effective communication system from the building’s exterior. In addition, are the hallways, garages, and staircases well-lit and do they change locks each time tenants move out? 

If after doing your due diligence, an apartment checks all the necessary boxes, you can feel assured of its safety. The only concern would be potential delays due to processes and red tape associated with apartment living, and if there is a safety issue that needs urgent attention. For example, it may take some time before the owner or apartment manager resolves a faulty camera, leaving your safety compromised.

If you decide to live in your own house, you have the opportunity to beef up security systems as and when you see fit. You can employ security guards, erect a CCTV, buy a dog, and/or install an alarm, making it considerably safe. 

Do Your Homework

When dealing with major life decisions like where to live, it pays to research and know what you’re getting into. If you’re looking to buy a house, for example, you may want to know about buying or selling through a home auction and the meaning of probate in the real estate market

In the house versus apartment safety issue, you need to have the facts before making a decision. For the most part, apartments are deemed safer than houses because of aspects like the single port of entry and the communal lifestyle. If the apartment complex is gated, offers high levels of security, has locking doors, and working cameras, it’s undoubtedly a safe option.

In a typical house, there are simply too many ways predators can gain access. They can come in through the front door, back door, windows, or garage. If the house is in an isolated location, you automatically become an easier target to criminals. However, if you live in your own home, you can splurge on security items and instal cameras, intrusion detectors, alarm systems, or wherever you want to feel safe. 

The debate about safety goes both ways. Ultimately, deeming an apartment or a house safer to live in comes down to personal preferences.

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