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To Furnish or Not To Furnish? A Spotlight on the Charleston Rental Market

Holy City Sinner

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By Handsome Homes

At Handsome Homes, we are regularly questioned whether it is more advantageous for a homeowner to lease their property furnished or unfurnished. The answer is: it depends. Furnishing your property for renters certainly has it’s pro’s and con’s. Below, Handsome Homes’ Director of Property Management Kara Coville discusses the merits, and pitfalls, of furnishing your rental property. 

Pros

  • Customizing your property to fit your ideal tenant: Furnishing your rental property can make a home much more attractive to potential renters who do not have their own furniture. This can be a huge asset if you have an ideal renter in mind for your property. A snowbird will desire a different environment than a student, and a single young professional will have different needs than a family. Work backwards and shop for your intended tenant.
  • Higher rent & tax benefits: Furnishing a property also means that you can pass on the costs of outfitting your home to tenants by charging a slightly higher rent. You may also be able to claim back a portion of the furniture value in your tax filings as a depreciable asset.
  • Premium pricing based on rental time: Tenants who are looking for furnished rentals sometimes only plan to be in town for a few months.  This isn’t always the case, but often times, you’ll attract shorter-term tenants (1-6 months) rather than long-term tenants (1+ years) if your rental is furnished.  On a positive note, you can charge a premium if you are willing to accept short-term tenants.

Cons

  • You are on the hook for, well, everything: When providing a furniture package for tenants, it is your responsibility to make sure no necessities are overlooked – including utensils, towels, sheets, televisions, etc.  This can become costly.
  • Appeal:Your taste in décor may not mirror that of your ideal renter. If furnished haphazardly, a potential tenant may love your home and its location, but decline to rent due to conflicting preferences.
  • Profit vs. expense: Is the premium you intend to collect efficiently covering the cost of all furnishings? It is important for a property owner to understand the exact profitability of furnishing their home.
  • Price deterrence of tenants: For consumers, the main pitfall of a furnished property is that the monthly rent is frequently higher than an unfurnished property. If a tenant has their own furniture and does not mind moving it, the extra money they must pay for renting a furnished apartment would not be justified. If a tenant does not have furniture but is looking into renting long-term, many renters may want to invest in furniture of their own.

By: Kara Coville – Director of Property Management, Handsome Homes

www.handsomehomes.com

[email protected]

Originally from New England, Kara Coville relocated to South Carolina in 1997 to attend Clemson University, where she graduated in 2002 with a B.S. in Marketing. With more than 15 years of experience in property management and after spending nearly a decade working in multi-family housing specializing in new construction and start-up properties, Kara brings her expertise of the rental market to help grow Handsome Homes as a Property Manager.

Kara knows what truly drives the rental market from the ground up. She understands that it is how well you connect with the people you are trying to help and communicating your understanding back to them that makes one successful.

Kara lives in Park Circle. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family.

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  1. Pingback: Handsome Homes in Holy City Sinner - Furnished vs Unfurnished Rentals - Handsome Homes | Blog

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