Why Neighborhood Amenities Should Play a Bigger Role in Your Renting Decision

Beyond the four walls of your apartment is an exciting neighborhood and community to enjoy and explore. The famous catchphrase ‘Location, Location, Location’ is true to its name - where your home is located can positively impact your lifestyle. 

There are several determinants to consider when settling into a new home. Here are some standouts features to consider before you sign the lease.

1. Public Transportation

If you’re looking for an apartment in the city, proximity to public transportation is generally at the top of the list. Parking is abhorrently expensive and gridlock traffic is another headache. City-dwellers rely on public transportation to get to work, to experience weekend fun and also as a way to reach the airport and sporting events. When considering an apartment, it’s a wise idea to see how close a public transportation route will be. 

2. Public Parks

Taking a mental break by strolling through a public park can be a cheap and effective therapy session. Birds chirping, fresh air, bike trails, ponds to ponder by and athletic fields to enjoy all can bring up your mood and outlook. Having access to public parks and outdoor recreation is definitely one for the win column for apartment choices.

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

3. Fitness Centers

If you’re a fitness guru or just a casual treadmill-walker, having fitness options close to home is something to be on the look-out for. Some buildings offer gyms, but most don’t. Not everyone has the budget to be a member of elite sports clubs that offer every imaginable fitness amenity. There are small training centers, yoga and barre studios, and specialized fitness studios that lean heavily on personal training. Having these centers nearby will give you an incentive to use them. If they aren’t close to home it’s very easy to make excuses about getting active.

4. Community Centers

Most of us know the wonderful benefits of community centers. As children, we enjoyed sports leagues, the pool and meeting with friends for after-school frolicking. As adults, community centers can be just as personally enriching. Dues are likely more affordable than pricey and lavish fitness clubs. The pools are amazing and there are evening and weekend clubs and leagues you can join. There are also fitness classes and even on-site babysitting.

5. Shopping

A great home-base includes all types of shopping destinations. Supermarkets, big-box retailers, department stores, and independent shops not only support the economy, your patronage supports the local community. Not everything can be bought online. Having a plethora of shopping options is something you may not realize should be a priority, but if you’re throwing a dinner party and forget the coffee creamer, it’s nice to know you can make a quick visit to the grocery store around the corner before your guests arrive for an evening of fun and festivities.

Photo by Myke Simon on Unsplash

6. Restaurants and Entertainment Venues

Having culinary hotspots around can raise your apartment location from good to great. It’s so nice to be able to walk outside and pick a restaurant that’s just a short stroll away. Outdoor dining is especially nice in warmer weather. Plus, when you’re close to public transit, there are endless choices in restaurants. Take-out is another convenience most apartment-dwellers know well. Delivery is easy and affordable. As far as stepping out for entertainment, movie theaters, bowling alleys, bars, theaters and other venues are fun to enjoy. 

7. Cultural Points of Interest

Museums, universities, historical sights and theaters are wonderful attributes that can make your apartment choice shine. Just knowing that culture is right outside your door can be inspiring. The fun is to discover culture in unexpected places. 

Bringing it Home

The amenities of the neighborhood where you live should offer proximity to public transportation, shopping, dining, and places to enjoy that make a creative and healthy mark on your life. 

Whether it’s a favorite neighborhood dining spot that make exceptional blueberry pancakes, or a friendly tavern where the bartender knows your name or the community center around the block where you take a kick-boxing class Saturday mornings – look for amenities like this to make your home a place that inspires you both home and away from home. 

Erica Lamberg is a freelance business and personal finance writer. 

*Contributions are solely guest opinions and don’t reflect the opinions of or are endorsed by WYL, our staff, clients or other interested parties.