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Why do some co-ops not allow W/Ds in apartments? I understand some don't have space/piping required but assume you have a windowed bathroom or kitchen with plenty of space as well as the pipes and ventilation needed why would some buildings not allow them? And what would be the discount for an apt that does not allow a W/D? Still struggling with the idea of spending $1mln+ (and obviously the higher the price the more ridiculous) and not being able to have my own W/D and having to trek down to the basement to either find a broken machine or a waiting line.
the pipes that were put into the building may not be able to handle the force and amount of water that some washing machine put out.
give you an example.
you purchase a new steam wash front loader that takes little water. it puts out 5 gallons of water per wash cycle.
your father has a perfectly good top loader from 10 yrs ago that you put in. it puts out 15 gallons of water per wash cycle.
now mulitply the 2 examples above by 5 and you see the result.
the bigger issue is the force that these machines push the water out. there's a very good chance that if you do not replace the main drain pipe a few feet down from where the washer is, it will break the pipe sooner then later.
Understood. Thank you. So what kind of discount would you put on the apt without the W/D all else being equal?
I wouldn't put any discount on it. I do not understand the obsession with having a W/D in the apartment. I had one for a few years and almost never used it. If you are single, use a wash and fold service, and spend your nights and weekends enjoying the city. If you have kids, chances are you have a housekeeper or nanny to help out. Even when I had a W/D in the apartment, the housekeeper chose to use the laundry in the basement so she could do it all at once. W/D is only useful if you have a stay at home spouse that actually does the laundry themselves. My guess is that is pretty rare in Manhattan. I have relatives that pulled out their W/D so they could use the space as an extra closet. People moving into Manhattan from the burbs tend to view a W/D in the apartment as a must have. I think they are wildly overvalued.
i wouldn't live without a washer/dryer in the apartment. having 2 kids, we do laundry on daily basis. when i was in a coop that did not allow them, i had a small one (first Haeir, then Malber) that we used. this made the weekend laundry run much faster.
I would not discount for lack of w/d, but I would probably not buy a unit without w/d. We use ours every other day and run 4 loads on the weekend. It has improved the quality of our lives and the cleanliness and durability of our clothes dramatically.
"If you have kids, chances are you have a housekeeper or nanny to help out."
I think it was on this site that somebody put it so well: being a slave to the spin cycle.
having a full size w/d, or even access to three of them in the basement, is a lot different than doing laundry in a stackable w/d. we have the latter now, and i'd go back to the PCV system in a heartbeat. i have the time, usually, so i have been doing it, but i'm sorely tempted to start sending laundry out again.
I have no kids and would never buy either a co-op or any apartment without a washer/dryer.
A slight majority of Manhattan parents surveyed would trade their children for in-unit w/d. Many would add cash to the deal.
We have no kids and I grew up in an apt without W/D. Now that I have one I would never have an apartment without. Being able to wash my gym clothes every day is heavenly!
I understand you explanation regarding force of the water. However, wouldn't the same argument hold for dishwashers as well, which are almost always allowed? How much is the force they use?
I'm guessing somewhere between $20K - $50K on a $1-1.5m apartment.
The harder question is what the relative pricing should be between A) w/d not allowed; B) w/d allowed but hookup not installed; C) w/d hookup installed. A < B < C, but by how much is B < C. I'm guessing a lot, because installing a w/d can be actually quite costly if you don't have the electrical or plumbing in place (for our apt we had to move a wall), and it is a significant renovation that involves DoB permiting and board approvals.
The fact that some posters here wouldn't use a w/d is kind of irrelevant to the valuation question... I probably would use terrace space too much but that doesn't mean that it would be free.
I don't think we could live without an in unit w/d. And we don't have to.
the dishwasher is hooked up to the same drain as the sink and hold a few gallons of water. i also don't think that the pressure of dishwasher and volumen of water would be anywhere near a top loader.
As a single person, I must say one of my must haves in buying was w/d or the ability to install. I do my own laundry, thank you very much. I don't like the idea of someone going through my clothes. Even though the building is old (1940), they recently changed the rules to allow W/D. Without that, I would not be purchasing this place. I've already said that they'll have to haul my dead body out of this apartment.
Prewar buildings had double sinks (in the kitchen or scullery) with one side that was extremely deep, and was for hand-laundry and/or soaking dishes. When done, the maid pulled the plug and down went the water & suds -- full speed ahead, probably about 30 gallons of it.
Modern portable washers are meant to drain into the kitchen sink. Does the water collect in the sink before going down the drain? No problem ... allow portable washing machines. Does the water go right down? No problem ... allow permanent hookup of washing machines.
The ban on washers in NY apartments is a cultural issue; nothing more.
I'll take wash and fold ($1 a pound). Once you add in purchase price, installation, detergents, electricity, maintenance, re-purchase, not to mention the value of your time, etc. I wonder how cost effective it is.
Unless of course you are doing a hundred pounds of laundry a week. LOL.
Wash and fold is great if you live in a doorman building where you can take a bag of laundry downstairs and it magically appears the next day. In a non-doorman building, it becomes a major pain in the neck.
In smaller, non-doorman co-ops, I think it's a good strategic choice to allow washer and dryers. Lack of W/D, especially if there are no communal units in the building, can be a big purchase inhibitor.
The fact that a building is a coop isn't the reason that washer-dryers aren't allowed. It's almost always the age of the building and the condition of its plumbing. I used to live in a pre-war condo and W/D's weren't allowed because of a concern that its old pipes couldn't handle the stress (detergent suds, hot water, drainage, other things).
We now live in a pre-war coop and W/D's are allowed, plus there is also a laundry in the basement. Like a few others here, I wouldn't ever buy a unit without a washer-dryer -- in fact we felt so strongly about this that we had it written into our purchase contract that a W/D was permitted and also insisted on a letter from the coop's managing agent that this was true. I want the flexibility of when I do laundry, the sanitary control (who is touching my stuff?), and also control over the type of detergent used, the heat of the water, mixing of whites/lights/colors, and how hot the dryer is. I have nice things -- clothes, bed and table linens, towels -- and how they are laundered makes a huge impact on how garments and linens look and how long they last. Plus it's not any more work to throw a load of laundry into the washer while I'm getting ready for work or making dinner than it is to pack up the laundry to take to a wash and fold place. I just don't see the big deal.
As for value, W/D's are increasingly common and to not have one in a place you own, I think, would definitely be a minus when it comes to re-sale. I'd think it's getting to be the same as if your apartment didn't have a dishwasher -- no longer a luxury but an expected appliance.
"It's almost always the age of the building and the condition of its plumbing." ... no.
"because of a concern that its old pipes couldn't handle the stress (detergent suds, hot water, drainage, other things)." ... yes, because of a concern. Not a rational basis. It's a cultural problem.
"the sanitary control (who is touching my stuff?)"
Do you say the same thing when you go to a restaurant and eat food cooked and touched by strangers and eat with dinnerware and silverware previously used by strangers?
"control over the type of detergent used, the heat of the water, mixing of whites/lights/colors, and how hot the dryer is."
How about hotels, resorts, cruises, do you have sanitary control over the linens and towels you use? Do you have control over the water temps, type of detergents, and who touched them?
If you have the first concern about laundry, the second and third seem they would be much more of an issue.
Concerns need to be rational.
The fact that you work and do the laundry while cooking dinner makes you a rarity indeed!
I wouldn't put any discount on it. I do not understand the obsession with having a W/D in the apartment. I had one for a few years and almost never used it. If you are single, use a wash and fold service, and spend your nights and weekends enjoying the city."
That works if you have no problem with your clothes being tossed into filthy washers, "cleaned" with the lowest-quality and cheapest detergents, and packed so tightly into the washers that they don't really get clean in the first place.
Exactly as you said "if you are single". But maybe I should rephrase the question to specifically single out the 2-3+ bedroom market with price range of say $1.5-$2M+. Specifically for a family to purchase a family home where a W/D is essential (which some day you may learn). A previous comment mentioned the fact that most NYC families either don't have both parents working so one is able to do the laundry or have nanny/help who can. Similarly, some day you may realize that that sounds good on paper but far from reality. If said spouse does actually have an hour or 2 of free time I'm sure the last thing they want to do is spend down in a basement doing laundry. Also that free time (at least early on) the children are still home (napping) and you are not about to leave them in the apt alone for any amount of time. And I guess my point is if you are spending that kind of money (NYC Premium)one would think they wouldn't have to. And I agree with another previous post that W/Ds are becoming more a staple appliance rather than luxury (dishwasher) and therefore without would be a discount rather than with = premium paid. I just find it hard to justify top end pricing for a 3 bedroom (family) without a W/D as most families would want a W/D in the apt.
"If said spouse does actually have an hour or 2 of free time I'm sure the last thing they want to do is spend down in a basement doing laundry."
Assuming it JUST takes an hour or two, and there isn't already a line of people ahead of you waiting to use the handful of washers. Sometimes just the *waiting* and *sharing* can blow another two or three hours.
Count me as another one who would not purchase an apt w/o a washer/dryer. And please note those tiny little combo toy washer/dryers don't count. I honestly can't figure out why some people/developers install them.
"I honestly can't figure out why some people/developers install them."
Because they're better than NO washer or dryer at all.
Going back to the original question, buildings that have common-use washers and dryers make money from them, so in a co-op or condo that helps keep maintenance or CCs down.
Then there's the plumbing issue, which as alanhart says might be mythical in some buildings.
Then there's the venting issue. If you finagle something out a window, then neighbors can't open theirs.
Whatever the reasons, if you have to have your own, then rent or buy accordingly. Just another of the compromises we all make.
"That works if you have no problem with your clothes being tossed into filthy washers"
This is the overwhelming issue for me and why I could never live without one. Even in prior apartments that didn't have w/d, I would lug my laundry to my weekend place so that I could wash it in a controlled environment.
You just don't know what filthy, disgusting habits need to be cleansed from peoples' clothes on a given day....why expose your fine washables if you don't have to?
"You just don't know what filthy, disgusting habits need to be cleansed from peoples' clothes on a given day"
Same issue with dry cleaning and as I mentioned above, restaurants and hotels.
If you don't patronize any of the above than I can respect your standards.
i used to not have a W/D but would never go back unless it was a building that has an unrestricted use policy and alot of machines available..nothing more annoying than getting locked out of the laundry room or having to 'wait' around for machines. As for sending it away, it works fine if you have a doorman/concierge.
i don't think i would discount for not having a W/D..its more of a minimum requirement or not for an apartment.
RENY, i will just in a pool to take a swim. i don't want to live in a pool.
most people are willing to go to a restaurant or hotel, but don't want to live like that the rest of the time.
RENY: On balance, the amount of filth needing removal from a dress shirt or other outer garment in the dry-cleaning process is not the same as what one would find in articles of clothing located closer to the body (a certain blue dress circa 1998 notwithstanding) which is typically what gets sent out to a wash&fold or thrown into a public washer.
I can't control what goes on in hotels or restaurants and I use them at my discretion. To the extent that I have had the luck or ability to find an apt with a w/d is just a way for me to control what I can. Respect it or not; I don't care.
just imagine throwing in your clothing into a washer that just had the cat or dog bed that went through it. or the sneakers of a contractor/painter/etc. or the dirty rags that the cleaning lady used.
get the picture?
you can be one of those obsessive people who will run an empty hot wash before putting their clothing into the washer.
or the load of dirty towels from the massage parlor around the corner?
My personal nightmare is the slipcovers from the furniture from the Incontinence Clinic Waiting Area.
I don't usually go in for the hippie type stuff, but my personal nightmare is any kind of scent (whether rotting funeral bouquets or the smell of Zen or rain or fear or whatever the marketing people think up next), and all those unnecessary silicones and horrible stuff like that. Sadly, that stuff won't wash out of laundry-room machines even with a hot-water chlorine-laden empty run.
We're fortunate to have soft water in NYC, so all we need is detergent that will rinse out completely.
Nonetheless, for me the main issue is convenience, modernity, and a refusal to succumb to superstitious small-mindedness that masquerades as scientific precaution. Where would we be if coops prohibited electricity for fear that someone will fail to screw in a lightbulb all the way, thus allowing electricity to leak out?
Sign the petition!
you all think you are jerry seinfeld. alas, we are all breathing each other's exhales
i too hate fabric softeners--seems like they leave some sort of silicone grease on the clothes
Nothing a sack of cement can't fix.
"i too hate fabric softeners--seems like they leave some sort of silicone grease on the clothes"
They do, as a matter of fact. That's how they "soften" the clothes.
I stopped using commercial fabric softener after my frustration with my dish towels: when I used them to dry the glasses and dishes, they felt nice and soft, but they didn't absorb the water. At all! I held a glass up to the light and passed the towel over it, and all it did was move the water droplets around, and leave a greasy smear behind. Disgusting. The towel was essentially coated in grease.
Now I pour in a half-cup of vinegar into the rinse water. The laundry has never felt softer (and the vinegar smell completely dissipates after the clothes dry).
Personally I would not live in a apt without a W/D. It's like living in a apt without a kitchen.
I would discount at least 300-400k off 1mil
Wow! ba294 has thrown down the gauntlet!
I just don't get the argument of $ vs laundering it out. It's all about the convenience as well as the long term cost effectiveness. What if your child pukes/pees/poops/juice all over the place in the middle of the night? What if your shirt/dress gets little spill hours before the night out?
Why not get rid of the kitchen and use it as a study/extension of the dining room and just order in on every meal? It's MORE cost effective!
I never use fabric softener in the wash.
Why must fabric be softened?
When you wash clothing it gets softer. Like jeans.
Thanks for the laundry tip, Matt.
Fabric softener in the washer doesn't eliminate static cling in the dryer.
What do you use for that, Matt?
trUth, this thread is about washers & dryers in cooperative apartments, not general laundry tips.
"What if your shirt/dress gets little spill hours before the night out?"
I own more than one. But your point is well-taken. The convenience factor is huge and now that I've drunk from the chalice of sweet nectar of laundry-in-apartment, I could never go back.
alkiealanhart is trolling me again.
I was asking Matt.
If you were to ask Matthew on an appropriate housewife website, he'd tell you the static-cling solution for you is to stop wearing all those tacky low-end polyester rags you bought at Gertz and Klein's decades ago [although that look suits you well].
But StreetEasy is a website devoted to New York residential real estate, and that sound advice is way outside the topic of this thread.
Too bad for alkiealanhart, the drunken troll.
He said he's suffering from my comments but yet he continues to read them.
He's an angry old alkie sitting at home, trolling on se.
As if I care about his attempted "insults".
I do what I want to do -- not what alkiealanhart tells me to do.
Keep suffering, alkiealanhart.
Gertz & Klein's? analfart, how old are you?
do you know of any instances where buildings have replaced plumbing in order to allow W/Ds?