How important is it for you to have an in-unit washer/dryer as a renter?

Photo by PoPville flickr user Phil

“Dear PoPville,

How important is it to have an in-unit washer/dryer for a renter? Our English basement rental does not have one (though a Laundromat is half a block away) and I have a sneaking suspicion that the people coming to view the place are crossing it off their list because of it. The unit is amazing otherwise. I’d love to hear what the commentariat thinks. Is this a deal breaker?

(I understand you covered a similar topic here but it didn’t specifically address the washer/dryer issue).”

155 Comment

  • I wouldn’t even waste my time going to check a place out of it didn’t have w/d in-unit. It’s fine if you’re only using it as a short-term airbnb, but I’d never want to live some place where I couldn’t even do laundry.

    • ^agreed. can’t imagine schlepping my clothes out in the cold or having to “schedule” going to do laundry instead of throwing a load in whenever.
      that said, if there was access to the main house laundry, it wouldn’t be my preference, but it wouldn’t make it dealbreaker status anymore.

      • Yes – this. W/D somewhere in the house (with pretty free access) would make it acceptable.

        • +1. OP, where is your washer/dryer located? Is it not in the basement?
          The ideal location would be one where the renter and the homeowner can use the washer/dryer without having to enter each other’s space, but I’m assuming that’s probably not an option or you would’ve mentioned it.

  • Unless the rental is super cheap (under $1300) I’d say a washer/dryer are VERY important. But even units without W/D at least have laundry on premises. Walking a block away is unreasonable unless it’s a very popular location (i.e., Logan, U Street, Dupont, etc.) and people are willing to sacrifice.

  • I think it’s all relative depending on price, other finishes in the property, etc….but personally, dealbreaker. Having to leave the building would kill it for me. It adds a layer of forward planning to my life I don’t want to have to deal with-I want to be able to throw a load in at my leisure, between trips in and out, etc, not have to schedule laundry time, let alone pay for it. 🙁

    • “let alone pay for it”

      You pay for washing and drying in the form of electricity consumption.

      • Dear lord, is it anywhere in the range of paying at a laundromat?

        • No. If you have an HE (high efficiency) washing machine, the electricity cost is ridiculously low, like $8 a year.
          Dryers are more expensive to run, but probably still nowhere close to what you’d pay at a laundromat.

  • Definitly a deal breaker. It doesn’t matter if there is a laundry place next door, taking my laundry somewhere to do it means inhave to stay with it /watch it, or have to do my laundry during normal business hours. Do you have a washer dryer in your unit or do you take it to the laundrymat? That’s what I thought…

    Those small combined stacked washer dryer units for apartments are cheap ($1,000 bucks). Get one and get it installed.

    • Maybe there’s no room for it? For example, I’d rather not have a W/D than sacrifice my only closet for it.

    • Right. You need water hookups and drain for the washer and exhaust for the dryer. Don’t make it something you just roll in and plug into an outlet.

      • Technically, you need an exhaust for the dyer. Or you could be like my former landlord who thought venting into the apartment was totally acceptable. For the record, even though it was like a steam room anytime I did laundry, it was still preferable to not having it in unit. Absolute deal breaker.

        • They also make exhaustless dryers. I had no idea until I moved into an apartment with one.

          • SouthwestDC

            Is washer-only an option? Or do most renters require a dryer?

          • Huh. Who knew (clearly not my old landlord)?! So OP has even less of a reason not to add a W/D to the unit.

          • Caroline- Is that a real question? Do you think renters are going to hang laundry out their window to dry?

          • SouthwestDC

            You don’t have to hang it outside to dry; they make folding racks and retractable shower clotheslines for that purpose. Dryers are a waste of energy, and I think they cause clothes to wear out or look worn more quickly. Outside of the U.S. they’re pretty rare, even in developed countries.

          • Caroline — I mostly agree with you on dryers (I air-dry all of my nicer clothes)… but except for the ex-expat contingent, most people expect a dryer if there’s a washer.
            And I have to admit that dryers are pretty handy for things like towels, socks, etc. I don’t miss the crunchy feeling of line-dried towels from when I lived in Japan.

          • At least within the US, I think it’s expected that if you have a washer, you have a dryer. Drying racks traditionally are used in the US for dedicates and fabrics that would ruin in a dryer. I can’t imagine trying to dry something like sheets and towels on a drying rack- they would take up half my apartment and would take a very, very long time to dry properly.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Yeah. I have an in-unit washer & dryer, but I have a tenant who actually prefers to hang his clothes on a drying rack rather than using the dryer. Tree-hugger-ish kind of guy.

  • Agree. I wouldn’t even consider a place that didn’t have a w/d in the unit.

  • Agree with Josh. Not even worth my time.

  • If you threw in a year’s subscription to a laundry delivery service you could turn a potential dealbreaker into a luxury amenity.

    • I was going to suggest this! If it really isn’t possible to install a w/d in-unit, you can provide laundry service for about $40/month for one person. $500 over a year is better than losing weeks/months of rentals because no one wants to live in a place without a w/d.

    • But honestly, that still seems like a hassle to me, having to organize pickups and dropoffs, schedule laundry in advance, etc. And do you have to tip the service? Ugh. Unless the barrier to installing a w/d is extremely high, this is not a great alternative.

  • Utmost importance.

    Why? I’m really busy, so the ability to do laundry any time is important. Also I do a fair amount of laundry with my hobbies, so I don’t want to shell out an extra 1k/yr or more besides the time spent at a laundromat.

    No matter how nice a place may be I would never consider a home without an in unit washer/dryer..

    The people I know that don’t have one all have it in the building

  • I rented many apartment that had a laundry room in the basement, not in-unit. However, I would never rent one where i had to go to the laundromat to do laundry. With a laundry room, you don’t have to leave the building and go outside when it’s snowing/hot, you’re not subject to the opening/closing hours, and you don’t have to stay there with your laundry (unless you have a lot of laundry theft in the building; I would always just set an alarm and then go back upstairs to watch TV). Having to go to a laundromat in DC, a city where that’s not par for the course (as opposed to NYC, for example) would definitely be a dealbreaker for me.

    • Same here. As long as there is a w/d inside the building and accessible 24/7, whether in unit or in a basement laundry room, then I’m fine. Having to go to a laundromat, no way. Been there done that and it sucks.

    • Same. I would *like* an in-unit W/D, but other features are more important to me. It’s less convenient, but I can still make it work. But I wouldn’t rent in a place that didn’t have an in-building laundry room.

  • I wouldn’t say it was a deal breaker but it makes a huge difference in my quality of life. I would even pay a 100+ a month to have one. NYers are much more use to units without washer. Also, there aren’t a lot of neighborhoods that still have laundromats every few blocks in DC.

  • I don’t think in-unit is necessary, but “in-builing” is essential. I rent in an otherwise luxury building that has a few laundry rooms but no en suite w/ds. I think it works great because I just have to walk down the hall to have access to multiple w/ds, but I would not even consider renting somewhere where I would have to walk my laundry outside the building.

  • Cinnamonster

    As long as there’s one within a block, I don’t need an in-unit washer/dryer. The group house I’m in now is actually the first time I’ve lived somewhere that came with a washer and dryer! I care more about a fully-stocked kitchen, insulation, and – in the case of an English Basement – good windows.

    • If you were going the other direction, always had one to not having it, the shock may be worse. I’ve had in unit for most of my life.
      I’d put w/d and central a.c. as my must haves. Dishwasher has been nice too.

      • EXACTLY. I think it depends on who you rent it to; if it’s a youngun, they may not bat an eye. I didn’t have a w/d for more than 10 years after I moved out of my parents’ house. Schlepping to the basement of the building or to the laundromat didn’t seem like as much of an inconvenience as just a fact of life. Now, however, there’s no WAY I’d live without them. It’s like flying first class: DON’T DO IT unless you want to be disappointed every time after that you fly coach.

      • Cinnamonster

        That’s a good point! The house I’m in is the first time I’ve had AC, too. My post grad school low expectations are showing. 😛

        • I could live without heat before I could live without ac. Few summers ago with central ac the apt was 80. It was over 100 outside. I would have died.

  • HaileUnlikely

    I wouldn’t be interested in a place in a price range where many/most other options had in-unit washer/dryer. Although I’d prefer an English basement over an apartment in a large building in general, I’d rather live in a large building with a central laundry room in the building than have to go out to a laundromat. If your unit is in a price range where people aren’t seeing other options with washer/dryer, that’s different. However, from your description, I’m guessing that may not be the case. If space constraints and existing electric panel constraints do not make it impossible to add a washer and dryer, I’d add them, and it’ll probably pay for itself in at most a couple years. If it would require a heavy-up, though, that changes the math.

    • HaileUnlikely

      p.s. I spent 9 years renting in DC and walking 3 blocks to the laundromat. The max rent I ever paid was $550/month, though, i.e., about half of “market rate” at the time. I don’t think charging a little below market rate will cut it, either. Unless your unit is very cheap and is basically there for the express purpose of accommodating people who can’t afford more (mine was, and I was grateful for it), no w/d is probably going to be a dealbreaker.

      • This, exactly. If OP’s planning to charge a decent amount less than the market rate for English basements in your area, then they’ll find a tenant just fine. But if they’re looking to charge $1,600 for an underground apartment with limited natural light and no w/d available to them, that seems unlikely. Even if it’s close to the metro/grocery store/etc. I’ve lived in three different basement apartments in DC and there are enough issues that go along with them already (flooding, creepy bugs, little sunlight, needing to run humidifiers all the damn time), and not having any w/d options is a deal-breaker to me.

  • The rent would have to be drastically reduced to consider a unit without w/d these days. In-unit w/d is a standard amenity with any new construction and any apt building built in the last 8 years. It might be worth paying to have one put in to keep it constantly rented. Or you might want to consider offering a lower rent with all utilities included to try and sweeten the deal.

    • DC is an older city, so amenities are going to vary widely from building to building, and are probably less important to rent than location.

      Rents on new construction in the busier parts of DC are so high that you BETTER get an in-unit w/d.

  • Very important! I currently live in a unit without access to a W/D and it’s by far the biggest inconvenient about the place (one big enough to consider moving). Trekking to the laundromat is no fun. Next time I look for an apartment, it will be a deal-breaker.

  • Total deal breaker. I wouldn’t even look! Laundromats are expensive and very inconvenient.

  • nightborn

    I wouldn’t go look at the place if I had to go to the laundromat. I would consider it if the laundry room was in the same building (my sister’s old building had a multi-unit laundry room on each floor so there was never any sort of wait).

  • Totally think it depends on the cost of the place. I’m at a point in my life that I can afford a half decent place with laundry. When I was a student (until the age of 26) if the price was right I would give up the amenity. I truly couldnt live without it now – how would I iron, lol

    • Do people still iron?

      • Plenty of us (especially in this city) can’t wear polos and khakis to work. Ironing shirts is simple enough to do in front of the TV, and I find it simpler and cheaper than lugging everything to the cleaners.

        • I am aware my luxury in a wear what you want environment, but I just hate ironing. The convenience of drop and go is worth it for me. I’m sure that’ll change once I’m a permanent part of the suit brigade.

  • It’d be a dealbreaker for me, though I would consider the washio-style service if it was a legitimately great apartment. But I also prefer to launder some things on my own and I would feel burdened by the time it would take to go to the laundromat and babysit your laundry amongst strangers. It might not be that bad, but I just wouldn’t even consider it.

    • +1 your name is spot on in most cases

    • SouthwestDC

      I’ve never had to do it, but sitting in a Laundromat for a couple hours a month doesn’t sound that bad. I guess I’m an anomaly because I similarly welcome things like airport layovers and waiting at the DMV. There’s something kind of nice about being forced to sit and read a book, people watch, work on a portable craft, etc.

      • If you have the time, that’s fine. I’m routinely working overtime. Even with a more standard 2 loads per week, I’d be hard pressed to find a spare few hours laying around. I’d have to sacrifice something.

      • I’ve done it many times and I’ll tell you that laundromats are stupid expensive. Plus you have to lug all your stuff there in the rain/snow.

  • Yeah, it’s pretty important. If you’re trying to save on the expense of running new electrical, or are tight on space, you can get one of those under-the-counter washer/dryer combos. All you need is a drain and a standard 120V plug. No vent needed. The clothes don’t get perfectly dry, but it beats schlepping your clothes to the laundromat.

  • Total deal breaker if there isn’t a W/D in-unit. I don’t personally have the time or the patience to deal with having to do laundry outside of my own apartment.

  • For me it’s pretty close to essential to have a w/d in the building, though not necessarily in the unit. There would have to be some other really amazing feature(s) to make me consider a place without a w/d.

  • I think in-unit is not that important as long as it’s and apartment complex with at least a few washer/dryers on site. But in this situation I would not rent this unit because it is very inconvenient to have to drag your laundry all the way to a laundromat and wait there while it’s ready especially in the city where you would have to walk or metro and parking is usually a pain.

  • Another check in the Dealbreaker column. Laundry in my own home is an absolute necessity.
    Although perhaps the poster above has the right idea… look into the price of laundry pick-up/ delivery service. I once rented an apartment that came with a monthly cleaning lady, which of course was a way for the owner’s benefit as much as the tenant’s.

  • It’s very very important to me to have one in the unit. Though it wouldn’t be a dealbreaker, as long as it was in the building. I wouldn’t go to a laundromat. Years ago, in San Francisco, I had to lug my stuff to a laundromat. Never doing that again. Especially not in a city with weather like DC (SF’s temps vary from 45-70 year round, and it rarely rains heavily and never snows). The thought of having to deal with a laundromat in DC summer or winter gives me panic attacks.

  • Yeah, it’s pretty important. If you’re trying to save on the expense of running new electrical, or are tight on space, you can get one of those ventless under-the-counter washer/dryer combos. All you need is a drain and a standard 120V plug. The clothes don’t get perfectly dry, but it beats schlepping your clothes to the laundromat.

    • This is a good idea. For washers and dryers in general, It’s not really the machine(s) that are all that expensive — more the cost of extending the plumbing/electricity if they aren’t already in place, and adding appropriate venting.
      If there’s a way to squeeze one of these machines into the kitchen or bathroom, this sounds like the way to go.

  • I only slightly prefer in-unit to a building with a W/D room, but I honestly wouldn’t look at a place where I would have to go to a laundromat.

  • jim_ed

    We did 6 months in a unit with no washer/dryer and no dishwasher. Wouldn’t ever do it again. Though, FWIW, I think I missed the dishwasher more than the washer/dryer. Washing silverware individually made me want to commit murder.

    • palisades

      I don’t have a dishwasher and hated it at first. A little over a year later and I don’t even mind anymore. It’s kind of relaxing. And I went over to my girlfriend’s place and was instinctively washing her silverware before I realized I didn’t need to.

      • I agree. I always had a dishwasher until I moved into a place that didn’t have one. It was awful at first, but then I really got used to it and honestly didn’t mind at all. The only time it sucks is when you have people over and make a lot of dishes.

  • I’ve actually been quite terse with landlords who did not clearly disclose that in the ad in all caps and bold who wasted my time coming to see such a place.
    I used to be willing to consider a shared laundry (i.e., one in a public space of a small building that all units could use) – once I even rented an apartment that had laundry shared with the building next door in their basement – not technically in my building, but free and less than 20 feet away. Nowadays, I won’t even share a laundry machine – at any price. Even for a $1,500 a month newly renovated one bedroom in the middle of Logan Circle. Not gonna happen – I am just too old for that nonsense. And no laundry, even shared, AT ALL on site? Forget it. I wouldn’t even pay $1,000 a month in the middle of Logan Circle for that, no matter what the rest of the apartment looked like. I have a 70 hour a week job – I am not going to spend my entire Saturday sitting at a laundromat.
    The key point I’d consider as a landlord is this one – I’d rather have a tenant with a challenging job who doesn’t have time to go to a laundromat, but can likely pay the rent every month on time, than one who has nothing else to do with their day than fool with hauling laundry back and forth.
    Put in the machines. And make them decent ones. I have picked one apartment over the other more than once because one had nice front-loading stackables that wouldn’t destroy my clothes and the other had one of those cheapo all-in-one stackables. The much bigger cost is installing the hookups, not the machines.

    • I get where you’re going, but this is incredibly judgmental.
      “I’d rather have a tenant with a challenging job who doesn’t have time to go to a laundromat, but can likely pay the rent every month on time, than one who has nothing else to do with their day than fool with hauling laundry back and forth.”
      good luck, buddy.

    • Right? I thought it was just me.

  • A half a block away isn’t bad. I used to walk 3 blocks with my laundry. Also, I may be in the minority on this, but I like laundromats/laundry rooms w/ multiple machines. You can get all of your laundry done at one time instead of having to do single loads several times per week.

    • You cant fold 2 loads at once. Some of my stuff is hang dry, so I’ll wash that last or fold load 1 while load 2 is in the dryer. The time difference is menial considering you dont have to exit the apt to get there and you can do lots of other stuff while you wait: cleaning, packing lunch, take a nap.

    • i’m the same. i actually much much prefer to have a laundry room in the building vs in the unit. the machines are usually bigger, and the ability to do all the loads at once is amazing!

  • I Dont Get It

    It’s not only a deal breaker for me but I will never buy a house again that doesn’t have washer/dryer on the same floor as the bedrooms. I am so tired of hauling laundry up and down the stairs from the basemnt to the 2nd floor. Admittedly, lately WDS has been doing it for me.

    • Me too. Having laundry bedroom-adjacent is the single biggest domestic time saver I can think of. If I had to choose between a house with basement laundry and a dishwasher, or a house with upstairs laundry and no dishwasher… I would probably forgo the dishwasher.

      • I Dont Get It

        In my dream house there is a laundry room on the first floor near my bedroom and another on the second floor for my guests and non-existent children.

    • Growing up our laundry was upstairs with the bedrooms and it seemed SO WEIRD because the standard was for that sort of appliance to be in the basement (likely an unfinished part of a basement), and there was even some discussion when we moved in of trying to relocate them. Now it’s one of the biggest selling points for my mom’s house.

  • Depends on the price point of the rental. If it’s bottom of the barrel catering to broke grad students, maybe not essential if you discount the rent to reflect the fact. But if you’re looking for a tenant who has any other options, I’d say it’s a deal breaker. Certainly would be for me.

  • I have to say that, as a renter, this situation would be a total deal breaker. In this city, I’d consider an “in-building” or “in-house” (communal) washer/dryer to be a considerable con but to have to use a laundromat would be a definite deal breaker

  • I’ve got a different set of priorities here. We’ve been living without on-site laundry for going on six years, and while it’s not what I would choose, all else being equal, it’s not so bad. Our apartment is an amazing deal for DC, and since I work from home most of the time, I can manage my schedule around big trips to a laundromat every three weeks. I’m in and out inside of two hours, and I don’t have to think about it again for a while. It’s an opportunity to sit and read for a bit.

    That said, are there time I wish I could toss a quick load in so I would have something in particular clean right away? Sure, but I can honestly say that doesn’t happen too often. So I can go without on-site laundry, but the other aspects of the apartment have to make up for it. And if I didn’t have such a flexible schedule, the situation gets less attractive by far. Generally speaking, this isn’t the right town to be missing a washer/dryer.

    • You have enough underwear to go three weeks without a trip to the laundromat? You’re not one of those people who works and home and gradually stops showering, wears the same clothes every day speaks only to cats and pizza delivery guys are you? Are you in IT? 😉

      • Ha! I am in a similar situation and have 2 months worth of socks/underwear which makes dealing without a W/D on site super easy. And makes long back to back work trips easy to deal with.

      • I had a really rough schedule for a couple of months last year and discovered to my surprise that I had enough underwear to go 5+ weeks without doing laundry! Fortunately it was during a seasonal shift so the rest of my wardrobe options weren’t so limiting, either.

      • While the cat and I do have plenty of conversations during the day, my underwear reserves are sufficient for–one might even say designed for–this laundry schedule. I can’t even stand to wear the same socks again, so accommodations have been made.

    • Also, I have no problem driving my massive pile of laundry out to a laundromat in Maryland where it’s clean, safe, never too busy, has updated machines including oversize dryers for comforters and the like, and a parking lot. I may be the only native speaker of English there, but that’s fine.

    • Maybe I should stop typing, go online and get some socks and underwear — I feel underprovisioned. On the other hand, I can basically throw my socks from my bedroom into the washer, so it’s not critical. On the other, other hand, everything is split between The Girlfriend’s place and mine, and it always seems only the dirty stuff is wherever I wake up.

  • Laundromat??? Good luck! I know I am speaking my privilege here but so is most of DC and the kind of renter I’m assuming you’re targeting.

  • Necessary. That said, we have a rental property and the w/d is in the basement of the building. Never had a problem renting it out. If it weren’t on site, I would absolutely cross it off my list. Sorry.

  • SouthwestDC

    Random related question: Does anyone not use their dryer? I only use mine for guest towels (because it makes them so much fluffier).

    • The only things I ever put in the dryer are towels (sometimes) and sheets, mostly b/c I have no room to hang them. This is another reason why for me a 3-block schlep to and from a laundromat would be a dealbreaker – wet laundry is heavy!!

    • I air dry most of my clothes on a foldable rack because they last longer that way, but everything else (sheets, towels, blankets) goes in the dryer.

    • i only use mine for sheets, towels and socks

  • My initial impression was that no W/D was a dealbreaker. And then I started thinking – how much of a break in rent would I need in order to make living without a W/D acceptable.

    The answer, for me, is $600 a month less on a 1 BR apartment if the laundry is down the street, FWIW. I’d want $400 if the laundry was coin operated in the basement.

    Honestly, given a choice between a W/D and an oven in an apartment, I’d want the W/D.

    They really are necessities today.

    • I’ve used my oven less than 5 times in 3 years. I’d pick washer too, but probably oven+w/d in the basement.

    • My last apartment had no oven. I wished I’d had one maybe three times in the 6 years I lived there.

      But I did have an in-unit W/D! Very important to have that!

  • More important than a dishwasher. Not too opposed to laundry rooms in the same building.

  • I just want to point out that my unit has a virgin washer/dryer. On the other hand, there’s no floor at this point (though the pipe is fixed), not a lot of light and it comes with me as a landlord.

    • Is a virgin washer/dryer one of the 72 virgins who meets a martyr? Makes me wonder what tasks are assigned to the other 71….

  • When we were renovating our english basement, we had a tight budget and when it came time to decide whether to put in a washer and dryer or a dishwasher, we went with washer and dryer. We installed full-size front-loading models. Our thought was that many tenants would be used to not having a dishwasher, or at least it wouldn’t be a deal-breaker, but they would definitely not want to do without laundry. We have not had a problem renting our place since.

    • Good choice! I haven’t had a dishwasher in years and never much minded, but a w/d is completely necessary (unless the rent is really really great).

  • In unit washer and dryer and central air conditioning are my first two requirements. Without those I wouldn’t consider renting the place.

  • skj84

    So important that I would be willing to pay a higher rent for a unit with washer and dryer. Like many have mentioned before my schedule varies. I don’t have time to schlep my stuff to a laundry mat. This past fall my basement was under renovations and I didn’t have access to my washer and dryer. It was a mess, I was incredibly busy at the time and normally would’ve washed stuff overnight. But without access to a washer and dryer I i ended up with a huge load of clothes. It was so bad that I was using swimwear as underwear! So yeah, I need the flexibility of having my own washer and drying in my home. Plus I have a phobia of washing my stuff in public.

  • I’d want more information before answering this question, honestly. For example, is the nearby laundromat safe, well lit and reasonably priced? Could the position of the English basement stairs make it a challenge to move laundry bags in and out? Is the rental otherwise a very good deal? Would the OP consider adding a w/d (maybe a small combo unit that could fit in a kitchen cabinet)? I also thought the addition of a laundry service to the deal was an interesting one.
    That said, it would definitely be a dealbreaker for me now, but it may not have been when I was in my early 20s. If the place was centrally located and affordable, I would have considered going to a laundromat it if were easy and safe. I did that for my first apartment out of college and it was fine.

  • No biggie. This post says “in-unit washer and dryer.” It’s totally fine as long if it’s not in the unit as long as it’s in the building.

    I guess you could also ask whether you would buy a condo/coop unit if it only had basement laundry facilities…I did. Doing so made it affordable for me to buy my first place. I made $150K profit on the sale and that has made a major impact on my life since (as in, I work for a nonprofit and yet I could buy a rowhouse in DC).

  • In unit is not important, but facilities in the building are very important.

  • I think your main concern should be to shop other comparable rentals and make sure you’re not pricing yours the same or above those with such a major amenity. You may also want to consider whether investing in having one installed would pay for itself in the additional rent you would be able to charge.
    But overall it’s not a requirement for a living situation and many people live without them, so if you don’t want to deal with it then just make sure your unit is priced accordingly. DC has a lot of units that were built as condos but then switched to rentals, so it tends to have more washers and dryers in the units than other cities which works against you. Plus, there is such a large population right now of very young people in DC who are moving into a city for the first time and cannot even fathom using a laundromat following their time at their parents’ home, in the ‘burbs, etc. so you’re trying to overcome that as well. Many of these will be supported by their parents at least in part, too, so they don’t need to skimp on luxuries. But there will be someone out there who prioritizes saving money each month over taking their laundry outside of the house so you just need to make that an option for them.

    • “DC has a lot of units that were built as condos but then switched to rentals” — Really? I’d think the reverse was true (apartment buildings being converted to condo buildings). Or do you mean condo buildings in which a significant portion of individual units are rented out?

      • HaileUnlikely

        In NW, several of the large new buildings were originally intended to be sold as condos, but were never sold, and were put on the market as rentals instead, because the market, while not exactly soft, had cooled a bit relative to what the developers had hoped and dreamed of back in 2006-2007 when they started construction.

        • Ahh, OK — I do remember this happening with a bunch of buildings that were still under construction around the time the bubble burst (like Park Place at the Georgia Ave.-Petworth Metro).
          But I got the feeling that Commentator was talking about something else, where buildings had been actually occupied as condos and subsequently switched to rentals, and that’s not a phenomenon I’ve ever heard of.

    • When I was in my 20’s and moved to San Francisco, I was so excited to be in a new city and living for the first time in a place that was neither my parent’s house or school housing, I didn’t care about having to schlep my laundry to the laundromat on the corner. Now that I’m in my 40’s, much less likely to want to hassle with it.

  • Landlords with tight spaces should consider those European-style all-in-one washer/dryer combo units that dry by condensation rather than heat. They take a long time to dry, and are usually better for smaller items (not comforters). They fit in dishwasher spaces, and consume about the same amount of water and energy as a dishwasher, so you don’t need a 220V line. They have limitations for sure, but definitely an option worth considering. LG makes them, and I know Sears sells them.

  • Someone may have already said this but I think the no in-unit washer dryer might attract (depending on what you charge for rent) a younger crowd. When I was in my early 20s I’d sacrifice things like convenience for price-point. I’d rent a basement apartment that I had to schlep to the laundry mate if It was cheap. By my late 20’s and into my early 30s I’d pay more for an conveniences like washer/ dryer and central air. I think that leave you 2 options, 1. drop the rent to a level that will attract the 1st job crowd or 2. get an in-unit washer/ dryer and keep the rent as is.

  • so important that its the 2nd thing I look for (after accessibility/location). or , well, a @b to “price” being my 2a

  • No dishwasher and No washer and dryer are complete deal breakers.

  • My building doesn’t have laundry in the units or in the basement. I send mine out and at $80-$100/month washed and folded its cheaper than paying for an apartment with in unit-washer/dryer.
    Like Great Photo! said, offer to throw in a few months (3-6 would be good) of delivery service and price the unit appropriately.

    I recommend Wishy Washy Landromat – they are affordable and wonderful to work with.

  • First of all, think as if you were to live there.
    Secondly, I would not rent your place -and you posted it – A cat in the washer. It is so gross to wash your underpants/clothes not knowing the cleaning habits of the people who washed their clothes there before.

    The solution: invest in a washer and dryer and it will rent in a heart beat.

    • Unless you but a new machine, that second issue is present everywhere. How do you get around it? I use washer cleaner, but that’s just me.

    • I don’t think the cat-in-the-dryer photo is from the OP; I think it’s one that the Prince chose from the PoPville Flickr pool to go with the topic “washer/dryer.”
      I don’t think most renters (or buyers, for that matter) expect a brand-new washer or dryer, just one that looks clean and is functional. (If you have a washer or dryer that looks as though it’s really old and could break any minute, that might put a renter off… but otherwise, I don’t think it matters.)

    • The photo of the cat in the washer is not from the OP, it’s from the PoPville Flickr pool.

    • “It is so gross to wash your underpants/clothes not knowing the cleaning habits of the people who washed their clothes there before.”

      Is it? What are the negative effects? I’ve done it many many times and I can’t think of any problems it’s caused me. In any event, unless you always get your own brand new washing machine there’s really no way around it, is there?

  • The one drawback to a laundromat being closeby is that they seem to be endangered species. Many have closed in the past few years. The idea that people are too busy, etc. is a little funny….going to the laundry and doing several loads is no more annoying than being tethered to home for hours to do the same, but I suspect there’s snobbishness (mixing with poor people, a real pearl clutcher) and other considerations. This is DC and lots of people are spoiled and not very practical about anything. So..I’d invest in a W/D even though I think people here are silly.

    • “.going to the laundry and doing several loads is no more annoying than being tethered to home for hours to do the same”

      Except that for many of us, it is more annoying. I can throw my towels/sheets in the dryer and fall asleep or leave for work, and I come home and they’re there. I’m paying for that privilege and I very much enjoy it.

      Even in a building where I had a shared/laundry room situation – I could set a timer and be doing other tasks – preparing meals, cleaning, etc, while my laundry was being done.

      • Is Laundromat theft very common? I see a lot of people being cool with having a W/D in the building, and I assume they’re just leaving the machine to run while they go do something else. It seems like you can do the same thing here since the Laundromat is only one block away.

  • Very, very, very important.

    When I was apartment hunting 6 years ago and again last year, it was my only must have. (However, one apartment I looked at had no kitchen, only a microwave and a hotplate, so, okay, I also needed a kitchen. I mean, come on, let’s be realistic.) But I was flexible on pretty much everything else.

    For a basement apartment, I’d be okay with sharing with the upstairs neighbors if the laundry room is easily accessible and we don’t have to go through each other’s space to get there. But otherwise, in-unit W/D is very important.

    • I’ve seen houses where w/d is in a bedroom. First, who thought that was a good idea. Second, who’s comfortable with that…ppl coming and going often, noise, all that. These places have not been deals that compensated for the unusual setup, so I just don’t get it.

  • I won’t even consider a place without one. I would have in my 20’s before I lived in a place with an in-unit w/d, but not anymore.

  • I would only rent an apartment without a washer-dryer if there was an in-building laundry room (like in an apartment building). I did the schlepping of clothes to and from a laundromat half a block away in college, and I’d never do it again. It is a simple upgrade, and even a washer-dryer combo might suffice.

  • Not dealbreaker if it was fairly cheap and laundry was in the building, but having to schlep my laundry half a block away?! Heck no.

  • No W/D in unit is a deal breaker for me. I stopped schlepping my laundry when I graduated college and moved out of the dorm.

  • Before moving into my basement apt with an in-unit, I probably wouldn’t have thought it too important (esp. if the laundromat is so close), but I might ask for access to the upstairs one. Now that I’ve lived with one, unless I’m going to be paying under $1000 a month, I don’t think I would consider it too highly.

  • side point: from my very quick internet search, it looks like there are only 15 laundromats in DC, and none east of the river. And I’m guessing that as gentrification continues, there will be less and less of them.

    As another poster noted, just because there’s one half a block away now doesn’t mean it will be there in the future. And then how will you rent your place? And will you compensate whatever tenant rented the unit relying on the nearby laundry? (And yes, I know you’re not under a legal obligation to do so).

    • SouthwestDC

      I can think of a few east of the river. One is in the middle of Historic Anacostia and has a huge parking lot as well. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before that lot is redeveloped!

    • HaileUnlikely

      Most of these places aren’t online. There are 5 within a mile of my house, and I’m positive that it is not the case that one third of all laundromats in DC are within a mile of my house.

  • I lived on the 3rd floor of a building (not a house but smaller condo building) and the washer/dryers were in the basement for 4.5 years and was OK with it. Now I wouldn’t want to have to go to a laundromat however.

  • I’m in the minority here, I guess. I have lived in a place without and it was fine– I would just drop my laundry off at a wash-and-fold each week. If I needed something overnight I’d handwash in the sink. Not bad really.

    I wouldn’t pay a premium for it, though– if I were the owner of the rental unit I’d personally go out of the way to get a W/D in the unit or in the building to get top dollar.

  • As a native NY-er who also lived in Montreal for five years, I’ll say that an in-unit W/D is a luxury for me. I was pretty fine with schlepping stuff in the snow. In fact, my friends and I would often study and do work together at a joint cafe & laundrOmat (cute that someone referred to it as a laundrymat), which had wifi, food and beverages. And once, a friend who worked at a different laundromat threw this sick party at night. We filled the washers up with ice and stored beer there and danced on the dryers. Best party ever. That being said, it’s pretty inconvenient to do in DC and I’m glad I’ve had washers and dryers in my building. Don’t need it in my apartment, though.

  • If you have a baby, it’s nearly vital!

  • How do you all feel about the combo washer/dryers?

  • Late to the party, but as someone who rents out a place with no laundry (in unit or otherwise) i can say that it’s a pain, but do-able. My rent is probably $400 below market rate though, a block from the metro, and within wishy wash’s pickup radius (I don’t have a car so this is virtually my only option). When I moved in 4 years ago there was laundry a bus ride away, but they closed. Laundromats really are a dying breed.

  • ItsPetworthIt

    VERY important! It would pretty much be a deal-breaker for me.

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