A couple of weeks ago, our friends over at ForRent.com shared this nifty infographic with us. Through their research, they break down how much the most sought-after apartment amenities add to your overall rent. Whether it’s location, a great view or gym, be prepared to pay for what you get. So, when you set out on your search for the perfect new place to call home, it’s important to keep your priorities, expectations, and bank account in check or you could end up in an apartment with lots of amenities you’ll never use and sky high rent to boot. Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve rented an apartment that’s more expensive because it had a pool, a gym, and a cool grilling area. On tour day and move-in day, I’d talk about how much I was going to get out of these awesome bonuses, but at the end of the lease, I had never used that pool, that gym, or that grilling area. I paid for extras for absolutely no reason because I was convinced that these were things I needed to have to be happy at my new apartment. Don’t let this happen to you. Using the information from the infographic (see below) and a little bit of investigation and math of our own, let’s see how much your “must-have” amenities will end up costing you every month.
Let’s use my dream list of apartment amenities for an example to guide us: nice view, in-unit washer and dryer, gym, and hardwood floors. Before these amenities, let’s say my dream place has a monthly rent rate of $800. How much extra will each one of my special extras will add to that base price.
Nice View: According to our handy infographic, we know that a nice view all depends on perspective. For some, it might be an unobstructed view of the local rive, but for others it might be a panoramic view of Central Park. Obviously, the more extravagant your wants and wishes, the more expensive the price tag. In our case, let’s just say it’s a nice water view from the first floor of the complex. The average expense of a view like this: 1 – 2.5% rent increase. Base rent + Cost of view at 2.5%: $820. Price increase: $20.
Laundry Room: A laundry room or in-suite washer and dryer can also add on to your rent price. Here, it’s essential to weight the costs of doing your laundry at a local laundromat versus buying a washer and dryer versus paying the price increase. Unless you can score an awesome deal, a new washer and dryer can run you about $2,000 or more. A laundromat visit? About $3.15 per load (varies my location). Additionally, there are water and electricity costs to consider. Having a washer and dryer in the apartment will definitely boost those bills too. The average expense of in-unit washer and dryer, according to The New York Times: 5% rent increase. Base rent + Cost of washer and dryer: $840. Price increase: $40.
Gym: According to The Real Deal, “the presence of a gym in the building adds less than 5 percent to an apartment’s total value.” Therefore, you can expect to pay up to 5% extra if your new place has a gym. On the other hand, the average gym membership will cost you about $55 a month. So assuming that both gyms are comparable in terms of equipment, let’s really see if you benefit by having a gym in your building. Base rent + cost of gym: $840. Price increase: $40. $40 for gym services per month versus $55 per month is a winner in this case. If the gyms relatively match up in terms of their offerings, you may be better off to go with the gym that right at your apartment rather than the chain gym up the road. However, if your apartment rent is over $1,000, you may be better off going for that gym membership instead.
Hardwood Floors: Hardwood floors usually raise value about 15%. Because of high cost, most new units will no feature true hardwood floors, but tend to have laminate floors instead. Older units with hardwood floors, on the other hand, are typically easy to find. Here, it’s all about weighing the pros and cons of an older unit versus a new unit because they will likely come with entirely different styles and additions. Base rate + Cost of hardwood floors: $920. Price increase: $120.
Grand total after all my amenities are added on to my base rate: $1,020. See? Every amenity makes a difference, so think before you start going crazy with your wish list of apartment add-ons.