Searching for and selecting a new apartment can be stressful but is exciting. One of the biggest concerns is furnishing your new apartment. It may seem like an overwhelming task and a large expense to furnish an apartment. In some cases, it very well might be. But, if you already own furniture or enjoy choosing furnishings for your own home, moving into a furnished apartment may not be a good match. Before you sign your lease, read on to learn the pros and cons of choosing a furnished apartment.
Here are the Advantages of Opting for a Furnished Apartment:
1. It May Save you Money
Furniture isn’t cheap, even if you have a knack for saving money. Having the benefit of a furnished apartment can save you a lot of up-front money, especially when move-in costs can get expensive. For example, if you need to pay a security deposit plus first and last month’s rent, your cash-flow is probably tight.
Having a furnished apartment can be a tremendous savings with upfront move-in expenses. You may not realize how much goes into starting from scratch to furnish an apartment. Your bed, mattress, bedding, linens and bedroom furniture are just the beginning. Furnishing your living space can add up quickly too. A sofa, coffee table, small dining table and chairs, TV stand, desk and bar stools can set you back a few thousand dollars. You may even be able to justify signing a lease on a pricier apartment because you don’t have to spend on furniture.
2. It Reduces your Logistical Issues
Storage and moving fees can add up quickly. If the apartment you are moving into is furnished, there is less furniture to be moved. If you are moving out of state, this cost can be very expensive. Even if you are moving within the same state or city, imagine saving the hassle of hiring a mover and having bulky furniture moved in. The entire process of moving can be less worrisome and less expensive if an apartment is already furnished.
3. It Reduces Clutter
The space planning for a furnished apartment can be more organic. Because the furniture is pre-set, and was likely professionally decided, better use of the space can be assumed. For example, if the master bedroom is equipped with a bed, headboard, box spring and mattress, as well as a dresser, sitting chair, lamps, and perhaps a desk and desk chair, the room’s layout can maximize use of the space.
In the living area, space planning there can be just as useful. If there is a sofa, coffee table, and kitchen table and chairs, the room layout likely makes the best use of the living space. A sectional sofa may also be picked to offer more seating. It’s easy to fill in what you want or need to augment existing furnishings. For example, you can purchase a TV and have it mounted on the wall, you can swap out a desk chair for your own if you want a specific type, and you can add decorative pillows to give some of your own personal style to an existing sofa.
4. It Likely has a Neutral Design
Furnished apartments tend to have a neutral design. The furniture in the bedroom is also probably sturdy, functional and not too decorative. Since most landlords or property managers want to please tenants, they likely pick furniture that can be easily matched with the personal design accents of a tenant. If the furniture is damaged or very unappealing or if the sofa is outdated with an unattractive floral pattern, a tenant may frown upon signing the lease. Furniture in apartments that are furnished are more often than not designed in a neutral color scheme and are classic designs.
Here are Disadvantages of not Having your Apartment Furnished:
1. It May not be your Taste
Moving into a furnished apartment is basically accepting someone else’s decision about the furnishings. In short, you will have to live with their choices. This can be a downside for a tenant, especially if you enjoy decorating. In addition to the choice of furniture, the quality of furniture may not be the best quality. If the landlord or property manager owns or manages several properties, they probably bought furniture in bulk with a goal to save money. During a walk-through, take the time to examine the furniture to ensure it is sturdy.
It is acceptable to request a new mattress prior to your move-in. This request is left to the discretion of the landlord, but it’s worth asking prior to signing a lease. There are ways to enhance the style of a furnished apartment. You can check with the landlord about the scope of what you can change. You will probably be able to hang your own window dressings, add other decorative accents and add seating if you wish.
2. You are Responsible for Damages During your Lease
If the sofa rips, if the kitchen table breaks in half or if the drawer on your desk malfunctions and can’t be repaired, the cost will be deducted from your security deposit. If the damages exceed your deposit, you will be responsible for additional fees.
Another thing to consider, if you have a pet, their misbehavior is something to keep in mind. If your dog scratches a table or chews cushions or ruins the mattress, you’re on the hook.
3. Your Monthly Rent Could be Higher
The convenience of having a furnished apartment comes at a cost, and it will be in your rent. This is something you have to consider when looking at furnished apartments. Does the furniture justify higher rent? It’s something that has to be carefully considered. If the rent is $200 more per month, is it worth it? Run the numbers and decide.
4. You May Have to Store or Sell Existing Furniture you Have
If you have furniture from family, or if you have furniture from a prior apartment, you will have to put it in storage or sell it if you are moving into a furnished apartment. Obviously you will not need all of it. Monthly storage fees can quickly add up. This is something to really consider if you are deciding on whether or not to accept a furnished apartment.
Weighing the Experience vs. the Cost
It’s very important to think carefully about choosing a furnished apartment. Higher rent is often required for furnished units. However, the convenience factor is something to appreciate too. Not having to move heavy furniture, or shop for furniture, is something that makes moving into a new home much less of a hassle.
You should calculate how much you will be spending if you decide to absorb the extra rent. For example, if the rent for furnished apartments is $200 a month, the total one-year amount is $2400 -- you have to decide if this amount is less than furnishing an apartment, as well as any moving costs. For many, the extra $200 is worth the cost. You also need to be very careful not to damage the furniture, or have your pet or guests damage it. If the furniture is damaged, overly worn or broken at the end of your lease, you can be monetarily responsible. Read the term of your lease carefully.
There are definitely distinct pros and cons of having a furnished apartment. Cost, convenience and personal style come into play. If you are in a short-term arrangement, a furnished apartment is a great bet. If you plan to live in an apartment for longer, take careful time deciding on what works best for your personal situation, budget and lifestyle.