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The pros and cons of a furnished rental unit

by Jillian CariolaPublished: November 9, 2017Updated: November 10, 2017

Is a furnished apartment or condo better than a bare one? Take a look at the pros and cons to find out.

pros and cons of renting a furnished apartment or condo unit MyProperty Philippines

When looking for an apartment or condo to rent, your top considerations are most likely how much it costs per month and how close it is to your office or school. But if you’re starting fresh in a completely new neighborhood, there’s another factor you ought to look into: whether to go for a furnished or bare unit. The reason why landlords often offer apartments with some furniture is to attract people who want a place that is ready for moving into. Think about it: if you are coming from another country or a far off location in the country, would you really want to bother with lugging tables and chairs along with you to make your apartment feel like home?

When a condo or apartment is labeled as “furnished,” the most basic things you expect to find are a couch, bed, cabinet and dining table with chairs. Landlords targeting a specific potential renter even go as far as to add appliances like a fridge, oven, and even a washing machine. Depending on who’s renting the unit, furnishings may or may not be a good thing, though. Have a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of moving into a furnished apartment before making your final decision.


You’ll save money

Is buying a home a long-term goal for you? Wouldn’t you want to put every spare peso toward a down payment and be that much closer to becoming a homeowner? In that case, it would probably be wiser to rent a furnished unit for now and buy your own pieces later. You can save that extra money you would have to spend on furniture and appliances and use it for more important and urgent financial obligations, whether it be your dream home or your emergency fund. Plus without furniture, you won’t have to spend money on a moving van when it’s time to go; all your personal stuff will probably fit into your car.

There’s no need to shop for them

If you’re moving and don’t have your own furniture yet, a furnished apartment would be perfect for you. You don’t have to spend time shopping for new things, especially if work or school is keeping you busy. Also, not everyone enjoys shopping anyway, and you’re just putting yourself through unnecessary stress if you don’t have the chops for interior design.

All you need are your personal belongings

One of the trickiest parts of moving in general is moving your furniture. Moving into an apartment is even harder; imagine taking your furniture and wrestling them through the elevator or up a flight of stairs to the unit, and then doing it again and again. If your apartment already contains all the large furniture, all you’ll need to bring are your clothes and a few other personal things. Then when the lease expires or you have to move out unexpectedly, you just have to gather up your own stuff and leave.

It’s an easy set-up for short-term stays

Some people rent furnished apartments for the duration of their college education or when they are temporarily relocated to finish a project. For whatever reason a person chooses a short-term lease, buying furniture to be used for a short period of time wouldn’t make sense. An apartment that has some furniture will allow them to enjoy some comfort that they get from home without having to spend extra for them. Moreover, you don’t have to feel tied down with the usual “minimum one-year contract” agreement; most landlords expect furnished units to be ideal for transients, so short-term stays are expected.


Monthly rent will likely be higher

Because landlords are offering additional features in the form of furniture, a furnished apartment for rent may cost more to rent than a bare one. Judging by the length of time that you’ll be spending in the rental, you might end up spending more than you probably would have if you had rented an empty apartment and furnished it instead. Also, scuff marks on the floor are might be written off as wear and tear, but spilled grape juice on the couch or broken mirror in the bathroom? That’s coming out of your security deposit.

Furniture means additional responsibility

If you grew up in a home where you were free to run around or comfortably put your feet up on the table, these are simple liberties you will have to get out of your system once you move into a furnished space. Since the landlord wants to be able to rent out the unit in good condition once you leave, they expect you to take proper care of it, as well as everything that comes with it. It’s an easy enough task if you consider yourself to be well-behaved and careful, but do you really want to spend the next six or 12 months of your life walking on eggshells just to keep the furniture clean?

You are essentially sleeping in a stranger’s bed

How sensitive are you when it comes to using furniture that has been used by a complete stranger (or five)? Sure, you sleep in hotels all the time, but keep in mind that those rooms are cleaned every day and guests are expected to be on their best behavior during their stay. If you’re renting an apartment that’s a few years old, chances are it’s seen more than a few renters over that time. This doesn’t only mean that you’re getting used furnishings, you’re also not guaranteed that these pieces will still be in the best shape when it’s your turn to use them. If you are a bit obsessive-compulsive, the occasional weird stains on the wall or cracked tiles in the bathroom are going to be hard to overlook.

Decorating will present a challenge

If you have a specific vision in mind as to the overall theme of the unit, it may be hard to incorporate the existing furniture into your design. Unless you are renting an expensive furnished unit, the apartment and its furniture and accessories will likely not look like they came out of the pages of Elle Décor: the pieces may not match, they may be made of plastic instead of wood, and they may not be in tip-top shape. It will take a stretch of the imagination to make everything work together aesthetically, a big task to take on for the artistically challenged.


Main photo via Depositphotos

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