Weigh In on Apartment Amenities: What's Worth It and What's Overrated?

Weigh In on Apartment Amenities: What's Worth It and What's Overrated?

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Taryn Williford
Dec 13, 2015

Apartment hunting is a demonstration of sheer will. The victors will be the ones who have done their research, visiting maybe a dozen or more potential homes before deciding on "the one." They've examined the available amenities with a critical eye, deciding for themselves that, no, they'll never use the gym or the pool, so they're just not worth paying for.

It's easy to be dazzled by included extras. "There's a doorman! And our own washing machine! This place is heaven." But are those perks worth it? Not always for every renter. Here are some apartment amenities that could go either way:

A Pool

Great if you live in a climate where it's useable for a good chunk of the year. And if, you know... you use it. Otherwise it's a maintenance money suck that reminds you how pale you are.

Community Space / Lounge

This is a wonderful addition to your apartment community if you get out and use it with friends to throw a party. But entertaining from a community space can be a pain if it's far from your unit.

24-Hour Doorman

A great amenity when it comes to security, accepting packages and having somebody hold the door for you when you're carrying home a load of groceries. But if you're not one for small talk, a chatty doorman gets old fast. They're also probably somebody who remembers every time you came home drunk and with whom.

Laundry in the Unit

This is a PRO, obviously. Right? Unless the in-unit laundry is a crappy all-in-one thing that sits under the kitchen counter and never really gets your clothes dry. So you end up visiting the laundromat once a week anyway.

Gym/Fitness Center

Really nice to have if you're the type to use it, but if you like to use specific equipment that's not included in the apartment gym, you're really paying for two gyms instead of one.

Dog Park

A bonus if you have pets that need to get out, a potential mark in the "con" column if you don't. Especially if you live next to it.

Included Parking / Premium Parking

If you need to park, having a parking space is kind of key, yeah? So I'd mark this one as a pro. The only negative I could see is if your rent includes a parking space or two and you don't have a car. That's money down the drain.

Business Center

Nobody has ever touched the fax machine in the business center. And the printer is forever out of ink. But it might save you that one time your internet is being spotty and you absolutely must submit something on a deadline.

Your turn: What apartment amenities are worthwhile for you, and which are just unnecessary expenses?

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