[Survey] Over ⅓ of Americans Aren’t Satisfied With Their Apartment Amenities 

It’s no secret that the rental market has changed over the past year. With millions of Americans migrating to new cities, the rental market has felt the effects of varying supply and demand throughout the pandemic.

The United States currently has 107 million renters. With 34% of our population not tied down to a permanent home, we wanted to find out which apartment amenities could move the needle for renters.

We surveyed over 3,000 Americans to learn what apartment amenities they really want. Read on to find out which amenities Americans would be most willing to trade in and what amenities they want most or jump to the infographic by clicking here.

Over ⅓ of Americans want better apartment amenities

When it comes to their homes, many Americans aren’t satisfied with the amenities in their current living space. Of those surveyed, we were surprised to find that over ⅓ of Americans admitted that they wanted better apartment amenities.

The top amenities Americans wish they had include:

  • More storage space: 31%
  • A dishwasher: 16%
  • Fast, reliable Wi-Fi: 16%
  • Parking: 15%
  • Central heating/air conditioning: 11%
  • In-unit washer/dryer: 11%

Nearly ⅓ of unsatisfied renters wish they had more storage space

Of those who weren’t satisfied with their apartment amenities, the amenity on the top of their wish list was storage space, with 31% listing storage as their most-wanted amenity. Although storage space was the top amenity renters wish they had, it was also the amenity renters who already had it were most willing to trade in.

Additionally, 16% of respondents prioritized dishwashers as their most wanted amenity — with women 2X more likely to prioritize a dishwasher as their male counterparts.

Fast internet connection is an apartment amenity must-have

With 16% of respondents listing fast Wi-Fi as their most wanted apartment features, Gen Z and Millenials were 40% more likely to prioritize this amenity in their living situations than older generations.

A study found that nearly half (47%) of renters are checking mobile phone connectivity during apartment tours, and over 90% say high-speed internet is important to them. With 42% of renters now planning to work remotely for at least the next year, it’s not surprising that the demand for fast internet connectivity in rental units is skyrocketing.

On the contrary, the least-wanted amenities for apartments were parking (15%), an in-unit washer/dryer (11%) and central heating/air conditioning (11%).

Americans are willing to pay up for apartment amenities

We found that 38% of Americans would pay up to $100 or more for a new living amenity, even during tough economic times. Men were more than twice as likely to be willing to pay $200+ for an amenity.

The apartment feature that renters in the largest cities in the U.S. were willing to pay most for was a doorman, with a weighted average monthly price of $202 per month across New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

With so many Americans dissatisfied with their current apartment amenities, we wanted to find out which amenities they already had that they valued most.

Central heating and AC are the most important amenities when looking for a place to live

Of the 43 million rental housing units in the U.S., approximately 48% have central heating and air conditioning. We found that, of those who already have air conditioning, over 33% say heating and air conditioning were their most important apartment feature.

The amenities renters have that they value most are:

  • Central heating/air conditioning: 33%
  • In-unit washer/dryer: 23%
  • Parking: 15%
  • Fast, reliable Wi-Fi: 13%
  • A dishwasher: 8%
  • More storage space: 7%

Renters in large cities pay an average $62 monthly premium for an in-unit washer and dryer

Nearly 23% of renters said their in-unit washer and dryer were most important to them. In the three largest U.S. cities by population (New York, Los Angeles and Chicago), renters paid an average premium of $62 per month for in-unit laundry.

On the flip side, renters were only willing to shell out an additional $34 per month for a parking spot. Notably, residents of Los Angeles were only willing to pay an extra $5 for a secure spot for their car.

Dishwashers and storage space are the most dispensable amenities

The top amenities that renters currently have but were willing to trade in were their dishwashers and storage space — of those surveyed, over 90% of respondents admitted that both their dishwasher and storage spaces weren’t very important to them.

So what does all of this mean for renters? For a further breakdown of trends in the rental market, check out our 2021 rent report.

Amenity questions to ask when renting an apartment

When considering amenities for apartments, it’s important to know what you should be looking for. Here’s a list of amenity questions to ask when renting an apartment.

In-unit laundry

If you aren’t able to score a unit with a washer and dryer, consider using a portable washing machine for smaller items to extend the time between those dreaded laundromat trips.

What to ask:

  • Is there in-unit laundry?
  • If not, is laundry free?

Heating and air conditioning

Even without central heating and air conditioning, you can keep your apartment temperate by blocking out the sun on hot days and increasing airflow when it’s cool outside.

What to ask:

  • Are amenities included in rent?
  • What’s the average monthly cost per tenant?

Fitness center

Find apartment-friendly workout routines and pick up some staple equipment to create a home gym inside your apartment.

What to ask:

  • What are the hours of use for the fitness center?
  • How often is the fitness center cleaned?

Pet policies

If you’re looking into an apartment that doesn’t allow pets, consider creating a pet resume, offering to pay a pet deposit or pet rent, attending obedience training or opting in to renters insurance.

What to ask:

  • Are there pet deposits or pet rent?
  • Are pets allowed or are you pet-friendly?

Internet speed

If your connection leaves a bit to be desired, consider installing your own home Wi-Fi network. While many apartments only had one provider choice, platforms like Google Fiber are popping up as an alternative.

What to ask:

  • Who is the internet provider for this apartment?
  • Are amenities included in rent?

Parking

If your apartment doesn’t have a private parking space for you and you don’t want to risk street parking, consider looking into private parking lots or garages nearby.

What to ask:

  • Is the parking covered or uncovered?
  • Can you show me the walk from my parking to my apartment?

Storage

If your apartment is lacking some much-needed storage, check out these storage hacks for small apartments before you take the plunge with a storage unit.

What to ask:

  • Do you provide additional storage options?
  • If so, how much does it cost and how far from my apartment is it?

The future of renting

Renters have long since made up a significant portion of U.S. households, and the events of 2021 have made an undeniable impact on the rental market. If you’re one of the millions of Americans migrating because of COVID, use our resources to find the perfect home that fits your needs today.

Survey methodology

  • An online survey of 3,000 Americans was conducted for Apartment Guide using Google Surveys in February 2021.
  • Post-stratification weighting has been applied to ensure an accurate and reliable representation of the total population.

Source: Apartment Guide Annual Rent Report

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