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Spin Cities: Where Renters Pay The Most For In-Unit Washers and Dryers

Doing laundry sucks and having to go to a Laundromat each week sucks even more. But the hassle may outweigh the added cost of having an in-unit washer and dryer, depending on where you live. In Philadelphia, renters pay a 20% premium to have laundry within their rentals, while those in Dallas-Fort Worth pay a 3% premium.

Mark Uh
June 16, 2015

Summer is coming. But instead of spending the endless days of the season lounging by a pool, many renters will inevitably spend a portion of their days hauling laundry down the block or across town to their local Laundromat.

Here at Trulia, we (and your landlord) know that having an in-unit washer and dryer is a coveted amenity that often ranks high on renters’ list of must-haves. But just how much extra in rent are you likely to pay each month to not have to collect quarters or haul your skivvies down the street for the world to see?

Trulia took a spin through the large multi-family buildings listed for rent on its site and found that across 13 top metro areas, in-unit washers and dryers command a 10% per month premium on average.

Those living in Philadelphia pay the biggest premium for in-unit laundry to the tune of 20%, or $211 extra in monthly rent. Those living in Seattle pay 4%, about $29 more in rent each month to avoid having to brave the rain with their laundry baskets in tow.

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Where Renters Must Pay The Highest Premiums for an In-Unit Washer Dryer *
U.S. Metro(click on hyperlinks below to access interactive neighborhood maps) Average  % Rent Premium Average $ Rent Premium % of Multifamily Rentals Listed as Having a Washer / Dryer Median Year Built Median Rent
Philadelphia 20% $211 48% 1965 $1200
Los Angeles 17% $325 26% 1987 $2095
San Francisco 14% $245 35% 1979 $2620
Boston 14% $255 36% 1956 $2000
Chicago 11% $168 56% 2001 $1796
New York 10% $175 20% 1958 $2100
Houston 9% $139 36% 2001 $1450
Washington 8% $133 58% 1996 $1750
San Diego 8% $118 37% 1986 $1750
Atlanta 7% $73 33% 2000 $1200
Miami-Fort Lauderdale 5% $79 42% 1990 $1650
Seattle 4% $29 41% 1994 $1495
Dallas-Fort Worth 3% $33 26% 2002 $1200
*Please note that the washer/dryer premium in this study refers to the premium one must pay in order to live in an apartment that has a private washer/dryer within the unit. This premium does not apply to units that do not have a washer/dryer in-unit but do have communal washers/dryers on building premises.

The Down and Dirty On Laundry Costs

Anyone who has rented an apartment without laundry knows that it takes time, energy and a lot of quarters to get your clothes clean. Even if there are Laundromats within walking distance of your apartment, carrying 10lbs of laundry can be burdensome.

In large cities, wash and folds (places that do your laundry for you) cost around $1.00 per pound of laundry. Assuming that you do 10lbs of laundry per week, you will spend $40 per month. If you opt for cheaper, coin-operated machines, at $3 a load you’ll pay a least $12 a month.

If you live in Seattle or Dallas-Fort Worth, renters could be better off renting a unit with a washer and dryer because the costs of doing laundry offsite are similar to the washer/dryer premium in those metros. In the other metros listed, however, you’ll pay anywhere from $73 to $325 extra, so renters on a budget will have to weigh the inconvenience of having to go to the Laundromat over the cost savings.

Sprawled out metros such as Philadelphia and Los Angeles likely have a greater washer/ dryer premium, because the distance from most apartments to the nearest Laundromats will be farther away. Metros where the cost of goods and living is more expensive (and presumably laundry services are more expensive) such as New York, San Francisco, and Boston also have high premiums.

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Washer/Dryer a Must-Have Amenity? Start The Search Cycle In these Suds-Friendly Neighborhoods

Have you decided that having laundry in your apartment is worth the added premium? Below are some helpful maps showing renters which ZIP codes have the highest percentage (shown in dark green) and lowest percentage (shown in light green) of large apartment buildings with washer and dryers in-unit. Click on the maps to be taken to an interactive city map showing where you’ll find the highest percent of in-unit apartment washers and dryers.

PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaNeighborhoods with the highest % of in-unit washer/dryer: Conshohocken, Manayunk, Northern Liberties, Callowhill

Neighborhoods with the lowest % of in-unit washer/dryer: Overbrook Farms, Millbourne, Walnut Hill 

Los AngelesLosAngelesNeighborhoods with highest % of in-unit washer/dryer: Santa Monica, Pasadena, Studio City, Little Tokyo, Skid Row, Arts District

Neighborhoods with lowest % of in-unit washer/dryer: Woodland Hills, View Park–Windsor Hills, Wilshire Center, Koreatown

San FranciscoSanFranciscoNeighborhoods with the highest % of in-unit washer/dryer: Inner Richmond, Laurel Heights, Lone Mountain, South Beach

Neighborhoods with the lowest % of in-unit washer/dryer: Twin Peaks, Diamond Heights, Glen Park

BostonBostonNeighborhoods with highest % of in-unit washer/dryer: Downtown, South End, Mission Hill, South Boston

Neighborhoods with lowest % of in-unit washer/dryer: Fenway/Kenmore, Allston/Brighton, Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan

ChicagoChicagoNeighborhoods with the highest % of in-unit washer/dryer: West Loop Gate, The Loop, River North, South Loop

Neighborhoods with the lowest % of in-unit washer/dryer: Roseland, South Chicago, South Austin, Garfield Park

New York NewYorkNeighborhoods with the highest % of in-unit washer/dryer: Midtown West, Lenox Hill, Tribeca, Hudson Square, SoHo

Neighborhoods with the lowest % of in-unit washer/dryer: Greenwich Village, West Village, Midtown East 

HoustonHoustonNeighborhoods with the highest % of in-unit washer/dryer: South Main, River Oaks, Fourth Ward, Westbury, Willow Meadows

Neighborhoods with the lowest % of in-unit washer/dryer: Gulfgate-Pine Valley, Greater East End, Magnolia Park, Afton Oaks

District of Columbia DCNeighborhoods with the highest % of in-unit washer/dryer: Shaw, LeDroit Park, Capitol Hill, Arlington – Clarendon

Neighborhoods with the lowest % of in-unit washer/dryer: Southwest Waterfront, Fort Dupont, Shepherd Park

San DiegoSanDiegoNeighborhoods with the highest % of in-unit washer/dryerScripps Ranch, Mission Valley, Mission Valley East, Torrey Highlands, Rancho Pentasquitos

Neighborhoods with the lowest % of in-unit washer/dryer: Barrio Logan, Kensington, Normal Heights, University Heights, El Cajon

AtlantaAtlantaNeighborhoods with the highest % of in-unit washer/dryerNorthLake, Sandy Springs, Lindridge-Martin Manor, Lindbergh

Neighborhoods with the lowest % of in-unit washer/dryer: Redan, Lithonia, Union City, Atlanta University area

Miami MiamiNeighborhoods with the highest % of in-unit washer/dryer: Downtown, Dodge Island, Virginia Key, Upper East Side, Morningside, Edgewater

Neighborhoods with the lowest % of in-unit washer/dryerBrownsville, Allapatttah, Coral Way, Miami Shores, El Portal

Seattle SeattleNeighborhoods with the highest % of in-unit washer/dryerWoodinville, Cottage Lake, Kingsgate, Totem Lake

Neighborhoods with the lowest % of in-unit washer/dryer: Canyon Park, Pioneer Square, West Lake, South West Union

Dallas DallasNeighborhoods with the highest % of in-unit washer/dryerLos Colinas, Broadmoor Hills, Deep Ellum, Castlemere, Willow Bend, Breckenridge Park

Neighborhoods with the lowest % of in-unit washer/dryer:
Southwestern District, Grand Prairie, University Park, Downtown

Methodology

Data is sourced from the Zillow Group rental listing database. We looked just at units in multi-family apartment buildings for rent between September 2014 and February 2015. For each metro area, the listings were split into quartiles based on the age of the building. We then took the difference between the median rent of apartments that have a washer/dryer and apartments that do not have a washer/dryer in order to obtain the ($) premium for each quartile. We averaged these ($) premium figures in order to obtain the average ($) premium for each metro.

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Woulda Shoulda Coulda: Real Estate Regrets to Avoid

Trulia’s latest consumer survey revealed that 52% of people regret something about their current home or the process of choosing it. This season, under the pressure of tight inventory, buyers and renters have to try hard not to make the same mistakes

Spring house-hunting season is upon us. Home searches peak in March and April, and this year the search is especially frantic as inventory is near a 12-year low. Many homes don’t stay on the market for long, so buyers will have to move fast – especially in markets with bidding wars and competing investor activity. But when it comes to searching for a home, as with everything else, moving too fast leads to mistakes and regrets. To find out which regrets are most common – and who is most prone to making decisions they’ll later regret — we asked more than 2,000 consumers what, if anything, they regret about their current home and most recent home-search process.

… continue reading

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Housing Market 53% Back to Normal

Trulia’s Housing Barometer improved in February, up 20 percentage points from one year ago

Each month, Trulia’s Housing Barometer charts how quickly the housing market is moving back to “normal.”  We summarize three key housing market indicators: construction starts (Census), existing home sales (NAR), and the delinquency-plus-foreclosure rate (LPS First Look). For each indicator, we compare this month’s data to (1) how bad the numbers got at their worst and (2) their pre-bubble “normal” levels.

In February 2013, all three measures held steady or improved:

  • Construction starts notched up. Starts were at a 917,000 annualized rate, up 0.8% month-over-month and up 28% year-over-year. Aside from a December spike in construction, February starts were at the second-highest level since July 2008. And 31% of February construction starts were in multi-unit buildings–compared with the typical level of 20%. Construction starts are now 43% of the way back to normal.
  • Existing home sales also increased. Sales rose slightly to 4.98 million in February from 4.94 million in January. Year-over-year, sales were up 10%. Excluding distressed sales, conventional home sales were up 25% year-over-year in February. Importantly, inventory–which has been very tight and could hold back sales–rose almost 10% in February, which is a bigger jump than the typical seasonal increase. Overall, existing home sales are 70% back to normal.
  • The delinquency + foreclosure rate dropped. The share of mortgages in delinquency or foreclosure dropped from 10.44% in January to 10.18% in February, and is now at its lowest level since October 2008. The combined delinquency + foreclosure rate is 46% back to normal.
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