Finding the perfect property, getting loan approval, and then striking a deal with sellers in order to become the proud owner of your dream home is only the beginning of a long process. Now that you’ve got a house to your name it’s time to make it livable, and that could include upgrades or even large-scale renovation projects. However, the more immediate concern for most new homeowners revolves around furnishing the space with suitable pieces. And after you’ve committed to 30 years of debt to pay off your mortgage, you might not have a lot left over to spend on furnishing your new home. However, there are quite a few ways to save money and make do until you have some extra cash on hand to outfit the rooms in your home with brand new furniture and accessories. Here are some tips that will help you to get the essentials without breaking the bank.
- Save vs. splurge. You’ve no doubt got a list of priorities when it comes to furniture. For example, you’ll definitely want a bed to start with. But a couch, a table, and a desk may also be high on your list of must-haves. The thing you have to do is create a list of everything you want, then pare it down to everything you really need right now, and finally, figure out what you should splurge on and where it’s better to save. This will help you to prioritize your budget. And keep in mind, you always have the option to upgrade cheapies down the road.
- Yard and estate sales. You might be surprised by the deals you can find on really great pieces of furniture simply by hitting up yard and estate sales in your area. Estate sales might be a little pricier, but they could net you a crack at whole sets (living, dining, and bedroom), as well as matching pieces. And yard sales could help you to find cool and kitschy one-offs that will represent your personal style and help to make your new space your own. And when you buy furniture on the cheap you might have some budget left for custom work like reupholstering.
- Craigslist. If you want something specific such as a television monitor, a sectional sofa, or an antique armoire, Craigslist is a great place to look thanks to search options that help you to locate just what you’re looking for. And in some cases, you can have your pick for the extremely reasonable price of “you haul”.
- Reclaiming. Your family and friends will surely want to help you out with their castoff furnishings when you’re trying to outfit your new home. But often, there’s a reason that they’re willing to hand over their used furniture for free. Luckily, you don’t have to settle for their broken, outdated, or otherwise undesirable furnishings. With a DIY attitude and a little creativity you can breathe new life into old pieces and make them work with your aesthetic. A coat of paint goes a long way, but you might also consider altering usage. If, for example, you get a dresser when what you really need is storage for books and media, consider taking out drawers and popping them apart so that you can affix the bottoms inside the cabinet as shelving. Or if you get a dining table that’s too small, simply paint an old door, screw it to the top of the table, and reinforce the legs for a one-of-a-kind piece that is functional and fits your style.
- It’s a marathon, not a sprint. You don’t need every stick of furniture today, so take your time when you start shopping for home goods. So long as you have the essentials to start with, you can comparison shop, wait for sales, and find the right pieces to flesh out your interior design at less cost.