Apartment Amenities: What's Worth the Extra Rent?

Thu, Sep 10, 2015 @ 08:09 AM Dawn M. Smith Renting/Buying a Home

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Apartments and their available amenities have grown leaps and bounds from where they were just five to ten years ago. Tenants are demanding not only high-end features, finishes, and fun from their dwellings, but also options such as yoga studios and indoor basketball courts. A single pool and shabby workout room no longer make the cut for apartment shoppers!

Today, tenants are looking for as much luxury as their budget can pay for, which in some cases may seem a little over the top, but between the clash of affordability and desired creature comforts is where most shoppers find themselves.

Take a look at some of the popular rental options offered today:

  1. Community wine cellar
  2. Pet services, including washing, walking, and daycare
  3. Car wash
  4. Children’s indoor and outdoor play areas
  5. 24 hour on-call childcare
  6. Spa services
  7. Free Wi-Fi
  8. Extra storage on property
  9. Private outdoor space
  10. On site staffed coffee bars

Remember the old adage, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”? The same concept holds true for apartment amenities.

Although it certainly would be nice to have a car wash or a wine cellar on property, is it worth the extra money paid in rent each month? Maybe or maybe not. Personally, because getting my car washed is at the top of my hated chore list, I could pay a few extra bucks. Although I do love wine, a private cellar isn’t necessary in my life, so to pay more for access seems a bit much.  

Evaluating the costs and benefits of rent versus added frills is a very personal decision. Stepping back to analyze which extras are worth the money will be different for everyone. During an apartment search, there will likely be a tradeoff of sorts while hunting for the perfect home.

For example, paying for a game room you won’t use to have access to secure parking will likely be worth the payment. Or, if a safe location that includes a doorman, gated entry, and video monitoring puts you at ease and is the top priority, than paying for the included fitness room you won’t use will add peace of mind, regardless the of non-existent fitness room visits.

Some amenities provided when renting, such as a convenient location or walkability to work, give hours back to tenants' daily lives. This may be difficult to quantify monetarily, but it is worth the higher rent price for the extended quality of life factor.

Just for fun, take a look at what The New York Times reports as high-end luxury apartment extravagances in TriBeCa. Services like a “deluge shower” and “ice room” are now available. Luckily, most of us won’t have to grapple with the quandary, “Do we need a Turkish style hamam?”

For the rest of the population not looking for a luxury apartment in TriBeCA, MilitaryByOwner offers an apartment filter option in the Advanced Search features. Simply select "apartment" under "property type" in the left-hand column as you search. Browse the listings and MBO’s rental resources to evaluate the amenities you might want for your next PCS.

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