Think of the tenant structure:
If the tenants do not have furniture, chances are they are transient or seasonal.
If vacation seasonal (which is not typical to atlanta) the rents are significantly higher.
If seasonal because of under graduate or graduate school (which is often not seasonal for an agressive student), often "room" leases with parent guarantee is a good rental philosophy.
Otherwise, a tenant with own furniture is more apt to go to term on a year lease.
We have not furnished any of our 7 rental properties and have always been able to rent them within 30 days or less. We do provide washer, dryer, fridge, microwave....most of our renters expect this. We also provide window treatments...usually 2" white faux wood blinds. They tend to hold up pretty well for tenants.
We agree with Durenda's post. Furnished rentals tend to work better for short term or seasonal rentals. Not really a metro Atlanta thing. Most long term renters will have their own furnishings.
We advertise for free on http:// http://www.craigslist.com with good results. You can create a neat color flyer on http:// http://www.postlets.com and transfer that to craigslist for a classier add. Good Luck.
To answer some of your questions, I would have bought brand new furniture for the entire house. I am looking at the 30318 zip code primarily due to the proximity to down town. I am also looking at 30030 as the pricing of 3 and 4 (particularly the 3) bedroom is right around the 10% to 20% profit margin per month (Given my financing). Since I now longer plan on buying furniture, I can set aside more money for vacancy, repairs, and the unexpected. Again, thanks for taking the time to post.
p.s. Here is one site that you can add your Rental with pictures for free. Sign up, respond to e-mail, then go to the classified section, click on "create AD and voila! good luck and let us hear more detailed info from ya