You’re finally leasing your first place, and whether you like the cooler weather that you’ve found in Seattle, WA, or the mountains surrounding your rental apartment in Denver, CO, you suddenly need to find furniture for the home you’ll be leasing to a tenant.
Should you rent furniture, buy it used, finance it, or just buy it outright? Following are some tips for furnishing your property:
Don’t Buy Retail
There is always a sale somewhere, and if you merely go to your local most upscale retail furniture store, you may end up paying a lot more than you need to. A good place to start is a lower-end store like IKEA where go can at least get a baseline price for simple furniture.
People that put items on Craigslist are usually very anxious to get rid of them. Most Craigslist sellers fully expect prospective buyers to negotiate, and a lot of sellers are happy just to have that extra couch out of their house. If you do buy from a Craigslist vendor, realize that you have no recourse, and it is very unlikely that you could return a defective chair, for example, to the seller and get your money back.
There are excellent bargains to be had at garage and moving sales. These sellers are absolutely motivated to move their items because if anything is left over at the end of the day, the stuff will have to be hauled somewhere. It is important, however, to be there early, because the good stuff will go fast.
And if you do find some great new pieces for your rental property, make sure to have them cleaned and fixed up for your tenant. You don’t want to miss out on rental dollars because of dirty or pre-used furniture. Plus, you don’t want these items to break – causing even more home repairs than you’ll already be on the hook for with your new tenant.
These are usually run by established companies that:
- Know the true value of items.
- Are paid commission on what they sell.
- Are not afraid to say no.
Still, great deals on quality stuff can be found at these types of sales.
Be careful here. Rent-to-own establishments usually cater to persons with bad credit, and therefore these stores “rent” items with lots of draconian conditions. A $500 chair might have a weekly payment plan of $50 for 12 months that would end up costing $2,400. There are probably pre-payment penalties, and, sure, you could furnish your rental apartment for a weekly payment of a few hundred dollars, but if you miss a payment, the repo man will soon be at your door. These stores figure that customers will make at least the first four payments, and many times that pays for the merchandise and the repossession costs if the customer defaults.
Going Out of Business Sales
Some municipalities prohibit going out of business sales without a permit. Why? Because, especially in the furniture industry, these sales are a way to trick customers into thinking they are getting a bargain.
Instead of just liquidating existing merchandise, the companies that run these sales keep bringing in new product, and the store that you thought was quickly going out of business may stay open for months. They claim that they are going out of business quickly, but really, they are staying in business to move fresh product. For this reason, some cities put a time limit on these types of sales.
Of course, there are legitimate places to buy furniture and appliances, but do your due diligence. Used stuff is OK, but you’ll probably not be able to return it; estate and garage sales can work, and traditional stores are a good starting point. If you’re patient, you’ll find some great furniture – just be careful of anything that seems too good to be true.
This article has been contributed by our friends at ABODO Apartments.