Finding a good home for rent that caters to all your requirements is a hassle at the best of times. Take into account the numerous variables that one must consider and the decision becomes nothing short of a Sisyphean task. One such thing to consider is whether you should opt for a furnished or unfurnished house.
But before we discuss which of these options suit you best, let’s understand what any of it really means.
What’s the difference?
The terms fully furnished, semi-furnished and unfurnished might seem a little vague at first. It also doesn’t help that these terms take on different meanings depending on your geographic location. But like all jargon, it starts to make sense once you familiarize yourself with it.
- Unfurnished Unit: Typically, an unfurnished unit stands for a completely bare shell property. It is devoid of any furnishing and just has the plumbing/electrical in place. While this definition may ring true in Asia, in the US and some European countries, even unfurnished properties have basic amenities such as a built-in oven/cooktop, refrigerator and what not.
- Furnished Unit: While everyone’s definition of a furnished apartment, is different, usually it means that you are getting a property with all the bells and whistles. It could include some or all of the following utilities: a bed, a couch, dressers, entertainment centers, cabinets, dry sinks and any other furniture you can think of. Some places even include dishes and bedding. In these cases, always check with the landlord so you know exactly what you need to bring and what you don’t.
- Semi-Furnished Unit: Somewhere in between furnished and unfurnished properties, lies the semi-furnished properties. It has some basic amenities in place, like a modular kitchen with cabinets, bedrooms with inbuilt dressers and a living area with tables and chairs. What exactly you get depends a lot on what the owner is ready to provide.
Now that we know what the terms furnished, semi-furnished and unfurnished mean, let’s discuss what to consider before making a decision:
Parameters to Consider
- Budget: The first question you need to ask yourself is how much you are willing to pay for the home you are renting. Typically, the cost of a property increases with the level of furnishing you opt for.
- Renting Tenure: Many times, when renting a home, you can already envision the day you would be moving out for good. But sometimes you may see yourself renting for a longer duration than initially planned. Typically, the longer you stay at a place, the more it makes sense to buy your own furniture and likewise.
- Convenience: In today’s world, convenience is a commodity. Choosing a furn;ished property means eliminating numerous shopping trips you would have otherwise have to make. It reduces the responsibility you have towards the furnishings and it is also a better option if you are pressed for time.
- Personal Preference: An average person spends roughly 14 hours indoors every day. If you like to live in a place that reflects a bit of your personality then choosing an unfurnished property is the way to go. Also, the furniture quality available to you at a furnished house might not be ideal for you.
Pros and Cons:
Pros Furnished Properties :
Ideal for short leases, Convenient and hassle Free Time saving Lower upfront cost, Ideal for long leases.
Cons Furnished Properties:
Higher monthly rent, Limited Customization, Quality may be below par, Hassles in repair, Higher Upfront cost
Pros Unfurnished Properties:
Liberty to customize, Lower monthly rent, Buy furniture for life
Cons Unfurnished Properties:
Moving & maintenance cost, Time consuming, Increased liability
So what should you do?
At the end of the day, getting a furnished or unfurnished home for yourself is as much an emotional decision as it is a financial one. And you would be better off taking both aspects into consideration before making the final call.
Only you can judge the merit of each of these parameters and how much they matter to you. What works best for you might not work as well for someone else. So instead of giving you a direct answer, we suggest you use the below matrix to rank your priorities.
Choose a rank for each parameter,
5 being the lowest rank and 1 being
Rank Parameter (1–4)