Buy Curious

When a communal laundry room just won't do

By Leah Hochbaum Rosner  | March 3, 2016 - 8:59AM

Tribeca three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom condo, $4.395 million: Located at 5 Franklin Place between Franklin Street and White Street, this unit is the first resale of a new development in Tribeca. The apartment has a walk-in laundry room with an oversized washer and dryer, lots of closet space, oak hardwood floors, and a kitchen that features two Bosch ovens. 

Aren't fond of washing your delicates in your building’s communal laundry room? Citi Habitats agent Morgan Turkewitz tells you why you might want to give a place with a private laundry room a spin in this week’s Buy Curious.


An apartment with an actual laundry room in it (like in the suburbs!).


“While common in other cities, washers and dryers are relatively rare amenities in New York City apartments—except in the higher price points—a fact that comes as a big surprise to a lot of my out-of-town clients,” says Turkewitz. Most folks either drag their overflowing laundry bags downstairs to communal laundry rooms or schlep them outside to the nearest laundromat. Others send their clothes out to one of the many laundry services that operate in the city. 

In fact, it’s so rare to have a private laundry room in a unit that Turkewitz believes that it “would cause an apartment to trade for around 5 percent more than a similar unit without the appliances.”

In an attempt to make this chore less painful, Turkewitz says she has seen many apartments equipped with a combination washer-and-dryer unit. “However, they are often situated in the kitchen and I find that many buyers do not like them [since] the load capacity is too small and clothes can take far too long to dry," she adds. "In addition, these machines are usually not big enough to accommodate linens and bedding. For bulky items, residents still need to use larger machines in the building’s common laundry room or use a laundry service.” 

And while many folks would be happy with any kind of in-unit laundry, Turkewitz says that in her experience “most people want a stackable washer and dryer with proper venting to the outside versus a combo unit that both washes and dries clothes.” She says “a bad washer-dryer is sometimes worse than none at all,” having had clients who’ve actually taken out “an inefficient or poor-quality washer-dryer to make more closet space… especially if there are nice laundry facilities in the building.”

For many people, the next best thing to having a washer and dryer in their apartment is a unit that’s located on the same floor as the common laundry. This setup isn’t all that common, “but it does exist and is a huge perk for buyers,” she says. Buildings that offer laundry facilities on every floor include The Greenwich Club Residences in the Financial District, The Kingsley in Lenox Hill, and The Thomas Eddy in Chelsea.

But, if you’re determined to have in-unit laundry, you’re going to have to make sure the apartment’s plumbing can handle it. While many older buildings may seem like they have more than enough space in which to install a washer and dryer, oftentimes “the ancient plumbing can’t handle the additional flow of soapy water,” says Turkewitz, so the building won’t allow them.

“In new construction condos, it's very common to find a stackable washer and dryer in each unit, but not an actual laundry room,” says Turkewitz. “The trend in new developments is to build more efficient (read: smaller) apartments, while providing more [luxurious] common areas and lavish amenities. As a result, developers are not willing to sacrifice the space in each apartment to create a laundry room. Instead, they either place the washer and dryer in a closet or include it as an extra appliance in the kitchen.”

"Many homeowners prefer to use the square footage for extra closet space rather than a suburban-style laundry room," she says.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. “These full laundry rooms are most commonly found in high-end properties or in units where a powder room or second bath was converted for that purpose,” says Turkewitz. “Another option to gain in-unit laundry is to install a washer and dryer in a closet that is adjacent to a bathroom or kitchen where the water line is accessible (as long as the building permits it!). However, this setup is likely to create more of a laundry closet than a real room.” 

Townhouses are a different story altogether. Says Turkewitz: “While older townhomes may still have the appliances stuck in dingy, un-renovated basements, overall due to their larger square footage, ‘real’ laundry rooms are relatively common in this type of residence.”

Check out these apartments with private laundry rooms in them:

Tribeca three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom condo, $8.5 million: Located at 30 Park Place between Broadway and Church Street, this private residence in the Four Seasons Hotel is pure luxury. There’s an eat-in kitchen, a family room, a master bedroom suite with two exposures, two walk-in closets, and views of the Midtown skyline and the East River. There’s also a top-of-the-line private laundry room. In addition, residents have access to the hotel’s many amenities, including a spa, a salon, a pool and an attended parking garage.

Upper East Side six-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bathroom condo, $8.75 million: This duplex at 300 East 77th Street between First and Second Avenues has been completely renovated. There’s an open custom chef’s kitchen with stainless steel appliances. The living and dining rooms have heated floors. There’s a grand marble staircase leading up to a corner master suite equipped with an electric fireplace. And of course, there’s also a separate laundry room.

Turtle Bay three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom condo, $4.35 million: The laundry room in this 2,405-square-foot three-bedroom condo at 301 East 50th Street between First and Second Avenues features a side-by-side washer and dryer. The apartment has high ceilings, a multi-zone heating and cooling system, motorized shades and multiple closets. The kitchen has professional-grade appliances and Caesarstone countertops. The full-service building offers a slew of amenities, including a 24-hour doorman and concierge, a fitness center, a spa, bike storage, cold storage and a pet grooming room. A 421A tax abatement is pending.

West Village two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo, $2.75 million: This unit at 325 West 13th Street between Hudson Street and Eighth Avenue has dark cherry floors and 10-foot ceilings. There’s an open L-shaped stainless steel kitchen with granite countertops, a master bedroom with two large walk-in closets and a second Queen-sized bedroom.  There’s also a small laundry room.


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