Purchasing your first home is a major milestone. But furnishing an entire house can put a strain on any new home buyer’s wallet. That being said, with strategic planning and savvy shopping, it’s possible to create a beautiful living space while sticking to your budget. Follow these tips to furnish your first home affordably.
Start with Assessing Your Needs
The first step is identifying your must-have items and style preferences. Walk through each room, jotting down essential furniture and accessories needed to make the space functional. Distinguish between needs and nice-to-haves so you don’t overspend on the latter. Also, define the decor style you are aiming for. Browse Pinterest boards and home magazines to pinpoint your ideal aesthetic. This will give you direction when shopping.
Create a Room-by-Room Budget
Once your needs are defined, determine what you can realistically spend on each room given your total furnishing budget. Setting a spending limit for the living room, bedrooms, kitchen, etc. will keep you on track. Remember to account for sales tax and any delivery or installation charges too. Investing in quality staples that will last for years can ultimately save you money compared to constantly replacing cheaper disposable items.
Explore Financing Upfront
Look into financing options even before you start shopping. Many retailers offer low-interest store cards or payment plans on furniture and appliances. Personal loans also allow you to spread out payments over months or years rather than paying lump sums. Weigh the costs and benefits of financing so you can factor it into your budget if needed.
Time Purchases Strategically
One of the biggest ways for new home buyers to save is by timing large furniture purchases around major sales holidays. Mark your calendar for Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, and other big-sale days. Retailers often run their deepest discounts on furniture and mattresses leading up to these holidays. Sign up for store emails and deal alerts so you know when the sales start.
Shop Secondhand and Vintage
Before buying new, check secondhand stores, thrift shops, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and consignment shops. You’d be surprised by how you can find high-quality pre-owned furniture for a fraction of retail pricing. Vintage and antique shops are another source for eclectic statement pieces. Take measurements with you when shopping so you can confirm items will fit your space.
DIY and Upcycle Where Possible
Put your creativity to work! Refinish, repaint, or reupholster existing furniture you or family members have to give it new life. Upcycling dated pieces with on-trend hardware and paint colors can transform them. For total customization, build furniture yourself using tutorials online and inexpensive supplies from home improvement stores.
Compare Retailers and Negotiate
Don’t assume you have to pay the sticker price! Compare quality and pricing across different retailers, including online and brick-and-mortar. Ask if there are any current sales or promotions. Negotiate with managers, especially for floor models, closeouts, or damaged box items. Being a savvy negotiator can knock off hundreds.
Prioritize Versatile, Multifunctional Pieces
Since space is limited in most first-time homes, new home buyers should aim to look for furniture that can serve multiple purposes. Coffee tables with storage, ottomans with lids, beds with drawers, and desks with shelves maximize functionality. Dual-purpose decor like tray tables that convert to dining tables or stools that function as side tables also add flexibility.
Furnishings don’t have to cost a fortune. Shop dollar stores, discount shops, and sales racks for budget-friendly pillows, throws, curtains, lamps, and other decor. DIY wall art from canvas drop cloths and fabric scraps saves substantially over store prices. Thrift stores and flea markets are treasure troves for unique accessories.
Maintain and Care for What You Buy
Your furnishings will last longer when properly cared for, protecting your investment. Follow all manufacturer instructions for cleaning and maintenance. Treat spills and stains quickly to prevent damage. Tighten loose screws and hardware. Repair scratches or chips in floors and furniture immediately. And know when it’s time to replace well-worn pieces.
With strategic planning and savvy shopping, you can furnish your first home in style while sticking to your budget. The satisfaction will make all the time and effort worthwhile. We hope these tips set you up for success as you embark on this exciting new chapter of homeownership!
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Mortgage Solutions Financial is here to support you every step of the way on your homeownership journey. Check back soon for more new home buyer tips and advice!