Living in an Apartment Versus Living in Your Own Home

As the economic recession continues to make its full blown impact, more and more families are making the perceptually difficult transition from living in private homes to living in apartments. While no doubt it takes some getting used to, there are a few aspects that one needs to be wary about. In this article, we examine some of the pros and cons of living in apartments, vis-a-vis living in private homes.

Privacy

Privacy is one factor that is definitely affected, somewhat negatively, when it comes to apartments. There are families all around, and invariably some of them are rather curious about what you are doing. Further, apartments invariably tend to have thinner walls than private homes, with the end result that what you are doing inside your home might also end up getting known by your neighbors, even if you try your best to keep the noise level to the minimum. And in fact if you inverse the situation and heighten the noise element, say when you are having a party at home, there will invariably be protests from your neighbors, which is an unlikely scenario in private homes that often tend to insulate sounds from going too far.

Shared Resources

This is a big help – a big positive, when it comes to apartments. Invariably, a lot of the costs tend to be shared, be it the cost of cable, of allied services such as garbage collection, Internet, and more. The cost of the same things, in private homes, tends to be much higher, as the number of dwellings are much less, and the cost per household is always ascertained on the basis of aggregate cost of the aforementioned, divided by the number of households; with the latter being reasonably higher in number, in the case of apartments, the unit cost for the same for each household tends to be significantly low. That said, shared resources can be a bit of a problem as well; take the case of water – while in your private home, you had the luxury of enjoying your entire water supply, all to yourself, in an apartment, you will have to share the same with all the other occupants of the complex. God forbid, if there is a rationed supply of water in the complex – for whatever reason, chances are good that you will be affected much more by the same, than if you were in your own private home.

Security

The element of privacy that we mentioned earlier, actually has a positive side to it as well; in case of trouble, you have people around you who could assist. In private homes, in case you are alone and find yourself in trouble, chances of somebody else coming to your rescue, simply off the cuff, are quite less. This aspect gets heightened when we take note of the fact that a lot of apartment complexes have additional provisions for security, which is often completely missing, in the case of private homes. Thus, when it comes to the aspect of security, apartments tend to have an edge.

Space

Space is one of the foremost aspects that previous private home owners, now living in apartments, sorely miss. Undoubtedly, apartments tend to have much lesser space. The sizes of the apartments is a major area of concern. Additionally, other aspects such as space in the driveway as well as space to park one’s car(s) also tends to be much less. And if you are thinking of having your own little garden, invariably you might just have to drop the idea altogether! Thus, as you can clearly see, there are both advantages as well as disadvantages to living in apartments. Ultimately, it is about how well you are able to adjust to the same, as well as which are the factors that actually affect you, either way.

A Dummy’s Guide to Apartment Security

So, you think your apartment is safe. Do you feel secure when you are at home? Most single women will admit their apprehension about living alone in an apartment complex. But if you follow some common sense practices, you can make your apartment home a safe and secure refuge to come home to after a busy day. These are some tips to increase your safety and help improve your comfort level.

You might think this is rather silly, but LOCK YOUR DOOR! Most burglars are looking for the easiest opportunity to invade someone’s home, and apartment dwellers are the worst offenders when it comes to leaving their doors unlocked. Just think about how many times have you left your apartment door unlocked because you were just going out to your car for a moment, or to visit a neighbor? It only takes a second for someone to sneak into your apartment while you are preoccupied, especially if your apartment entrance is not visible from outside. And remember, it is better to have to carry your keys with you than to re-enter your apartment while an intruder is there.

When you leave for an extended period of time, leave a light on. Even though it may be daylight when you leave, chances are likely it will be dark when you arrive home. Burglars don’t like lighted areas. A 60 watt light bulb uses only cents per day. If this still seems a bit much, invest in a compact fluorescent bulb. They use only about 1/6 the electricity of a standard incandescent bulb. The really good thing about leaving a light on is that it will be a lot more welcoming when you walk into your apartment.

One of the best security devices you can get for your apartment while you are away is a friendly, observant neighbor. Burglars don’t take afternoons off. Get to know your neighbors, and when you find one with whom you feel a good degree of trust, let them know your activity schedule. They can keep an “eye” on things while you are at work, on vacation, or just out “playing”. Try to play the “I’ll watch your back and you watch my back” game. That way you both will feel more secure.

Most apartment entrances are not very well lit and the entrance doors usually don’t have windows. How do you know who is outside your door when the bell rings? Peepholes are usually provided in entry doors for the protection of the tenant. USE THEM! Have you ever just popped open the door without even asking “Who’s there?”. That is not very smart from a security standpoint. An even better solution to peepholes is a surveillance camera with inside monitor. These devices have become relatively inexpensive lately and can offer a wide area view of your entryway. This makes it more difficult for someone to “hide” from the view of your peephole.

Do you like pets? If your apartment complex allows them, dogs make especially good security devices. Burglars just love having their presence announced by a barking dog. Any animal, even some birds, that make a lot of noise when disturbed, will usually alert you to the presence of a stranger. Even if the noise is not such that it scares them off, at least you will be prepared for their arrival.

Being away on vacation presents a few additional problems when it comes to securing your home. Since your apartment will be left empty for an extended period of time, it becomes more vulnerable. Tell tale signs will alert prospective thieves that your castle in undefended. I have listed here some of the most important steps to take prior to leaving your home unguarded:

  • The best protection for your apartment during your absence is to have a house sitter. A friend you trust staying at your house can take care of your pets and/or plants in addition to making sure the house is inhabited.
  • If you don’t have a house sitter, have a neighbor watch your apartment while you’re away. Give them a key so the can make sure things are secure inside also. If you have a security alarm, make sure they know your alarm code and how to use it.
  • Have your mail and newspaper deliveries stopped until your return. Nothing announces an empty apartment better than a stack of newspapers or an overflowing mailbox. If this isn’t possible, have a neighbor collect any newspapers, mail, or packages that might accumulate.
  • If you have a garden or plants on your balcony, make sure someone is watering the plants regularly or put the plants where they can’t be seen. Plants slowly dying due to lack of water could indicate no one is home to take care of them.
  • Check your lease. Many landlords require that you notify them if your apartment is going to be left empty for any period of time so they can enter your apartment in case of emergency.
  • Darkened windows advertise your absence to a potential burglar. Only partially close window shades. Close them fully only if it is possible to see directly into your apartment from outside. It is better to use a programmable timer for turning lights on and off at varying times. This will give your apartment a “lived in” appearance. You don’t want to appear as though you’re hiding something, like your absence.

Finally, there are many devices available to assist you in achieving a greater degree of security in your home. These include wireless security systems, motion detectors, door alarms, glass breakage alarms, “Barking Dog” alarms, and surveillance devices. In addition, personal defense products such as personal alarms, pepper spray, and stun guns are also available to suit almost anyone’s comfort level. All of these products are designed for ease of use and to provide you with an advantage against criminals.

Keeping Personal Security a Top Priority

While all of us give importance to a lot of different things in our lives, most of us will agree that one of our top priorities is having total or absolute personal security. Safety is always very important for most people and it is one thing that has become part of what they do all the time. Whether it is going to work, shopping, strolling, or even just staying at home, personal safety is always essential and is always observed. It is common to most individuals to keep safe at all times as it is also a part of our instincts as humans. We really could not predict what will happen to us and knowing that reality will help us understand why we are conscious of our safety. There are a lot of things that can happen to us on any given day and wherever we may be. There are a lot of potentially harmful or dangerous circumstances where we could find ourselves in but that does not mean that if we are always vulnerable to harm, we could not do anything to prevent it from happening. Different people actually have different safety measures being observed but all have the same goal of preventing or avoiding anything that can put their well-being at risk.

Among the most prevalent threats that could put our personal safety at risk are different types of crimes. Robbery, theft, and burglary are just only a few crimes that we could encounter anytime. Aside from those common ones, there are also some serious crimes that we all need to avoid or prevent for us to be safe. There are a lot of preventive measures that we can do against these types of acts and one of the most popular solutions is to learn the art of self defense. We have plenty to choose from as we can enroll in martial arts, self defense crash courses, and use non-lethal weapons such as a taser gun or a stun gun. A little sacrifice is what people need to invest some of their time in learning those stuff and enhance their personal security.

Apart from crimes that we have to deal with, there is also another type of event that could put our safety at risk. Natural calamities may or may not be detected by experts so we also have to prepare for them. It would be ideal if we follow safety requirements implemented by local authorities so that we would have the capacity to protect ourselves at times that natural calamities happen. In order for us to be safe from these happenings, we can undergo different seminars or workshops and participate in various safety drills at work, at school, at public places, or even at home.

We all could not afford to take our own safety for granted so we all need to do what we can to have personal security all the time. There are a lot of other things that we can do to avoid putting our safety at risks. It is just a matter of making little sacrifices for a greater purpose for our own benefit.