The moving season is almost over. But if you’re one of the many people just settling into a new home, you might feel like the furniture buying season is just beginning. And that can be expensive.
After paying rent, a security deposit, or a mortgage down payment—plus any moving-related expenses—furniture can be an afterthought, leaving a less-than-ideal budget for the items that will make your new apartment feel like home .
Even with cheaper items from budget-friendly retailers like Amazon and Target, furnishing an entire room gets pricey. And if you want high-end items, a premium couch or bedroom set alone can fetch you several thousand dollars.
To save on furniture, consult your community and peer-to-peer resale platforms to find quality second-hand pieces and plan your purchases strategically.
First see what you can get for free
Before you venture down the Ikea maze or down a rabbit hole of online shopping, see what your local community has to offer. Ask people you know to get rid of something.
“Your friends and family may be moving too,” says Henna Noor, a full-time student at the University of California, Irvine. Noor recently moved into her first apartment on a furniture budget under $700 and got a free couch from her friend’s parents. “They might benefit from being able to get rid of an item without having to pay to move it or try to sell it before they leave.”
Don’t be afraid to talk to your neighbors or make a request on social media; The people in your life are likely to be happy to help you navigate this exciting life change. Many neighborhoods also have Buy Nothing Facebook groups that you can join to give and receive household items. However, you’ll likely need to find a way to transport the items, possibly by renting or borrowing a truck, or asking a friend to help you.
Try peer-to-peer platforms
Peer-to-peer resale platforms like OfferUp, Letgo, and Facebook Marketplace offer thousands of second-hand items. You may find some hidden gems within a 5 mile radius of your new home.
“In a store like Ikea, the options are limited,” says Miranda Escobar, a marketing manager at a New York City tech startup, who moved to Brooklyn from Manhattan in April. “A peer marketplace opens up different, unexpected furniture styles for you.”
Escobar’s target is Facebook Marketplace, where she searches for a single keyword like “dresser,” and then refines the results by color, material, price, and location. For example, she might be looking for wood items under $50 within 2 miles of her new address.
However, some locales have more entries than others and it can be time consuming to sort the results. Not all items have a retail price; Some sellers are more motivated to make a profit than to get rid of old items.
“It can take hours to find the real thefts,” says Noor. Noor checked the OfferUp app daily for a week before moving, looking for new offers from users who needed to get rid of items quickly.
When you shop at peer-to-peer marketplaces, flea markets, or real estate sales, seize the opportunity to take action. Note that the seller will often try to get rid of the item, but also try to offer a price within a reasonable range – lowballing may not get you a response.
“I’m always comparing to similar items on the market,” says Escobar. If it’s a branded or vintage piece, see what it would cost to buy new or what other resellers are listing it for. If you know the approximate value of the item you want, you can negotiate with a seller with more confidence and stay away from inappropriately priced offers.
“Obviously you want your new home to feel like home right away,” says Escobar. “But it’s better to be patient and wait for pieces at the right prices that really fit the space.”
By waiting for the lower priority items, you can ensure you’re ready to snag rock-bottom priced parts from users fighting postponement deadlines. They will probably accept the best offer available.
Patience is also helpful when shopping at retail: Out-of-season furniture is discounted in winter and summer to make room for new items arriving in spring and fall, and most stores offer significant discounts on holidays like Black Friday and the Labor Day. Furniture inventory at thrift stores can change regularly, and waiting for the right offer on a used piece could save you more than buying it new.
If you need something immediately, like a table, try to find an inexpensive placeholder to use now, like an inexpensive folding table. You can always upgrade later if you have the funds.
This article was written by NerdWallet and originally published by The Associated Press.
https://www.ocregister.com/2022/10/04/how-to-furnish-a-new-place-with-patience-and-a-budget-2/ Furnish a new apartment with patience and a budget – Orange County Register