Sales of co-ops versus condos may have rebounded this past quarter, as noted by CurbedNY and the NY Times, but that doesn't mean co-ops and older condos aren't suffering from an inferiority complex: To keep up with fresh young condos flaunting in-unit washers-and-dryers, the cougars of NYC real estate continue to nip and tuck their house rules around washer-dryers, reports Habitat Magazine in its April issue.
The article notes that of the 20% of Manhattan sales and rental listings on StreetEasy.com advertising an in-unit washer-dryer, condos outnumbered co-ops by more than 3 to 1. However, the story's poster child is actually the 28-year-old, 52-story Museum Tower condo--underscoring the fact that vintage is more important than the co-op/condo distinction when it comes to laundry convenience.
The Museum Tower board banned washer-dryers back in the early 90s because the drain lines were "unable to handle great volumes of soapy water cascading down dozens of flights, and...[d]irty, soapy water bubbled into toilets, sinks and tubs on the building's lower floors."
Flash forward to the recent condo boom. To stay competitive, the board allowed high-efficiency washing machines, which use dramatically less water and soap. Washers must also sit in an overflow pan with a leak detector that shuts off the water supply, water lines have to be braided stainless steel instead of rubber, and residents agree to give up their machines if problems arise.
Habitat noted one interesting nuance that may hamper buildings wishing to join the washer-dryer revolution: "Boards locked into long-term contracts [with laundry room vendors] might run into problems if allowing washers and dryers in apartments siphons too much money from the laundry contractor, who frequently has a guaranteed minimum income written into the contract."
(Habitat Mag; CurbedNY; NY Times)