How to Choose Between a Furnished and Unfurnished Apartment

a chair in a room

There are certain things that are must-haves for us when we apartment hunt, and then there are other items that we are willing to sacrifice for the sake of a lease. Apartment hunters can look at both furnished and unfurnished units to determine what is the best living situation for them and their wallets.

While unfurnished units have the appeal of making them your own, furnished apartments can save you on the basics of setting up your new place. Let’s take a closer look at the difference between these rental homes and units.

Cost of the Apartment


When apartment shopping, more often than not, you are going in with a price range and a maximum that you want to drop each month for rent. If you are exploring furnished homes for rent, you are likely avoiding a long-term commitment under a lease. That’s because a renter seeking a furnished apartment is really just looking for short-term housing.

While you can save on furniture, appliances, and add-ons that are already present, landlords can charge a higher rent through a real estate broker. In some cases, monthly rent for a furnished home can run anywhere from 20 to 40 percent higher than an unfurnished one. Unfurnished apartments will usually seek at least a one-year commitment from leasees, which may be better suited to someone looking to lay down roots in the U.S. If you are constantly on the go due to work or possibly military service, you may opt for furnished to accommodate a nomadic lifestyle.

Comfort Level


An unfurnished apartment brings the opportunity to make the living space your own. You can decide what amenities you want to have in your bathroom, pick out your bed linens and mattress, and find that cozy blanket for a cold, winter day. A personalized sherpa blanket or quilt adds a decorative touch to any room. Sherpa blankets have distinctive fleece fabric, similar in texture and look to real sheep’s wool. It’s the greener alternative to wool and provides the same warmth and comfort.

Opting for rental homes that are fully furnished can save you time on decorating, even moving, as you are not bringing any future into your new living quarters. It beats not having to deal with a high volume of packages being sent to your new home or your old one in preparation for the move. However, it is important to remember that a furnished apartment is not your stuff. Any wear and tear that occurs while you are living there could end up costing you.

Rental Inspections


As previously mentioned, rent and security costs for a furnished apartment, as opposed to an unfurnished one, may run substantially higher. There is also concern over potential damage to any furniture or appliances in a furnished space. While a furnished rental home could see you really spending just monthly rent and utilities, there is the potential cost that could come once you vacate following a rental inspection.

A landlord may find that certain items in that furnished space are not in the condition they were when you were given the keys to the apartment or house. It is best to take photographic and video evidence, an approach that even an unfurnished apartment renter should take to show that no new damage occurred under your living there. For example, if there is a crack on a tile in your bathroom, be sure to document that it was present before you ever even made use of the bath.

The real estate market can be testy but, in due time, you’ll find that unfurnished or furnished apartment that is right for you to rest your head at the end of a long day.