Should I get a furnished or unfurnished apartment near UNF?

Photo of The District on Kernan ApartmentsDistrict on Kernan provides a worry-free environment that allows residents to focus on the most important thing – being a college student.

If you are looking for an apartment near USF, I'm assuming you're a student at the University of North Florida, meaning you're looking to rent a student apartment. There are tons of great options in Jacksonville for students, both furnished and unfurnished; but there are definitely pros and cons to each. Furnished apartments typically come equipped with basic furniture such as kitchen appliances and table, bathroom necessities such as a shower curtain and bedroom necessities such as bed, desk and dresser. The exact items vary depending on the landlord and apartment complex.

Here are a few pros and cons to help you make a decision.

Furnished apartments: The pros

1. Moving is easy breezy

Student apartments are typically short-term homes, meaning you may move again within a year or two. Renting a furnished USF apartments means you can pick up and move easily when the lease is up and you move on from your time at the University of North Florida. Additionally, the move-in process is much quicker when you don't need to bring all your furniture with you. Especially if you aren't renting an apartment with an elevator.

2. You save on furniture

Long-term, you may find yourself wanting to own some furniture of your own. However, the savings in a furnished apartment are in the upfront costs. On top of all your tuition fees and books, adding on $600 for a mattress and $100 for a desk might not be ideal.

3. Good in a time crunch

Furnished apartments require time and preparation- even just measuring the space and buying furniture that fits well takes some time. This can be a problem if you were admitted at the University of North Florida after being waitlisted and need to transition quickly into an apartment near USF. A furnished apartment takes the hassle out of moving quickly into an apartment. All you need to bring with you are your personal items.

Furnished apartments: The cons

1. Rent may be higher

The money for the furniture has to come from somewhere. To offset this cost, apartments will often charge higher rent on furnished apartments. Additionally, there is often a higher security deposit on furnished apartments to protect from damage to the furniture. Read more on how to ensure you get back your security deposit here.

2. Liability

Going off that point, there is a lot more to be liable for in a furnished apartment. In an unfurnished apartment, for example, the only thing you might be liable for is punching a hole through the wall or staining the carpets. There's a lot more to break in a furnished apartment. Pro-tip: take video inventory of everything provided for you in a furnished apartment so when your lease ends you have indisputable evidence for the condition of the items when you moved in.

3. You don't control all the décor

From a stylistic point-of-view, you relinquish the choice of furniture when you rent a furnished apartment. If this is a big issue for you, consider adding colorful rugs and artwork to your apartment to give it personality.

4. Not a lot of room for your possessions

If you're looking for a furnished apartment, it's unlikely you have a spare bed frame and dining table in your possession. However, it's good to remember that space will be limited so bulkier personal items will be harder to fit. Some clever rearrangement should be all it takes to make everything fit and function properly.

These are the opinions of writers and not the opinions of RentJax.com or any of our advertising partners.