You have lots to consider when searching for a new place–budget, location, amenities. But did you know you can also select the furnished status of your next place? That’s right! Many properties offer furnished apartments, which is great for a first-time renter on a budget. (Buying furniture for a whole apartment is expensive!)

Of course, these units have more strings attached than those connected to the curtains. Read this handy information to help you decide what amount of furniture, if any, your next apartment will have.

How Furnished?

Even among furnished apartments, you will find differences. Some units are outfitted with just the necessities (i.e., a bed, dresser, kitchen table, sofas, etc.), while others seem dressed to the nines. The latter might have curtains, lamps and even some decor in addition to the basic big-ticket items.

When you view an apartment, ask the landlord which items will be present when you move in. You can also ask before you view what furniture is included. The sooner you know, the better. That way, you’ll have enough time to purchase your toaster, end table and bookcase before you move in (and decide if your budget allows you to do so).

Additional Costs

When it comes to furnished apartments, the landlord had to put money toward filling the unit with stuff. That upfront cost doesn’t disappear—you, the renter, will likely pay for it in the form of a higher rent.

This is where you can do some cost-benefit analysis. Compare the unit to an apartment of equal size in the same neighborhood and see how much it costs every month. Then, think about how much you’d have to pay to purchase the furniture you still need.

Add furnishing costs to the rent and see whether that number is higher or lower than the price of the furnished place. If the furnished apartment is cheaper, you may consider going that route.

Reasons to Choose Furnished

Undecided about whether the furnished unit is better or worse for you than the unfurnished place? Check out this pros-and-cons list that outlines situations in which you may or may not go the way of fully furnished:

Pros:

Cons:

  • You may not have space for big furniture you already own (meaning you’ll either have to store it or get rid of it).

  • Rent is higher (which isn’t good if you own furniture already).

More on Short-Term Leases

A short-term lease is a rental agreement that lasts fewer months than the standard 12. In most cases, people choose short-term leases if they are temporarily living in an area. A person might have to live in another state for a few months thanks to their job, but will move back home at the end of the period.

Some students also choose short-term leases because they only stay in their college town nine months out of the year. Paying for an extra three months they won’t use is a waste of money.

In both cases, many landlords choose to furnish short-term apartments. The nomadic student or business person probably doesn’t want to continually move lots of furniture frequently.

Situational Renting

All in all, whether you choose to rent a furnished or unfurnished apartment comes down to your lifestyle and needs. If you own your furniture or want to, then stick to an unfurnished place. However, if you move frequently, a furnished place will take the hassle out of your itinerant lifestyle.

Have you ever lived in a furnished apartment? Did you like it and why?

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The Pros and Cons of Furnished Apartments

[Image Source: Urbane Apartments]

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