What drives a prospective homeowner to purchase a condominium unit often depends on a host of variables. In this slowly rebounding economy, every dollar spent is scrutinized, and associated values must be transparent. For some, location is the paramount concern, while others might consider property taxes, a swimming pool or the performance of a respective school district. But before plunking down a significant investment, every buyer ponders the amenities offered: Laundry facilities, tennis courts, golf courses, an adjacent hiking trail or access to the city.
What buyers can expect with regard to building perks is often determined by location and price point. For example, in downtown Boston, a luxury condominium might offer hardwood floors, an in-unit washer/dryer, secure garage parking, a 24-hour doorman and a roof-deck terrace. At the same time, a reasonably priced suburban location in Connecticut may have community laundry facilities, include certain utilities, and be in walking distance to parks and transportation, or offer unassigned parking, onsite maintenance and shared recreational space.
“When it comes to what amenities a buyer wants, it is always different,” says Judy Moses, broker-owner of Pathway Home Realty Group. “It changes from region to region,” adds Moses, who works in the Newton and Brookline areas.
In most cases, buyers will forgo one amenity for another. “If a buyer is looking in the middle of the state, they might want open space and the different amenities that come with that,” says Moses. “For those who prefer the city, space is at a premium so the lifestyle of the city becomes the amenity.”
Whether new construction or an existing building, buyers are still in the driver’s seat when it comes to pulling the trigger and investing, but just like other real estate cycles, amenities that were once popular are not always a deal closer—what people want depends on region and demographic. For example, years ago pools were a significant selling point in many buildings but that has changed. “No one is ever in the pool when I am showing a listing,” says Moses. “Pools are not as popular a selling point as they once were,” she adds.