Outdoor Amenities are Trending. Here are the Best Ones to Look for:

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Outdoor Amenities are Trending. Here are the Best Ones to Look for:

Lisa Wright · Sep 30, 2021
close-up view of a luxury apartment pool.

Finding the right apartment takes planning, research, and even a bit of luck. But the first step in beginning an apartment search is knowing what you want — and where to look for it. What better place to start looking than contemporary apartment trends? You can use these as a springboard to help figure out everything you need and want in a new home.

For example, more and more apartment hunters are now upping their search requirements to include outdoor amenities. Gone are the days when renters had to settle for a postage stamp-sized yard or a dreary view. Today, many of the best apartment buildings offer renters amenities like pools, basketball courts, and outdoor gardens, to name a few.

Below are some of the top outdoor amenities to look for when beginning your search for a new apartment:

Fire Pits

Communal fire pit inside an apartment complex.

Over half of the respondents in a 2021 Multifamily Amenities study rated fire pits as the top amenity to look for in housing developments, and the same can easily be said for apartment hunters searching for new and exciting outdoor amenities. Fire pits mean outdoor space and a place where residents to enjoy the world around your home. Plus, who wouldn’t want to sit around a cozy fire at night?

Rooftop Terraces

Many experts say that the recent trend in outdoor amenities is due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine. Apartment dwellers in particular are now searching for places where they can get outside and enjoy the fresh air, rather than always being cooped up indoors. That’s probably why rooftop terraces are increasing in popularity, too, as they’re incredibly multipurpose, and with a little creativity, can function as everything from a communal space to socialize in to a work from home haven for remote workers. Many rental companies are also upping the ante to include bonuses like outdoor projection screens that further encourage residents to mix and mingle.

Community Gardens

Unfortunately, many apartment dwellers (especially in cities) don’t have the yard space to have gardens of their own. However, with more renters desiring larger outdoor spaces, many rental companies have started designating on-property space for community gardens. Anything that gives residents a connection to nature is highly desirable these days, and a community garden is great for encouraging resident cooperation while promoting socializing and friendly relationships.

Sports Amenities

Basketball hoop in large apartment complex

Recreational amenities are also becoming increasingly popular, as renters are increasingly looking for ways to get exercise at home. While indoor gyms are nice, outdoor sports amenities like basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts are even better because they give residents a way to have fun while staying active. Even a designated spot for hackey sacks or horseshoes is preferable to staying inside on a beautiful day, and these areas are doubly attractive to renters who like to entertain.

Outdoor Pool

Though having an outdoor pool means more upkeep and cost for landlords and rental companies, many are seeing the value of adding a pool to their property, as it’s often a huge incentive for potential renters. However, if you’re looking for one of these bad boys, you’ll most likely only find them in larger complexes, so be prepared to share your pool time with at least a few others.

Patio/Lounge Area

Outdoor seating area/lounge for a luxury apartment building.

Many apartment hunters are simply looking for a small outdoor space to relax and breathe some fresh air. A shared patio/lounge area is an attractive incentive for those who just want to get outside every now and then. When arranged correctly, a table and some lounge chairs, some greenery, and small, creative touches are usually all it takes to bring some life to an apartment building. These outdoor spaces also give residents a great way to interact with one another.

Playground/Play Area

An outdoor playground is the perfect outdoor amenity for renters with young children. A small, green area for kids to stretch their legs is often all renters are looking for, but a full-fledged play set with a jungle gym, swings, and a slide promotes further exercise and engagement. A play area is also a great spot for kids to socialize in a place where parents can easily keep an eye on them — in their own backyard!

Other Popular Outdoor Amenities

While the above amenities are the most on-trend right now, there are lots of others rising in popularity. These include:

  • Hot Tub/Jacuzzi
  • Picnic Area with Grill or Barbecue
  • Covered Parking Area
  • Dog Park
  • Private Balcony
  • Putting Green

Recent trends in apartment living have shown that more and more apartment hunters are searching for outdoor amenities — partly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the desire to gather outdoors safely without leaving their homes. Additionally, outdoor amenities like pools, community gardens, patios, and basketball courts give residents a chance to interact and socialize with their neighbors, promoting a sense of community that is attractive to many residents. While the trends in outdoor amenities are likely to change before long, one thing is certain: outdoor spaces are always a bonus for apartment hunters everywhere.

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