Pros and Cons of Furnished Apartments NYC: Do You, or Don’t You?

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While renting furnished apartments NYC may seem like a great idea, there are some things you need to think about before you sign on the dotted line. Check out the following info to determine if renting a furnished apartment is right for you.

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When it comes to furnished apartments, NYC renters often look at them as godsends. Moving to the city and getting to move into an apartment that’s already furnished for them? All they have to do is bring their toothbrushes? Perfect! While renting a furnished apartment in New York City may seem like a great idea, there are some things you need to think about before you sign on the dotted line.

NYC apartment furnishings

Image Source: Flickr/Premshree Pillai

What exactly is a furnished apartment? What will I be getting?

The term “furnished apartment” can mean totally different things depending on who’s posting the listing.

  • A “fully furnished apartment” is one in which everything you’ll need to live comfortably in the apartment is already provided for you. Living room furniture, bed, linens, a full set of dishes — it’s all there waiting for you. The only things you’ll need to bring are your own personal belongings.
  • A “partially furnished apartment” is one that usually only has a few items in the apartment, including things like a sofa and a bed. You’d probably have to bring items like linens, dishes, and cookware.

What are the benefits of renting a furnished apartment?

There are several upsides when it comes to renting a furnished apartment.

  • Convenience: If you’re a visiting student or professional in town for a relatively short time, renting a furnished apartment spares you from having to go out and purchase furniture and other expensive items you’d only need to use temporarily.
  • Flexibility: Furnished apartment rentals tend to have more flexible leases than unfurnished apartment rentals. This is because landlords understand — and often welcome — the transient lifestyles of their tenants and are willing to give more leeway.
  • Ready NowFurnished apartments are usually immediately available, so they’re perfect for people new to town who need a place right away.

So … are there no downsides to furnished apartments?

Oh, no no no. When it comes to furnished apartments, NYC renters may not need what they have to offer — in fact, for some people, renting a furnished apartment is the very last thing that they should do.

  • Bland Furnishings: People who are very picky about their decor probably won’t be happy with the options available in some furnished digs. Rather than filling the home with Ligne Roset furniture, owners of furnished apartments tend to pick rugged, durable furniture for their rentals, a choice that can result in really bland spaces that look like mid-tier hotel rooms.
  • Higher Costs: Furnished apartments tend to be more expensive than comparably sized unfurnished apartments. You’re paying for the convenience that comes with not having to furnish the space. And if there are high-end furnishings, you’ll most likely end up paying even more.
  • Less Customization: Renting a furnished apartment may mean that you’ll need to start from scratch when it comes to furnishing your “real” apartment in the future. If you fall in love with a living room sofa or a dining table that you just have to have, you’ll have to throw those items into storage, adding to your monthly expenses.
  • Damage Control: In a furnished rental, you not only have to make sure that the apartment remains in good condition, but you’ll also have to make sure that you don’t damage any of the furnishings — and if you do, you’ll need to have the item fixed or replaced as soon as possible.

With this guide to furnished apartments, NYC renters should have a better idea of whether this option is right for them.

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