We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

Unless you want to be looking for an apartment for forever, it’s helpful to have your priorities straight. For most of us, the location—whether close to work, near the best schools, or by the buzziest restaurants—typically one-ups amenities like an in-unit washer-dryer or an elevator. But lately those on the move have been putting three other things first, according to a recent report from Forbes. Low rent, high square footage, and little luxuries that heighten people’s at-home experiences all top “location, location, location.” 

With most schools still running classes online and nightlife essentially shut down, it makes sense that people want to be where they can get the most for their money while also living their best lives indoors. Builders are responding to these shifts, but not with fancy dishwashers and private patios. They’re installing air purification systems. 

Developers of newer apartment complexes, like a 450,000-square-foot building in the Bronx, constructed in collaboration with a local hospital, are beginning to incorporate powerful HVAC systems and air filters to help improve the environment for their tenants. 

Freshly circulated air isn’t the only thing to keep your eye out for if you’re thinking about moving these days. Look around to see if there are plants or trees in public spaces, and ask if the units have been painted with a low- or zero-VOC product—these are both things that help improve the air around you. Then consider investing in your own mini purifier; only use nontoxic cleaning products; and, while it might seem like common sense, crack a window open every once in a while. 

Our Fall Style issue has arrived! Subscribe now to get an exclusive first look at Ayesha Curry’s Bay Area home—and discover how design can shape our world.