With rental demand still high, it is important to make your unit or property stand out from the crowd. There are a number of factors in why a potential tenant would choose one property over the next: price, location and amenities are chief among them. If a tenant can rent a property that comes fully furnished, your extra effort may be the deciding factor that pushes them to the property. At the very least, furnishing your rental should attract some extra candidates. There are plenty of pros and cons to consider, but like anything else, it comes down to what you can get as a return on your investment.
The first thing you need to evaluate is where the property is located. If your property is located in a college area or in an urban neighborhood, your tenants may want the benefit of just having to move in and not worry about furniture. If your property is in the suburbs and your target market is families, odds are they may want to accompany their own furniture in the house. Once you decide if this is truly a benefit to you and your tenants, you can come up with a budget and a plan of attack.
Even the nicest furniture will not warrant tenants paying hundreds more than other comparable rentals in your area. You may get a slight bump in rent, but the main reason for furnishing should be to increase your chances of never having a vacancy. The more you can offer to tenants, the greater demand you will create and the more your property will be desired. Difficult items to move such as dining room tables, couches, large TV’s and even beds can prohibit tenants from renting an unfurnished property.
You cannot control everything that happens with your property once the tenant moves in. The nicest tenants will still scuff up the coach or break a leg off a dining room chair. Knowing this, you should budget your buying accordingly. The furniture you buy on a rental property should not last you years. If you can get anywhere from 3-5 years out of a couch, you should be thrilled. Items with less usage such as end tables and dining room items could last a little longer. You can opt to go for higher end items, but you will be disappointed when they get worn down quickly and they lose their appeal.
What you want to do is go with something that is fitting of your property. If you updated the kitchen and bathrooms, the property would look silly with cheap couches and you would actually lower the value of your unit. If you purchase above average furniture it will add appeal and add a wow factor that tenants may be looking for. Tenants want to live somewhere they will be proud they can call home, even if it is only for nine months.
If your tenants feel comfortable with your property, they may be willing to stay there for more than one lease. The less you have to worry about finding new tenants and turning your property over, the better off you will be. If adding furniture increases your chances for this you should strongly consider furnished your property.