For many people, an apartment is just a stepping stone to buying a home. Others choose to live in an apartment forever. Whether or not you become a permanent renter is a personal preference, but it's important to weigh the pros and cons of this lifestyle before committing to it.

The Good

There are many advantages to living in an apartment:

Maintenance Isn't Your Responsibility

One of the main advantages to apartment living is not having to worry about maintenance. If something breaks, your landlord is responsible for fixing it.

Let's say your pipe burst in your main bathroom. If you owned the home, you'd be responsible for the cost to fix it. But if you live in an apartment, your landlord is responsible for plumbing repair.

Sure, you may not own the property, but you don't have to take on the expense of having to maintain a home.

Complexes Have Amenities and Perks

Many apartment complexes and buildings offer great amenities, like free gyms, pools, parks and club houses.

You may also have assigned parking, shared recreational spaces and other great perks that make living in the community more attractive.

Utilities are Typically Cheaper

Utilities are generally cheaper in an apartment than in a home. Most apartments have less square footage than a detached home, and if your apartment is sandwiched between others, insulation and heat from the other apartments will help keep your home warm.

Water and electricity are typically cheaper in an apartment, too.

In some cases, utilities are included in the cost of the rent, which can really save you money.

The Bad

While apartments have many advantages, they also have some disadvantages, such as:

The Living Space is Smaller

In many – but not all – cases, an apartment has a smaller living space than a home. You'll have less space to clean (a small perk), but you don't have much room to sprawl out.

If you have a lot of things, you may need to rent a storage unit or downsize.

The smaller space may also mean that you have to do your laundry at the laundromat or the apartment's laundry facility.

There's No Privacy

When you live in an apartment, you technically share a home with several other people. The walls are usually thin, and your neighbors are literally on top of you. Most apartment buildings have rules for noise, and neighbors will complain if you make too much noise.

If you entertain often, this may be a problem.

Also, you can expect to hear your neighbors walking, talking and doing just about everything else.

If you crave privacy, an apartment may not be a good fit for you.

Personalization is Limited

Apartments don't offer much in the way of customization. You can't knock down walls, and any upgrade that you might add to the apartment must be left there when you leave.

Some apartments are so strict, you can't even hang things on the wall.

Parking May Be an Issue

Depending on where you live, parking may be an issue. Older buildings and complexes tend to be short on parking spaces and typically don't have assigned spots for residents.

Apartments certainly have their advantages, but make sure you weigh the pros and cons before you sign a lease.