Flat vs. Independent House – Which One is Better?

A roof over your head – that’s the aspiration of everyone on this planet. Around the world, everyone wants to have a house of his/her own, or at least a rented property. And there are multiple options for people to own/live in a property. You can choose to stay in a flat in an apartment or an independent accommodation, like a bungalow or a standalone house/villa.


What is a Flat?

Apartments or flats – Accommodations with a specific number of rooms, usually on the same floor. They have modern amenities, contemporary looks, and higher levels of protection. They can also be customized – up to a certain extent.


What is an Independent House?

These are independent villas/houses that are individual properties. They are constructed over a piece of land. Usually, these are low-rise buildings. They can be within gated communities, with the facilities being shared or private.

Being an individually-owned property, an independent house owner has a much higher degree of autonomy when it comes to designing/modifying/renovating the property. He/she can also add on to the floors and consider leasing/renting out a part of the extended property.

And this is where many prospective house owners face a conflict of choices. 


Both flats & independent houses come with their shares of advantages & limitations. What suits one may not suit another. Usually in city locations, standalone properties are comparatively tougher to find, or they are very expensive. So, a larger section of residents here prefer to go for flats.

So, there are several parameters that you need to keep in mind before deciding on the type of accommodation that you would like to have for yourself.


Let’s take a look at some of these key deciding parameters.


Added Amenities

As a flat owner, you can enjoy the services that the town or city center has to offer, being close to all amenities, however, especially in Spain, there are also drawbacks, such as bars and local festivals.


As a villa owner, you will (in most cases) have to use the car to get to the center of town, but you will be able to enjoy the peace and quiet and the views, as well as your garden.

Cost of Purchase

The acquisition costs for both a flat and a detached villa are exactly the same. That is 10% of the sale price for the transfer tax, and +/- 2% for the Notary, Land Registry and lawyer's fees.


Availability of Bank Loan

In case of a flat, most developers would have prior tie-ups with one/more banks for loan availability to the prospective flat buyers. Which means, being pre-approved projects by the banks, there is almost no hassle to get a home loan as long as the applicant has a good credit history. However, the independent property buyers face a little more of a hassle as the amount of pre-approval scrutiny by the banks is higher. So, the time taken before the loan is disbursed would also be more.


Flexibility in Designing/Renovation

If you are a flat owner and are planning for an exhaustive renovation/revamping of your flat – hang on! You might not have an unlimited freedom when it comes to such activities. Being part of an apartment complex, a flat has to conform to certain parameters and operate within some restrictions when it comes to redesigning the existing structure.

However, as the owner of an independent/standalone house, you have full freedom when it comes to an extensive makeover of the property. Of course, you would need to conform to the existing government rules regarding such activities – but that’s about it.

Safety & Privacy

Almost every new apartment or villa nowadays comes with a by default 24 x 7 security service. The developers arrange for it, so you don’t need to bother about it. You can feel safe within the precincts of your flat as the property is well-guarded round the clock. 


Time Period Involved

As a prospective flat buyer, you are at the mercy of the developer regarding completion of the property. And there are several instances when, due to a delay caused by the developers’ inefficiency/unethical mindset, the time before completion goes much higher – and so does the cost, both being very hard on the prospective owner.

Conversely, if you are building your independent house, you have total control over the construction time period and also quite a lot over the expenses. Being directly involved in the process, you are on top of the situation and hence, the worries are much less.

Resale Value

In the case of Moraira, when it comes to selling, whether it is a flat or a villa, it will be easy, as there is a great demand for these types of properties.


A Case in Point - Spain

The beautiful country of Spain is a favorite tourist spot from enthusiasts all over the world. It has also emerged as a chosen destination for expats from many countries. Be it the pleasing Spanish countryside or the stunning beachside cities, the Spanish property markets are quite active with a lot of buyers buzzing with enquiries.

An apartment block is among the most opted-for places by buyers. Known as piso or apartamento, these flats range from small studio apartments to duplexes and also penthouses. Apartment owners, by default, become members of the comunidad de propietarios or comunidad de vecinos (the community of owners of their apartment block), which requires them to pay the necessary community fees and comply with all the related rules & regulations. 

Villas or townhouses, on the other hand, have lesser takers in Spain – partly due to their unavailability in the cities and also due to the high prices. You would find them more in the beachside locations where the owners go on weekends to relax with friends & family. Country properties and bungalows are also more to be seen in the countryside, owned by the affluent class of the society.

Both flats and independent houses have their own advantages & shortfalls. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your needs, budget, and also your personal choice. 


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