There are several great reasons to rent a furnished apartment, the most obvious being “furniture you don’t have to pay for!” But there is a lot more to take into account when deciding between a furnished and unfurnished apartment. Here are some important considerations:
Furnished apartments are significantly rarer, which has a lot of effect on your search. Most importantly, it means that the likelihood of finding a furnished apartment in the best possible location is much smaller than finding an unfurnished one. Location is usually the single most important thing about an apartment since it determines the amount of time and gas money you will have to spend to get to the places you need to go, so this is a big deal. That said, if you do find a furnished apartment near where you need to be, it will often save you enough money on purchasing furniture to make up for the extra rent you will pay versus a comparable unfurnished unit. This also depends, however, on how long you plan to stay there.
In order to truly understand the cost of your furnished apartment, you have to be able to compare it with a similar unfurnished apartment in the same area. That can be difficult, but you will notice quickly that in the majority of cases, the furnished apartment is significantly more expensive. Depending on how long you stay there, you may end up paying more money than you would if you bought the furniture and left it there once you move. Make a rough calculation of how much more you will pay per month, and how long you intend to stay in the area, and see if the furnished apartment really is the better deal.
If you have to move to a new town in the next few days, let’s say for something time-sensitive like a job opportunity, it can be far better to rent a furnished apartment up front and then decide once you have settled in if it is important to you to change places and buy yourself some new furniture. Furnished apartments are great for last minute/speedy moves; just show up, fill the fridge, and get on with your life in your new home.
Because furnished apartments often cater to college students, traveling professionals, and people who move around a lot, furnished apartments tend to have month-to-month leases rather than annual or multi-year terms. That makes it easier to use a furnished apartment as an in-town home base while you look for an unfurnished one, or simply as a place to live if you are unsure how your new hometown is going to work out for you. Choosing a furnished apartment, therefore, might actually kill two birds with one stone; you’ll have furniture right away and a short term lease that works with your lifestyle.