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Chic Soho apartment comes with equally stylish furnishings (40 Mercer Street, #9 - Compass) Chic Soho apartment comes with equally stylish furnishings (40 Mercer Street, #9 - Compass)
From 2020 to 2022, pandemic-related supply chain problems left many consumers waiting months for household items that were once available within days. Midway through 2021, the supply chain crisis was so dire that some sellers even started to strip their homes of everything from appliances to toilets to avoid finding themselves without these items after moving into their new homes. In this climate, turnkey and even fully furnished properties started to experience an uptick in popularity. But even with the supply chain beginning to recover, the demand for properties that are already fully set up and furnished appears to be on the rise. This article explores when, why, and how to negotiate a fully furnished apartment.

When to negotiate a fully furnished apartment

Supply chain problems are only one circumstance under which it may make sense to buy a fully furnished apartment. If you've just been offered a job or need to relocate under a tight timeframe for any other reason, a fully furnished apartment can greatly reduce the complexity of an otherwise stressful move. If you're moving to the United States from another country, a fully furnished property may be especially welcome.

Why to negotiate a fully furnished apartment

Much like a car that loses an estimated 15 to 20 percent of its value the moment you purchase it and drive it off the lot, many household items lose value as soon as they are purchased and put to use. While there are certainly exceptions to the rule (e.g., a coveted piece of designer furniture), most household items, including nearly all appliances and most furniture, have a limited shelf life. As a result, purchasing these items used can result in significant savings.

There are also other reasons to purchase a fully equipped, furnished, and even decorated apartment. If you've ever wasted countless hours wondering whether to install Roman blinds or shutters, or to opt for walnut or birch bookcases, you'll appreciate that furnishing a new home can take much more time than expected. If you think your time may be better spent doing what you do best and not pretending to be an interior designer, a fully furnished property is likely a great investment.
In New York City, there are also two other reasons to consider buying a fully furnished property. First, many New York City apartments feature space-saving built-ins. Having built-ins taken out and redesigned is an extremely costly endeavor, not to mention one that contributes to landfill waste since most built-ins can't be easily reused in other apartments. Second, simply having furniture delivered to many New York City buildings can be challenging as nearly all buildings require an insurance certificate for each delivery and only permit deliveries at certain times (e.g., on weekdays during regular business hours).

How to negotiate a fully furnished apartment

There are several reasons to purchase a fully furnished apartment, but before doing so, it is important to understand how to do so without overpaying.

Obtain an inventory list
The first step is to obtain a detailed inventory of everything that will come with the property. Among other things, you'll want to clarify if the sellers are including all the artwork in the deal or just some pieces. The same rule of thumb holds for furnishings. You'll also want to obtain a detailed list of all the home's additional contents. Since the sellers may hold receipts for some of these items, it doesn't hurt to ask if they are willing to share these receipts. Finally, it is wise to obtain a list of any designers who may have left their mark on the property over time.
Consult an appraiser
Once you have a list, contract with one or more appraisers to determine the potential value of the unit's contents. Since some items and features may require a specialist (e.g., an art appraiser), you may need to contract with more than one appraiser.

Once you have appraised the home's contents, compare the cost of buying the home with and without the contents. While some furnished properties do sell for one price, in most cases, buyers are advised to purchase the property and contents in two separate deals. This is especially advisable when seeking financing since many lenders will only be willing to finance the property itself but not its contents.

Account for convenience
Even if you can't negotiate the seller down to a desired price, buying a fully furnished apartment may still be a great investment. When one factors in the time it takes to purchase new furnishings and the potential frustrations that can arise from supply chain and delivery delays, there is no question that when it comes to convenience, you can't go wrong with a fully furnished property.

The Larrimore, #9C (Corcoran Group)

The America, #1405 (Compass)

67 Park Avenue, #9A (Compass)

The Parc Vendome, #7G (Compass)

Grand Chelsea, #PHC (Nest Seekers LLC)

98 Front Street, #PH2B (Triumph Property Group Ltd)

Olympic Tower, #34B (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

40 Mercer Street, #9 (Compass)

Baccarat Hotel & Residences, #22B (Corcoran Group)

The Sovereign, #44AB (Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales LLC)

The Four Seasons Private Residences, #42A (Christie's International Real Estate Group LLC)

252 East 57th Street, #49A (Sothebys International Realty)

One57, #36C (City Connections Realty Inc)

The Ritz-Carlton Residences, New York, NoMad, #PH43D (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

Carlton House, #11E (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

50 Madison Avenue, #PH (Compass)
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Contributing Writer Cait Etherington Cait Etherington has over twenty years of experience working as a journalist and communications consultant. Her articles and reviews have been published in newspapers and magazines across the United States and internationally. An experienced financial writer, Cait is committed to exposing the human side of stories about contemporary business, banking and workplace relations. She also enjoys writing about trends, lifestyles and real estate in New York City where she lives with her family in a cozy apartment on the twentieth floor of a Manhattan high rise.