Get Moving Military Sponsor



Lackland, Fort Sam and Randolph Lodging: Renting a Home vs. an Apartment


posted Aug 19, 2013

Are you looking into renting off-base Lackland, Fort Sam Houston or Randolph lodging? Not sure if you want a house or an apartment yet? Housing 1 Source can help! We’ve created this simple guide to help you and your family members determine whether an apartment or rental home is the best fit for your lifestyle. Check it out below, and contact us for help in finding your new home today!

Renting: Is a House or Apartment a Better Fit?

If you’re looking for Fort Sam, Lackland or Randolph lodging, and you’re set on renting instead of buying, there are a number of factors you should take into consideration before making your final decision.

When deciding on whether to rent a home or apartment, you and your family should consider:

·      Size – How many people are in your family, and how many bedrooms do you need? Do you need a yard?  Apartments tend to only have a few bedrooms and minimal living room and kitchen space; if your family is large, you may be better served by a rental home. If you have a small family or don’t want to deal with the hassle and upkeep of a yard, an apartment may be a better fit.

·      Rent – What can you afford each month for rent? Typically, you’re going to pay a bit more for a rental house than you would for an apartment, simply because the landlord has a mortgage and home insurance to cover. If you’re looking to save cash or just don’t have much to spare each month on rent, an apartment is likely your best bet for affordable living space.

·      Deposits – When you sign a lease to rent a new home or apartment, you’re likely going to be required to submit a deposit as well. With a rental home, this is typically the first and last month’s rent, plus any pet deposits or application fees. With an apartment, the deposit is generally a bit lower, though you should still expect to pay processing fees for your application and any pet deposit costs.

·      Pet policies – Do you have a furry friend in your family? While almost all rental homes will have a pet policy, they tend to be less stringent than an apartment – simply because there is a lawn involved. In an apartment, you’ll likely be limited to just one or two pets – and those pets will need to be of certain breeds and weight classes in order to be allowed on the premises. Make sure you consider the pet policies of any new home before signing the lease.

·      Lawn care – Do you have lawn care equipment? Is someone in your family willing to take care of the lawn? If so, a rental home may be just fine. If not, make sure you factor in the costs of having a monthly lawn service come out and mow, trim and hedge for you. Don’t want to deal with lawn care? Then an apartment is definitely the right choice for you.

·      Appliances – Do you have appliances from your last home? Do you have the funds to buy appliances if necessary? Most apartments come fully stocked with every appliance you’ll need – microwaves, refrigerators, washer/dryers and more. While some rental homes may have these items, too, many require you bring your own. Make sure you know what the appliance situation is before signing any lease. You don’t want to end up with lots of extra expenses down the line because you ended up having to buy a new fridge!

·      Landlord involvement – Are you or your spouse the handyman type? Could you benefit from having a landlord or repairman involved? Consider what type of help you may need at your new place. At an apartment complex, you’ll likely have the benefit of on-site repairmen and HVAC workers who can make a fix on a moment’s notice. With a rental home, your landlord will typically still assist with home repairs and fixes – though there is usually a limit to how much they’ll help out monetarily. You’ll also usually have to wait a few days before they come out, due to their commitments to other properties.

·      Furniture – Take stock of your furniture. How much do you have? What do you need to make sure you have room for? If you have a ton of furniture and want to make sure it all has a place in your new home, a spacious rental home may be your best bet. You’ll also want to consider the transportability of your furniture; can you easily bring it up and down stairs? Many apartments will be located on the second, third or fourth floor – so make sure you can get your furniture up there before you sign a lease. If you don’t have much furniture and don’t have the funds to buy more, you’ll want to consider a smaller, less spacious place – like an apartment.

·      Amenities - Would you like to have a pool for your kids to play in? A playground? A dog park? Unfortunately, most rental homes aren’t going to come with these amenities. If they do, you’re going to have to foot the bill for upkeep and maintenance, and that’s just an extra cost to you and your family every month. With an apartment complex, you can enjoy many of these amenities any time – and at no extra cost to you!

Still not sure whether you should rent a home or apartment? Let Housing 1 Source help. Check out our easy-to-use online property search, or contact one of our relocation specialists at 1-877-832-8518 for more information. If you’re looking to buy a home instead, check out this handy pros and cons list.