Here Are the Pros and Cons to Weigh Before Signing for a Furnished Apartment

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Lumina/Stocksy

Whether you’re moving to a brand new city and still figuring out the area, you’re on temporary assignment for your job, or you’re going through a major life change that requires a completely set-up space, furnished apartments can provide all the comforts of home immediately—without you having to invest thousands of dollars in brand-new furniture.

Furnished apartments, which usually serve as short-term rentals, are highly convenient, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have any drawbacks—especially when it comes to your wallet. Here are some of the biggest pros and cons to consider before you sign a lease on a furnished space.

Pro: Home is already set up—for the most part.

Although short-term rentals will vary widely in what “furnished” means, you can typically expect to see a bed, couch, kitchen table with chairs, lamps, and a dresser, so you won’t have to make a mad dash to IKEA just to be able to sit down and eat a slice of pizza.

However, just because it’s furnished doesn’t mean that your new home will be set up like a vacation home where cutlery, a coffee maker, pots and pans, and glasses will all be readily available for use (although you can sometimes find this in corporate short-term rentals called “turnkey” properties). So, either be prepared to bring your own essentials for the kitchen and bedroom, or have a shopping list ready to go.

Pro: You don’t have to move heavy furniture.

Moving is exhausting, not to mention expensive. And when you’re only going to be living in your furnished place for a few months, it doesn’t make sense to do all that back-breaking labor just to have to turn around to do it all over again when the time comes to leave. 

Moving logistics can also get complicated when you’re in an unfamiliar and busy city. Many large metropolitan areas with limited parking and crowded streets require you to secure a permit for big trucks on moving day, which can be a headache to figure out. Having a completely furnished apartment frees you up to move in your personal items and quickly get acclimated to your new home. 

Con: Furnished apartments are pricier and come with more liabilities.

All the convenience of a furnished apartment unfortunately can come at a higher cost, which can be up to 15 percent more for a long-term rental or even 50 percent more for a short-term rental. 

The more items your landlord owns, the more responsibility you have to keep them clean and free of damage. Although it largely depends on your lease agreement, your landlord will likely have a clause in the lease (a furniture addendum) that details what the furniture’s condition was in before you moved in. It might also lay out what you’re not allowed to do with the furniture, such as take it outside or move it too close to vent openings. Since tenants are responsible for the condition of more things in a furnished apartment, there’s a greater chance they could see their security deposits dwindle if something goes awry.

Con: It’s difficult—though not impossible–to make a furnished apartment feel homey.

No matter how nice and comfortable the furniture is in your furnished apartment, it’s still not yours, which can make your apartment feel more like a sterile hotel room rather than a bonafide home. 

If you’re craving more coziness in your temporary, furnished space, there are a lot of ways you can spruce it up without violating your lease agreement or blowing your budget. Add in a soft chenille throw over the couch for a splash of extra color and warmth. Tape up favorite photos or posters with colorful washi tape. Or use Command hooks to neatly hang tapestries or picture frames to warm up the space without leaving any damage behind.