A recent StreetEasy.com discussion on how far in advance to begin apartment shopping emphasizes the importance of taking time to distinguish the must-haves from the can-live-withouts.
Fair enough, but in a city where in-unit washer-dryers arouse bloodlust, we were intrigued to hear one owner declare that a washer-dryer was not only expendable, but far less important than finding a walk-in shower:
"I realized [a washer-dryer] really wasn't a must as long as the building's laundry room was fine, dandy, plentiful, clean, and working....The new must-have was a walk-in shower. I'm sick of those bathtub showers with a curtain, or worse yet, a moldy slide-door. I wanted a bona fide, 2-person, non-pole-vaulting-walk-in shower. No, I didn't want to renovate. This must-have is tough to find in a pre-war. It was tops on my list."
Another commenter agrees that there are fine tradeoffs to be made for an in-unit washer/dryer: "I went from needing w/d in unit to having a decent laundry room (hah, now I send my laundry out, but that's irrelevant), and in exchange, took a pre-war w/ an elevator and dishwasher. I knew I wanted no doormen, but wanted a vigilant live-in-super who accepts packages. It helped me disregard a lot of the noise that brokers like to write in their descriptions."