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Corporate Housing vs. Furnished Apartments: What's the Difference?

By Colton Tucker

9 min read time

Anyone who has ever done a serious search for furnished housing before knows there are two options out there for furnished homes. Furnished apartments and corporate housing. But what’s the difference between these and how do you know which one is right for you?

These are questions we are asked everyday from potential customers on the hunt for a furnished home. At ExecuStay Midwest, we work with clients from around the world to find them fully furnished corporate housing throughout the Midwest.

We’re going to answer the questions above and hopefully help you make an informed decision about which furnished housing option is right for you. Let’s get started!

 

Corp Housing-3

Corporate Housing

Corporate housing providers supply guests with temporary housing in luxury apartment communities. These providers typically offer housing for 30-days or longer, however recent shifts in traveler needs have led many to offer short-term stays as well! This makes it a more accessible choice for all kinds of travelers. Typically stays don’t exceed 6 months, although there is no limit to how long your stay can last.

When you arrive at your corporate apartment, you’ll find yourself in a fully-furnished apartment home complete with cooking utensils, linens, and WiFi, making move-in a breeze and helping to cut down on the items you need to bring with you or purchase when you arrive in town. Some corporate housing providers even offer a grocery package upon move in, complete with fresh fruits and lots of tasty treats!

While staying in the apartment, guests can take advantage of the in-unit washer/dryers as well as access to all of the amenities a traditional luxury apartment resident would have like resort-style pools, state-of-the-art fitness centers, resident lounges and game rooms, and even unique features like movie theaters and wine storage rooms!

All utilities are also included in the price of the corporate apartment, so there are no extra costs to worry about. It’s all included!

One option that is distinct to corporate housing residents is easy access to extra services like housekeeping and a local support team. While not all providers offer the latter, local and regional corporate housing providers often have teams onsite to offer local tips and inside hints to help you make the most of your time in your temporary home. These local teams are also there to assist you with any needs that may arise during your stay, such as maintenance issues or special requests.

Corporate housing is priced differently from furnished apartments, which typically use monthly payments. Guests are usually quoted a nightly rate, which can run anywhere from $80 to over $400 per night depending on a variety of factors. You can learn about all of these factors and get a detailed breakdown of what you get for your money in our How Much Does Corporate Housing Cost? Blog.

 

Furnished Apartment-1

Furnished Apartments

As the name suggests, furnished apartments are apartments that come with furnishings provided. Real shocker, I know. There are varying levels of “furnished” however that you’ll need to be aware of. A furnished apartment could be either semi-furnished or fully-furnished, and a fully-furnished apartment and a fully-furnished corporate apartment aren’t even the same level of furnished! Oh and semi-furnished is actually what most people think of as unfurnished.

Agh! Let’s break through the confusion real quick so we can get back to it…

So first off, semi-furnished apartments are apartments that include major appliances like a refrigerator, microwave, stove and oven. Basically all the necessities you need in an apartment minus the furniture itself. If the apartment community offers washer and dryer hook-ups in the apartment, they will typically include these appliances, as well.

That’s where fully-furnished apartments come in. In a fully-furnished apartment residents get all of the appliances, but also furniture, décor, and maybe even electronics and cookware. This is slightly different from a fully-furnished corporate apartment, as these homes include WiFi, cable, and some other touches like cleaning supplies and groceries.

Ok. I’m glad that’s cleared up. Now where was I… Oh yeah!

While corporate apartments are open to shorter-term travelers, furnished apartments typically ask for residents to commit to a 6-month lease or more to stay in the apartment. Some apartment communities do offer 3-month or 1-month leases, though the shorter the term, the harder it is to find these leases and the more you will pay each month.

Just like other residents, furnished apartment occupants have access to all of the amenities in the apartment community, giving them tons of entertainment right outside their front doors.

Depending on the apartment community, furnished apartments may include all utilities, basic utilities only (like trash, electricity, water, and gas,) or no utilities. Find out whether your potential furnished apartment provider includes utilities so you aren’t surprised when it’s time to move in!

In contrast to corporate apartments, renting a furnished apartment does not intrinsically offer extra services like housekeeping and local guides to the renter so you may be on your own when exploring your new town… which may be exactly what you want!

You can always hire maid services, yourself, too, though finding one you trust in a new city may be tricky.

If you do rent a furnished apartment you will have access to the communities maintenance team who will take care of any repairs that may be required during your stay, though special requirements will typically need to be handled on your own.

Because furnished apartments include much more than a typical unfurnished apartment, the price tag is going to be a bit higher, usually in the range of an extra $200-$400 per month. This can make for HUGE savings over furnishing an apartment yourself, which could run thousands. 

Prices can vary wildly due to a number of factors like location, whether utilities are included, and how luxurious the apartment is, so you could pay as little as about $800 a month to as much as $3800 a month for an average 1-bedroom apartment. With the average cost of an unfurnished 1-bedroom apartment in the US residing just over $1200 per month, the average renter can expect to spend around $1400-$1600 a month for their furnished apartment.

 

Side by Side-1

Side-by-Side Comparison

That was a heck of a lot to digest, so here’s a nice little TL;DR to help keep everything straight.

  • Length of Stay

Corporate housing caters to a variety of travelers, offering stays as short as a couple nights to several months. Furnished apartments usually have lease requirements of 6-months or longer, but may offer shorter leases or month-to-month payments.

  • Furnishings

Furnished apartments are offered in semi- and fully-furnished options. Semi-furnished apartments include appliances but not furniture while fully-furnished appliances offer furniture, too. Corporate apartments are fully-furnished with the added benefit of cable and WiFi set up and ready to go, as well.

  • Utilities

Utilities are always included in a corporate apartment while some furnished apartments may include them and some may not. Others still may include only the basics. Ask the leasing agent at the apartment community you are interested in to learn which they offer before renting.

  • Extra Services

Extra services like housekeeping and local guides are often not offered as part of a furnished apartment package. Residents can utilize an outside cleaning service if they like and can enjoy exploring their new home on their own. Corporate Housing guests may choose housekeeping services from their provider when booking a stay. They also have access to a local team for tips, hints, and insider knowledge on the best spots in town for everything!

  • Cost

Corporate housing is offered at a nightly rate, typically between $80 and $400 a night depending on a number of factors. Furnished apartments on the other hand are provided at monthly rates, which often lie between $800-$3800 a month for an average 1-bedroom apartment depending on location and other elements.

 

Which one-1

Which is Right for You?

Well corporate housing is an excellent choice for shorter stays of a couple of nights to a few months. The all-inclusive nightly rates include utilities, cable, and WiFi so guests don’t need to lift a finger when they arrive at their temporary home. If you’re looking for a luxury hotel-like experience, where you can lay out by the pool or hit the gym while housekeeping makes your apartment spotless then corporate housing is a great option for you.

That doesn’t mean it’s perfect for everyone, however. Furnished apartments can be a much better choice for others. Residents staying for several months will likely pay less for a furnished apartment than a corporate apartment, but they may have to do a little leg work to make sure it's the right one for them.

Once you’ve established that the apartment is fully-furnished and figured out if the utilities are included or not, you can start enjoying your furnished apartment and all the great amenities it has to offer! If you don’t need added features like housekeeping, local guides or grocery deliveries then you may be more inclined to choose a furnished apartment for your stay.

Additionally, renters can always choose the more common option of renting an unfurnished apartment then renting or purchasing furniture, housewares, and electronics.

 

Corporate Housing in the Midwest

Now that you have all the info, it’s time to make a choice. (Prepares best Howie Mandel Deal or No Deal impression) Corporate housing or furnished apartment?

If corporate housing checks all the boxes for what you’re looking for in a temporary home, and your travel plans are sending you to the Midwest, we might just be a match made in heaven! 

ExecuStay Midwest provides corporate housing in 15 cities throughout the Midwest. In fact, we’ve provided temporary homes to thousands of travelers for over 30 years. We work hard to set ourselves apart from other corporate housing providers by presenting residents with an all-inclusive price, access to a local team of employee owners (that’s right we’re employee owned and proud of it!), and optional packages to make their stay as great as possible.

If your travels bring you our way, we have everything you need in a corporate apartment and do everything we can to make your stay as luxurious as possible. All you have to do is select your city!

Tags: Corporate Housing, furnished apartments, Pros & Cons

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