Without a doubt, buying a fully-furnished home saves you time and money. It spares you from the trouble of buying expensive furniture, fixtures, and decorations. Plus, it’s more satisfying to see a prospect house that already has everything it needs, because it’s usually hard to picture an empty house furnished.
But on the flip side, a fully-furnished home would cost more. If you’re getting a loan, your mortgage lender may require a higher down payment. This could be manageable if you have good credit, because the more impressive your credit history is, the more favorable your loan terms will usually be. As such, you’d have less trouble when repaying.
On the other hand, if your credit is less-than-ideal, your mortgage and housing options might be limited. Your budget may only afford basic and unfurnished homes, but that isn’t necessarily something to frown upon. In fact, an empty house gives you a more creative allowance, which is exciting.
The only drawback is, of course, the time and money you’ll spend furnishing the house. So is it really worth it to buy a fully-furnished abode instead?
Perks of a Fully-furnished Home
Aside from the time and money that it’ll save you, a fully-furnished house also gives you major convenience. It eliminates the need for movers because the only items you’ll pack are your clothes and other belongings. Hence, it is ideal for families that are on a perpetual rush, particularly those with young kids or demanding careers.
If the furniture isn’t to your liking, then they don’t have to stay there forever. You can always save until you can afford to replace them with the pieces of your choice. You can earn from the existing pieces by selling them.
A fully-furnished home also suits people who are still undecided on the aesthetic they want. It spares them from the bother of making vision boards on Pinterest or hiring an interior designer. While those can be fun, they’re not for everybody.
Cons of a Fully-furnished Home
Closing a fully-furnished home sale can take longer because the seller would need to outline every single furnishing included in the sale. In turn, buyers would review the contract longer, ensuring that every item displayed in the home would be paid for.
But the longer closing duration can either be a blessing or a curse. That’s because when sellers make an extensive list of every item included in the sale, they might end up increasing the price of the home. No doubt, that’s a deal-breaker for buyers. But the good news is that buyers can withdraw from the sale as long as they haven’t signed anything yet. So if you’re in the same situation, check if the quality of the furnishings matches their price. If you think they’re overvalued, back out of the deal. Otherwise, the price increase is most likely justified.
How to Furnish an Empty House on a Budget
Now that we’ve established that a fully-furnished home isn’t always cost-efficient, let’s now determine if an empty abode makes more financial sense.
If you’d buy everything brand-new, these are the costs you’d likely incur for each room of the house:
- Living room — $3,000 to >$25,000
- Dining room — $2,000 to >$10,000
- Guest room(s) — $1,000 to >$5,000
- Master bedroom — $2,500 to >10,000
- Kitchen — $1,000 to >$5,000
Fortunately, there are shopping tricks that help you reduce your costs to the lowest possible. Start by setting a specific budget range, then narrow your options to the sources selling the cheapest but high-quality home furnishings.
To speed up your furnishing project, list down the essentials every room needs first. Don’t forget trash cans, towels, and other small everyday items. But since you most likely have those from your old home already, you don’t need to buy new ones anymore.
Prioritize your needs over your wants. That painting by a renowned artist may be irresistible, but if you don’t have a bed to sleep on yet, then that obviously needs to go to the bottom of the list.
Plan your budget realistically and follow it as strictly as possible. A rule of thumb you can base upon is figuring your baseline monthly spending and multiplying that amount by three. So if your regular budget after buying a home is $3,500 a month, then that would be $10,500 when multiplied by three. Aim to have this amount of savings to cover any unexpected costs when you move in.
And of course, follow the classic rule of buying items on sale or secondhand. It’s often better to buy from a high-quality brand on sale over a cheap brand with mediocre quality. Keep in mind that reducing costs doesn’t mean sacrificing quality!
Considering all of these, the answer to whether buying a fully-furnished home is more worth it ultimately depends on your budget and needs. If any aesthetic works for you, then a fully-furnished home should suit you. Otherwise, you must be willing to put in more time, effort, and money for furnishing.