You have the power to decide whether to rent, buy or even sell properties that are either unfurnished (bare unit), partially furnished or fully furnished. But how does one go about it?
Before jumping on that property bandwagon, you must first know what to expect from each property type to help you determine which one is best for you. Throughout this article, we will be discussing exactly that. So, if this is something of interest to you, then keep on reading.
What is a Fully Furnished Property?
A fully furnished property typically includes sofas, tables, chairs, mattresses, and basic kitchen appliances. However, some units may have a toaster, microwave, and dishware as well as items for cleaning and upkeep. Air conditioners and water heaters are additional items that are also often available in many fully furnished properties.
Essentially, a fully furnished property goes beyond the basics. From beds and decorations to light fixtures and kitchen utensils, it has all the furnishings required for a person to live comfortably.
What are the usual Inclusions in Fully Furnished Properties?
Sofas, armchairs, and coffee tables (usually comes in a set)
Dining set (dining table and chairs)
Desk and chair
Bed frames (with or without mattresses)
Air-conditioners and/or fans
Dishware and cooking utensils
Washing machine (some units may not include this)
Advantages of Choosing a Fully Furnished Property
It saves time
Storage and moving are time-consuming tasks. It is possible for you to move into the unit without worrying and spending additional time purchasing any extra furniture and appliances.
Easier moving process
Having the benefit of a fully furnished property means that the entire moving process can be less of a hassle and less expensive. It is possible to walk into a property with only a piece of luggage and feel at home immediately. You don’t have to spend a lot of time packing your belongings.
Designed in a simple way to suit everyone
Fully furnished properties usually have a basic interior design with neutral colour palettes. Most landlords and property managers would choose furnishings that are simple and easy to match. In fact, a survey by Portico revealed that 41% of potential tenants preferred simple, modern furniture with neutral colours.
Units with full furnishings are best suited to tenants staying for a short period of time. For instance, tenants will have the freedom and flexibility to uproot and relocate to a new location or property with ease. They will not have to worry about packing, paying movers, or handling possible furniture maintenance.
Rental income is likely to be high for owners/landlords
With the property completely equipped and available for usage by tenants almost immediately, it is justifiable for owners to charge a higher rental rate than other types of properties.
Disadvantages of Choosing a Fully Furnished Property
Higher rental fees
A fully furnished property has higher rental fees – for obvious reasons. This is, of course, due to the furniture and appliances that come with it. The rental fees collected would compensate for the funds the landlords forked out to fill up the property.
Higher maintenance costs
With more furnishings, comes more responsibilities. Furniture and home appliances will eventually wear out over time so as a tenant you are responsible for the upkeep of the unit including the regular maintenance fees.
Furniture quality and design may not be up to standards
The furniture quality and overall design of the unit may not be up to your standards, or worse, they could be damaged and dirty from previous use. Hence why a fully furnished property may not be best for you if you are uncomfortable with used furniture.
Little to no customisation
The most common disadvantage of fully furnished units is the inability to personalise a space. There is also a problem of having items that you probably do not even need.
If you plan on upgrading and wish to include your existing furniture in your current home, you will not have space to store them. As a result, you may have to put that furniture in storage or sell it.
What is a Partially Furnished Property?
The term partially furnished is used to describe rental properties that are nearly bare to almostfully furnished. This type of property usually comes with the bare minimum and is furnished with the essentials.
However, do note that some units may not include some of the furniture like fully furnished units would have such as a sofa, bed, wardrobe, and tables and chairs. Additionally, you may not expect kitchen utensils in partially furnished properties.
Therefore, you would still have to purchase your own furniture and appliances depending on your needs.
What are the usual inclusions in Partially Furnished Properties?
Basic light fixtures
Bed frames (with or without mattresses)
Air-conditioners and/or fans
Advantages of choosing a Partially Furnished Property
Ability to customise
You can customise your living space with your own furniture – existing or new. This is good news for first-time homebuyers or upgraders as you can save on renovations like installing cabinets, air-conditioning, and light fittings.
As for investors who are renting out their properties, adding furnishings that appeal to different renters allows you to accommodate a wider range of renters.
Lower rental and upfront fees for tenants
Having a partially furnished home means that you can enjoy lower rental fees and lower upfront costs. Besides that, if you are perhaps planning on upgrading your home, you can bring in your existing furniture and appliances to reduce the costs.
Disadvantages of Choosing a Partially Furnished Property
The need to buy new furniture and appliances
Because there is only basic furniture available, you will have to spend more money andtime shopping for additional household items to furnish your unit before settling in.
Having to transport items
Both buyers and renters will have to transport their furniture and appliances when they move in or out of the property which can be tedious, especially if you are moving out of the city.
Rental income might be relatively lower for investors/landlords
Partially furnished units tend to rent for less than the fully furnished counterparts , but involve less upfront investment. This might imply a lower margin of profit for property owners in the long term.
What is a Bare Unit Property?
A bare unit property is also referred to as an unfurnished property. As the name suggests, this property is bare; without furnishings and decor. However, that does not mean that it is completely empty.
In some countries, a bare unit does not even include wall finishes, tiles, and fixtures. But, here in Malaysia, a bare unit or an unfurnished property refers to a home without basic furniture pieces, kitchen appliances, and light fixtures.
Advantages of Choosing a Bare Unit/Unfurnished Property
Ability to make it your own
With all the vacant space you have, you can do a lot with your interior design. You can personalise your home however you want and choose your preferred furnishings and decor.
As a bonus, you can even take the newly-purchased furniture with you if you plan to move into your next property.
Great for long-term stays
Choosing an unfurnished or bare unit property is a great option if you are going for long-term stays. Plus, with the advantage of customisation and freedom to do as you please to the property’s interior, you will be able to make the space truly your own, ensuring long-term comfort.
Budget-friendly and needs-based furniture
In unfurnished properties, you may reduce costs by bringing in existing furniture and appliances that you already own. Even if you purchase new furniture, you can make your purchase according to the price range you prefer and the requirements you have. Furthermore, the furniture in furnished properties may have been used by the previous owners and may not be of the highest quality.
Lower rental fees for tenants
Rental fees are relatively lower for unfurnished or bare units compared to that of fully furnished units. With that being said, it may be necessary to set aside a budget for furniture purchases separately. Ideally, the furniture you buy for your residence should reflect your own budget and the duration of your stay.
Disadvantages of Choosing a Bare Unit/Unfurnished Property
You would have to spend a lot of your own money on various new furniture and home appliances to fill an unfurnished or bare unit property. Identifying reliable contractors may also be part of this process.
It may be difficult to rent out for investors/landlords
For investors/landlords, bare units are often more difficult to rent out compared to fully furnished units due to tenants’ desire for ease of settling in swiftly. Although the market suggests that renters are looking for cheaper homes, many may have realised that making bare units livable may cost more than simply moving into a fully furnished one.
Packing and transporting items
Both buyers and renters will have to go through multiple trips of packing and transporting their furnishings when they move in or out of the property. This results in paying extra charges to movers.
Rental income could be relatively lower for landlords
Bare units tend to rent for less than fully furnished units. From the landlord’s perspective, this could suggest a lower rental income.
Is it Better to Sell your Home Furnished or Unfurnished?
Opinions are subjective. Some would say that prospective buyers are more drawn to a house if it is furnished, while others say that furnished homes are expensive.
There are many factors that influence the possibility of a house being sold. Among the key factors that determine the value of a home today is the state of a home’s furnishings.
To make it easier for you, we have detailed the pros and cons of each type of property furnishing for you below.
What to Expect when Selling a Furnished Home
– Furniture and home appliances can help potential homebuyers to get a better overview of what the space would look like and how it is utilised.
– Furnished homes generally sell faster than unfurnished homes. Interested buyers are more likely to purchase move-in-ready homes.
– Furnishings can enhance the aesthetic appeal of a home, increasing its value.
– May limit the buyer pool. When you sell a furnished home, you are usually looking for a specific type of buyer.
– Used furnishings could decrease the home’s aesthetic appeal.
What to Expect when Selling an Unfurnished Home
– You do not need to buy new furnishings.
– Ability to highlight a home’s maximum space and architecture.
– Attracts potential buyers who want freedom and flexibility to furnish the home however they want.
– Potential buyers may find it difficult to visualise how to furnish the property themselves.
– Existing furnishings may not match the aesthetics of the new home.
– An unfurnished home might seem dull and boring.
Both furnished and unfurnished homes attract different target audiences, which is why you need to be sure that listing your home – furnished or unfurnished – is in your best interest and could benefit you in the long run.
If you do intend to buy new furniture and appliances in the future, you might as well sell your home furnished. On the contrary, if you are on a tight budget and simply cannot afford to purchase new furnishings, then selling your home unfurnished may be the most practical option for you.
But the million-dollar question remains – which one of these options is better than the other; should you sell your home furnished or unfurnished?
Realistically, the answer to this question depends on your finances. Besides weighing down the pros and cons of each property type, it is equally important to figure out how much money you are prepared to spend.
Considerations when Choosing a Furnishing type for the Soon-to-be-yours Home
To wrap things up, we have also outlined a few key points for you to take into consideration to aid your selection process.
Duration of stay
For how long do you intend to reside on that property? Are you planning on staying there for a short period or is it a permanent settlement? Remember, this also applies to potential landlords, for those of you who intend to sell your property.
Knowing how long a person will stay in a particular unit is extremely crucial to keep in mind when deciding which type is best suited to your needs.
Before you even start looking for a property, find out how much money you can afford to spend. In other words, you should choose a property that is within your budget and requirements but remember to ask yourself if it is worth the price.
There is always more to it than just the purchase price. Consider how every expense will affect your finances, and be diligent in deciding on a price range you are comfortable with.
For those selling their property, you need to ensure that the price you offer justifies the property’s condition and available furnishings.
A new launch or sub-sale
Another thing to take note of is identifying whether the property is a new launch or a sub-sale. Also, while you are at it, you should also understand the liquidity of a property. This can help you determine whether or not that property has a strong resale demand (easy to rent out).
If you are renting for the first time or perhaps you are someone who moves around a lot, a furnished property might be the best option for you. But if you are hoping to make a property your forever home, it may be worth exploring unfurnished properties instead.
Conversely, if you plan on selling your home, personal preferences can also be included in your deciding factor mix, but it should be more about your potential tenants.
We hope that this article has, at the very least, shed some light on the differences between fully furnished, partially furnished and bare units or unfurnished properties and their respective perks and pitfalls.
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