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A common question most expats ask is whether to live in a villa or an apartment. However, before making a choice, one needs to weigh the pros and cons of living in an apartment versus living in a villa.
The first determinant is, of course, the budget. Though you may get a villa and an apartment at the same cost, they will undoubtedly be in different parts of the city. Once you have determined your budget, you need to ask whether you are willing to spend a little more time commuting from a private villa to your workplace, or prefer an apartment in the middle of the city which will save you from everyday traffic snarls with the easy accessibility of public transport. Villas are generally situated a little away from the city center, Jumeirah being an exception.
Apartments, in general, have lower maintenance charges, and those in mixed-use communities come with common amenities such as gardens, parks, pools, gyms, 24-hour security and children's play areas. Villas, however, may incur you extra expenses on a gardener, garden maintenance, swimming pool sanitation and maintenance, and gym equipment (if any), among others.
The upkeep of an apartment is also easier and more economical owing to its smaller size. Water and electricity costs are generally lower in apartments than in villas.
However, if you are a sociable person who likes to entertain guests, a villa is more suitable as it provides you with a larger living space (with a maid's room to boot), a patio and even a garden for outdoor entertaining. Apartments do not have the luxury of space to hold big events, and most may not have the facility of a separate maid's room.
The highest trade-off in apartment living is privacy. A villa absolves you from finding a space in multi-storey car parks, waiting for the lift or even people blocking entrances.
Other than the above factors, other determinants of the villa or apartment riddle would be access to public transport, schools, entertainment venues, business areas and healthcare.
• Apartments are usually situated in the city center with easy access to all
• Maintenance and utility costs are lesser in apartments compared to villas
• Apartments, however, do not have the luxury of space and privacy of villas
Get the pros and cons of living in high-rise buildings
Source: Dipshikha Mitra, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer