As the housing crisis continues to squeeze money and joy out of people, renters are demanding more bang for their buck. No longer will a carport and an on-site laundry room close apartment and house rental deals. Today, people are demanding higher-quality perks for their homes.
These are just a few of the amenities topping renters’ wishlists in 2020:
Hot Tubs and Saunas
Stress levels are at an all-time high for young renters, and the median age of tenants is higher than ever as baby boomers give up oversized houses and move into smaller spaces. These circumstances demand amenities that soothe and heal both minds and bodies. While personal hot tubs and saunas may be too pricey for most apartment dwellers, community ones that can be reserved are in ultra-high demand.
Nothing adds fuzzy coziness to a home like a fireplace. While wood-burning varieties are rarely an option in apartment buildings, renters are increasingly demanding electric or gas-fueled fireplaces to enhance the ambiance of their homes. An added plus is the heat the gas and wood styles produce, which could help lower your utility bills during the winter.
No longer satisfied with a utility room with a few barbells passing as a gym, tenants today want the whole enchilada: treadmills, exercise bikes, yoga-friendly spaces, and even optional workout classes. Still, with high rent prices slashing household budgets and gym memberships becoming more and more unaffordable, an on-site gym doesn’t seem so unreasonable. And no matter what the demographic might be, physical fitness is always going to be key to healthy living.
A lot of the amenities today’s tenants want have been standard in rentals for decades now. For instance, garbage disposals, dishwashers, and washer/dryer combos are all so important to renters that 55 to 63 percent report they wouldn’t rent a place without them. Also growing in importance are in-wall USB ports and TV wall mounts. Luckily for property owners, all these amenities are relatively cheap to install and can allow them to demand higher rents that easily offset the costs.
Good Internet and Cell Phone Connectivity
No matter what age you are or what you do for a living, having a stable connection with the outside world is imperative. Reliable cell connections are important to over 90 percent of renters. In fact, almost half claim they check the connection while touring units. The same goes for high-speed Internet connections, Wi-Fi, and access to clear and dependable online streaming, the latter of which renters report as their main source of entertainment.
Safe Package Delivery
Package theft is at an all-time high, especially in residential communities. A recent survey revealed that 39 percent of tenants receive one to two packages per month, another 34 percent receive between three and five, and yet another 21 percent have a whopping six or more packages delivered each per month. And with more and more companies mimicking Amazon’s free and fast delivery service, tenants need assurance that the things they order are going to be protected from thieves. Secure, self-service 24/7 package access is among the top amenities renters look for in new dwellings, and only 10 percent would settle for a community package room as an option.
People love pets, a fact confirmed by a 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey that revealed that 67 percent of U.S. households contain a pet, a significant increase from the 56 percent in 1988 when the first survey was taken. Not so long ago, it was nearly impossible to rent a property that allowed pets, but that is drastically changing as rental owners and managers realize the huge markets they’re losing. In fact, more progressive rental companies now offer on-site pet bathing quarters, dog parks, and even dog sitting and walking services.
Granite and Stainless Steel Kitchens
Renters paying thousands of dollars a month in rent want a kitchen that reflects that bill. Property owners can get decent deals on granite slabs if they buy in bulk, and stainless steel appliances are so common and in demand that their prices continue to plummet. An upscale kitchen is important to many potential renters, so spending a few extra bucks here could reap significant monetary rewards.
Major cities become more congested every day, making commuting a night-sweat level nightmare. Parking is equally frustrating. Public transportation is not up to par in most metropolises, so many turn to ridesharing options like Lyft or Uber. Many apartment communities are growing saavy to this trend and creating pickup and drop-off zones for ridesharing, while others are offering shuttles to tenants to transport them to and from nearby supermarkets, restaurants, and bars.
Bike Storage and Repair
Many apartment residents bike to work or use a bicycle for recreation. Unfortunately, old-fashioned bike stands are easy targets for clever thieves, and storing a bike inside an apartment is cumbersome and takes up precious space. Up-and-coming apartment communities now offer secure, on-site storage, as well as space for bikers to repair and maintain their bikes.
Although this sounds like an amenity fit only for superstars, most of the apartment complexes built in the last 10 years actually have a movie room. Tenants rent the room and host parties there for their friends, eating and drinking while watching their favorite flicks. Best of all, it easily beats the prices real movie theaters charge for admittance and snacks.