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Buying vs. Renting Furniture

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FurnitureI needed furniture for the first time in a college apartment. Thanks to hand-me-downs and gifts, I didn’t have to hunt down much at all. Then I graduated, got married, and we moved into a house a couple of years later. We had to get our own furniture for the first time ever. We had to decide whether we wanted to buy or rent the pieces we needed and ultimately decided to buy. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are stuck on the fence on whether to buy or rent furniture for your place.

Expensive Furniture is Easier to Afford if you Rent

Have you seen the price of a quality set of furniture recently? Buying enough new furniture to decorate a whole house can be very expensive – often costing thousands of dollars. This is money that people may not have when first moving in, but rental furniture is cheaper and requires smaller monthly payments. Renting furniture enables you to decorate an entire home for a smaller amount of money up front.

Renting Furniture Does Not Require Great Credit

Homeowners often go into substantial debt buying enough furniture to decorate the living room and bedrooms. They often finance these purchases using either a credit card or store charge account if they do not have the cash, but those companies usually have high credit score requirements. Renting furniture usually does not require a good credit score. Furniture rental places offer payment plans that make it easy for borrowers with no credit or bad credit to rent to own.

Buying Furniture is Cheaper Over the Long Haul

If you have rented furniture before, you know that those small monthly payments can quickly add up over time. You will pay a bunch in interest charges and fees each month for the right to rent. Before long, you will have spent just as much on furniture rentals as it would have cost to buy it outright. Renting furniture may make sense for short-term stays, but buying furniture makes more financial sense for long term residents.

Most Rental Furniture is Used

Most furniture rental stores only offer used furniture. Plus, the furniture has probably been used by multiple households. If you want to own brand new furniture, then you will need to buy it. Even if you prefer used furniture, you can probably buy it for much less than what you’ll pay at a furniture rental store over time.

My Opinion

I like to own my stuff outright. Debt makes me itchy. Therefore, when we were in the market, we bought all of our furniture. Most of it was new, but we found a few great used pieces on Craigslist as well. In the end, we spent a ton four years ago, but we would have spent way more if we rented the same items for the last 48 months. Plus, we will be using the furniture we have for years and years to come.  I’d only consider renting furniture for temporary situations.

How about you?  Do you rent or buy?

(Photo: bfsminid)

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10 Responses to “Buying vs. Renting Furniture”

  1. Cindy says:

    Hey, that’s half of my sectional sofa! LOL. My sister gave it to me. As far as I know, they paid for it all at once. ;0)

  2. Traciatim says:

    Wait a second, are you talking about rent-to-own places that charge you twice as much as everywhere else for half as good stuff? You may as well just take out a pay day loan to buy that couch.

  3. freeby50 says:

    If you can’t afford to buy expensive furniture then you shouldn’t be buying expensive furniture.

    An article on Cockeyed.com found that the cost of rent to own at rent-a-center was equivalent to buying with a credit card with 100% APR interest rate. So I agree with Traciatim that those should be avoided.

    There are some other companies out there that deal in furniture for short term housing that are less of a rip off. But those are more suitable for people on short term jobs or something like that. If you’re going to be somewhere for a few months then that could make sense.

    • Strebkr says:

      Yea, this almost makes credit cards with the 29.99% interest rate look like a great deal right about now compared to some of these places.

  4. Jeroen says:

    I was really surprised when I saw the title of this post in my blogreader. Never before have I heard about renting furniture, don’t even now if it is a possibility where I live. But to answer the question, I buy, and because I am a student on a tight budget I bought everything except one small drawer (which was only €20) secondhand or got it from family members. All my furniture is very comfy and durable so I hope I never have to buy a complete set for the full retail price which often seems insane. Some companies ask thousand €€€/$$$ for a couch!?

  5. Shirley says:

    When I first married (51 years ago) we had the bed and dressers from my home bedroom, an extra card table and chairs from my parents for our kitchen, and used extra living room furniture from relatives.

    We made do with what we had, replacing and passing pieces on, until we could afford to pay cash for what we wanted. That was the norm for that time and looks were not as important as functionality and financial values.

  6. Keter says:

    On the other hand, buying rental return is often a very good bargain, but you have to shop carefully and know your prices. Some pieces will be cheaply made, others rendered disgusting by their users, but some rental return is quality stuff that is used in showcase homes and barely touched. That’s where you’ll find the bargains.

  7. skylog says:

    yeah, i guess i am with most here, i just do not “get” renting your furniture. it would seem to me the cost would be much higher, and i don’t know, i just “want” the furniture i am living on.

  8. chris says:

    I would recommend renting furniture everytime if you are renting a property or even letting.
    In most cases you can have the rented furniture moved with you uless youre moving abroad.
    If you downsize or upgrade you can speak to your company who will help you with that.
    Should you buy you will be stuck with items that wont serve any use im a smaller home that will either be kept in a lock up or youll have to sell next to nothing.
    Renting furniture is cheaper for like for like items.The furniture supplied is durable and will last, unlike using short term solutions like Ikea(which is a quick fit).
    I can choose evertying I want from an inventory including all domestic furniture, kitchen accessories and bedding.
    No logistical nightmares!No Late deliveries, all delivered by a dedicated proffesional crew.
    I have used cort rental furniture for a few years and never had a problem, their global partners roomservicebycort in the UK have a service which is comparable and help me while I relocated for 2 years.


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