The 8% Premium: What DC Renters Pay For In-Unit Laundry

by Tianna Mañón

The 8% Premium: What DC Renters Pay For In-Unit Laundry: Figure 1
Graph provided by Trulia.

For many renters in DC, doing laundry requires a ton of quarters that jingle with every step, lugging dirty clothes through the city streets and then watching over your laundry like a helicopter mother. In some cases, you can leave your clothing in the communal laundry room of your building, but you have to check it frequently, and living around the spin cycle is its own inconvenience.

Trulia recently looked at the premium that renters across the country pay to avoid this inconvenience, i.e. have washer/dryer units in their apartments. The report found that DC residents pay an average of 8 percent extra in rent every month to have a washer and dryer in their home. This translates to about $133 extra per month.

Philadelphia residents pay the highest premium, about 20 percent extra each month, tacking on an average of $211 for apartments with in-unit washers and dryers.

In the DC area, Clarendon, Shaw, LeDroit Park and Capitol Hill residents pay the most to have a washer and dryer in their units while residents of Fort Dupont, Shepherd Park and the Southwest Waterfront pay the least, according to the report.

As someone who recently moved from an apartment with in-unit laundry, I understand the appeal. I chose to go with communal laundry space, and it looks like I chose wisely as my laundry costs don’t come close to offsetting $133 extra per month in rent. As Trulia mentioned, renters on a budget will have to weigh the additional costs against the inconvenient, but smaller, costs of using a laundromat or communal laundry services. And in a lot of metro areas, the two barely compare. In-unit laundry is convenient, but it comes at a premium.

The data used for the report comes from Zillow’s rental listings from September 2014 to February 2015. The listings were split into four groups based on the age of the building. The median rents for listings with in-unit laundry and for listings without were averaged in each age group and then averaged across the groups to find the overall premium for the area.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/in-unit_laundry_comes_at_a_cost_for_dc_residents/10013


  1. Press said at 2:30 pm on Thursday June 18, 2015:
    What is the premium for in-unit laundry on condo sales?
  1. Tianna Mañón said at 3:45 pm on Thursday June 18, 2015:
    Hi Press, Thanks for your question. The Trulia data addresses only rental units, not condos, so we don't have the data you're looking for. Sorry we can't be of more help!

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