Of the nearly 300 condos listed for sale on Marco Island this week, one-third of them are offered turnkey; one-third are being sold furnished; and another third are either partially-furnished, unfurnished or the furnishings are negotiable. Realtors refer to these condos as either “T, F, P, U or N”.
There is no legal definition for these terms so it is important to develop an inventory list before closing. Turnkey includes furnishings, accessories, rugs, dishes, cutlery, linens, TVs, art and lamps — everything you see except for personal items. After the closing, you bring your toothbrush and move in.
Furnished means all the big furniture items like sofas, beds, tables and chairs are included in the sale, but the seller will keep personal items and most likely any TV’s, art and accessories or miscellaneous household items. Unfurnished means the seller intends to remove everything by the closing. Negotiable means some or all of the interior contents may be bought separately or included in the real estate transaction for an additional price.
If the condo you are buying includes furnishings, make several trips both day and evening and look carefully in different lights at all of the contents you want included in your sales contract. Remember whatever you accept will be yours. It may be burdensome and costly later on if you decide to edit any unwanted items.
Ask yourself several important questions. Are these condo’s furnishingsreally my style? Can I just move in and live with the contents? How much will I have to edit and/or change to make it my own? Everyone who buys a condo for their own use always gives it their personal style stamp. This could involve some simple changes, perhaps new paint colors, a few new furnishings, some reupholstery and accessories or a more complex full blown redecorating or remodeling project.
For the best results consult with a design professional. They can create a plan for you that is tailored to your lifestyle and budget and one that can be implemented right away or over a period of time. This can save you endless hours of shopping, countless mistakes that are more common than you would think, like incorrect sizing, inappropriate styles and mismatched coloring, to name a few.
For the DIY people, set a realistic budget and timeline for yourself, and do some careful measuring and planning before you hit the shops or the internet. Develop your ideas by researching room settings on the internet and in the shelter magazines. Stick to your plan. Do not be swayed by a great price. If it doesn’t fit, it may not be the bargain you thought it was.
Just remember, you are buying a condo, no matter how it is furnished. Whether the condo comes turnkey, furnished or unfurnished you can change the interior, but you cannot change the view, the ceiling height, the square footage or the location in the building.