Furnished, Partially Furnished and Unfurnished Homes: What are They and How to Find Them

Let’s not deny that some of us may have spent more time than we should looking through rental property listings. We've all been enamored with photos of beautiful residences, complete with coordinating curtains and bed linens. But the reality is different. If you're looking for a house that comes with everything you need, you may have to pay more for it. If you, like most of us, are strapped for cash, it's well worth the effort to look for less expensive alternatives.

In our previous article, we talked in detail about the pros and cons of renting both furnished and unfurnished home rentals. But how far do you understand the differences between a fully, partly and even unfurnished home? Or know which type is for you and where to find it? Continue reading as we answer these questions for you!

How furnished and unfurnished homes differ

What does the term "furnished" mean, and what does it imply? Basically, as a tenant, there is no need to buy anything else for the home as everything is provided.

The term "unfurnished", on the other hand, refers to the fact that the rental does not include any or complete furnishings. More often than not, the home will be exactly as it was when the landlords purchased it, with the exception of the essential electricity and piping or plumbing system in place.

It's fairly common for renters who already have their own furnishings or those who want to transform their rental into a home to opt for a vacant property. It's simpler to work with a blank canvas than one that's already been decorated by other people.

While this isn't a must, a tenant should also feel like they can move in with only a suitcase. That’s where the option to rent a furnished home comes in handy for those who prefer not to spend too much time and effort when moving in or out.

Definitions

Fully Furnished Homes

When a home rental is completely furnished, it means the homeowner or the landlord has taken care of all the essential and additional furnishings for a tenant to reside in. If you're looking for essential furnishings, you're looking for things like basic plumbing systems and light fixtures. A bed and a couch for your bedroom and a chair for your living area are considered as ‘add-ons’ thus, are often found in a fully furnished home. To put it another way, a fully-furnished home is readily available for the immediate habitability of potential tenants.

To cut the spending on buying furniture, some tenants are more likely to rent a furnished home as it provides more functionality, on top of fulfilling the aesthetic needs. In a furnished home, you would have everything you need for a comfortable lifestyle. The depreciation of assets like sofas, tables, and chairs in a furnished home often leads to higher rents than in a comparable unfurnished home.

Items that can be found in a furnished home are as follows:

  • At a minimum, a living room should feature a sofa, table, and light, as well as a coffee table or bookcase.
  • Bed, nightstand, dresser and sometimes a workstation are all necessities in a bedroom.
  • Having a table and chairs in an eating room is essential.
  • There should be enough of utensils, plates, glasses, pots and pans, as well as all of the necessary appliances in a kitchen.

Partly furnished homes

In the rental market, partly-furnished or "semi-furnished" is used to represent a wide range of homes, from nearly empty to almost completely furnished. Sofa, bed, dresser, and table and chairs are commonplace in a semi-furnished apartment, but there are less other smaller items. A partly furnished home rental may not have the same cooking utensils as a fully furnished unit would, but it normally would have some of the basic features, for example, countertops and shelving units.

So, what's the difference between a partly furnished and a completely furnished home? The most noticeable difference would be, there is less furniture in the former than there is in the latter. It's not as bare as an unfurnished home because it's likely to come with essentials like a bed. In most cases, it will just come with a sofa and any other items the landlord has opted to include in the rental.

What's the point of renting a semi-furnished home? Tenants who do not wish to spend a lot of money on furniture but yet still want to express their personal taste will choose this option. It's also a popular alternative for renters who don't have a lot of time or money to spend on interior design but still need the basics provided for their home.

Unfurnished Homes

The term "unfurnished apartment" refers to a rental that does not include any furnishings (other than the basic light fixtures, ceiling fan and plumbing system). As soon as the landlords move in, they will leave the house as it is, save for the required security, power, and piping systems that have already been set up. Other than that, nothing in the way of furniture, free-standing storage units, or smaller items like cutlery.

The Pros and Cons

Renting fully and partly furnished homes comes with its pros and cons. We have covered these in our first article here, but just to summarize:

Renting a Fully Furnished Home

Pros

  • Cost-effective
  • Flexibility
  • Easy moving

Cons

  • Higher potential for damages
  • Limited design choices

Renting a Partly Furnished Home

Pros

  • Cheaper rent
  • You can add personality to your space
  •  Best for long-term stay

Cons

  • Furnishing your space is costly
  • Could possibly mean ‘no appliances’
  •  Lesser flexibility

Similarly, renting unfurnished units also has its plus and minus.

Pros:

  1. We said it’s a "blank canvas" because moving into an unfurnished property provides you with complete artistic control over the space. If you have a creative bone in your body, you can use it to decorate everything from sofas to beds.

  1. Appliances in the bathroom and kitchen, a closet (better if it's built-in) and drapes or blinds may be included in an unfurnished property. Because of the minimal furnishings, you are free to decorate your home in a way that expresses your individuality.

  1. Those who want to stay for a long period of time choose unfurnished homes because they want to live in a place that is truly their own. 

Cons:

  1. The cost of furnishing a home yourself is high. You'll need a sofa, dining table and chairs, storage, and a bed if you're moving into a one-bedroom apartment. In addition to that, you'll need to consider things like coffee tables, TV stands, and bookshelves.

  1. The cost of furnishing a two-bedroom, three-bedroom, and four-bedroom home may run into thousands of ringgits. Then there's the furniture's lifespan to take into account. It will be necessary for you to either sell or take your belongings if you decide to relocate, which would include moving large goods yourself or hiring a moving company.

  1. But what if the furniture you bought for one location doesn't match the furnishings you bought for the next? As a long-term investment, furnishing your house might prove to be a costly burden if you regularly relocate.

The right home for you

But what’s the point of knowing all these pros and cons when you are not sure about the plan of your tenancy? That’s why it’s important for tenants to know their objective and how long do they roughly plan to stay at a particular home.

For fully furnished, it’s more befitting for:

  1. Renters who are still in transition. This mostly means students and recent graduates just starting their careers. Generally, people staying for the short-term need a complete setup and rely on the immediate functionality of the home.

  1. People who prefer switching places after some time, because fully furnished would benefit them as they don’t have to worry about moving things around as often as they move.

  1. Overseas tenants would also find it convenient to rent furnished homes so that after they have to go back to their country, they don’t have to go through the exhausting process of shipping items to another country.

Partly or unfurnished homes are mainly for tenants who:

  1. Already have their own furniture and are moving out from their current home. It would make sense for them to find an unfurnished home to be able to store those items.

  1. Intend to stay for a long period of time instead of making it a temporary space. Over the years they would most likely have hoarded sets of furniture.

  1. A ‘visionary’ who has their own styles and wishes to manifest their creativity and reflect their personal tastes into their living space. Getting an unfurnished or partly furnished unit is a bonus for those who are into personalizing their homes.

But keep in mind that, there are limitations to decorating your home rentals. Read more on what constitutes damages that can affect your deposit by clicking here. Or you can check out some of our ideas on how you can decorate your home with some easy DIY tricks without risking your deposit.

How to find a furnished/partly furnished/unfurnished home?

Thinking about having to visit a home personally to verify the furnishing level of a home? Why go to that length when you can view a home from your home now? That’s right; what if we tell you that you can check the furnishing levels of different homes not only by browsing it online but also by viewing a home yourself using a Virtual Reality tour, for free?

Here’s how it works and we promise you, it’s really simple!

Firstly, head over to our website at Instahome.

Once you are on this page, click on the search bar and type in any area or property that you would like to check out. For example, you’re interested in the Verdi Eco Dominiums @ Symphony Hills at Cyberjaya.

So once you have typed in the place you are interested in, you will see the results displaying different units of the building. But, what if out of all these homes, you are only specifically looking for the ones that are fully furnished? It’s a piece of cake! Just click on the “Filter” button, next to the search bar.

Once you click on it, a filter menu will appear. This is where you can filter out the homes shown, and from here you can scroll through to the Furnishing section, and click on the furnishing level that you are interested in. So in this case, you would want to click on “Fully Furnished”. Once done, just click on the “Apply Filters” button.

Voila! From here, only fully furnished homes will be shown to you. Therefore, you can now look at the available options and click on the one that you are fond of. Let’s say, the second in the list above tickles your fancy. The next step is to click on it and you will be brought to the unit page.

As you can see here, all the information about the home is there, on top of the media asset. If you’re wondering how the furnishings look like, just scroll through the images or watch the video. We would highly recommend you to use the 360 Virtual Reality tour (on the left-hand side). It’s free; you would only need to log in or sign up (for free as well!).

By using the VR tour, you won’t need to travel all the way to the location to make sure that the furnishings are exactly as it’s advertised. In fact, we guarantee you what you see here is what you get when you rent with us online.

Here is how using the VR tour looks like:

Some individuals may be unfamiliar with virtual tours and online home rentals, but everything you need - the capacity to view and reserve a home - is already available at Instahome. Therefore, the traditional renting steps can be done without visiting the home or when you’re not around. Now that you can view a home virtually, you can get an insight into the different types of homes available - the furnished, partly furnished and unfurnished. After understanding how these homes differ and which one fits your tenancy plan, you can start making a decision. What’s next? 

You can view all the homes we have on our website.