Issue 30, March 2011: Little Things Mean a Lot

Little conveniences are becoming big; amenities that were an afterthought and designed to improve a resident’s quality of life have become “necessities.” Sometimes the desire for the new “necessities” takes precedence over the quality of the entire apartment and becomes part of the driving force in finding one’s “ideal” home.

Some buyers are fixated on specific items, while others want a combo package. In numerous instances, I am experiencing how relevant these necessities are becoming and how they impact the new market. These new “necessities” can increase the value and price of the apartment and provide an easier sale. Often a buyer will pay a premium for this convenience. Conversely, the lack of these amenities / “necessities” can be a deal breaker.

Some of the more common of the new “necessities” include:

  • A half-bath, so guests won’t trample thru the master bedroom
  • A washer/dryer, whether in a studio, a one-bedroom, this is extremely convenient.
  • Additional storage space in the building.
  • A small terrace or deck, even one 2’x 3’ that provides and creates a feeling of open space.

Interestingly, these small “necessities” seemed to have taken a back seat in recent years to some of the more heavily promoted amenities in newer developments, such as fitness centers, Spa services, lounges that offered spectacular views coupled with fashionable brands to jumpstart the identity of the project. However, it would seem that at this time, the small “necessities” have now become the marquee player and equalizer providing greater impact on a person’s quality of life. This has no longer become an amenity but a necessity. This is now a make or break for the buyer. For example, many buyers, who said they would only move into a building with a fitness center, rarely use it; however those with a washer/dryer invariably use it, and cannot do without. These “necessities” are more prevalent in newer projects, where the developer catered to customer wants. Little things do have a big impact, so the question is, what will be the next quality of life item that becomes the necessity?