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Difference Between Flat and Apartment: What’s Better for Living?

Apr 03,2022

Hunting for the perfect residence takes time. Several options are available to choose from which makes it hard to pick a place of your dream. A dream home does not always have to be a villa or a traditional house setting. For some, it can be a condo, an apartment, or a flat. Most often, people confuse the terms ‘flat’ and ‘apartment’ - aren’t they the same?


Both terms are synonymous, however, they are entirely different in practicality. The difference between a flat and apartment is plaguing people for ages, which is why you need to understand the terms more closely.


In this blog, we will identify important factors to highlight the standard difference between flats and apartments.

What is the Difference Between a Flat and an Apartment?

Apartment

The word is derived from the Italian word “Appartamento” which is used to describe a set or suite of rooms based on a single floor within a larger building. If you live in North America, the resilience will be referred to as an apartment - a suite of rooms. 

Flat

Derived from Old English, “flett”, is a dwelling of halls and floors. Back in the 1800s, the flat meant only a floor or an apartment’s floor. 

We know it can still sound confusing. The difference between the origins is not that impeccable either. 


Therefore down below are some factors that can help you to understand the major difference between a flat and an apartment. 


1) The Language

The two most common dialects in English are American and British. Although America and Britain are two countries separated by the same language. Some words have stronger variations that are easy to identify in both dialects.

Therefore in British English, the variation “flat” is used. While in American English the variation “apartment” is used. 


2) The Quality

Flats are usually used by the middle-class, but it is highly dependable on the demographics (location). On the other hand, apartments are used to refer to luxurious living standards. They are posher than a flat. 


3) The Features

Usually, a flat has all the basic amenities offering a comfortable living style much similar to the traditional housing. However, an apartment offers state luxuries (over the top amenities) to the occupants. For instance, an apartment can have a study room, and a pool too. 


4) The Storeys

A standard flat consists of only one floor but if its a duplex (multiple storeys) it will become an apartment. When buying or selling a property make sure to search exclusively with both terms.  


Note: Occasionally you may hear about a property as “flat” but upon visiting it will be an apartment.


Flat vs Apartment: Which should you Buy?

When it's about choosing a home, you look for specific details. Now that you have understood the major difference between flat and apartment, the main question arises which is the better option to buy. 


To make it easier on you, keep the following factors in mind when thinking to buy either one. 


1. Budget

When buying a property, whether a flat or apartment, keep your budget in mind. You can find a flat at cheaper rates than an apartment. If you are looking for a budget-friendly option, a flat is a right choice to go with. If budget is not an issue then you can easily afford an apartment in a housing scheme. 


2. Lifestyle Expectation

The type of lifestyle you have defines the choice of residence too. Apartments offer more privacy, consist of luxurious or updated amenities like french door refrigerators, spacious terrace, master dressing room, etc. whereas a flat is a more convenient option if you want to maintain the existing lifestyle. 

An apartment offers more peace of mind for someone wanting to experience a secluded living whereas a flat offers a social sense of living within a community. 


3. Limited Independence

One thing similar between a flat and apartment is their limitation. Both are constructed within a building. In terms of privacy, an apartment is a better choice but again, yours will not be the “only” apartment within the building.

However, an apartment offers more independent living with the flexibility to design and decor it as you please. 


4. Maintenance Cost

A luxurious living standard comes with a maintenance cost too. So when living in an apartment, you are responsible to maintain the residence too. Apartments in housing schemes usually add in their policies to give a maintenance charge, exclusively, to maintain the regular chores. However if living in a flat, the maintenance charges are submitted to a committee instead. 

9 Types of Apartments

Looking to invest in a better residence is your right. If you have decided to invest in a luxury apartment, there are several types to choose from. 


1) Studio

An individual person would prefer to live in a studio apartment, with an open floor setting. Usually there’s a large single room that can have multiple storeys to divide the layout. It consists of a bedroom, living room and kitchen space and one bathroom. 

Alcove studio and convertible studio are two different variations you can choose from. 


2) Alcove Studio

The name derives from the L-shaped layout of the apartment. Usually the apartment has an L-partition from the living room and bedroom. An alcove is reserved for the bed offering privacy from the rest of the area. 


3) Convertible Studio

It is just like a regular studio apartment but bigger. A wall is installed to separate the bedroom from the living room. 

As the name suggests, convertible apartments’ layout can be converted by adding additional walls for a secondary space, for instance creating an extra bedroom. 


4) Micro Apartments

A one-room apartment is usually found in hotels, roughly 350  sq. ft. it includes a space for bedding, sitting, a bathroom, and a kitchenette. In densely populated areas micro-apartments are most commonly found, however they can be more expensive.  


5) Loft

The loft is all about one large space with high-rise ceilings and windows with an exposed brick wall. The ceiling supports the beams and is usually found in recently renovated commercial buildings.


6) Duplex

For a family, a duplex apartment is a suitable option. It comes with two units in a building. The best part is a duplex has its own entrance. Also, the living space is often constructed upstairs and downstairs. 


7) Garden Apartment

Simply put, an apartment on the ground floor is a garden apartment. You have direct access to the door space giving more privacy to the occupant. Before buying, ensure the apartment is safe and does not have any pest issues. 


8) High Rise Apartment

These types of apartments are constructed in tall buildings with 12 or more stories. For ease of access, elevators are installed. 


9) Railroad Apartment

These apartments consist of 3 or 4 rooms with a single hallway forming a long rectangle layout. A railroad apartment is the oldest form of apartment found in old buildings of a smaller size.


Apartments Trend in Pakistan!

In the past few years the trend of apartments has also increased in Pakistan. People prefer to buy them, as they are available at an affordable price and are in prime locations. So, if you are planning to invest in real estate, apartment buildings are a great option. Some of the renowned apartment buildings you can invest in 2022 are Residence 15 Lahore and Zem Ark Islamabad.

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