When comparing apartments, many people set a budget for the monthly rent they can afford and don't spend a lot of time thinking about the other expenses that can vary between apartments. However, some money-saving amenities may create a situation in which it actually costs you less overall to live in an apartment where the rent is slightly higher. Keep an eye out for these four amenities, in particular, which can save you plenty of cash.
A Business Center
Do you cringe at the price of ink cartridges whenever you need to buy one? Buying a new printer or a comfortable desk is not cheap either. Some apartment communities are beginning to offer business centers to their residents. If you regularly work at home or print a lot of materials, this could save you money on supplies and equipment. Some communities even have conference rooms in their business centers, which may save you from having to rent one if you want to arrange your own meetings.
Free, Off-Street Parking
In some more rural areas where parking is plentiful, this may not be too important. In cities, however, street parking fees can add up quickly. Even if you only pay a dollar per day to park your car on the street, that's $30 per month or $365 per year. Park in an off-street parking lot provided by your apartment community, and not only will you save on parking fees, but your car insurance premiums will likely decrease, too. Your car is less prone to damage when you're not parking on the street.
A Grilling Area
At first glance, it may not seem like a grilling area would save you any money. Consider, however, how you can use the area for entertainment when friends come to visit. Instead of spending countless dollars at a restaurant, you can buy a few bags of groceries and enjoy a more affordable afternoon of picnics and outdoor fun.
A Washer and Dryer in the Unit
Most renters don't realize just how much having a washer and dryer in their apartment allows them to save. Many reason that they're paying for laundry either way – through the utility bills, or to a laundromat. However, the difference in cost is substantial. The average cost to wash a load of clothes at home is around 36 cents, and the cost of drying an average load is about 40 cents. How much does your local laundromat charge? Most are about $3 to wash and dry a load. You can save hundreds of dollars per year in an apartment that comes with a washer and dryer.
If you spot an apartment with one or more of these money-saving amenities, you should strongly consider it, even if the monthly rent is a bit higher than for other units you're looking at. Keep these tips in mind as you work with an experienced real estate agent like Brian Adamski, REALTOR®.