House Hacking Furnished or Unfurnished Rooms?

15 Replies

I recently purchased a property using an FHA loan and I'm trying to house hack it and rent the other rooms. I wanted to know if it'll be better to rent the rooms furnished or leave them unfurnished? If anybody has ever been in this situation could you please help?!

Furnished @Cedrick Pierre . Think of the tenant/renter who is interested in sharing a home. Here in St. Louis, it may be a tradesman who is has a 6 week job on the new hospital under construction, the insurance adjuster who is checking out claims, or a singer in the traveling musical. They don't want to buy a bed. I got furniture from Craigslist, rugs and lamps from and kitchen ware from the the charity shop. Don't overlook wi-fi, some serge protectors spread around the house, and a desk area for laptop use. And keep the bathroom nice, no one stays long if the bathroom is creepy.

I agree with furnished, but keep in mind some may want to bring their own furniture in which case you may need a place to store your furniture.  Any time you have people moving in and out, you risk more damage to walls and doors.

@Cedrick Pierre   

Perhaps your tenant base is different than mine, but I absolutely would not furnish the house. I purchased some furniture for my home before finding tenants and if I were to do it again I wouldn't buy anything other than a kitchen table. Every tenant I've had owned their own furniture and the last thing I/they needed was more stuff in the house. 

I have several friends who house-hack here as well and they've had the same experience. In fact I had one friend who did completely furnish his house and he's found that it was a waste of money. 

Now, as the person above me said, if the tenant base in your area is mainly tradesman who will only be there for 6 weeks then maybe you should furnish it. But personally I wouldn't be that excited about house-hacking if I had to replace tenants every 6 weeks anyways. 


@Cedrick Pierre all of my tenants have been in that age range and they've all had plenty of furniture. Naturally, I would expect that the older the tenant the more furniture they'd have but that's not necessarily the case. And okay, the biggest piece of advice I could give is to be THOROUGH on your screening process and be extremely upfront with your tenants as to what your expectations are.

I have been house-hacking for about 6 months now. My target demographic is graduate students. The majority of them want to bring their own furniture, although one tenant moving from halfway across the country was delighted to have it furnished and it's what actually sold her on signing the lease. Granted, the furniture I furnished it with was some old family furniture that no one wanted! If anything, consider furnishing off of FB marketplace or Craigslist (can get some great quality pieces on their for a fraction of the cost). 

@Cedrick Pierre - thanks for asking this question. I am in a similar position.

What did you end up going with?

I have two rooms in my home and am leaning toward furnishing one and leaving the other empty, running ads for both, and seeing what gets more interest.

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