The following is a guest post provided by Jennifer Riner of Zillow.
Fully-furnished spaces are most common in vacation homes and short-term properties. Typically, apartments with 12-month or longer leases come unfurnished. However, private owners leasing their properties sometimes leave their personal belongings, including sofas, beds and dressers, for their tenants’ convenience. Left-behind furnishings can be good and bad, depending on the type of renter involved.
To determine whether or not a furnished apartment suits your needs, consider the following positives and negatives associated with move-in ready rentals.
Pros of Renting a Furnished Space
Diminished moving expenses
Without furniture to transport, moving expenses drop significantly. Imagine being responsible solely for transporting clothes and small personal items to your new home. Eliminating the need for professional movers relieves a budget immensely. A professional interstate move of around 1,400 miles can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 for 5,500 to 20,500 pounds of stuff, respectively. Annual rent may cost as much as the move itself. For example, renters moving to Dallas face a median list price of $1,325 per month, or $15,900 per year. Assuming a family with 20,500 pounds of furniture is moving to a median-priced rental in Dallas, they will spend only $900 more on yearly rent than their initial moving costs.
Taping up boxes and covering furniture is exhausting. Fully-furnished rentals, on the other hand, eradicate the physically grueling process of packing and lifting. Less stuff also coincides with a minimalist lifestyle that many frugal and eco-friendly followers advocate. Avid travelers are also strong candidates for fully-furnished apartments, since they are unaware of the next time their wanderlust may hit. Fewer material belongings makes adventure more accessible.
Even if you currently own furniture, why not host a garage sale and make a little extra cash? Purge unwanted, dated or damaged items from your life. The more you move, the less you should accumulate. Besides, renting furnished spaces introduces you to interior styles you may not realize you like. Immersing yourself in an alternative setting might open your tastes to traditional, modern or eclectic home design.
Cons of Renting a Furnished Space
Fully-furnished rentals typically rent for more than empty comparable units. Landlords spend their income on providing seating and storage, and usually replace or refinish pieces every few years, depending on wear and tear. Therefore, the increased rent reflects these additional expenses most owners avoid.
It’s difficult to feel at home among your landlord’s belongings, unless you’ve lived in their home for an extended period of time. If you’re always on the move, furnishings and décor may be the only consistency in your surroundings. It’s enjoyable to own special pieces that provide comfort and tranquility.
Sooner or later, you’re going to need to purchase furniture, unless you plan to only reside in fully-furnished rentals forever and severely limit your search options. If you do eventually decide to purchase a home after living in a fully-furnished rental, you’ll need to shop for your furniture all at once, since there’s no place to store pieces prior to closing. Time crunches may prohibit individuals from finding great deals at department stores, local garage sales and rare antique shops.
There may be drawbacks to renting a furnished apartment, but that’s not always the case for everyone. Consider your priorities – for someone constantly on the go, a furnished apartment rental is more practical. A mid-20s couple saving for a down payment, on the other hand, is better off starting their furniture hunt while leasing.