When looking for an apartment there is one factor you consider most, budget. From utilities like water and electricity to amenities like gyms and grilling stations, the options are endless. What you need and what you want may shift during your apartment search too. Let us help by breaking down what amenities really are and giving you a clearer look on what’s a “must have” for your new home.
What are apartment amenities?
Your monthly rent isn’t always a flat rate that only includes the apartment rental itself. It can also include certain utilities like water, sewer, trash, and recycling. Utilities are typically attached to a service provider. For example, the electricity bill would come from WE Energies, here in Wisconsin. Oftentimes, landlords will consider cable and internet as a utility, as well. Perhaps one of the communities you visited offered free WiFi, that would be an included utility.
Pools, community rooms, and even granite countertops fall in the amenities category. These are usually things that bring convenience or extra comfort to your living experience.
When touring an apartment, it’s important to discuss the rent, amenities included, and the utility costs with the property manager. Additionally, all of these should be listed clearly on your lease paperwork. So ask your landlord to point those out when signing your lease.
Your lease may be a year long or you may stay in your new apartment for years to come. Here are some of the most popular apartment amenities to consider when searching for that perfect place to call home.
Parking and Storage
Street parking in Wisconsin is more than just inconvenient. No one wants to worry about leaving their car exposed to snow plows, being snowed in, or any other accidents. Thankfully, a ton of communities offer on-site parking, underground parking, or personal garages.
If you’re lucky, you’ll find an apartment that includes both parking and storage in the total rent price. Storage is essential in apartment living. Christmas trees, bicycles, and even seasonal clothing can all be securely reserved until you need them again. Double check if a storage unit is included during your next showing, you’ll be happy you did.
Say goodbye to gym memberships and fees! Finding a community that offers an on-site fitness center could be a great option to save money every month. Don’t forget to discuss when the fitness center is accessible and when it’s closed. If you tend to exercise late at night, this may not be as big of a win as it seems.
Online Tenant Portal
What is a tenant portal exactly? It’s a fast and secure way to pay rent online, view payment history, submit maintenance requests, and perform a number of other important renter services. These options are available to access on any smartphone, tablet, or PC. Renter’s are prioritizing the ease of using these tools and having an online tenant portal has become a must-have feature!
Other community amenities to consider are things like a playground, pool, community room, and pet-friendly outdoor spaces.
Standard appliances found in every apartment would include a refrigerator and stove/oven. Surprisingly, those could be the only appliances included at certain communities. While touring apartments, don’t assume that what you see is what you get. Oftentimes, community rooms are decked out with stainless steel and granite, but the apartment rentals are not. Shocking, we know.
Think – convenience. Dishwashers, for instance, are extremely convenient, but it’s possible to get by without them. Garbage disposals, microwaves, and laundry could be of higher importance.
In-unit washer and dryer are considered essential to certain tenants. There are renters happy to share on-site laundry facilities, or even provide their own washer/dryer if there are available hookups for them. When deciding for yourself, consider the building size you would be sharing the laundry facilities with or if you’re okay going to a laundromat down the street.
You don’t have to live in a high-rise to have security features available at your community. It’s often overlooked, but asking about features like locked entry with in-unit intercoms, security cameras, and FOB access are extremely important. These can all help keep you safe and even keep your packages safe.
Patio or Balcony
Outdoor space usually takes the form of a balcony or patio attached to your apartment. There’s value to these private spaces that go way beyond the square footage they bring. They are extensions of your home. Enjoy grilling, a potted garden, and a hot cup of joe at sunrise. Amazing views make these apartment add-ons even more delightful. There may be a cost to having a balcony with your apartment. However, in these socially isolated times, it may well be worth it.
In-unit amenities could also include things like a fireplace, stainless steel appliances, and granite countertops.
Every renter is different and sometimes, you can find everything you want, just not all within the same community. We’ve given you some examples of common amenities found nationwide. Consider what features fit your lifestyle the best and will ensure a living experience that is both convenient and comfortable.