Rent an Apartment, Join a Community: Downsizing Perks That May Amaze You

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apartmentConventional wisdom tells us that owning a home is smart because you build equity. It’s hard to argue with that, but conventional wisdom also once told us that the Earth was flat. Changes in how we think about apartment living, however, means that renting now has the potential to deliver a higher living standard in some regards. The apartment lifestyle may even make better financial sense than owning a home does. Here are some of the benefits to living in an apartment.

Community

Suburban living has destroyed what most people think of when the word “community” is tossed out. Rather than helpful neighbors and block parties, suburban living has produced dead neighborhoods where everyone pulls into their garage in the evening and pulls out again in the morning for work. Apartment living is addressing the problem of community by creating shared spaces where everyone can congregate, fostering community activities for families, and sponsoring outings. With a few simple moves, apartment complexes are becoming thriving communities “where everybody knows your name.”

Amenities for Children

Some apartment complexes are getting wise to the needs of families. Whereas apartment living was once the domain of single people, many complexes are becoming havens for families. Imagine an after school program that operates in the same building where you live, a day care program that operates out of your complex, or tutoring that your kids can access by taking the elevator to your building lobby. Children in apartment complexes that have such programs have benefited greatly, demonstrating increased performance and confidence in school along with lower rates of risky behavior.

Exercise

Gym memberships can run into the hundreds of dollars a month and the travel time required to get to and from the gym leaves many people burned out after a few weeks. With an apartment, everything is on site, included at no extra charge, and within walking distance. With a gym in your building (or somewhere on the grounds), it is easier than ever to stay motivated or to fit in a quick workout after a long day.

Cutting Commute Times

Suburban living comes at a terrible cost in terms of commute times. The average commute time in the UK has risen from forty-five minutes in 2003 to about fifty-four minutes in 2014. That translates into roughly two hours wasted out of every day or a total of ten hours every week. Numerous studies have shown that commute times and time spent in traffic can impact life satisfaction in a big way. Long commutes cut into your social life, time with family, and time available to exercise. They also increase stress levels dramatically.

Apartment living can cut commute times in half or more, but if you still aren’t convinced of the merits of short commute, consider the findings for Dan Buettner. The National Geographic fellow who found that the happiest people in the world share six characteristics in common. They have good financial health, good personal health, a sense of community, a happy work environment, an active social life, spend time with family, and have time to spend on self-improvement. Commuting impacts almost all of the six core components of happiness.

Luxury Amenities

If you have a shorter commute, you’ll have more time to enjoy the luxury amenities found in many new apartment complexes these days. It is not uncommon for facilities to offer tanning beds, spas, sauna, swimming pools, game rooms, tennis and basketball courts, and a host of other amenities. You’d be hard pressed to afford just a hot tub let alone the long list of amenities some complexes offer. A few surprising offerings include movie theaters, climate-controlled wine cellars, and gift wrapping stations. To see just how much the apartment lifestyle has changed, check out Hetheringtons.co.uk to see the host of amenities you can enjoy.

What Do You Want?

Gone are the days in which apartments were for the unmarried, unemployed, or retired. Apartments are increasingly becoming dynamic communities in which pooled resources are making life better for everyone. The focus isn’t just on adequate housing any longer, but on personal happiness. Simple things like wake-up calls, free Wi-Fi, and 24-hour on-site child care can have a huge impact on quality of life. Besides, who wants to cut the grass and clean out the gutters anyway?

Zak Allen enjoys the city life and enjoys taking the chance to talk about his experiences with an online audience. He writes on a regular basis for a variety of lifestyle websites.

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