Furnished Apartments for Rent
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Finding a Fuss-Free Furnished Apartment
There are many benefits to renting a furnished apartment, including quick and easy move-in times as well as a reduced volume of items you need to have on hand to live comfortably. Moreover, furnished sublets are often convenient for people who find themselves needing to rent or find a place right away or for a more temporary situation than a permanent one. The most common situation is to find short or long-term sublets through a private owner, as this situation can introduce flexibility on both ends if the contract is drawn up properly. By approaching renting in this manner, you can find sublets that are less or more expensive than unfurnished listings and, to some extent, the cost of monthly rent will depend on how much planning ahead is done by one or either party. For the most part, subleasors are able offer furnished apartments at or around the same monthly price as an unfurnished unit, so finding a room in a shared house is one of the things that often drives down the cost.
In this article, we touch on some of the things that you want to consider when you are looking for a furnished apartment in Baltimore, MD or Sacramento, CA, as these are two different cities on opposite coasts with similar population demographics. Baltimore and Sacramento are two large metropolitan areas with college campuses and, therefore, a younger crowd who will be on the move as they complete and transition from school. As a result of this wider trend, you will find a generous market for subleasing apartments through a private owner and, to a lesser extent, finding apartment rental companies that offer fully-furnished units.
Finding the Furnished Apartment That is Right for You
As mentioned earlier, you will find a greater market for furnished apartments through private owners or renters. Most of the renters will be seeking to secure a sublease, while owners have a room in or off of their personal residence, such as a fully furnished basement apartment or small “mother-in-law” room away from the main part of the house, or an additional property of their own that they will rent for either the short or long-term. To add to the value, basic and additional utilities - for example, internet and cable - may be included and constitute part of the deal in terms of the monthly cost compared to living situations where you would have to pay for these costs separately. This can save you anywhere from $50-100 per month, depending on the utility offerings.
Furnished apartments or rooms in houses are not necessarily much different in cost than unfurnished units. A furnished unit's monthly rent will most commonly vary depending on its size, location, and, additionally, the particular the living situation, including whether or not you will you be sharing common living spaces in a house with roommates, for example. Many private owners will also require a security deposit upon move in, which is commonly the equivalent of anywhere from half to a full month’s rent. On the other hand, some apartment buildings that offer unfurnished apartments might only require a percentage of the rent or smaller fee to cover any potential anticipated damage upon move out.
Many apartment rental companies offer corporate housing and extended stay units that are furnished, typically for a young professional market who are required to travel or stay for extended periods of time in cities that are not their permanent home. These are commonly higher-end accommodations where you have the standard comfort of apartment features as well as amenities typically associated with a luxury building or complex or even a hotel. Often, these furnished apartments are called suites and will be much more expensive options than finding a sublet or a private owner. The target market for such units tends to have a higher yearly income and, many times, companies will cover the cost of the living unit if they require their employees to travel.
Next, we compare two metropolitan areas that offer a good number of furnished apartments and rooms in terms of each other, as well as to the unfurnished apartment rental market in these local areas.
Sacramento and Baltimore: Finding a Furnished Apartment in a Metropolitan Setting
The greater Sacramento and Baltimore metropolitan areas are comparable in a few key ways, as they are both outer satellites of larger, more commercially and residentially developed urban areas. For Sacramento, this would be the San Francisco Bay Area and for Baltimore, this would be Washington, D.C. In both areas, you have a lot of commuters who travel to the more central areas of the nearby city proper as well as to the larger metropolis nearby. Sacramento and Baltimore are also home to several universities each, so this creates a large young urban population and rental market that tends to seek out the most affordable and travel-convenient living space.
College and graduate students as well as new young professionals are often in transition in terms of their living situation, so in Sacramento and Baltimore, you will find a lot of opportunities to sublease through someone who is on the move or through the private owner who has an additional property. You can also expect to find a number of apartment rental companies that offer luxury furnished apartments or suites in anticipation that young professionals will be staying for anywhere from a week to several months at a time on a temporary job or career move.
Furnished Places in Sacramento
A furnished room through a private owner or shared living are the most common situations in the Sacramento area. Most of these offerings are concentrated in and around the main college campus, California State University at Sacramento, and are also typically located in areas of the neighborhood where a grocery store, cafes, and other commercial activity is easily accessible on foot or using public transportation. The farther out you are, the less monthly rates will be, just like it would be if you were renting an unfurnished apartment away from the central locations of the metropolitan area.
Despite the fact that this furnished room market varies according to the same factors as an unfurnished apartment, most notably in terms of location, the cost of a rented room in a house is decidedly less than renting an unfurnished apartment of your own. Whether you are taking on a lease of your own or subletting through another party, you can expect to find in Sacramento furnished bedrooms at about 25-33% less of the cost of an unfurnished unit through an apartment rental company and if you are living in a house with a private owner who expects several months’ commitment to a lease (6+ months), utilities are generally included in the monthly listed costs. If you are looking at furnished rooms in a shared house, other costs like utilities will generally be divided evenly among the residents.
On the other hand, furnished apartment units of your own in Sacramento tend to be concentrated in corporate housing and extended stay options. These apartments will mostly be located in the downtown areas or near the Sacramento airport and the cost can be quite high - up to 150-200% of an unfurnished unit. These units are usually apartments with luxury features or amenities and, as a result, the price of these apartments can be at a weekly or monthly rate, with some rental companies requiring a 30-day minimum stay period.
There are many offers of furnished apartments in the Sacramento area, in and around the city proper. Some of their buildings are centrally located in terms of the city’s geography and the more outlying buildings are located close to major areas or routes of commute, such as the San Francisco Bay Area, the Sacramento International Airport, Lake Tahoe, and the Central Valley. These apartments range from studios to three bedrooms and their standard models are fully outfitted in the kitchen, bedroom, and living room areas, with WiFi, basic cable, and housekeeping services included. There is also the option for an upgrade package of amenities related to entertainment, office, and pet friendliness, thereby competing with the standard offers of rental companies that offer luxury furnished or temporary suites.
Furnished Places in Baltimore
The target demographics for furnished apartments in Baltimore and Towson are very similar to those in Sacramento, including young college or graduate students who need to find a furnished place on a budget and young professionals who travel on temporary assignments for work. For the college market, the cost of a furnished room or sublet will be about 62-67% less expensive than the cost of an unfurnished apartment for one person (i.e., a studio or one-bedroom) and predictably, these rooms and housing shares are available in and around Johns Hopkins University and Hospital or Towson University. Private owners and roommates who advertise for these rooms will also try to create a draw by pointing to the convenient location, walkability, and access to public transportation, as well as grocery stores and other places of interest for students, such as coffee shops, cafes, and bookstores.
In Baltimore, there are many luxury corporate housing and extended stay options, usually in the Harbor neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are the most commercially developed, with locations near one of the major commute freeways leading into Washington, D.C. area. Companies specific to this vicinity and other East Coast cities include temporary furnished apartments and interim homes that offer luxury features and amenities that are standard for corporate stay apartments, including fully outfitted bedrooms and kitchens, WiFi, and basic cable. You will need to request prices, but companies that offer stays by the day or week are quite costly, doubling or tripling the price of monthly rent at a building that offers unfurnished apartments.
Both Cities in Perspective
For both Sacramento and Baltimore, the price-to-market ratio for the college student is comparable in terms of what you can expect to find relative to an unfurnished unit, weighing in at approximately one-quarter to one-third less the cost of monthly rent, presumably to offset the perceived inconvenience of a shared living situation. However, the benefit of this furnished rental market is that you often have convenient and affordable access to the main areas of work and interest in your city, as well as more room in your living space at large.
For the corporate housing and extended stay market, the ratio appears to be equally consistent - double, if not more, the cost of monthly rent for an unfurnished apartment. The most expensive options are daily or weekly rentals, which can cost as much as if not more than a hotel in the same area in both Sacramento and Baltimore. Corporate and extended stay are common in both cities, given the young professional market and attraction of traveling workers that need temporary, but extended, lodging options.
As it turns out, there is no major difference between the two metropolitan areas in terms of what is available for furnished apartments, and there is certainly no lack of furnished places to find. However, there is a major divide between rental markets based on the population demographics and their perceived income. On the one hand, college students who are looking for short or long-term temporary housing will find deals through private owners and in shared houses, but on the other, young professionals have access to independent units with furnishings, luxury amenities, and more premium costs. There are little to no in-between options as far as furnished apartments go, as you must either be willing to live with roommates or have the kind of income or job that allows you to live in a furnished luxury unit with upscale features and amenities. The only other option is to find a Craigslist ad or a friend who wants to sublet their own personal apartment. As is the case in any city, you will have to do some digging and research for such a place and the right timing for you in either Baltimore or Sacramento.