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Should You Rent a Furnished or Unfurnished Home?

23 October 2020 Simon Banks Read time: 3 min
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Simon Banks

Of all the things you need to think about when moving home, deciding whether to rent a furnished or unfurnished property will be one of the biggest decisions that you make. After all, moving into somewhere full of furniture or with nothing at all will significantly alter your plans.

But which one do you choose, furnished or unfurnished? While there's no right or wrong answer, both options do have some pros and cons. Which is why we've created this guide to better inform you about renting a property furnished or unfurnished.

So read on, and see which option is right for you: a home with all the trimmings, as chosen by the landlord. Or an empty space where you can create your own magic but need to pay for all furniture.

Furnished homes

Furnished home

The pros

Moving into a furnished home is a lot less hassle. There's no need to spend days and weeks buying furniture for each room, as everything is already there. Furnished homes offer a turnkey approach and can save plenty of time for renters.

This is especially helpful if you're moving from abroad or another town and don't have lots of time to settle in. It's also beneficial if you only plan on staying for a specific time and don't want to spend resources furnishing a home.

Moving into a furnished home is cheaper, too. There's no outlay on buying furniture, which can cost thousands of pounds. More often than not, furnished rental homes don't come with a significant premium either. Therefore you should save a pretty penny by moving into a place that already has furniture.

The cons

Ok, so the idea of moving into a fully furnished home is great on paper. But it also means that it will be harder for you to stamp your personality on the apartment. In fact, most furnished homes stick to the tried and tested "neutral" formula. If you're a landlord who wants to impress a wide range of renters, going for a deep purple colour theme might not be the best approach.

Of course, there is the Build-to-Rent option, where homes have been specifically catered for renters with interior-design furnishings. But a person's taste is a person's taste, and there's always a chance that the furnishings won't quite fit with your style.

Moving into a furnished home means there's little room for manoeuvre. Sure, you might be able to put a few pictures up here and there or add a coffee table or something snazzy for the kitchen. But you don't have a black canvas to work with.

Unfurnished homes

Unfurnished home

The pros

Did we say "blank canvas", because moving into an unfurnished home gives you the chance to shape it exactly as you wish. From the sofa to the bed frame and just about everything in between, you can flex your creative chops and channel your inner artist.

An unfurnished home typically includes appliances in the bathroom and kitchen, possibly a wardrobe (even better if it's a built-in one) and maybe some blinds or curtains. Therefore, you're free to furniture that shows off your personality.

Renters who are looking to stay long term and really create a home for themselves often prefer unfinished properties as they want to live somewhere that feels unique to them. But there is, of course, the cost factor to take into account.

The cons

Furnishing a home is expensive. If you're moving into a one-bed apartment, you'll need to buy a sofa, dining table and chairs, storage and a bed – and those are just the basics. Then there are the extras like coffee tables, TV stands and bookshelves to think about.

Multiply that by two, three and four-bedrooms, and you could spend upwards of £5,000 to furnish your home. It's certainly not cheap! Then there's the longevity of furniture to consider. If you decide to move, you'll need to either sell it (most likely at a loss) or take it with you, which requires lugging heavy furniture from one home to another or paying a removal company to do it for you.

But what if the furniture you bought for one place doesn't go with the new one? Furnishing your home is a long-term commitment, as it could prove to be an expensive burden if you find yourself moving around frequently.

Stuff or no stuff?

Whether you move into a furnished or unfurnished home depends on your preference. We've outlined the pros and cons of each, and it really depends on what you want from your living experience. If you're someone that likes minimal fuss and wants to move straight in with little effort, the furnished option is for you. But if you want to shape a home to your tastes, then you'll probably be better off moving into an empty property.

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