When looking for an apartment, there are various factors which you will need to take into consideration, including location, amenities, rent price, and quality. Another determining factor in choosing an apartment that has steadily gained importance is its readiness to occupy. Fully furnished and semi furnished apartments have become commonplace in listings, but what distinguishes one from the other is still confusing for some.
What is the difference between fully furnished and semi furnished? Although the contents may vary, fully furnished apartments usually include furniture, basic kitchen appliances, a shower curtain in the bathroom, couches, a bed, and a few others. On the other hand, a semi furnished apartment contains significantly fewer items such as lights, fans, and cupboards. Since a semi furnished apartment has fewer features, the rent is cheaper and the security deposit is also lower.
Whether you decide to live in a fully furnished or a semi furnished apartment entirely relies on your needs and preferences. Both living spaces have their merits and demerits, and all you can do is compare and contrast to find what suits you best. Here is a detailed look at what you can expect to find in both categories, as well as their upsides and downsides.
What you will find in a fully furnished vs. semi-furnished apartment
1. Living room
The living room of a fully furnished apartment should at least have couches, a coffee table, end tables, bookshelves, lamps, curtains and blinds for the windows, and maybe a desk or a chair. You may find electronics and entertainment units as well, including a TV and a stereo system. Telephones in the living room are also quite common.
On the other hand, a semi furnished apartment will only have curtains, maybe a couch or two, and standard light fixtures.
2. Dining room
In a furnished apartment, the dining room typically has a dining table and chairs, as well as a few decorative plants or artwork if your landlord is generous.
In a semi furnished, you may find a dining table and a few chairs as well, but keep your expectations low.
Other than the standard fixtures (bathtub/shower, toilet, sink), you will also find a shower curtain, curtain liner, bathmat, toothbrush holder, toilet brush, toilet cleaner, waste bin, towels, and a soap dish in a fully furnished apartment.
In contrast, a semi furnished apartment will most likely only have the standard fixtures, and you will have to purchase the rest of the items.
The bedroom in a fully furnished apartment will typically include a bed frame or headboard, a mattress and its protector, a dresser, a nightstand, and closet space. Depending on your landlord, you might also get linens such as sheets, pillowcases, comforters, and blankets. Additional items you might find are table lamps, hangers in the drawer, a clock radio, artwork/decorations, and wastebaskets.
For a semi furnished apartment, expect a bed frame/headboard, a dresser, and closet space at most.
There are some variations when it comes to the kitchen, but you should find the major appliances such a microwave, refrigerator, a stove, an oven, and a dishwasher, along with basic fixtures such as kitchen cabinets and drawers. The presence of other items varies, but you should generally expect a coffee maker, oven mitts, blender, veggie peeler, glassware, cups and mugs, wine glasses, pots, pans, toaster, whisk, mixing spoon, utensil set, dinnerware, measuring spoons and cups, mixing bowls, and a garbage can.
The kitchen is almost bare in a semi-furnished apartment, with most of them only containing the basic fixtures, and maybe one or two major appliances at most.
6. General supplies
Unlike semi-furnished apartments, fully furnished apartments usually come with general supplies such as toilet paper, paper towels, light bulbs, laundry baskets, laundry detergent, broom and dustpan, mop, iron and ironing board, extension cords and sockets, garbage and recycling bags, vacuum, cleaning spray and supplies, dishwasher detergent, and even batteries for the appliances.
If utilities such as telephone service and cable are included in your fully furnished apartment, you will have to pay for them in your rent.
Semi furnished apartments typically don’t automatically come with these utilities, and you will have to request for their installation.
8. Additional services
Fully furnished apartments may also come with additional services such as housekeeping, which you will not find in a semi-furnished apartment. Of course, you will have to pay for this, although sometimes it is included in the monthly rent.
Fully Furnished Apartment
Opting to rent a fully furnished apartment comes with its advantages and disadvantages:
- You get to save the money you would have spent on furnishing -When you move into a fully furnished apartment, you will find almost all the furniture, appliances, and supplies you need to comfortably sustain your living. All you have to do is buy food, bring along personal belongings, as well as perishable items. This means you will save the money you would have spent on the various household items.
- Moving day will be a breeze – Imagine not having to carry around heavy furniture and boxes as you move into your new apartment. This is what a fully furnished apartment offers. All you need is a suitcase or two containing your personal belongings and a few boxes containing the household essentials that may not have been provided. Furthermore, you won’t have to deal with movers, which means you won’t have to part with your hard earned cash.
- Many of them do not require a long-term lease – More often than not, fully furnished apartments are favored by traveling professionals who are obligated to move from one location to another on a regular basis, students who spend a significant part of the year in their college towns, or free spirits who don’t stay in one location for too long. This is because many of these apartments don’t require a long term lease, which allows for the much-needed flexibility when you don’t have a permanent residence.
- The rent is typically more expensive – In order to compensate for the money spent on fully furnishing your apartment, your landlord will most likely charge you more for monthly rent than if you lived in a semi-furnished apartment.
- Higher security deposit – The security deposit is also going to be significantly higher in a fully furnished apartment than in a semi furnished one. This is a preemptive step by the landlord to keep the furniture and household items safe from potential damage.
- Adding a personal touch – If you are not too fond of the décor in your fully furnished apartment, changing things up may not be as easy as you would expect. In order to replace some of the items you might not like, you will have to consult with your landlord first.
Semi Furnished Apartment
There are some advantages and disadvantages of moving into a semi furnished apartment as well.
- Freedom in the selection of furniture and appliances – In a fully furnished apartment, you have no say when it comes to the furniture you find. It is not completely unimaginable to end up with an appliance that is faulty or worn out couches in your living space. On the other hand, when you opt to live in an unfurnished rental, you have the freedom to select high-quality furniture and appliances that are fully functional.
- Cheaper rent – Since you have to buy most of your own household items in a semi-furnished unit, your rent is going to be cheaper than that of a fully furnished one where the landlord factors in the cost of items purchased into the rent.
- No worry about paying for damage to household items – There is no cause for worry when you damage household items in a semi-furnished apartment since you own them anyway and you have the option of not replacing it. In contrast, you have to be extra careful with everything that you don’t own in a fully furnished apartment to avoid paying for any sort of damage you might inflict. Furthermore, your security deposit won’t be as high in a semi furnished apartment for similar reasons.
- You can decorate your apartment as you wish – If you love to do your own home décor, then you’ll probably want to rent a semi furnished apartment rather than a fully furnished one. This is because you have more freedom to design and decorate since you probably own most of the household items.
- Moving in/out of your apartment may prove to be difficult – Owning most of the household items in your semi furnished apartment automatically means having more things to transport when you’re moving in/out. Moving day will generally leave you exhausted, and you also have to think about paying the movers when the job is done.
- You will have to spend money on shopping for household items – If you don’t own a lot of household items, you have to budget for the shopping, especially when you are planning to move into a semi furnished apartment.
How long is a short-term lease? A short-term lease refers to a rental lease that is on a month-to-month basis, or for any period up to six months. Anything beyond this cannot be referred to as a short-term lease.
What is classified as an unfurnished apartment? Unfurnished apartments do not come with any furniture, but may come with built-in appliances such as a stove, oven, and a refrigerator.