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By Trulia
November 10, 2015

If you’re searching for a rental — whether you’re looking for apartments for rent in Seattle, WA or Chicago, IL — you’re very likely to come across a lot of apartment amenities that simply aren’t worth the money. Really, how often are you likely to use the sauna, and who wants a wobbly pool table with bent cue sticks? But some amenities really are worth the cost — these six top the list.

1. On-site fitness center

The ease and convenience of an on-site fitness center means you have fewer excuses not to stay in shape. In Minneapolis, MN, where the winters can be brutal, you’ll always get your workout in when you live somewhere such as the Mill District City Apartments, which feature a large fitness center, pool, and sauna. Of course, this applies only if the gym equipment is in good condition, and if it’s not so crowded that you can’t get on a treadmill. If this feature is important to you, stop by and see the place for yourself during peak workout times before deciding.

2. Doorperson or porter

A doorperson isn’t just about feeling important or having someone to greet you each morning or evening. This person is also a valuable security feature. If you were a criminal, would you choose to cause trouble somewhere such as the View 14 Apartments in Washington, DC, where someone is on watch 24 hours a day, or opt for the easier target down the street? While a doorperson isn’t the same thing as a security guard, they may pose enough of an obstacle to deter crime.

3. Better location

If you can cut 10 or 15 minutes off your commute over the course of a year, this is a real savings. If you’re working in uptown Charlotte, NC, it may be worth the extra cost to live somewhere such as the Skyhouse Uptown Apartments, which are blocks away from the financial district — saving you from fighting traffic every day. Also, consider an apartment that’s convenient to your favorite shopping centers and restaurants.

4. “Free” Wi-Fi

If you live in a building such as the Reside on Clarendon in Chicago, IL, and have access to complimentary Wi-Fi, you can lower your cellphone data plan expense and save money every month. Plus, you’ll have Wi-Fi for as many devices as you own, and you don’t have to worry about charges for sharing your data plan or overage charges. In the long run, it’s cheaper to add this to your rent than to pay individually for each of these services all year.

5. Storage

If you aren’t the DIY type, you might consider renting an extra storage closet on-site, typically in the parking garage or basement. Or look for an apartment complex such as The Hudson Apartments in Seattle, WA, that offers complimentary bike storage. Besides providing quick access to your bike and seasonal decorations, an on-site storage closet may save you from looking for another bedroom, which can cost more than an additional $500 in rent per month.

6. Pet services

Pet day care, dog walking, grooming, and other pet services can be expensive if you have to hire someone to do them. Including this with your rent is often cheaper and more convenient. More apartment communities are following this trend, set by apartments such as One North of Boston in Chelsea, MA, and are adding pet day care to their amenities. One caveat: Check out the service providers before agreeing to this arrangement. If the services are well-managed, it’s a valuable perk.

Any amenity you’ll use is a good value for you. The key is to avoid paying for amenities that aren’t going to directly save you money or give you added convenience.

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