Top Building Amenities That D.C. Renters Want

by Sponsor February 5, 2015 at 2:55 pm 0

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This biweekly sponsored column is written by the experts at Gordon James Realty, a D.C.-based property management company that specializes in managing condos, single-family homes and multi-family properties in the metro region. Please submit any questions in the comments section or via email.

A community dog. Resort-style pools. Bocce courts. New and renovated buildings in D.C. are offering many interesting high-end amenities to entice residents.

While many perks contribute to a luxury vibe, which features sway District renters when they’re deciding where to live?

Based on our experience and the results of several surveys, these five amenities are often what really convince renters to sign a lease.

1. Outdoor Space — D.C. residents want a place to fire up the grill, hang out by a fire pit or just soak up some sun. While renters nationwide rank communal or private outdoor space high on their lists, residents in urban areas like the District don’t want to live without them.

Outdoor amenities topped a 2014 survey by the apartment search firm Urban Igloo — 61 percent of people polled said it was their highest priority. That mirrors our experience. As we show homes, a deck, patio or rooftop space tends to be more of a draw than even a pool or a gym.

2. Fitness facilities — A gym and on-site fitness amenities came in a close second in the Urban Igloo survey. Renters love having the option of working out at home, especially in health-conscious D.C. And if it means they don’t have to pay extra for a gym membership, it becomes a money-saving perk.

3. High-Speed Internet Access and Good Cell Phone Reception — Nobody wants a home where they can’t receive phone calls. And that’s especially true of millennials, who often don’t have landlines. Renters often check to see how many bars they have during a home search.

Tenants expect internet access that allows them to work from home, stream movies or shop online. Multifamily buildings are also offering shared workspaces with free wireless, in a nod to people who work from home. In a national survey by the National Multifamily Housing Council, high-speed internet access tied with outdoor space for renters’ top priorities.

4. In-Unit Laundry — Saving quarters and spending Saturdays at the laundromat is no fun. Many tenants are willing to pay extra for the convenience of their own washer and dryer, or at least an available hook-up.

5. Updated Kitchens and Baths — Stainless appliances, stone countertops and newer fixtures are always in demand, especially in Class A apartments and high-end rental homes.

While developers can start from scratch when building amenities into rentals, most investment property owners have to work with what they have. That may mean considering some renovations. Or, it may be just figuring out the best way to market the assets your property already offers, like sprucing up the patio.

To learn more about how to market your renter-friendly features or which renovations may help you attract renters willing to pay more, check out these tips.

Do you have thoughts to share on what D.C. renters are looking for in a place? We’re curious to see your opinions in the comments section!

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of


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