The Pros and Cons of Buying a Furnished Home

It’s said that in real estate, everything is negotiable. This is especially true when it comes to buying a furnished home. In this article we’ll explore the different types of furnished homes, the financial options you have, and the pros and cons of purchasing a furnished home.

What Counts as a Furnished Home?

A furnished home is any house that is sold with any type of personal property. Furnished properties can come in the form of model homes, turnkey properties, and personal homes.

Buying a Furnished Home

Model Homes

Model homes are completely furnished, and are sometimes sold complete with the furnishings and décor once the majority of the lots in the given community have been sold. They are often beautifully done-up from floor to ceiling and have lots of extra goodies and amenities.

Turnkey Properties

The term “turnkey” in the real estate world refers to a property that is move-in ready and has everything including dishes, towels, sheets, etc. These are popular in areas known for vacation properties.

Personal Homes

This is your typical, personal home for sale that includes furnishings. These are the seller’s own personal items and can include as little as the essentials (bed, dining table, etc.) to every last knick-knack.

How Does the Transaction Work?

According to the New York Times, the sale of furniture is typically a separate transaction from the real estate sale. Think about it: the bank isn’t going to want to bundle personal property into your home loan.

In most cases, a typical contract states that any furniture is included with no warranty and at no additional cost. If the sellers do indeed deem the furnishings valuable, they will arrange a separate transaction with the buyer. Often, they will offer two prices for the home: one furnished and one unfurnished.

For those interested in purchasing furnished homes, especially part-timers, second-home buyers, and vacation-home buyers, the interior décor is broken out as a separate transaction with the furniture being itemized in the appraisal. Each item must be documented, inventoried, and included in the term sheet and bill of sale.

What are the Pros and Cons of Buying a Furnished Home?

There are numerous pros and cons of buying a furnished home. Let’s take a closer look at why this is ideal for some folks and a total headache for others.

Pros

A furnished home:
  • Buying a Furnished Home

    Is perfect for first time home buyers and former renters who don’t have a lot of furniture to being with.

  • Is good for vacation condos so buyers don’t have to get a new set of everything!
  • Is ideal if buyers don’t have time to shop for furniture. Maybe they’re moving for a new, demanding job, or they have young children that make saving as much time as possible a priority.
  • Is great if buyers have no desire to shop for furniture.
  • Can save buyers money. In fact, buying a fully furnished home can save a buyer thousands of dollars depending on the quality and age of the furniture and the location of the home.
  • That is only partially furnished gives buyers room to decorate and furnish as they are able and want to. They can make the home their own with the necessities already taken care of.
  • Is perfect if a buyer wants a turnkey property. In other words, s/he wants to close the deal on Monday morning and spend the night in his/her new home Monday night.
  • Means a faster transaction, a closer closing date, a closer moving date, etc.
  • Equals the nonexistence of the hassles of moving!

Cons

  • Buying a Furnished Home

    Buyers might be paying too much for the furnishings. Like an emotional seller that overprices a home, a seller with an emotional attachment to the furniture may overvalue it.

  • The more details there are to work out, the more instances there are for deals to fall through. Don’t let disputes over whether the bed, artwork, or chandelier is included derail a million dollar transaction.
  • If it’s a seller’s market and buyers want something in the home that the seller doesn’t want to give up, it could hurt their chances of having the seller accept their offer.
  • The furniture could be considered an inducement to purchase, need to be appraised, and the down payment could increase by its value.
  • Obviously, the furnishing may not fit the buyer’s taste or style.

Conclusion

The most important thing to think about when considering purchasing a furnished home is this: will the extra money you’ll be spending be worth the time and hassle you’ll be saving? After all, rarely does the furniture add any real value to the property. Make sure you thoroughly assess what is being offered and to calculate if the asking amount is reasonable. If it is and you’re not too attached to the furniture you already own, go for it! A home offered move-in ready may be your stress-reducing blessing in disguise.