The United States is one of the most mobile nations on the planet.
According to a Gallup poll, 24% of Americans moved in the previous five years. Census data reveals that the average American moves 11.4 times in his/her lifetime. Architectural Digest even published an entertaining narrative written by an individual who moved 14 times in just 10 years.
In the United States, the furniture rental market is surging.
Fact.MR estimates that annual revenue will hit $10 billion by 2031. That translates to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8%.
More demand means more competition to address it. Today’s consumers often enjoy a wider selection at a better price. This is especially true in many large urban centers. The boom has also inspired furniture rental companies that offer more upscale options.
As with an apartment rental, a furniture rental company may check your credit, verify income, and ask for references. You sign a lease after you select the items and the rental term.
Furniture rentals: pros
Is it better to rent or buy? There are advantages and drawbacks to both.
Keep in mind that apartment amenities factor into the decision. There is less to think about if your apartment already comes equipped with kitchen appliances and a washer/dryer, for example.
Here are some advantages of renting your furniture:
It is often possible to shop online by room: bedroom, home office, living room, and dining room. Save money by selecting furniture pre-bundled at a group rate. Delivery typically includes furniture placement in your home.
Flexibility is the watchword of the furniture rental business. Are you still figuring out your personal style? No problem. Change your furniture layout or upgrade your furniture as your needs change.
Shopping for furniture takes time. If time is at a premium, furniture rental may be the answer. The shorter your stay, the more the pendulum swings toward renting over buying.
Deal with shorter stays
Some apartment communities cater to transitional markets with short-term leases on furnished apartments.
You may qualify to buy the rental furniture at the lease end. If so, some of your rental payments may go toward the price. This is very convenient if you like the furniture and want to keep it.
We’ve all seen furniture sitting at the curb, replete with a sign that says, “Free.” Unfortunately, most items remain curbside, awaiting transport to a local landfill. While some furniture gets combusted for energy, more than 80% does to landfills. According to the EPA, that’s 12.2 million tons annually. Rugs and carpets add another 3.4 million tons to landfills every year. By contrast, renting essentially recycles furniture from one household to another.
Furniture rentals: cons
The convenience of furniture rentals is undeniable. Of course, convenience comes at a price.
Over time, monthly rental costs can add up. The longer the stay, the less attractive furniture rental becomes. After about 10-12 months, rental expenses may actually exceed the cost to purchase.
Is it worth it? Every renter must answer this question based on his or her unique circumstances.
Fees and other costs
With furniture rentals, unexpected costs and fees can sneak up on you. In addition to the actual rental expenses, there are other costs to consider.
If you decide to rent furniture, be sure to determine which of these apply:
- Delivery fee
- Service fees
- Interest charges
- Fee for using an alternative payment method
- Insurance cost
Finally, there may be cleaning fees at the end of the lease. When they apply, such fees often get deducted from the deposit paid at the beginning of the lease.
Finally, renting furniture is a little like leasing a car. It’s easy to fall into the trap of stressing over the damage you might be docked for at the end of the lease.
Cost of renting vs. buying
You’ll often get more for your money if you buy rather than rent. This is especially true if you keep financing costs low. Take advantage of in-store financing deals. Or, get a new credit card with a low introductory interest rate, often zero percent.
Appealing scenarios for furniture rentals
There are a variety of circumstances where renting is often better than buying. Here are some examples:
- Subletting for a few months
- Military families
- Recently separated or divorced
- International students in the U.S.
- Summer internships
- Corporate relocations
Finally, enterprising students often get together to rent an apartment near their campus. They might furnish their own bedrooms while relying on a rental to furnish the common areas.
Some renters take a hybrid approach. They rent the larger items and buy the smaller ones, like table lamps.
Selecting the right furniture rental company
It is vital to find a furniture rental company that aligns with your unique needs. Consider these important variables:
- Price – Diligent comparison shopping could save you money.
- Style and selection – Find a company that offers the style and selection that appeals to you. Companies cater to different markets. Some specialize in bedroom or living room furniture, for example.
- Delivery services – Availability, cost, and flexibility. Some furniture rental firms offer free delivery and setup. However, others charge for the service. Also, explore possible charges for picking up the furniture at the end of the lease term.
- Warranties – Find out whether any or all of the items you’re renting include a warranty. If so, check out the terms.
As you compare, check out the customer reviews for each business. TrustPilot is one independent source for reviews. While you might see mostly favorable reviews on the actual website of the rental company, they may still be informative.
About Draper and Kramer
Draper and Kramer is a full-service real estate firm founded in 1893. D&K’s luxury apartment communities offer generous built-in amenities that simplify moving. This is helpful whether you rent or own your furniture.
D&K manages luxury apartment communities from Chicago to St. Louis, and from Dallas-Fort Worth to Phoenix. Browse our properties here.