Apartment TrendsGenerations Differ On What Is Most Important To Include In An Apartment

August 9, 2021

Boomers complain that millennials are entitled, living in their parents’ basements, and don’t know the meaning of a hard day’s work. Millennials fire back that Boomers are out of touch with the realities of the modern world and are obsessed with a society that no longer exists. The world spins around, and another day passes. Many of us have now heard some of the tired old tropes about both generations and the conflicts between them. While we may find ourselves sympathetic to one side or the other of the argument (usually depending on which generation we belong to), the important lesson learned is that generations truly are different from one another, and they do put extra value and emphasis on particular things when looking at virtually any product or service.

Today, we want to look at what counts as valuable in the eyes of every generation from Gen Z to Baby Boomers in regards to amenities in an apartment. You may be surprised by some of the insights the data reveals about what is truly important to each cohort. As it turns out, we may have more in common than seems at first glance.

A Washer And Dryer Reigns Supreme

Moving into a new apartment entails saving up a significant amount of money for moving expenses. Not only does the new renter need to prepare for the cost of monthly rent coming out of their paychecks, but they must also consider the fact that they will likely need to put down a deposit to reserve the apartment in the first place. Many landlords require the first and last month’s rent as a down payment to get a new tenant into the building.

After all of that, many new tenants are stretched pretty thin as far as their budget is concerned. They may not have the extra capital to purchase a washer and dryer set to use in their new living space. Home-living website thespruce.com gives us a ballpark price range for what one can expect to pay if they need to purchase a washer and dryer set:

You can expect to pay between $500 and $2,000 for a washer-dryer set, depending on whether you’re shopping for a front load, top load, or stackable set. Top load washers and their matching dryers have often been the most affordable options. However super-capacity, top-loading washer and dryer sets can quickly climb in price. Front-load washer and dryer sets range in price as well, with budget pairs starting under $1,000 and high-capacity laundry pairs costing up to $2,000.

Any individual with that kind of money lying around is in a very privileged position indeed. Given that so few people have that kind of funding, it is proven in the data that a washer and dryer set is the most desired amenity of those surveyed across each generation. About 26% of Gen Z listed this as their most important amenity. Ditto for millennials. It was about 25% for Gen X, and just a notch lower than that at about 23% for Baby Boomers. It seems that no matter who you are, the washer/dryer combo being included is a winner.

Smart Locks And Thermostat Find Favor With Unlikely Pairing

One might reasonably assume that anything that is a priority to someone from Gen Z would not matter all that much to a Baby Boomer, and vice-versa, but the data shows that is not always the case. One surprising area that the two generations seem to agree on is smart locks and thermostats. It seems that Gen Z sees the appeal of smart locks and thermostats from a technological point of view and wants to have them in their apartments, while Baby Boomers may be more likely to have the disposable income to have actually purchased these items for themselves. If they have purchased them and like them, then they may pass the word on to other people in their generation about how great they are, and that word-of-mouth marketing can make a difference.

The breakdown on the percentage of each generation that listed these devices as the most important feature in an apartment is as follows:

  • Gen Z: 12%
  • Millennials: 5%
  • Gen X: 6%
  • Baby Boomers: 8%

These numbers sound small, but remember this is the percent of each age group that listed this category as the most important amenity in an apartment for them. A much higher percentage of each group likely would enjoy having smart locks and thermostats included in their apartment even if they do not consider them to be the most important amenity overall.

An Extra Bedroom Matters More With Age

People don’t necessarily value having an extra bedroom in their living space until they are a little older according to the data. There is a certain logic to this that makes a lot of sense. A younger person is less likely to have children or close family members that they need to provide extra space for. Younger people are also typically most interested in affordability in their living space, and that means they are often okay with foregoing the extra bedroom if it means saving on the monthly rent.

Only about 5% of Gen Z reported that an extra bedroom was the most important feature for them. Many of those who say this have listed the extra bedroom as a necessity because they intend to bring one or more roommates into the apartment to make the rent more affordable. Baby Boomers and Gen X are more concerned with getting an extra bedroom to allow themselves the space they need to house another loved one that they care about.

Overall, there are not as many differences in what people value in apartment amenities based on which generation they belong to as we might initially think. Many of the differences boil down to the values that an individual has, and how they were raised to think about things. Someone who has strong family ties might value the extra bedroom much more highly than someone just starting out in life. Another person who has been around technology their whole life might find smart thermostats highly appealing. Whatever the case may be, there is far less disagreement among the generations about what matters in their homes than we might think.

Please contact us for the latest data and insights about various generations and how they view apartment living and what matters to them to have in their apartments.

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