When you’re looking for your first apartment, you may have little more than your clothes, books, and laptop to move into your new space. As you browse listings of wide-open units, it can be hard to imagine how you’ll fill all that square footage. Even if you do, how will you manage to move a sectional, bookcase, and other large items to the next apartment? You may find yourself wondering, do apartments come furnished?
The short answer? It depends. There is no standard when it comes to offering unfurnished vs. fully furnished apartments. In some college towns and geographic areas, furnished units may be more common, while other areas don’t seem to offer any furnished units in the real estate listings.
Follow this guide to understand the difference between furnished and unfurnished apartments, as well as what to expect when you rent a furnished unit.
Furnished vs. Unfurnished Apartments
When you move into an unfurnished apartment, it’s completely empty.
If you have a chance to talk to the prior tenants before your move-in date, there’s a chance they’ll sell you some of their furniture. Likewise, there may be a few built-in pieces, like a bookshelf placed into the wall or a kitchen island.
But for the most part, when you rent an unfurnished apartment, you’ll need to bring, buy, or borrow every piece of furniture, from your mattress and bedframe to your couch to your curtains and the art on the walls. Additionally, certain rooms might not have lighting and you’ll need to purchase lamps or other fixtures.
In contrast, a furnished property gives you a headstart on making your home cozy and comfortable. You may be able to find:
- A semi-furnished apartment with absolute essentials, like a bed, mattress, table, and sofa
- A fully-furnished apartment with all the furniture you need to feel comfortable
- A move-in ready apartment with accents, decoration, and decor
Let’s take a look at the differences between these furnished apartment rental spaces.
A semi-furnished apartment has the basic necessities. They usually include:
- Bedroom furniture
- A mattress and bedframe
- Kitchen essentials
- A kitchen table
- Basic living room furniture
- A sofa
However, a semi-furnished apartment may only include these absolute essentials. Semi-furnished apartments are common in university and college towns, so the landlord has an incentive to provide enough furniture for students to get comfortable. A college student might wonder, do apartments come with beds? In their student housing, it’s likely this answer is yes.
When you’re moving into a semi-furnished apartment, don’t expect it to feel like home on day one. You’ll likely need to buy essentials like curtains for privacy, a shower curtain, a bath mat, and your own garbage bin. Additionally, you’ll need to decorate it.
Do apartments come with furniture? If it’s a fully-furnished apartment, the answer is a resounding yes! Are you looking for more than the basics? If you don’t want to spend your first week in your new home making trips to Target, a fully-furnished apartment might be the perfect choice for you. A fully-furnished apartment should have everything you need to get settled.
In addition to the above, a fully-furnished apartment should include:
- Bedroom furniture
- Bedside table
- A cooking-ready kitchen
- Kitchen appliances
- Stools for any counters
- Waste bins
- Living room furniture
- Coffee table
- Bathroom furniture
- Shower curtain
- Waste bin
Move-In Ready Apartments
A move-in ready apartment feels like home as soon as you turn your key. For instance, Landing’s high-end furnished apartments come decorated with art in the living room, throw pillows and blankets for the sofa, and televisions. They also include toiletries and a number of different apartment amenities. In addition, you’ll have linens for your bed and plush towels for the bathroom. You won’t need to make a single order for apartment essentials after your move-in.
Benefits of Furnished Apartments
As you can deduce, furnished apartments can save significant time and energy when it comes to moving. When you move into an unfurnished apartment, it takes time to get settled. You may find yourself making trip after trip to furniture stores, then paying tons of money for furniture moving, delivery, and assembly.
Then, once you’re ready to leave your unit, you have to move it again—and the sectional that was so fabulous in your previous apartment may not fit in your new home. When you move, you may be able to hold on to a few high-quality pieces of furniture, but sometimes, the moving fees alone can be more expensive than the cost of Ikea or thrift store furniture.
This brings us to the pros of furnished apartments. They are:
- Comfortable from day one – You won’t spend a single night on an air mattress or eating dinner at the counter.
- Less expensive upfront – While you typically pay the cost in rent, there’s no need to buy furniture upfront. If you’re in an upscale furnished unit, the decor may be covered, too.
- Ease to move into – Just place your clothes in the closet and your books on the shelf, and start cooking your own meals on day one.
- Flexible – Furnished units offer more flexible leases than one-year rentals since they cater to people who live an on-the-move lifestyle.
What to Look For in a Furnished Apartment
If you’ve decided to rent furnished housing, it’s helpful to understand exactly what’s included in your rental and your lease. Otherwise, you may end up in a unit that requires more work than you have the time and budget to put in.
Keep the following information in mind as you research and look at potential units.
Before you can find your perfect living space, it’s important to know that there are different types of apartments that offer different benefits. Luckily, furnished apartments often have flexible leases. However, there is such a thing as a lease that’s too flexible, at least from a renter’s perspective. Consider the difference between the following kinds of leases:
- A short-term lease has a specific start and end date. After the lease terms expire, your landlord can rent out the unit to another tenant, or raise your rent.
- A month-to-month lease allows you or your landlord to end the agreement with 30 days’ notice. This can be ideal if you want the option to move, or you’re unsure of your future plans. However, be sure you trust your landlord. Moving from one short-term rental to another can be expensive if you’re required to pay an application fee and submit a deposit.
- Landing offers a yearly membership option so that you never have to submit an application. Enjoy all the benefits of a short-term lease knowing you can move into another Landing property in any city with 30 days’ notice.
The Furnishings You Need
Make sure you understand not just what furnishings are included, but also the shape they’re in (essentially, are your furnishings top-quality?) Some landlords may provide only basic or inexpensive furniture to lower their risk in the event of property damage. If you’re looking for higher-quality furnishings, make sure that the mattress and couch are up to your standards. In addition, look out for details like quartz countertops and stainless steel appliances.
It’s paramount that you understand whether your unit is partially furnished or fully furnished. Even a fully furnished rental may not have some things that are actually essential.
For instance, all Landing properties have the following furnishings:
- Kitchen appliances
- Tableware and flatware
- Plush towels
- Bed linens
- High-speed internet
With a Landing membership, you can also schedule cleanings and access concierge services. These services make it easier to settle into your apartment.
One of our top apartment hunting tips is to look both at the apartment unit as well as the actual building and its amenities. After all, living in a duplex is a different experience than living in a high-rise with a long list of amenities. Check out our guide on apartment amenities, and consider whether any of the following are must-haves in your future home:
- Outdoor space
- Communal workspace and printing room
- Fitness center or yoga room
- Laundry facilities
- Lounges and community activities
- Parking garage
- Pets allowed
Finding the Perfect Space With Landing
Are you looking for a furnished property with all the amenities you need to feel at home the moment you walk through the door? With Landing, browse apartments in your city of choice and view their full list of amenities. All of our units feature high-end furnishings to ensure a comfortable stay, whether you’re in your apartment for 30 days or you decide to make it your home base for the long term.
With a Landing membership, enjoy all the benefits of a month-to-month lease, as well as the knowledge that your next apartment is ready and waiting. Without an application or fee, move to another apartment or city with just 30 days’ notice!