Ellen Sirull
apartment amenities renters want most aren't flashy

Wine cellars, movie theaters and gift wrapping stations are some of the fancier options swanky apartments offer these days. In a bid to attract younger residents, new apartment communities today may come with mobile charging stations, on-site fitness instructors and pet daycare options. After all, the modern renter craves apartments with all the state-of-the-art innovations, right?

Maybe not. While features and amenities may seem like they drive major decisions for renters, most Americans say they're really focused on basic stuff like price and location. That's not to say that flashiness isn't important, as certain apartment amenities tend to sway renters more than others. During their rental search, 31 percent of Americans said they took note of a specific amenity.

But when push comes to shove, renters are nothing if not practical. Angie Amon, Director of Research at RentPath explains, “Renters tend to be practical and focus on amenities that ensure their security, help add to day-to-day conveniences, and make their commutes to work easier." Amon adds, “While fancier add-ons are nice to have, most Americans (especially those who are on a budget) will likely choose those communities and units that cover more basic necessities and help them feel secure instead of paying more to get access to things they may not use."

Security, Convenience and Technology

The desire for security drives most of the interest in amenities with gated access (35 percent) and door locks controlled by an app (25 percent). Following close behind is convenience as 31 percent of renters are interested in having shuttle service to public transportation and 26 percent are interested in the ability to get a short-term lease. Technology also pops up as a contributing factor with interest in app-controlled door locks (25 percent), USB charging outlets in units (23 percent) and connected thermostats (23 percent).

Design elements and lifestyle-related amenities such as hardwood floors, rooftop terraces and coffee shops are still interesting renters as well.

What amenities Americans want most

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Getting the Necessities

Some factors for renters are considered less as amenities and more as deal breakers. It's not surprising that air conditioning, dishwashers and being able to do your laundry in the unit are most likely to be seen as a necessity. Bathtubs, high-speed internet and having a patio or balcony are three factors that aren't appliance related that renters also look for when they're searching for someplace new to live.

What is necessary

Source: 2017 Kingsley Nationwide Renter Report

You Pay for What You Get

Renters aren't naive, however; they know some amenities can increase the price they'll pay in rent. Some of the amenities they expect to pay the most for include a swimming pool, secure parking and gated community access.

What Renters Expect to Pay for Amenities

What renters expect to pay for amenities
Based on those interested in an amenity, the amount they expect to pay to get it
Source: 2017 Kingsley Nationwide Renter Report

Weighing Amenities vs. Their Costs

We've all heard that there's no such thing as a free lunch and the same rings true for amenities. Whether they're factored into your rent, or there are additional charges to use or take advantage of certain things, you'll want to make sure you know what's included. Factor anything you have to pay extra to use into your budget – that may impact how valuable a perk is to you. Most community amenities are included in your regular monthly rent, with some items such as renting a clubhouse requiring additional fees, charges or deposits.

Looking for specific amenities in your next home rental? Use ApartmentGuide.com to filter by various amenities and make your search easy.

Survey/Research Details and Methodology

The data referenced in this article includes the results of surveys conducted by RentPath between 2017 and 2018:

  • An online, blind survey of 2,000 renters was conducted by Egg Strategy in conjunction with RentPath in 2017, with the final analysis completed in February 2018.
  • An online, blind survey of 750 renters conducted by RentPath Research between November 10 – December 4, 2017.

Additionally, we reference The 2017 Kingsley Nationwide Renter Report conducted in July 2017 in partnership with the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) surveying 269,332 renters. This was its third landmark survey of renter preferences with participation from a selection of leading firms in the multifamily real estate industry. This nationwide report contains results from all responses received across the entire study and where available compares trends from 2015.

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About The Author

Ellen Sirull

Ellen Sirull has been a writer for 15 years, covering topics from personal finance to identity protection to professional development. Her work has been featured on CNBC, New York Daily News, Fox News, Yahoo! Finance, AOL Finance, Experian and the Identity Theft Resource Center. She enjoys spending time with her family and traveling as much as possible.

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