Choosing a building

Different types of buildings offer different advantages and disadvantages. Before you start looking, you might want to decide what type of building suits you best and what kind of rental accommodation you are looking for.

High Rise Apartment Building

Advantages

An advantage of looking for an apartment in a high-rise building is that there are a lot to choose from. Many apartments for rent can be found in these buildings and can often offer great value because facilities or appliances are shared with many other tenants in the building, reducing costs. Some common facilities found in a high rise include a pool, gym, laundry room, common rooftop balcony and indoor parking.

If you enjoy being around people and living in a community-like environment, a high rise apartment building can offer a wide social network of people that you will encounter regularly. It also means never having to go to far to borrow a cup of sugar, change for the bus or just to have some friendly conversation. Finally, the higher up you are, the greater the chance of having a fantastic view.

Disadvantages

Disadvantages of living in a high-rise apartment can include long waits for the elevator, noise restrictions and having to share common areas. Also, you may run into issues when wanting to redecorate depending on landlord restrictions or building rules, so inform yourself before starting to paint or changing a faucet in the bathroom.

Low Rise Apartment Building

Advantages

A low-rise apartment building is usually considered to be less than 4 stories, and may be located in more residential area in comparison to high-rise buildings, which are more often found in dense downtown areas. In these types of buildings you are less likely to run into your neighbours and the apartments are likely to be a bit more spacious. There is also a high probability of having access to a garden or other open area, private or shared.

Disadvantages

Because most low-rise apartment buildings are only a couple of stories high, there is often no elevator. This means if you live on the top floor, you will have to move in by using the stairs and carry your groceries or luggage with you up and down the staircase. You may also want to check the proximity to public transportation as these buildings can often be in more residential communities and therefore farther from high traffic areas.

A Studio

Advantages

One of the main advantages of living in a studio apartment is that it will most likely be the lowest cost space that you can rent while still having your own private space that you don’t have to share with anyone else. A studio can also be transformed into a space that has a modern twist if you utilize your space with multi function furniture such as a futon or hide-a-bed that becomes shelving or a desk area.

Other advantages include less space to clean. Studio apartments are often located in high traffic urban areas that have easy access to public transportation.

Disadvantages

The number one disadvantage of living in a studio is that there is a lot less room for entertaining guests as your bedroom area is integrated in the living room. Also, your working, sleeping, eating and relaxing all happen in the same area, which can be less ideal. Finally, noise can be an issue depending on the infrastructure of the building you are living in, if neighbours are playing loud music or entertaining late into the night.

Duplex / Triplex

Advantages

A duplex or triplex has a much more homey feel in comparison to living in an apartment building. You will usually have your own entrance from the front of the house and there is even sometimes the option to rent more than one story. There can also be shared upkeep of the exterior and there is a good chance that you will have access to a balcony, back yard or garden space. Often, the owner of the duplex or triplex will be living in the building and renting out unoccupied levels. This can be an advantage when needing fast reaction time for repairs or other emergencies.

Disadvantages

The common disadvantage of renting a duplex or triplex is potential noise between stories, especially if you are not on the top floor of the building.

A Town House

Advantages

Living in a town house means that you will not have anyone living above or below you, reducing noise to a minimum. You are also likely to have your own designated yard, garden or patio in back of your home. Another advantage is the security of living in the town house community, where the homes are closer together making it more difficult for unwanted guests to hang around unnoticed.

When living in a town house you will have less exterior maintenance than in a detached home as the houses are all in close proximity. You may also have access to facilities such as a pool or basket ball court, etc. A townhouse also can have multiple levels including a basement or attic that provides extra storage space and options for multiple bedrooms, office space or other.

Disadvantages

A definite disadvantage of living in a town house is the lack of privacy. It is hard to open the front door without running into someone you know and at times this can be overwhelming if you are just not in a social mood. The other disadvantage to be aware of is the need for approval from the Home Owners Association before making any changes to your yard, patio or front door.This process can sometimes be a long procedure and can risk rejection to your renovation if it does not please the other home owners in your community.

Semi-detached house

Advantages

The main advantage of having a semi-detached home is that it simulates almost all the benefits of having your own detached house. It has a lot more privacy than living in a building; there is a maximum of yard space, parking in the driveway and multi-level living and storage space.

Disadvantages

When living in a semi-detached house you are still sharing a wall with your neighbours that can cause noise issues, depending on the infrastructure. Also, if you have any disagreements with your neighbour, you are literally “stuck” to them, so try to stay in relatively good terms even in frustrating situations and respect space when sharing a driveway, yard or garage.

Detached house

Advantages

A detached home offers full privacy, a full lot and the ability to make esthetic or functional changes with greater ease after gaining the owner’s approval, as you have no direct neighbours to affect or disturb. A detached home also offers you the largest amount of personal living and storage space and will really feel like a home all your own.

Disadvantages

The only real disadvantage to having a detached home is the cost is likely the most expensive type of rental there is. Rental fees and potential taxes as well as bills add up and can become a huge deciding factor when choosing your future home.