Featuring real estate articles and information to help real estate buyers and sellers. The Nest features writings from Georges Benoliel and other real estate professionals. Georges is the Co-Founder of NestApple and has been working as an active real estate investor for over a decade.
Are building amenities important for you? Can you give amenities examples in apartments? If you’re a discerning home buyer looking for luxury real estate in New York City and its five boroughs, what do you look for in a building if they all seem alike? These days luxury buildings, new high-rises, and new skyscape condos are all fighting for the discerning homebuyer’s attention. But how do these apartment buildings attract the luxuriant homebuyer? One word: the best amenities in apartment buildings!
These days luxury buildings, new high-rises, and new skyscape condos are all fighting for the discerning homebuyer’s attention. But how do these apartment buildings attract the luxuriant homebuyer? One word: amenities. Doormen, a concierge desk, and a playroom for children are still amenities that luxury buyers are looking for, but now they all seem like required standards. In essence, the discriminating homebuyer is looking for amenities that save him time and offer him convenience. Homebuyers are also looking for unique amenities in apartment buildings. New condos boast amenities that were added during construction or by the original developer. These include a steam room and a teak sauna, a two-lane bowling alley, and an in-house IV drip. And if you are looking to buy at 520 West 28th Street in West Chelsea, you’ll be blown away with the city’s first private IMAX theater. These are real amenities!
Co-ops, however, are often pre-war and thus are older and more established than condos. They tend to have fewer amenities in apartments because they lack space. Co-op amenities are basic, like a common room where residents can congregate or storage facilities to hold homeowners’ bulky items like bikes.
There are four factors that building owners need to consider when adding on amenities:
When it comes down to it, amenities benefit you by saving you time. And they also give you convenience. For example, if there’s a well-equipped gym in the building, this saves you the time from having to ride the subway for half an hour to get to your gym. It allows for complete convenience.
With that, we put together a top ten list of necessary amenities that all discriminating home buyers want to have. We based our research by looking at sites that rank amenities in New York City apartment buildings. CityRealty, StreetEasy, The Spruce, and Blueprint, to name a few, were instrumental in helping us find the best apartment building amenities.
Everyone loves a doorman building. The doormen greet you and open the door for you. If you’re carrying many bags of groceries, for example, the doorman is there to assist you. They also give you a sense of security. They keep strangers out and are strict in letting people who are friends with a homeowner but have not announced beforehand that some friends are dropping by. Doormen, keep a set of your keys on hand in case you get locked out of your apartment. But above all, many like doormen because they accept packages on their behalf and take care of their dry cleaning.
It seems surprising that just behind the doorman as a top amenity, the second top amenity is having an in-unit washer and dryer. But it shouldn’t be a surprise. According to StreetEasy, the washer and dryer are the most important amenity that homebuyers are looking for and which hasn’t changed for years now. Who wants to do their laundry in the basement of their building under fluorescent lights? The washer and dryer are important to have if the buyer has a family or has young children. Above all, if a family has a baby, how will they clean the baby’s dirty diapers? Store them in a laundry basket and wait to clean them until you have more clothes to wash? This is inconvenient and a complete waste of time.
A must-have roof deck or outdoor space is a necessary luxury, and some homebuyers who need fresh air, sun, or grill access won’t buy in a building that doesn’t have one. For resale value, the roof deck is for those who want to get away from their apartment for a while but don’t necessarily want to leave the building. If it’s done up right, with outdoor sofas with Sunbrella fabrics and umbrellas and chaise lounges, people will flock to it, especially during warm or hot weather. It also brings residents together and, as such, is a nice place to meet new friends. The common space then becomes a community where residents can gossip about increasing their maintenance charges; for example, a roof deck also allows residents to watch the fireworks during the 4th of July and the Macy’s parade during Thanksgiving if they live on CPW.
If you like to swim when it’s hot in the summer, the discriminating buyer heads to his summer home in the Hamptons. But some can’t get away or take time off. That’s why a pool in your building is an attractive amenity. You can swim without leaving your building. It’s so convenient! Rooftop pools are all the rage, but there are also pools inside apartment buildings or in their backyard grounds. For example, the Mercedes House in Hell’s Kitchen has not one but two pools, one indoor and one outdoors.
It’s often said that time and proximity are reasons why many people don’t work out at a gym. They have to schlep over to Equinox by taking a twenty-minute subway ride, and by the time they finish a short session on a Peloton bike, they look at their watch and realize they have to pick up their daughter from ballet practice right now. But with an in-house fitness center, you save time because you don’t have to leave your building.
In new or recently developed apartment buildings, you’re not just getting cardio machines and free weights. You get a yoga room, a pilates studio, dedicated space for a dance studio, a golf simulator room, a dedicated personal trainer, and a massive multi-purpose sports court for the athlete to top it all off. Some buildings even have nutritionists on hand, a full-service spa, a masseuse, and a steam/sauna room.
This is a necessity even if you are not a luxury buyer. Think of walk-ups where you have to climb seven flights of stairs with heavy luggage so you can get to your apartment. Now an elevator makes sense.
Another necessity is a children’s playroom. Your nanny or babysitter can use this space every day with your small child. But the playroom has to have enough kid-friendly amenities, like board games, books and, educational toys. The space should be large enough so that your sitter and your child are not on top of others, especially during the pandemic.
Many co-ops have restrictions on pets. They will allow domesticated household dogs and cats, but they have to be under the co-op board’s weight limit. Co-ops also prohibit aggressive breeds of dogs, such as pit bulls, because they may bite your neighbors and even your children. When looking for a pet-friendly building, see what amenities are available for your dog. For example, several new buildings include pet relief on a rooftop or in an included dog park that saves you time from walking your dog in the street. You may also find that some buildings have pet spas, including spa treatments, grooming, and pet washing stations.
If you own a car in New York City, you know how difficult it is to find street parking. But not everyone wants their car outside where it is susceptible to vandalism and inclement weather. Most New Yorkers rent garage space for their car. But parking that’s included or inside the building is more enticing.
Another amenity that surprised us is an in-unit dishwasher. But many potential homebuyers will look elsewhere if the kitchen lacks a dishwasher. For the busy professional or a busy family with kids, a dishwasher is a lifesaver. You can wash dishes by hand, but this is time-consuming and is inconvenient. And besides, washing by hand wastes gallons of water. Buyers aren’t looking for a basic dishwasher. They are looking for energy-efficient dishwashers as they use less water per cycle.
Only the best gleaming towers offer on-call sommelier services. With these buildings, you get your own sommelier who will be on hand on the roof deck or community space to conduct private tastings and give you an education on all things wine, including how to collect it. Food pairing comes standard.
For those who play golf, a golf simulator in a high rise is a necessary luxury. Buildings in New York have cutting-edge golf simulators by Full Swing Golf, which allows you to play over eighty golf courses around the world, such a Pebble Beach and Torrey Pines.
Room service for customized IV drips is an actual amenity at 40 Bleecker Street in NoHo. And it seems that it’s a first in comparison to other buildings. Customized IV drips can come in a vitamin package, an immune system booster, and even a hangover cure. You can get the drip in your apartment by a dedicated professional.
An indoor half-pipe skate park is another over-the-top amenity that actually exists in a New York City building on the Upper West Side. Home lookers who know the building specifically ask about the skate park, and it ranks high on the list of luxury amenities. The skate park comes complete with a 10-foot ramp. Space is not just for tweens and teens to skate. It’s a cavernous room with a “lounge” area consisting of seating where adults can watch people skate or listen to music. Others can use the space to play video games.
At 1 Seaport, its top amenity is a hot-and-cold hydrotherapy circuit. Inside an all-glass tower on the 30th floor is a steam room, sauna, and a misted water passageway that leads to an indoor pool. But it’s not just the circuit that makes this amenity so over-the-top. It’s also the views. The pool is located high above the river, and there are 360-degree harbor views.