Experts: Is It Worth It To Rent a Furnished Apartment?

·5 min read
FollowTheFlow / Getty Images/iStockphoto
FollowTheFlow / Getty Images/iStockphoto

When picking out a new apartment, it can be stressful to decide whether a furnished or unfurnished accommodation is a better deal. On one hand, furnished apartments offer a simpler moving process and short-term convenience. On the other, unfurnished apartments offer residents the freedom to decorate as they please and create a space with a homier feel, plus, they are typically less expensive. While there are pros and cons to both options, at the end of the day it comes down to what option works better with your career and living situation.

To gain more insight on this topic, we turned to real estate experts who explained when a furnished apartment is a great deal — and when it is not, and how to prepare financially for either furnishing situation.

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If You Move Often, It Might Be Worth It

If you’re planning on signing a short-term lease or know you will get the moving bug quickly, renting a furnished apartment can be a smart investment. Moving all your furniture in a moving van can get expensive quickly; simply transferring a few boxes is far gentler on your budget.

“If you’re someone who moves around a lot to different rentals, furnished apartments can save you a bundle of money on moving costs alone,” said Matt Woods, real estate expert and co-founder of, a site that guides home sellers through the home selling experience. “Not only that, but each rental has different capabilities for furniture, which means furnishing each rental adds up quickly in not only money, but in time and effort as well. If you’re planning on staying in one place for a long time, however, then it can certainly be worth it to invest in furniture of your own and not be living amongst someone else’s belongings.”

Additionally, if you are a travel nurse or your career requires you to live on the move, renting a furnished apartment can offer you peace of mind and make moving a much smoother process.

“A furnished place means you can get up and go if a sudden change in your life requires relocating,” said Kevin Huang, real estate investor and CEO of Ambient Home. “You won’t have to worry about the logistics involved in packing and moving your own furnishings.”

Furnished apartments can also be well worth the money if you only need a place to sleep and aren’t planning on spending much time in your apartment. Conversely, if you are looking to make your apartment feel homey and have the freedom to personalize your space, an unfurnished home might be a better bet.

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Make Sure You Get a Good Feel for the Furniture’s Quality Before Committing

While living in a furnished apartment might seem appealing on the apartment website, be sure to get a good look at the furniture’s condition before committing to this financial decision. Often, furnished apartments buy furniture in bulk for cheap and charge exorbitant prices for low-quality and uncomfortable options. You might also be paying for more furniture than you need or want and become stuck paying to store unused pieces.

Prepare For Higher Rent When Living in a Furnished Apartment

If are planning to live somewhere for a year or more, renting a furnished apartment doesn’t make as much sense. Furnished apartments tend to be costlier and your security deposit will take the hit from any damages. With all the extra furniture fees and potentially losing your security deposit, you might as well just buy brand new furniture for the same amount.

“The downside is that furnished apartments are usually more expensive and you will have to pay a fee if the furniture gets damaged,” said Isaiah Henry, CEO of Seabreeze, a property management company. “If you’re only planning on staying for six months or less and you’re conscientious when it comes to your belongings, then a furnished apartment makes sense.”

If you are leaving your parent’s home for the first time and are feeling overwhelmed by the thought of having to purchase all new furniture, staying in a furnished apartment for a short time can be a great option. However, if you already have an apartment full of furniture, moving to a furnished apartment doesn’t make much financial sense.

“Moving to a furnished apartment is not a good financial move if you already have a lot of furniture,” said Richard Mews, real estate investor and CEO of Sell With Richard. “If you are relocating into a furnished room, you will need to store or sell any furnishings you own from your previous residence. Monthly storage costs might add up very rapidly.”

Opting for Unfurnished? Here’s How Much It Might Cost To Furnish Your Apartment

If you’re leaning toward renting an unfurnished apartment, it’s important to be aware of the financial burden you might take on when furnishing the apartment yourself.

“The average cost to furnish a one-bedroom apartment is $4,000 to $10,000,” said Omer Reiner, realtor and president of FL Cash Home Buyers, LLC. “A furnished apartment can cost 15% to 20% more per month, which can be $200 to $300 more each month for a one-bedroom apartment or $2,400 to $3,600 for each year. In addition, moving the furniture can cost extra money. I have heard that 65% of moving costs are for furniture, which will be $1,300 for each move.”

How To Find Affordable Furniture

Furniture costs can add up quickly. From a table and chairs to bed frames, dressers, desks and couches, furnishing an apartment can require a great number of items that can quickly deplete your bank account.

Instead of shopping for the items you want brand-new, start looking at gently-used furnishings from thrift stores, garage sales and estate sales as early as you can. Building a stockpile of items over time will allow you to have more opportunities to find cheap items and will lessen the financial blow. Be sure to check out Facebook Marketplace and eBay to find items for sale near you, and don’t be afraid to put the furniture together yourself to save on assembly costs.

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This article originally appeared on Experts: Is It Worth It To Rent a Furnished Apartment?