10 Resources for Furnishing Your New Home
You just signed your life (the next 15 to 30 years of it anyway) away on a mortgage. You have closing costs, moving costs, renovation costs and housewarming party costs (if you roll that way). So what’s it going to cost to furnish that new place? The answer is, “It depends.” It depends on the owners, the size of the house and where you shop, or how crafty and Do-It-Yourself handy you are and how expensive your taste is. However, if you know where to look for bargains you can double or triple the value of even the smallest budget. Here are ten places to start furnishing and furniture shopping:
Your Real Estate Agent
Not everyone who sells their home moves their furniture out. Many homeowners, particularly if they’ve already moved out and into a new home, often leave it to their real estate agent to sell, give away or dispose of the perfectly good furniture they’ve left behind. Some real estate agents donate the furniture to Goodwill or other local agencies, but some sell it or give it away for pennies on the dollar just to move it out of the house after a sale. Ask your real state agent if he/she knows of any such homes. If you’re in an area with a lot of large homes, you’re in luck. People who are downsizing, retirees, etc. will often sell or dispose of their expensive furniture very cheaply so that they don’t have to move it or store it.
Stop leafing through designer magazines. Go straight to Pinterest, the online idea factory for every interest under the sun – especially homes. Create a free account and start “pinning” – meaning finding great home decoration ideas you like. Once you see the website, the term will make sense. Pinterest is like Facebook for photos of ideas, products, crafts and more. Start looking for creative, affordable, DIY projects you can use for decorating your place. You don’t just find great ideas, many small furniture shops, crafters, woodworkers, and upholsterers also post their services, tips and how-tos on Pinterest. It’s a great place to find unique furnishings, or learn to build, paint and upgrade your existing stuff. Check out “Online Garage Sale” in their search engine for garage sale bargains as well.
FaceBook Yard Sales
You don’t have to drive around the neighborhood looking for yard sale signs anymore. There are thousands of online “Yard Sale” groups on Facebook. Just search for “Yard Sale” or “Classified Ads” and your city or town name on Facebook. These groups are local, comprised of your friends and neighbors who post items they have for sale. The advantage is, they’re local, affordable, and you don’t have to get up and drive anywhere unless you choose to buy something. Most groups sell everything from vehicles and furniture to tools, mowers, kids clothes and shoes.
Online Yard Sales
Every town has yard sales, and now you can find many of them online, without having to scour your local newspaper. Start with The Online Yard Sale, Yardsales.net, and others. You can also Google the name of your town and “yard sales” to see what new sites and groups pop up.
There’s an app for that. Don’t want to sit down in front of your computer to hunt for yard sales? Then try the yard sale app – a family friendly app that lets you buy and sell new and used items – including home furnishings, online. VarageSale is international but is divided by region. With more than a million users you’re very likely to find your dream furnishing pretty quickly.
Estate sales are a way of liquidating the belongings of a family or an estate after someone dies, there’s a divorce, or the family is moving, downsizing or filing bankruptcy. Sometimes referred to as a “tag sale” in some parts of the country, these sales are so much better than yard sales because the furnishings are more expensive, are typically in excellent shape, and are higher quality items than bidders could afford to buy new. Check your local auction houses for dates, items and a general idea of the average bids.
Craigslist has been around for a long time, but that just means it works. You can find some amazing furniture buys, as well as an assortment of tools, appliances and more. You just have to be persistent, and cautious. Meet people who are selling items like televisions and electronics in public places where there are other people around. Don’t meet them alone. Take a friend or two with you and stay safe.
The Habitat for Humanity Store
Habitat for Humanity is known mostly for building houses for people, but they have stores across the United States where they sell new and used donated furniture, tools, housewares, painting and construction supplies, appliances, doors, windows, and cabinets too. Go to their resources page to find out if there is a store near you.
Everyone likes “free, ” and this is the place to find it. The Freecycle network is made up of 5,301 groups with more than 9 million members around the world. Everything on Freecycle is free. That includes furniture, appliances, tools, boxes, painting and lumber. It’s not always in pristine shape, but there are genuine bargains to be claimed if you check it regularly. Freecycle is a site for people who want to give away their items rather than sell them because they believe in recycling or don’t want to take the time to sell something.
Most of us know the old standbys – Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and other names, but look for single owner thrift stores, church thrift stores, and other second-hand shops in your area. Get to know the managers and let them know what you’re looking for, smaller thrift stores will often give regular shoppers a head’s up when an item comes into the store.
Homes.com is the place to dream and discover your ideal home! Are you starting to get the itch to look for your first or next home, but don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place! Browse our real estate and lifestyle blog for home buying tips, mortgage guides, DIY ideas, interior design, lifestyle topics, general home inspiration, or just some homes fun. We are sure you can scratch that itch and find all the information and tools you need to help in your home search. Want to start looking at available real estate right now? Head to our home page and check out homes for sale or rent listings all over the country.
Happy house hunting!