Re: Common laundry question
From: Katie Henry (
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2012 18:13:57 -0800 (PST)
Not sure if someone has already mentioned this, but you might consider 
leasing laundry equipment, like regular condo and apartment buildings do. 

At my former community, all of the units (a 56-unit multifamily building) had 
washer/dryer hook-ups installed during construction. By a couple years in, 
roughly half of the households had their own w/d. I think for new construction 
it's a good idea to have a laundry closet or space in every unit with hookups. 
If the buyers don't want their own equipment, they've got an extra closet. If 
they do want their own equipment but there's nowhere to put it, that could be a 
turn-off or even a deal-breaker.

We initially leased two washers and two dryers. After a couple of years, seeing 
that there was plenty of demand, we added a third set.

The cost of the lease in 2010 was $166/month for the six machines -- shiny new 
commercial-grade equipment, the most energy-efficient models available. The 
lease covered maintenance and repair, and allowed you to swap out your 

periodically for the latest and greatest. I don't know how that compares to the 
cost of owning your equipment and being responsible for repair and replacement, 
but there is a lot to be said for having a known fixed cost every month with no 

Most companies that lease laundry equipment operate on an income-sharing basis, 
where they get a certain amount of the proceeds and the landlord gets the rest 
(which I think is why a lot of apartment buildings have crummy old equipment -- 
the landlord keeps a bigger cut). We just wanted a flat monthly fee, which was 

new experience for them. We had them omit the coin slots, since we did not 
intend to charge for laundry room use. There was some discussion of charging, 
but it never went anywhere (at least while I was living there) because 
households with their own equipment also used the laundry room quite a bit so 
they could knock everything out at once, so it was seen as a community-wide 

If you are planning a laundry room, have your architect leave plenty of room 

folding tables, drying racks, shelving for people to store their laundry 
supplies, and incoming/outgoing laundry baskets. It needs to be a lot bigger 
than a laundry room in a conventional condo/apartment building since it is much 
more of a communal space.

Katie Henry

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