Multifamily apartment communities have a long-standing tradition of offering extra amenities — such as co-working spaces and on-site markets — to attract renters. Now, with the ever-increasing demand for single-family homes and rentals, single-family communities and neighborhoods are taking a page from the multifamily playbook. Let’s explore how single-family communities are adding game-changing amenities to draw more interest from homebuyers and renters.
What’s Inspiring More Community Amenities?
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which accelerated the remote working trend and increased social distancing concerns, homebuyers and renters have been moving into single-family housing located outside of their city’s center — and they’ve been doing it at a breakneck pace. The suburbs are less populated and more spread out. This helps residents practice social distancing and reduce their concerns about virus transmission. Additionally, many families discover they can afford larger homes that are more comfortable for remote working with plenty of room for every family member to have work and play spaces.
In their efforts to appeal to this growing pool of buyers and renters, communities and HOA associations are ramping up the amenities they offer. While many of these community amenities were becoming popular before the pandemic, they now have extra persuasion power over families who want to ditch city living without sacrificing some of the perks.
Community Amenities at the Forefront
Amenities like playgrounds, parks, function halls, coffee bars, coworking centers, luxury pools, theater spaces, tennis courts, game rooms and fitness clubs are just some of the many perks that forethinking communities are leaning into.
Elevating the Fitness Center
Everyone likes the idea of having a gym nearby that they can access for free. Those who are moving to a new single-family community are making a significant shift in their lives. They could be relocating due to a job or simply moving out of the city to find a larger home that’s remote work-friendly. With the change of location, they may also be interested in making a change in health.
A gym and fitness center is an attractive way to bring new residents into a community because it offers a way to get in shape without driving across town. But to make it appealing, many communities are rethinking the stuffy gym with a few weights and some treadmills, instead creating bigger spaces with innovative equipment. They’re leaving room for group exercise classes like yoga and body sculpting to keep residents motivated and moving.
Outdoor Recreation Areas and Resort-Style Luxury Pools
Not everyone is a gym enthusiast. Some prefer outdoor activities like walking, hiking, biking, basketball, and tennis. Including an extensive network of hiking and biking trails that pass through the neighborhood offers an excellent benefit. These trails give people working from home the ability to take a break and get outside for some fresh air at any time of day.
Tennis courts and basketball courts are also great outdoor recreation amenities — as they give residents a way to meet each other, socialize and enjoy some exercise. Of course, no one will complain when you add a luxury pool into the mix. An extravagant pool area with waterfalls, deck chairs, hot tubs, steam rooms and saunas is a powerful way to catch the eyes of prospective renters and buyers. Also, don’t forget the barbeque and picnic areas.
Amenities for Children
Young working families are particularly interested in moving to larger single-family homes that give them more room to breathe. Indoor and outdoor play areas for children are an excellent way to attract these young working families into your community. And the more play amenities you add, the better. According to this study on playgrounds, the most common play elements and structures were slides and ladders (92% of parks) and swings (81% of parks). But other features meant to support balance, crawling and spinning, and sand and water play, were also in more than 30% of playgrounds. For each additional play element, a park gained about 50% more users.
Outdoor playgrounds aren’t the only thing to consider. Neighborhoods may also want to include indoor play areas and game rooms where kids can frolic while adults work in the coworking center, play tennis, or work out in the gym. Ultimately, child-friendly play areas — located inside the neighborhood — offer parents a lot of peace of mind. They know their children are playing in safe and secure places while also meeting other children they can learn and grow with.
A village center where neighborhood residents can shop at convenience stores, sit down for breakfast, or enjoy local coffee is another excellent amenity. A village center gives residents the ability to take care of last-minute tasks, grab some grocery items if they’re hungry or relax and drink coffee with their neighbors and friends — all without ever leaving the community. You can get creative too. For example, if the village center includes a movie theater, you can host family-friendly movie nights.
Even though the “work-from-home” trend is booming, many remote workers don’t like to work from their homes. They would rather have a place to work quietly and without interruption instead of working inside their residences where spouses and children could be competing for their attention. Driving to a coffee shop brings the potential for interruptions and virus transmission, and subscribing to a coworking space is expensive. So an on-site community co-working space, perhaps with separate, glassed-in offices where people can practice social distancing, will be extremely attractive to many homebuyers.
Consider Adding Smart Home Amenities
These are just some of the many community amenities taking over single-family neighborhoods. Ultimately, it’s best to consider your market’s unique interests and needs, region, and demographics of homebuyers and renters you want to attract. But add smart home automation to the mix as your deciding how to elevate your community.
At PointCentral, we offer sophisticated smart home technologies that can bring any single-family or multifamily residence into the 21st century — and we love how our smart home amenities help home sellers and landlords attract buyers and renters. These technologies — such as smart thermostats, smart HVAC, smart water valves, and smart locks can also lead to cost savings and greater convenience for residents. Want to learn more about smart home technology? Click here and schedule a free demo.