New homes are funny, as they seem to grow in square footage when homeowners start trying to fill them with furniture.
We’re talking the real grown up stuff, not your mom’s hand-me-down mattress that got you through college and your first apartment. Unfortunately, though, buying new appliances and furnishings tends to set back new homeowners around $4,000 in their first year living in their new residence. However, it doesn’t have to be so painful.
Here are four ways to buy new furniture like a pro.
1. Find Pieces that Fit the Room
Of course, those shopping for new duds tend to try on various pieces of clothing before making a purchase — and now some furniture stores are using augmented reality tools to offer something similar for furniture shoppers. For example, certain retailers are rolling out mobile apps that allow shoppers to see visualize how different pieces of furniture will fit into their homes before making a purchase. Shoppers simply scan the room using their device’s camera, then place and adjust items until they find just the right fit.
2. Finance with a 0% Interest Credit Card
Nowadays, first-time furniture shoppers tend to go all-in with in-store financing options, since retailers often offer a promotional 0 percent interest APR for a few months or even years. It does sound like free money, but shoppers should explore all financing options before committing.
For example, applying for a new credit card that offers rewards on purchases, a lower interest rate and 0 percent introductory APR might be a better financial choice if consumers aren’t able to pay it off within the promotional time frame. Plus, consumers will be less likely to overspend on more furniture than they need because they won’t have to meet minimum purchase requirements to qualify for the in-store financing option.
3. Explore Other Financing Options
Alternatively, furniture shoppers could opt to use a balance transfer, personal loan or home equity line of credit to finance their new furniture. Paying interest may not seem like a good idea, but these options carry a lower risk of paying more in the long run, since in-store financing will charge about 25 percent APR retroactively if the loan amount isn’t paid in full by the end of the interest-free term.
If all other financing options fail, consumers should try to negotiate with the furniture salespeople for discounts or freebies like accent pillows or free delivery. And don’t forget to shop the floor models, which are usually steeply discounted.
4. Invest in Quality Furniture
For heavier pieces like beds and couches that will be used on the regular, new furniture shoppers should choose quality upholstery fabrics like leather, canvas, cotton or wool blends. To prevent buying mismatched and regretted furniture, shoppers should get fabric samples from the store and compare them to items at home before purchasing.
Pieces made with durable construction will hold up better long term so shoppers will save money from buying replacement items less frequently. Solid wood is a better buy than veneer or composite wood, and wood joinery is considered more durable than nails or glue. If homeowners are looking for bargain furniture, shop estate sales and Craigslist for quality used furniture that can be refinished.
New Furniture is Attainable
Although it can be an intimidating venture, buying new furniture is an attainable investment for those making such purchases for the first time. By using store tools like augmented reality, exploring various financing options, and shopping for quality items, furniture shoppers can furnish their dream home in no time.