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Buying vs. Renting Furniture

I needed furniture for the first time in a college apartment [3]. 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 [4] 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 [5])