Importance of an in house washer/dryer?

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Topic: Importance of an in house washer/dryer?

Real Estate August 29, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Importance of an in house washer/dryer?

I am currently looking for an investment property and am noticing that a lot of the older construction condos only have community laundry rooms.  Is this a big deal to a renter?  Thank you.

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I would absolutely not move into a place without an in-unit W&D. I would be willing to pay higher rent for one, however, YOU will likely pay more for a place up-front in purchase price that has this amenity. I would say to shoot for a unit with a W&D, but I think with the likely higher purchase price, it is probably a wash.

It was never a deal-breaker for me when I was renting (I’d actually prefer more closet space to an in-unit W&D) but it was nice to have. It’s like having a dishwasher. Plenty of renters are willing to live without one, but they’d expect the rent to be slightly lower than the rent for an identical unit that did have one. I suppose the trick is figuring out how much the in-unit W&D is worth to the average renter– I’m guessing it would be no more than 5% of the monthly rent. You should be paying less for the property if it doesn’t have an in-unit W&D anyway, so not having it might not hurt you at all. Just run the numbers and see which scenario has the highest payoff. Of course, having a communal laundry room on the same level of the unit is more desirable than having one in the basement, but again, I don’t think you’d have trouble attracting tenants if the price is appropriate. 

As a renter, an in-unit W&D is a nice to have, but not necessary amenity for me. As long as there is reasonably convenient laundry in the building, that’s all I need. I would pay a little more for a W&D in-unit, but generally my budget is what it is and I’m looking for the rental that meets my must-haves first.

An in-unit W/D is a nice luxury, but not a necessity.  As someone mentioned above, it usually takes up an entire closet, and I’d rather have extra space.  I’m a renter, and I just need a good communal laundry room with machines that are maintained and function properly.  I’d be more willing to spend extra rent money on a dishwasher instead of an in-unit W/D.


I’ve rented my entire adult life and never cared about either an in-unit washer/dryer or a dishwasher.  Of course, this might be due in part to the fact that these things have typically been out of my price range.  An in-unit washer/dryer is certainly a nice luxury, and it might be hard for a renter who’s used to that to go back to a rental without one, but in my opinion, it’s totally not a dealbreaker. Like others have said, I’d take the extra closet space.  Of course, this is presuming that there’s a communal laundry room in the building AND that the laundry room has an ample amount of washers and dryers that generally operate smoothly.  A laundry-card system helps, too. (Maybe most buildings do this now, but my last rental was an older building whose machines still operated on quarters.)
If I were to buy, I would probably want my “forever” (or at least “for a long time”) home to have an in-unit w/d, but as a tenant I figure communal laundry pretty much comes with the territory.

I agree with the previous posters. If the rent that you would be charging for the unit is at the lower end of what is expected for the size and location (ie. below the average) then you likely would not have a problem finding a tenant who did not care about an in unit washer/dryer. If you are looking to get a rental rate that is at or above the average for that location, tenants are going to be more selective about the amenities (and willing to pay for them). Also you may want to check with the condo or co-op board about the option of adding one yourself, although it is rare, occasionally it is permitted as long as you go about it in the correct manner. There are combined washer/dryer units that are popular (because they save space) for this purpose. 

I am one for whom an in-unit W&D is mandatory. Not only do I find community laundry to be an inconvenience but I had dermatological issues while using community laundry that I never had before. I contracted pityriasis rosea and undiagnosed rashes on two other occaisions. I rarely use the dryer for my professional wardrobe, preferring to drip dry, so I became suspicious of the laundry room for these strange little occurences. Also, I am convinced that the laundry room was a definite source of bed bug transference withing the building. 

The key question is how convenient/nasty/safe is the communal laundry room.  Compare it to the cost of in-unit installation and expected bump in rent price.  My tenant in a 1 bedroom 1/2 block to CH metro is perfectly happy to wash in the basement and pay $1,100.00 rent.   And sorry – getting rashes and bed bugs from community facilities just sounds like crazy talk.

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