What do Renters Want? Survey Says: Outdoor Space and Pet Amenities

Photo by Laura Kicey.

Photo of rooftop pool at 2116 Chestnut by Laura Kicey.

It might not be surprising that a survey conducted in early spring yielded “outdoor amenities” as the number-one goal for people on the market for a new place. In May, we all want gardens and pools and greenery. By September we could do without the weed killers and the leaf skimmers. By February we don’t ever want to go outside again. But even if the pole position isn’t surprising, the rest of the list is worth some parsing.

Urban Igloo, a real estate resource that pairs renters with landlords in D.C., Marlyand, Virginia and Philly, surveyed 1,010 people last month and asked them to rank amenities they considered important when searching for new homes. Outdoor amenities came away the clear winner with 47 percent of respondents ranking them first. The feature that came in second? “Pet amenities.” Leaving aside the ambiguity of the term for a moment, we have to admit to being surprised that more people want pet services than want fitness amenities, which came in a lowly third. Though if you aren’t interested in walking your dog, you might not be interested in the gym.

Among the renters between 18 and 24 years old, “on-site work from home support” was also a top finisher. Which begs at least a few questions. Chief among them: what exactly constitutes “on-site work from home support?” Wi-fi? We suppose it might include internal business centers, but the last time we checked, the point of working from home was avoiding pants. Which are pretty important if you have to leave your own unit.




Igloo President Rick Gersten says the survey proves that renters are growing in sophistication. Which rings true when you consider amenities offered at most of the new-construction apartment buildings in town. Addresses like 2116 Chestnut and 777 South Broad both offer outdoor spas and rooftop entertaining and it's harder to find a pet-free building than a pet-friendly one lately.

Among the amenities practically no one is interested in? "Services promoting socializing." Because no matter where you live, other people are always the worst.

Urban Igloo Philly

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.