Everything You Need to Know About Move-In Ready Apartments

“MOVE IN READY!” read the banners posted in front of the new apartment complex across the street from you. “Sounds kinda nice,” you think. But what does move-in ready mean? Before you sign a lease at one of these places, find out what most property management companies consider “move-in ready” and weigh in on whether it’s right for you.

What’s Included in a Move-In Ready Apartment? 

A “move-in ready” apartment simply means that a unit is ready to be lived in — the appliances are in working condition, the unit has been cleaned, there are no repairs needed, and another person does not occupy it. It is, quite literally, ready for you to move in!

However, renters have many common misconceptions about “move-in ready” apartments, including the idea that they come fully furnished. The slightly ambiguous description gives the impression that a renter can walk right into their new apartment without needing a stick of furniture. As it turns out, the term “move-in ready” simply means, habitable. However, this industry term simply means that an apartment is livable, not furnished.

In addition to expecting a “move-in ready” apartment to come with furniture, people also assume that the term means newly renovated. An apartment can be “move-in ready” without being up to the minute on the latest design trends. After all, design choices won’t impact whether the conditions of an apartment are comfortable and livable. When touring available units at an apartment community, you may find that an apartment is move-in ready and could still use an aesthetic update. 

Every property differs, which is why you should always do your homework and tour the place before signing a lease.

Your most important takeaway? A move-in ready apartment does not signify that a unit is brand new, recently renovated, or furnished. It means it’s ready for you to sign a lease and move in!

What’s the Difference Between Move-In Ready and Furnished? 

An apartment can be labeled “move-in ready,” but it typically doesn’t include furniture. For instance, you can expect most move-in ready places to have standard amenities like central heating, cooling, and even in-unit laundry machines if you’re lucky! Move-in ready units do not include furniture as a standard. 

On the other hand, “furnished apartments” include furniture and even housewares, like kitchenware, bathroom essentials, and cleaning supplies. When you step into a furnished apartment, it feels “move-in ready” — hence the misconception that move-in ready apartments contain furniture!

Is a Move-In Ready Place Right for You? 

Since “move-in ready” may mean something slightly different from property to property, we advise you to check it out for yourself. Additionally, don’t forget to ask critical pre-lease questions such as: 

  • What is the lease length? 
  • Is this space furnished? 
  • Which utilities are included? 
  • Are there any additional fees I should be aware of? 
  • Who do I contact in case of an emergency maintenance situation? 

What if You Need a Fully Furnished Apartment? 

Suppose you’re an international student or a professional who’s just stopping into town for a short-term work assignment. In that case, you may be looking for an apartment that’s ready for you to move into (complete with all furnishings, appliances, and houseware conveniences).

There are two easy ways to find such an apartment. The first one is to use ApartmentSearch’s advanced filters to browse only furnished units

The second option is to find a move-in-ready property and rent furniture for the duration of your stay. You can easily accomplish this by locating the perfect unit using our ApartmentSearch tool and contacting CORT for furniture rental near you! With CORT, you can turn any move-in-ready apartment into a homey place equipped with a comfy bed, fresh linens, cookware, and more!