So people who live in a complex, what amenities do you like or use?
For example Avenue 80 is one of the newest in my area. It has way too many to list but includes pool, fitness center, outdoor kitchen, sky lounge, dog wash area, on site massage therapist, and game room.
I dont know. I only lived in one apartment in my life and all it was was a room.
In an apartment, I insisted on some outdoor space, be it a deck or patio. Washer / dryer on the same floor. Assigned parking or garage. Pretty basic.
When I bought a condo, I was pickier. Between the mortgage and condo fees, I knew I would be paying more than apartment rent or even the mortgage for a small single family home. Washer / dryer hook up in unit, outdoor space, storage space, garage, pool, community room, nice landscaping, playground.
Got all that for fairly decent fees. Then discovered the association was not managing funds as advertised.
I don’t live in an apartment anymore, but when I did my one “must have” was a washer and dryer in the unit.
The last couple of places I lived before buying my house had many of the amenities you mentioned – pool, fitness center, tennis courts, outdoor kitchen. Apart from using the pool maybe twice I never actually used any of them.
A lot of this depends on where the apartment/condo is. What’s common in one area is not in others. (In my area, air conditioning is not a standard expectation. You’ll definitely limit your options and add significantly to your price if you insist on it. And tennis courts? really?)
Were I to look for a new place today, my “must have” list would include:
in unit laundry (or at the very least in building laundry)
package receiving (when Amazon delivers, someone signs for the package and monitors it until you pick it up. It isn’t left for anyone to help themselves)
dishwasher & garbage disposal
a pet policy with very few restrictions
outdoor space (at least a juliet balcony)
And centralized hot water. Not having to deal with utilities is so much more convenient.
I don’t consider in-unit features to be in this category.
I liked having a concierge sign for packages. Now my packages sit in the rain on my uncovered porch.
My condo covers building exterior, grounds, pool. They’re replacing roofs now at $14k each, with no special assessment. The fee is nearly $500/mo, which still boggles me, but that’s cheap for around here.
When I was looking to buy, I found some old towers in Arlington with condo fees approaching $1k/mo.
I do enjoy the trees. Apparently arborists eat a good chunk of the budget.
I can’t think of any amenity beyond an assigned parking spot and a laundry room that I ever made worthwhile use of.
What the heck is a sky lounge?
Any apartment building that allows dogs probably only allows dogs small enough to wash in the kitchen sink, so no huge benefit to this.
Who cleans the outdoor kitchen? And is it really anything more than a barbecue grill and picnic table?
How much does the massage therapist and fitness center cost? Are they any good? Is the fitness center at least more than a treadmill, stairmaster, and a yoga ball? Or is it just an outside company that ropes you into a contract with no provisions for termination if you move out of the building?
“Concierge” service for package delivery is nice, but every place that offers it mucks it up in ways like all delivery services just bring stuff to the building/complex office and if you’re lucky, someone will leave a message that you have a package waiting. The office closes at 6, so get home quick! Unless it was something big or heavy, I usually just had stuff shipped to my office.
In-unit private laundry is best, but otherwise, the place needs on-site laundry that has enough machines and is open long enough to be useful. Closing at 7:00 is no good if you get home at 6:30.
Last place I rented from also had a TV lounge and a business center. Oooh! A TV and a couch, and a virus-crippled PC with a printer that was out of ink.
My apartment complex allows all dogs. And trust me, the can get pretty big. My upstairs neighbor have one that’s so loud when it runs around that when we had an earthquake here that literally shook the building, I thought it was their dog knocking stuff over.
When I bought my condo, I also bought a parking space in the underground garage. Most owners have two of them and a few are still for sale. If I give up my car I will rent it out, but not sell it. Besides that we have use of
an exercise room, closed for the pandemic
an out door pool, ditto
a basement storage area.
The apartment came with three GE appliances, which are all garbage: fridge, stove, dishwasher and space for washer and dryer. The last two we bought from the previous occupant and they are first rate. We have a small balcony which my wife has made into a garden and we have been eating her salad greens for a few weeks. We will see if anything comes of the tomatoes.
A roof deck. My building has three; two have tables, barbecues and sinks (one of those also has a gas fire pit); the other has lounge chairs. They’re nice for sunning, stargazing, and hosting gatherings that won’t fit in your tiny unit.
I live in one of those luxury buildings and I use most of the amenities, or I did, pre-COVID. I used the pool, the gym, the sky lounges, the clubhouses (for parties), the game rooms (pool tables and the like in one, an old- school video arcade in the other), the offices, the package delivery lockers, the dry cleaning lockers, and of course the parking garage. I’ve only used the golf simulator when my parents came to visit. I haven’t used the dog run because I don’t have a dog, and I haven’t gotten around to using the massage room (you have to hire your own masseuse to come.)
They used to have a few furnished units you could rent on a nightly basis for your guests. That was awesome; we could invite people to stay with us without having them all up in our business. Sadly they stopped doing that.
In newer buildings, those are standard. But in older apartments and condos, they weren’t there originally and have never been put in.
When I moved into my former place, it had neither. I didn’t think I’d care (of course I can wash dishes by hand!) and I hated it every single time I had to use the kitchen. Every time.
It was a lot of hate for an apartment that I otherwise liked a lot.
My mid 60’s-built 400+ unit highrise lacks a/c (but I feel I would need it less than half a dozen times a year) - some tenants supply their own a/c units. Most units (including mine) have balconies. Big public laundry area (15+ washers; 15+ dryers - open 7 am to 10 pm), and pool. Indoor parking available for a price, but free outdoor on-street parking is usually plentiful (but have a shovel handy in the winter). “Covid rules” allow a maximum of two people at a time in the four elevators - but I rarely have to wait (and the 7 flights of stairs are an option).
Courier packages used to be delivered to the apt. door, and a pickup notice left if no one was home. Now - they are usually left outside the ground-floor office (which is usually empty after 5 pm). Mail packages that are too big for mailboxes are left in lockers - with the locker key left in your mailbox.
I don’t know what the pet rules are, but there are a few blind people who live here who have dogs. And it’s a well-maintained building.
I lived in many apartments over my 25 years of renting and most of them had pools that I rarely used since I didn’t know how to swim. I bought a house without a pool 12 years ago and the first thing I did was take swimming lessons. So now I have nowhere to swim. 🏊♂
Having recently moved out of a condo into a house, access to a hose or something. Washing stuff in the shower sucked. I don’t need a fitness center or lounge, a pool is nice though. Private washer/dryer is great too.
And a non-shitty HOA/management is essential, but of course the bad ones assume they’re good.
Parking is the only missing amenity I’d like to have in my current condo; I live in the city and have to park on the street, which can be a pain. I would love a roof deck and I think I’d use it often but then we have a very nice courtyard which I rarely use.
When I lived in a condo with a nice gym I used it; having exercise equipment two minutes away really cuts down on the personal excuses.