For first time buyers and renters, finding an affordable home in the first place can take up a lot of time, energy and money. Once everything is settled, the next big challenge is how to furnish the property. For many, operating on a tight budget means they need to compromise at least while they get back on an even keel.
The good news is there are plenty of different ways to furnish your home for much less than a second mortgage.
Make a List
The first thing you need to do is make a list and write down everything you are going to need for your new home. It’s not just about big items like sofas, beds, the fridge and cooker but smaller things such as duvets, covers and pillows. If you’re renting, you may get some of these provided in furnished property but chances are new home buyers are going to need to start completely from scratch.
Try to Avoid Hire Purchase
There’s always the temptation to take on a little more debt so you can have those furnishing essentials but if you’ve already stretched your budget with the deposit and rent or simply setting up the mortgage, this is something you should try to avoid at least for the time being. Overstretching yourself may lead to mounting financial pressures and working out your finances on paper and what happens can be two different things.
Contact Friends and Family
The first place to start is with friends and family. Are they planning to update their furniture soon or they throwing stuff out? You’ll be surprised what you can pick up if you put out some feelers to your nearest and dearest. Don’t be too shy about asking around and spread your net as widely as possible. Social media is a great way to do this most towns now have Facebook Selling groups, some real bargains can be had in these groups.
Local Furniture Recycling
We’re seeing a growth in local stores that are revamping old furniture and turning them into original pieces and making it available at a low cost. Some of these are run by councils who are maximising their recycling initiatives, others by companies that have grown out of upcycling and the market for old furniture. Charities like the British Heart Foundation have started running low cost recycled furniture stores around the country and have their own online shop.
Auction Houses and Car Boot Sales
Other places to explore are auction houses where you can often pick up a wide range of furniture and appliances that are being sold as job lots. This is not the easiest route for novices but can be a lot of fun as well as helping you net a bargain.
Ensure you check out lots properly and determine how much you are willing to pay. Because it involves bidding, you can end up forking out more than you wanted so a good deal of will power is needed. Another option to consider is the traditional car boot sale where you can find furniture on sale.
Of course, another option is going online through outlets such as eBay, Gumtree or Preloved. You can normally set your search options and find local people who are selling furniture which means you can head out and check the item in person to be sure about what you’re paying for.
Budget Furniture Stores
There are stores like IKEA, Tesco Home and The Range which now provide budget furniture and they’re worth checking out if you want something new but still don’t want to spend too much money. These are good choices particularly for items such as kitchen equipment and are often not much more expensive than buying second hand.