DC Renters, What Can’t You Live Without?

by UrbanTurf Staff


A friend of UrbanTurf’s recently told us that when he was looking for a new place to rent a few months ago, the feature that he wanted most was an in-unit washer/dryer. In fact, it got to the point where he wouldn’t even consider a place without one.

Given the tightness of DC’s rental market, we imagine that most folks out there looking for a place are willing to make compromises, but our friend’s criteria did pique our curiosity to see what our readers can’t live without when they are shopping for a rental (price and location aside).

All you renters out there, choose from the list below (or add your own) and let us know in the comments what you absolutely couldn’t live without in your apartment.

  • Parking space
  • In-unit washer/dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • Central A/C
  • Building gym
  • Pool
  • Rooftop deck
  • Doorman
  • Pet friendly

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dc_renters_what_cant_you_live_without/3174


  1. TwinkleT said at 3:42 pm on Wednesday March 16, 2011:

    Walking access to Metro

  1. gg said at 3:50 pm on Wednesday March 16, 2011:

    Washer dryer

  1. Mike said at 3:57 pm on Wednesday March 16, 2011:

    since I have pets, Pet Friendly

    But amenities-wise, washer and dryer.

  1. Kel said at 4:06 pm on Wednesday March 16, 2011:

    Access to public transit.

  1. Wendy said at 4:20 pm on Wednesday March 16, 2011:

    Pet-friendly, in-unit washer and dryer, and a bathtub are my must-haves.

  1. Paul said at 4:23 pm on Wednesday March 16, 2011:

    Excluding dorms in college I’ve never lived anywhere without W/D. Don’t have any interest in ever bucking that trend.

    The more interesting exercise is rank ordering. Most to Least:

    In-unit washer/dryer
    Central A/C
    Parking space
    Rooftop deck
    Pet friendly
    Building gym

    I only care about the doorman we have at my building for purposes accepting packages from UPS. At a very large building thats practically a must. But at a medium or boutique building other methods of allowing UPS deliveries can be worked out logistically.

  1. Kate said at 4:44 pm on Wednesday March 16, 2011:

    Washer/Dryer is the most important.  I immediately dismissed any unit I looked at if it didn’t have a W/D. Central AC is the next requirement as I don’t trust window units to work consistently nor landlords to fix them. Parking in most neighborhoods can be found on the street, so that’s not necessary, but definitely a perk if it’s included. The rest for me I can (and either do or have gone) without.

  1. Kate said at 4:51 pm on Wednesday March 16, 2011:

    * allows cats
    * close to transit
    * ability to receive packages
    * dishwasher

    The first two are deal breakers.  The others are just ranking factors.

  1. jag said at 5:21 pm on Wednesday March 16, 2011:

    1. Walking distance to restaurants/bars/metro
    2. Central A/C - I’ll never go back to a window unit.

  1. Diane said at 5:24 pm on Wednesday March 16, 2011:

    Location (and, in my mind, that includes transit access) aside, my must-haves are: SMOKE FREE (my home life was so disrupted when a smoker moved in next door at my last rental that I never want to go through that again), private outdoor space (a small balcony is fine), and on complex laundry. 

    After that, it would be nice to have a dishwasher. (and, I don’t really mind shared laundry but if there were no stairs or trip outside involved to get there, that would be a big plus) 

    I should add that I’m not a renter anymore, but that’s partly because there wasn’t anything in the existing apartment rental market that met what we wanted.  425 Mass (Mount Vernon Triangle) and Millenium at Metropolitian Park (Pentagon City) are so crazy expensive that it made more sense financially to buy a townhouse in our preferred neighborhood.  (we could have looked at renting a TH but that has its own uncertainties—will landlord decide to sell or be foreclosed on or be horrible with maintenance, etc.)

  1. B J Larkin said at 6:07 pm on Wednesday March 16, 2011:

    I’m surprised that Smoke Free is not on your list of amenities without which one would not rent. I can’t imagine willingly moving into an apartment where I had to live with second hand smoke.

  1. Rob said at 8:58 pm on Wednesday March 16, 2011:

    Smoke-free ranks higher on my list than almost all of the others.  But so few buildings are smoke-free.  Why don’t more buildings go smoke-free?

  1. Lucia said at 9:20 pm on Wednesday March 16, 2011:

    Reliable public transit; oven.

  1. Dean said at 12:41 pm on Thursday March 17, 2011:

    Access to Metro used to be huge for me, less so now that I’m comfortable with buses.  Having outdoor space is now my #1.  Either a balcony, patio, or roof deck.  Even though it’s only useful half the year, can’t go without.

    The other thing would be sunlight.  A year in a poorly lit basement proved that I completely took it for granted.

  1. Banxi said at 2:17 pm on Thursday March 17, 2011:

    Impossible for me to decide among smoke-free, proximity to Metro, and central AC as my top choice.

    There was a time when in-unit washer/dryer would have been in the tie for first place, but I’ve been living with a common laundry room for 12 years now, and it hasn’t been as much of a pain as I thought it would be.  At least I can do two or three loads at one time and be done with my laundry in 90 minutes.  Having said that, no on-site laundry facilities at all and having to go to a laundromat would absolutely be a dealbreaker for me.

  1. scipio said at 4:32 pm on Thursday March 17, 2011:

    What about proximity to a grocery store?  I find being within a 5-7 minute walk is great, especially if you do not have a car.

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