Our Amenity It – List: What’s Becoming Popular
By definition, an amenity is a desirable, useful feature or service of any type of residence. Amenities come in all shapes and sizes and can be tangible like a roof deck. They can also be intangible – think perfect view or ideal location. Essentially, any facet that makes a space (or your life) more comfortable, pleasant, and easy is an amenity.
Amenities — Just How Important Are They?
Amenities sit at the crossroads of necessity and luxury. As Mansion Global reports, the amenity packages being offered in the market are “unbelievable”. They say, “the right amenities continue to be a key factor in real estate sales.” Cha-ching!
Everyone wants amenities, or at least developers seem to think they do and keep outdoing themselves with extra desirable features. So, if you thought you had it all with an elevator, laundry room in the building and a doorman, here are a few notes from our Amenity It-List.
DID YOU KNOW? When it comes to rentals, pet-friendly amenities had the greatest impact on rent increases, says the National Apartment Association.
Amenity spotlight: 5 Popular Trends in Amenities for 2018-2019
So, just what are the hot commodities today? They range from up-to-date kitchen appliances to high-end finishes, soaking tubs, state-of-the-art gym clubs and pet spas. Naturally, some are designed to lure prospective condo buyers, while others enhance the appeal of a residence. In other words, amenities and location are dancing partners.
Here are five amenities that are being used to woo customers.
Arguably, if you live in the city and own one or more cars, parking is a no-brainer amenity with a market value dependent on your location. Research by economic advisor, Kevin Gillen points to two things about Philadephians.
- Houses with garages typically sell for an average price that is 10.3% higher than houses without garages.
- Condos with parking spaces currently sell for an average of nearly 9% more than those without parking spaces.
Currently, trending for deluxe apartment buildings in New York include covered porte-cochére entrances and automated parking systems in the sub-cellar. Custom subterranean parking is an amenity some inner-city homes might opt for too, despite the hefty price tag. In-building parking is a classic that keeps getting better with age!
Swimming pools are a classic amenity that are still a hot-ticket item and always screams “luxury.” These can range from sky-lit indoor pools with saunas and steam rooms to outdoor pools with smart home technology. Smart pools come with software you download that lets you check and adjust water temperature, activate the pool cover, and engage the system that cleans your pool. Other trending swimming pool features include:
- Adding a lap lane or lap pool for the active set
- Pool and pool area décor: terrazzo floors, outdoor gardens, old-growth pine walls, etc.
- Kids pools
- Infinity pools
- Less chlorine, more saltwater
Services and Social
When it comes to condos and residential communities, today’s buyer has a host of must-have services in mind. They want space outside their home to entertain whether it’s a pub with a pool table, movie room, pet concierge, art room, or beach butler. Here are a few other popular services:
- Party rooms
- Bicycle storage
- Simulated golf
- Pet spas
- Children’s gaming rooms
- Walking/jogging paths
- Wellness centers
Some high-end places have what is called “resident services,” which may include an event-planning committee so that residents can meet one another. App-based grocery ordering or laundry pick up, anyone?
High Ceilings and Oversized Windows
Builders today are giving new life to the adage “room with a view,” with high ceilings and oversized windows. These bring in more natural light and open up views – especially in towers with tons of floors. Here are a few other reasons why consumers are loving big architectural windows — especially when they are energy efficient.
- They make the outdoors feel as though it’s in your living room
- Energy-efficient windows
For those that have or can ‘have it all,’ there are next level amenities that are hitting people’s it-lists. These basically fall under the category of ‘two is better than one’ and ‘bigger is better.’ That goes for laundry rooms, kitchens, and his/her master bedroom closets. Take a look at some of the other next-level amenities that make it to our list.
- At least one but preferably two washer/dryers, refrigerators, and freezers
- Built-ins for flat screen TVs in every room
- Smart home technology to control lighting, temperature, and electronics
Our Amenity Spotlight: Sustainability
Beyond the flash of technology and of-the-minute trends, there’s one amenity that has its eye on the future. Builder Richard Albanese, of Pyramid Construction, reminds us to think past the façade into what our homes are made with. Luxurious recipes call for top-notch ingredients.
“Because Colorado and other states have had a mountain pine beetle epidemic, millions of acres of trees have been killed. Using this reclaimed wood for interior and exterior applications such as flooring, siding, moldings, mantels and more have been trending in the construction business with both architects and builders for many years. There is satisfaction for both builder and homeowner when using sustainable products that convert destruction into something positive, useful and beautiful.”
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Green Home?
Did you know the public dramatically overestimates the marginal cost of green building?
In fact, some studies say that zero energy homes cost about 5% more than homes built to minimum code. Per the U.S. Green Building Council, the extra work and alternative materials needed to build green may seem expensive, but the added costs are balanced by long-term savings.
Making Peace with the Amenity Wars
When all is said and done, amenities are a great marketing tool – especially for the condo and rental market – and the bar is getting higher. As you shop for your dream home, keep in mind what is really important to you and what you are willing to pay for. What’s on your amenity it-list?