Is Renting Furniture Ever a Good Idea?

If you are someone whose work requires them to move frequently, you may be wondering whether you should bother moving your furniture with every move, or simply rent furniture for the few months that you are going to be in your house or apartment. But does it really make sense to pay money for something that you are not going to own?

Other times, people obtain furniture on a “rent to own” basis following a move (usually out of their parents’ home into their first apartment) because they simply cannot afford to buy new furniture piece by piece. Again, is this sensible?

Renting Furniture

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of renting furniture.

The Pros

There are some pros to renting furniture. If you move frequently, renting furniture for a few months may be more cost-effective than constantly having to move it, or sell it and then buy at the new location.

In the case of a move to a first apartment, renting to own can actually allow a person to have far nicer furniture than they would be able to afford if they bought immediately. If you have absolutely no furniture, renting can get you a completely furnished apartment, usually within about two days, and often with no credit check. Many people see this as a far more desirable alternative than thrift shop furniture.

Military families can also benefit from furniture rentals – often, they are expected to move at a moment’s notice, and can be moved several times in any given year. Shopping for furniture just adds to the stress of the move.

So, the main advantages to rental furniture are that you can get it in and out quickly. And you can furnish a whole house or apartment for monthly payments as opposed to a huge outlay. Now, let’s talk about the cons.

The Cons

If you get your furniture on a purely rental basis, you will never own it. For some people, that is not a problem, and the convenience of not having to deal with furniture when moving can outweigh the costs of renting.

If you are renting to own, though, you had better be prepared to end up paying at least three times what the furniture is actually worth over the long term. The monthly payments are low, certainly, but the interest rate is ridiculously high. Imagine, for instance, paying well over a thousand dollars for a mattress that you could buy for around $300.

The furniture isn’t all that great either. Rent-to-own outlets don’t spend a lot of money on their furniture, so while it might look nice for a while, by the time you actually own it, it’s probably ready to throw away. Maybe it’s a bit better initially than what you could buy if you bought up-front, but that’s not going to last.

The Final Word

You would be far better off, if this is your first move, to go with thrift shop finds or whatever you can get from friends and relatives. Check out garage sales, and look on Kijiji or Craigslist. Many lovely pieces of furniture can also be obtained at estate auctions. Instead of shelling out a couple hundred dollars a month over several years to a rent-to-own outlet, save that money, and accumulate good furniture as it becomes affordable.

On the other hand, if you move frequently and have a low tolerance for dealing with details, rental furniture might not be a bad idea. It’s worth noting, though, that professional movers can move your furniture cost-effectively. It’s up to you, though.

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