Apartment amenities can take an average home and turn it into a fabulous one. But, knowing what amenities to get and which ones to avoid can help you choose the right place to live.
What, exactly, are apartment amenities?
They’re apartment building features that are not easily found elsewhere and give the building a more competitive edge to attract tenants, The Spruce explains.
Examples of amenities include laundry rooms, fitness centers, and swimming pools.
What’s most important when looking at an apartment building’s amenities is that there are ones that will cater to your lifestyle. Here’s a rundown of apartment amenities that are worth it, followed by those that aren’t.
The Best Apartment Amenities
Based on a 2017 survey conducted by Apartment Guide, these were the most popular apartment amenities.
Why it’s such a perk: Although many U.S. states have laws requiring landlords of apartment buildings to provide heat to their tenants, air conditioning is not a requirement, as The Estate Update reports.
Therefore, finding an apartment that has air conditioning is a big plus, especially if it’s located in a hot region.
Why it’s such a perk: If you’re an animal lover, you’ll instantly see why being allowed to have pets in your apartment is such a valuable amenity.
Of course, it’s important to note that you will probably have to pay extra costs like pet rent and a pet deposit to be allowed to bring your pets home.
But even so, if you’re moving into a new home and you know you can bring Fido with you, that’s what matters.
Why it’s such a perk: While you might not think of having furnishings as an amenity, it made the list in the survey, and it makes sense why if you’re shopping for your first apartment.
It’s not always easy to budget for new furniture you’ll need in your first home. Having everything you need included in the price you’re paying for the apartment can be a big relief.
In addition to having furniture, you’ll probably also get kitchen appliances, bathroom necessities like a shower curtain, and tableware, depending on the apartment you’re renting and your landlord.
Why it’s such a perk: There’s no doubt that balconies can be a huge bonus in your apartment.
Not only do they usually provide lovely views, but they can be used for many different things, from extra storage to providing an appealing social area.
The bonus of balconies is that modern apartment buildings usually have small balconies at no extra cost to you.
If you’re set on having an apartment with a balcony, consider if you really need one. Ask yourself what you’ll use the balcony for. It’s pointless to choose an apartment based on its balcony only to let it go to waste. And, if you’re not home much, a balcony might be unnecessary.
Washer and Dryer Connections
Why it’s such a perk: This one is a biggie for purely practical reasons – being able to easily connect your appliances like washing machines and dryers can make your life so much less stressful.
Why it’s such a perk: When looking at apartment amenities, it’s not just what you have inside your apartment that matters, but also what’s available for you to use in the apartment building.
The second most popular community amenity that made the 2017 survey was garages (what hit the number one spot? Pet friendliness!).
Having a safe spot to park your car can help you see your apartment building in a much more positive light, especially if you’re renting a home in an area where cars are stolen regularly.
High-Speed Internet Access
Why it’s such a perk: The internet is a big part of our daily lives. Stats reported by Hosting Facts show that there are 4.1 billion internet users in the world.
Therefore, having reliable and fast internet in one’s apartment building can be very appealing to many people, and this is something landlords should consider as it can bring them larger profits.
The bonus of choosing an apartment with decent internet access is that you usually don’t have to pay extra on top of your rent for it, as Tiny Living reports.
Extra Amenity: Elevator
Why it’s such a perk: While it didn’t make the survey, an apartment elevator is a very important feature that feels more like a staple than a luxury.
Elevators can help you when you move furniture into your apartment, plus they make your daily trips in and out of your apartment much easier – especially when you have to carry heavy shopping bags.
Although it can add an extra $120 onto your rent, as Rent Hop (via CNBC) reports, a building elevator is really worth it.
What Makes Apartment Amenities Worth It?
As can be seen from the above-mentioned apartment amenities that are the most popular for people, they all have some things in common.
These include making your life easier, such as with the use of connections for appliances that you need on a regular basis and having reliable internet so that you can run your business or life online.
These apartment amenities are also focused on creating a more comfortable stay in the apartment building for renters, such as when it comes to being able to live with your pets and having air conditioning systems in place, which is especially important if you live in a state that experiences hot summers.
While some apartment amenities can be seen as luxurious, such as in the case of swimming pools or fitness centers, the ones that are most worth it offer things that can benefit your daily life in practical ways, especially bearing in mind that you’ll have to pay more for amenities.
That means, you definitely don’t want to waste your money on useless amenities.
What Are Amenity Fees?
Amenity fees are basically fees you pay for amenities, and they can be an average amount of $400 – paid upfront when you move into your apartment.
However, they could also take the form of annual fees, and you have to pay amenity fees whether or not you use the amenities that are on offer.
However, sometimes you might be able to negotiate the fees you have to pay, and this is the case with a longer-term lease, as The Washington Post reports.
If you want to avoid paying amenity fees, then you should rent a place from an independent owner, or live in a townhouse or condo, as these are the types of homes that don’t have amenity fees.
When apartment hunting, always make sure you find out about the amenity fees and how they should be paid before you sign a lease for your new home to avoid any nasty surprises.
Apartment Amenities That Aren’t Worth The Cost
These days, you can find a ton of different apartment amenities – and some do seem pretty pointless. Here are apartment amenities that aren’t worth the extra money you have to shell out for them.
It sounds like something out of a celebrity apartment building! Having a doorman might bolster the security level of your apartment building, but is it really necessary to have one?
This apartment amenity can make you feel like your privacy is invaded, plus you have to tip your doorman during the holidays otherwise this can put you in their bad books.
A doorman feature in an apartment building is one of the amenities that can increase your rent the most, as you can expect to pay around $260 on top of your rent for it, according to Rent Hop (via CNBC).
While they make a great spot for socializing, roof lounges or decks aren’t really worth spending extra money on if you never really spend time in them.
For example, if you work long hours at the office and prefer to go out to spend time with your friends instead of hanging out in a roof lounge, then it can seem like a waste of money.
In addition, if you have your own balcony that you’ve turned into a social spot, this further makes a roof lounge pretty pointless in spite of its great views.
There might be mixed ideas on this one. On the one hand, having a pool in your apartment building or complex sounds just perfect, especially if you love the idea of hanging out at the pool after a long, hot day.
However, if the apartment building has lots of people and/or kids in it, the pool could be anything but serene.
Instead of looking for an apartment building with a pool, search for apartments that have a Jacuzzi instead.
This means less traffic and kids, and you’ll have to pay less rent for it because less maintenance is required to keep Jacuzzis in good condition, as Apartment Therapy points out.
Pet Grooming Stations
While the idea of being able to groom your pet right in your apartment building sounds like a fun amenity to have, the catch is that pet grooming stations require you to do the grooming yourself.
This can be difficult, especially because it seems to add more stress to your life instead of decrease stress, which is what apartment amenities should be about.
Some apartment buildings offer specialized treatments for pets, but they can be really out there and quite worthless, such as blow-outs and “pawdicures,” as Elle Décor reports.
This just doesn’t seem very practical. Rather invest in renting an apartment in a building that offers a pet park, as this is something all pets will enjoy.
Valet services in apartment buildings are growing in popularity. In Miami, for example, tenants are willing to pay $67 for valet services, as the National Apartment Association reports. But is this really something that’s necessary?
In addition to paying extra for a valet service, you also have to tip the person who’s parking your car for you. If you use your car on a daily basis, this can be quite expensive.
Not forgetting, you might have to pay extra money for your parking spot.
Smart Device Installation
In theory, having smart devices in your apartment can be appealing. Examples of smart devices include water sensors that can detect leaks, touchscreen thermostats, and smart locks. Tenants have to use an app to control these smart devices.
While they can help to cut down operating costs, they are sometimes forced amenities. This is the case in Seattle, as The Stranger reports, but it can upset tenants.
Not everyone is happy with the idea of smart devices, so tenants should be allowed to choose if they want to use them or not.
What if they’re not technologically inclined, such as in the case of older tenants? This can cause dissatisfaction. In addition, there’s always the concern that these devices can be hacked or that tenants’ personal data can be leaked.
Although a gym might seem like a great apartment amenity, helping you stay fit right at home without having to travel to and from a gym elsewhere, it can be overrated.
As Elle Décor states, if you’re really serious about getting fit you might be disappointed. Many apartment building gyms only have a few exercise machines available, and they usually don’t even have group fitness classes.
So, you might end up paying more rent for your apartment because of the gym but then never actually use it – or have to pay more money for a gym membership at a more equipped gym elsewhere.
A survey conducted by the National Multifamily Housing Council (via The Wall Street Journal) found that while 82 percent of renters in the U.S. want an on-site fitness center, 42 percent of them admit they never or rarely use it!
Don’t Forget About Neighborhood Amenities
While you’re apartment hunting for amenities you can make use of right at home, don’t forget about the neighborhood. Focusing on neighborhood amenities is important.
These can sometimes even make up for amenities your apartment building lacks. Here are some top neighborhood amenities, as outlined by U.S. News.
- Grocery store. You should always have quality grocery shops within close proximity to your apartment building, and as U.S. News points out, having access to fresh food enables a neighborhood to thrive.
- An office that’s nearby. Living in close proximity to where you work can substantially cut down your daily costs and save you time.
- A fitness center. You might not have a gym in your apartment building – as mentioned earlier, this can be quite worthless at times – but you can make up for it by choosing a neighborhood in which there are quality gyms and fitness centers, or even nice parks in which you can jog every day.
And, don’t forget about having easy access to public transportation, as Forbes reports.
This is a valuable asset in any neighborhood, especially if you want to save money on your car, so that you can easily get to all the places in the neighborhood that are important to you – even if they’re not apartment amenities.
There are many different amenities that could be available in your apartment building, but it helps to know which ones are worth it and which ones aren’t as this can potentially save you money if you decide not to live in a building where the apartment amenities aren’t required.
While some apartment amenities can seem like a dream come true, such as a glorious swimming pool or a gym, you need to consider if it’s really realistic for you to have access to them.
Asking yourself how often you’ll really use the amenity before you sign a lease can help you avoid living in an apartment that wastes your money.
What are some important amenities to look for in smaller apartments?
If you live in a small home, you should focus on apartment amenities that include extra storage and package lockers – these are independent storage spots that are installed at the apartment building so that deliveries to you can be kept there until you pick them up, saving you time and space.
What amenities will save you money?
A big one is a business center. While it might sound fancy, it’s practical. A business center usually provides internet access, as well as access to computers, printers, and even conference rooms. It’s especially valuable if you work from home.Last updated on: