What do homeowners buy

Buying a house or apartment - which is better? The most important points

House vs. apartment: the most important information at a glance

To give you a first impression of what to expect as a homeowner or as the owner of an apartment, you will find the most important points when deciding on a house or apartment in the following table:

House or apartment: this must be considered when making a decision

acquisition costConsists of the price for the building and the price of the property, plus ancillary purchase costs. The costs of a new building are difficult to calculate, and the final price is often more expensive than plannedConsists of the apartment price and the proportionate property price, plus ancillary purchase costs. Fixed total purchase price for new buildings
Running costs Insurance, property tax, reserves for maintenance costs; possibly taxes to the communityHouse allowance (proportionately for operating costs and maintenance reserve); possibly special levies
Creative leewayHigh, limits are only set by building regulations and neighboring propertiesLimited, the overall plan of the construction site is binding; approval of the owners' meeting is also required
Expenditure of timeUp, the owner is responsible for everything himselfLow, owner meetings and possibly house services
Rest requirementsObserve the community's rest periods, e.g. no mowing the lawn over midday, otherwise a lot of freedomMutual consideration, room volume is considered an appropriate noise level; individual regulations in the house rules

Considerations Before Buying: Does a House or Apartment Suit Me Better?

First of all, you should ask yourself the following questions:

Are you a city dweller or a country man?

You are more likely to find apartments in the city. Houses on the outskirts or in remote areas. Where do you feel comfortable in the long term? The advantage of an apartment in the city is usually a good connection to the transport network. When buying a house, the real estate location is crucial. If you have to commute to work in the city every day, you should keep this in mind.

What is your financial framework when buying a property?

The advantage of an apartment is that it is usually cheaper than a house. In the case of an apartment, the homeowners association jointly pays for the running costs, for which you have to plan administrative costs. In the case of a house, the owner is solely responsible for running costs and repairs.

How do you wish your future?

In advance, you should be clear about your needs. And which criteria will be important to you in the future, for example when you retire or plan to start a family.

Do you need more or less space in the future? Would you prefer to decide on your own how your house and garden should look? Then it is more advantageous for you to buy a single-family house. Here you have a great deal of leeway. With a condominium, you have few design options. It is also important to show consideration for the neighbors in a residential complex. On the other hand, you are more independent when you buy an apartment and do not have to invest as much time in maintenance and upkeep as you would with a house.

Buying a house or condo: which is better? All criteria at a glance:

We want to make it easier for you to decide whether to buy a house or an apartment. To this end, we have compiled a list of the most important points about apartments and houses for you below. This should provide you with a guideline with which you can be clear about your needs in advance.

Acquisition costs: In expensive locations, the property is often unaffordable for a house


The purchase price for an apartment is made up of the apartment price and the proportional property price. This can be an advantage when buying a property in an expensive residential area. In addition to the purchase price, you will have to pay the following ancillary purchase costs: notary fees and land registry costs, real estate transfer tax, and possibly broker's commission and the fee for an appraiser.

In the case of a new building, there is usually a fixed total purchase price agreed in advance and the handover is turnkey. That means a high level of planning security.


When you buy a house, you pay the price of the building and the price of the land. Depending on the residential area and type of house, the value of the property can easily exceed that of the building. Here, too, the ancillary purchase costs are added (notary and land register, real estate transfer tax, broker commission and expert fee).

The construction costs of a new building are difficult to calculate, often the dream home is more expensive than planned. This also means a high level of control effort for you as the client.

Ongoing costs: ownership obliges - and brings with it costs


Even after buying a condominium, you will have to face regular expenses. The running ancillary costs for insurance, maintenance, servicing, property tax and maintenance of the property and building are borne by the homeowners association, but you pay your share with the monthly house money. There is also a maintenance reserve for major renovations and investments. The property manager can also demand special levies for costly measures! Therefore, always check the renovation status before buying an apartment.


As the home owner, you alone bear the costs for insurance, property tax, maintenance and care. You should also set up reserves for later maintenance costs. It can get expensive if the municipality wants to renew roads or footpaths on your property. Depending on the articles of association, you can expect large amounts.

House vs. apartment: If you need a lot of space, the house wins


A condominium usually offers less space than an entire house. But less space also has advantages: You don't have to spend so much time cleaning.

A basement room is often enough for storing car tires, winter sports equipment and bicycles. A large basement and spacious attic often tempt homeowners to keep things they no longer need.


A house usually offers far more space than a condominium and thus retreats, storage space and opportunities to develop.

Many rooms make you flexible. They can be used as a children's room, study, for guests or to accommodate nursing staff. Those who like to tinker can set up a hobby room in the basement - and don't have to worry about volume. You can also hammer at night if you feel like it.

A garden can be an advantage when buying a house - or it can be a chore


For many people, a balcony is enough for occasional sunbathing or breakfast in the open air. And that should also be considered: a garden also means an outlay in terms of time and money!


You decide for yourself in your own garden about the selection of trees and plants, from which lawn height is mowed; whether flower beds are created or rather football goals are set up - or both. You can grow your own vegetables, host barbecues and garden parties, and have space for play equipment for children.

If you have a great need for rest, play it safe with a house


In an apartment building, the residents are obliged to show mutual consideration. Quarreling over noise is one of the most common causes of neighborhood conflict, which often even ends up in court.


Especially in a detached house you have your peace and quiet - and you can be loud yourself whenever you want and you don't hear as much of the noise of your neighbors as in an apartment building. However, there are regulations of the municipality, such as which rest times must be observed when gardening with lawnmowers and leaf blowers.

Calm or hustle and bustle? The classic single-family house is more on the outskirts, the condominium more in the center


City apartments score with good connections to the transport network (although the parking situation is often difficult). Those who work in the city have a short commute to work


There are houses to buy mainly on the outskirts. They tend to be more expensive near major cities. Those who work in the city then have to commute back and forth between home and work every day. But everyone who likes to move in nature will get their money's worth.

Time required: There is practically always something to do at a house


As the owner of an apartment, you can lean back and relax: any work that arises is usually carried out by the property management and caretaker. Sometimes, however, the owners' meeting also decides that the residents take turns cleaning the stairwell, for example.

One point that you should plan for in time is attending owners' meetings on a regular basis. If you do not live in the property yourself and live in another city, you can also send a representative for this.


Cleaning the gutters, shoveling snow, painting windows, repairing lighting: everything that occurs in your house, you have to do yourself. Maintaining a garden in particular is labor-intensive and time-consuming!

When you buy a house, you enjoy greater freedom of design than with an apartment


Even when building a new apartment, you as the owner have little leeway. The overall plan of the residential complex is binding. Subsequent structural changes also require the approval of the community of owners.


With a house you have a high degree of freedom of design. Only building regulations of the municipality can set limits, as well as requirements with regard to neighboring properties and buildings. This applies to a new building as well as to conversions and subsequent changes such as winter gardens or a new balcony.

The only limits are building law and neighboring law regulations.

When buying an apartment, read the last minutes of the owners' meeting and pay attention to discrepancies and sufficient reserves. When buying a house, you should check the land prices of the appraisal committee. Investing in a real estate appraiser is also often worthwhile.