There are many factors that you should consider before deciding on a furnished, partially furnished or unfurnished unit, such as: Is this for long-term or short-term? Am I renting or buying? Am I buying for my own use or investment? Who are my potential tenants? Do I want to buy my own furniture? Am I fussy about my furniture and appliances?

Should You Buy a Furnished or Unfurnished Unit? Consider These Factors Before Making a Choice.

There are many factors that you should consider before deciding on a furnished, partially furnished or unfurnished unit, such as: Is this for long-term or short-term? Am I renting or buying? Am I buying for my own use or investment? Who are my potential tenants? Do I want to buy my own furniture? Am I fussy about my furniture and appliances?

Let’s start by finding out what the different terms mean.

What is the meaning of a fully furnished property?

A fully furnished property basically has everything you need to move in with just your luggage (and some kitchenware).

What does a fully furnished property include?

Fully furnished units will have built-in cabinets, electrical appliances, furniture, lighting fixtures and curtains. At most, you will only need kitchenware and beddings to start living in the unit.

Some of the basic items in fully furnished units include:

  • built-in or free-standing cabinets and wardrobes
  • lighting fixtures
  • living room set (sofas, armchairs and coffee tables)
  • dining tables and chairs
  • bed frames (with or without mattresses)
  • curtains

Electrical appliances typically include:

  • air-conditioning and/or fans
  • refrigerator
  • television
  • washing machine (some units tend to be without this for hygiene reasons)

Pros of buying or renting a fully-furnished property

  • You can just move into the unit without having to buy furniture and appliances.
  • You save time and effort by not having to purchase furniture and appliances. This is especially true for first-time buyers or upgraders who do not want to deal with that hassle.
  • A brand new furnished unit from a developer is cheaper to buy a brand new furnished unit from the property developer because they get better prices for bulk purchases of the furniture and appliances.
  • Fully furnished new units from developers are usually designed by reputable interior designers.
  • Investors looking to rent out their properties can immediately do so the moment they obtain vacant possession. They will also find it easier to rent out a fully furnished unit and charge a higher rental.
  • For renters, moving in and out is easy because you don’t have to deal with bulky items.
  • Renters have the flexibility to uproot and move easily whenever they wish to relocate to a new area or property. They won’t have to deal with packing, hiring moving companies and dealing with potential furniture damage.

Cons of buying or renting a fully-furnished property

  • You cannot personalise your space and there could be items included that you do not need. Some first-time homebuyers would prefer to furnish and customise their first home themselves.
  • If buying furnished units from property developers, your interior design will mostly look like your neighbour’s.
  • The quality and design of the furniture, fixtures and appliances might not be up to your standards.
  • If you are upgrading your home and already own furniture in your current home, you will not have space to bring those with you.
  • If it is a subsale unit or rented property, the items will very likely have been used by the previous homeowner or tenant and could be damaged, frayed or unclean.
  • If you are renting a furnished property, you have to be careful not to damage the items because it will incur costs to you. Any items which are destroyed by a pet or child will need to be replaced or repaired.

What is a partially furnished property?

A partially furnished unit usually comes with the bare minimum and you will still need to get your own furniture and appliances. Items that are typically included in a partially furnished unit are:

  • basic lighting fixtures
  • built-in or free-standing cabinets and wardrobes
  • bulky appliances such as air-conditioner and refrigerator
  • curtains

Pros of buying or renting a partially furnished property

  • You can personalise your living space with your own furniture.
  • If you are a first-time homebuyer or an upgrader, you save on renovation to install cabinets, air-conditioning and light fixtures.
  • If you are upgrading your home, you can reduce costs by bringing in furniture and appliances from your existing home.
  • Investors who are renting out their homes can cater to a wider range of renters by adding in furniture if renters prefer a furnished home.
  • Renters who have purchased selected furniture such as mattresses and sofas will find this type of property a great fit. Many Indians prefer to select certain furniture themselves to suit their requirements but are not as fussy when it comes to electrical appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators and TV.

Cons of buying or renting a partially furnished property

  • The quality and design of the items might not be up to your standards.
  • You have to spend money and time to furnish your unit.
  • Buyers and renters will have to transport their furniture and appliances when they move in or out of the property

What is an unfurnished or bare unit property?

The terms bare and unfurnished are used interchangeably in Malaysia. In some countries, a bare unit means the bare minimum – without even wall finishes, tiles, fixtures and electrical wirings

Pros of buying or renting an unfurnished unit

  • You have a free hand to design your living space and choose your own furniture and appliances, especially for first-time buyers who want to customise their first homes.
  • If you are upgrading your home, you can reduce costs by bringing in furniture and appliances from your existing home.
  • You don’t have to use furniture and appliances that have been used by other people.
  • Rental rates are lower for bare units, which is good for renters but not as attractive for a property investor.

Cons of buying or renting an unfurnished unit

  • You need to spend time and money to furnish your home, including sourcing for reliable contractors.
  • For investors, bare units might be harder to rent out than a fully furnished suite and generate less rental income.
  • Buyers and renters will have to go through the hassle of packing and transporting their furniture and appliances when they move in or out of the property.

Obviously, the cost of purchasing or renting a fully furnished property is higher than a partially furnished unit or unfurnished unit. The difference in pricing can vary greatly by property type, but typically a fully furnished property will cost more than its other two counterparts.

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