Investment Insights

Renters and Buyers: The Pros and Cons of Furnished and Unfurnished Properties

BY Bridge Estate

When looking to buy or rent a house or condo, you may come across properties listed as furnished or unfurnished. This refers to the amount of furniture that comes with the property, such as beds, wardrobes, dressers, tables and chairs, desks and more.

Determining the how much furniture you will need in your new home is a key factor to consider before you move.

Here we breakdown the pros and cons of furnished and unfurnished properties, so you can make an informed decision


Do I Need A Furnished Or Unfurnished Property?

Before you begin your home search, it is important to ask yourself if will need a fully furnished apartment, a partially furnished apartment or a completely unfurnished apartment. The number of required furnishings depends on your personal needs and can be related to the following factors:

  • When do you need to move?
  • How long do you plan to live in your new home?
  • How many personal belongings or pieces of furniture do you plan to move with you?


What Is Included In A Furnished Property

There is no set definition of what a furnished condo or house must include, so it is necessary to discuss exactly what comes with the property before buying or renting. However, we generally think of furnished units as having:

  • Bedroom furniture, such as beds, wardrobes, dressers
  • A dining table and chairs
  • Seating, such as sofas, chairs, and other seats
  • Appliances, such as washer and dryer, dishwasher, microwave, stove
  • Finished flooring
  • Curtains and/or blinds on the windows


Pros of Furnished Properties for Renters or Buyers

Furnished properties can have many benefits for renters and buyers who are looking to move quickly or plan to stay somewhere for a shorter amount of time. Benefits include:

  • Saving money on expensive furniture – When you move into a fully furnished property, you will not have to invest in large pieces like beds, dressers, tables and chairs. You can add your own personal touches, but will not have to spend time or money on major items.
  • Lower moving costs – No large furniture means you spend less in the moving process. You can avoid costly shipping fees or moving company expenses. 
  • Faster move in time – Furnished properties allow you to move into your new home more quickly and with less hassle. Simply bring your essentials items with you and start living immediately!



Cons of Furnished Properties for Renters or Buyers

While moving may be an easier task with a furnished property, there are some other factors to think about:

  • Higher rental costs – Because the landlord or owner has invested in providing all furniture, the asking price will likely be higher for the property. If there are certain pieces that you do not wish to use, see if the owner will offer a reduced price for removing the items.
  • Difference in design taste – With furnished units, you run the risk of a clash between your style and the owner’s. Again, it is worth asking the owner if it’s possible to remove certain pieces that may not suit your taste so that you also have more room for your personal belongings.
  • Damage to the owner’s furniture – Any damage to the owner’s property will likely be at your expense. A fully furnished property means there is an increased risk of added expenses associated with any damage. 



What Is Included In An Unfurnished Property?

While unfurnished may sounds like a property will be completely empty, in most cases these units will have these basic items:

  • Kitchen and bathroom fixtures
  • White goods, such as everyday appliances, stove top, refrigerator
  • Curtains 
  • Completed flooring

Remember: Always agree with the property owner or landlord as to exactly what will be provided before you sign any contract.



Pros of Unfurnished Properties for Renters or Buyers

Moving into an unfurnished property can be exciting as the possibilities seem endless as to what you can do to make the place your own. Here are some pros to consider:

  • A blank canvas – An unfurnished property means you are able to add your own personal touch and style. However, it is important to agree with the owner what you can and cannot change before moving in. 

For example, are you able to paint the walls? Can you put nails up to hang artwork? Can you update old fixtures?

  • Lower rent – No furniture means you are generally able to ask for a lower price from the owner
  • Lower security deposit – With lower rent comes a lower security deposit. This will give you extra money to spend on furnishing your new place from the start.



Cons of Unfurnished Properties for Renters or Buyers

Here are some important things to keep in mind when looking at unfurnished properties:

  • Higher moving costs – Moving in and out of an unfurnished apartment usually comes with extra expenses. These can be associated with hiring moving companies, paying for furniture installation services, etc.  
  • Time and money spent on furnishing the property – It can be expensive to furnish a property, especially if it is a larger condo or house. Not only will you need to pay for a new bedroom set, living room furniture, appliances and other household goods, but you will also need to spend time shopping around for the pieces you need.
  • Returning the house to its original condition is another potential expense when you decided to move out. Owners may require you to paint over any colors you added to the walls or fill in any holes or damages. Confirm the details of moving out before signing any contract.


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