Wants vs. Needs: Which Apartment Amenities are Essential
When you begin apartment hunting, a wish list starts to form in your head. Comprised of all the things you think you want and what you really need, this list can get long, but what do you actually have to have versus what you can do without?
Think about it like this, you want a big kitchen, but you need two bedrooms. You want in-apartment laundry hookups, but you need easy access to public transportation for work. Getting all the wants and needs on your wish list while staying within your budget sometimes presents a challenge.
In fact, 74 percent of renters typically make a sacrifice in amenities in order to rent what they can actually afford. Deciding what to knock off your wish list can be tough. Everything can feel like a “need" when most items are simply “wants." Here's a little help deciphering between the two.
Let's start with the wants
Think of these wishlist items as things it would be great to have, but aren't a must for you to function.
These are items that help to create the look you want in your new place. Things like hardwood floors, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances all fit into this category. They'd be great to have, but you could always upgrade later.
As something we all use every day, having an updated apartment with features like USB charging outlets or app-controlled door locks or thermostats may have made it to your wish list. These are great wants and something you can ask a landlord to consider adding after you've signed a lease if they're not there from the start.
However, access to technology – like internet and cable – is a need.
Often a popular “want" on the wish list, finding an apartment with either a balcony, shared green space, garden area or rooftop access adds space and luxury to your home, but how often will you really use it?
Of course, you'll need a refrigerator, stove and oven. But other appliances might be more of a want.
If there's not a washer/dryer in your unit, or hookups to add you own, is there a laundry room in the building? It's a little less convenient, but not necessarily a deal breaker. Same can be said for central air. A window unit will work just fine.
Looking at these as bonus items for your wish list can help you cross them off if your perfect place is lacking in amenities like a fitness center, pool, concierge or even a shuttle to public transportation.
Now onto the needs
Needs vary from person to person, but there are standard items most people require in their home.
Sure, you may want to live in a specific area of town because you like the vibe and what's close by. However, you need to live in a certain neighborhood in order to get to work easily or be in the right school district.
You've got to put that car somewhere. While you need a spot, try being flexible on whether it's a covered spot, one in a garage or out in the open.
There's no way you're getting rid of Fido. So, if you have a pet, you'll need to find pet-friendly apartments to bring your animals with you.
We all make compromises when on the hunt for our next home, but knowing what you really need in your new place versus what you'd like to have can make the search easier and less stressful.