First Home Furniture: Checklist for First Time Buyers
If you’re a first time buyer, or are planning to be, you’ll already have a lot on your plate. Buying a whole house’s worth of new furniture can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.
Here are some tips for saving money in the long run, and a few essentials you’ll need.
Once you’re ready to shop, why not browse our full range of oak furniture?
How to furnish your first home
When buying furniture, forward planning can help you save time and stick to your budget.
Find out how much furniture is included with the house
Are the previous owners taking all their furniture with them, or is anything being left behind? See if you can find this out through your solicitor – you might be doing the previous owner a favour. Ensure you get an inventory of exactly what’s included, as disputes can happen over the smallest things.
In property law, decor and movable furniture are usually classed as ‘fittings’, while ‘fixtures’ include immovable things like integrated appliances, the boiler system, and obviously the kitchen sink.
This helps you to avoid moving into a stripped bare house, or finding abandoned furniture you hate.
Plan ahead, don’t leave it until the last minute
As a first time buyer, get used to long, drawn-out processes. Buying a house for the first time can take ages, so there’s no excuse not to have a basic plan for what furniture you will need.
Planning ahead really does help, so consider furniture in advance. This could involve:
- Creating a document of furniture you need, with links to product URLs
- Comparing product prices and calculating the total cost, versus your budget
- Drawing a basic floor plan (or firing up The Sims) to ensure you have space
It may seem nerdy, but this kind of attention to detail can help save a last-minute panic. However, still be prepared to change your plans at the last minute, if the seller drops out or changes their mind.
Shop around for the best prices for your budget
If you’re working to a tight budget, leave yourself time to search for the best value furniture for you. Read on for more in-depth information about saving money later, but this basically involves:
- Taking advantage of furniture sales, discounts and packages
- Visiting your local charity shops, vintage shops or antique shops
- Buying direct or wholesale, rather than from department stores
If you’re a first time buyer, you should be looking for furniture that stands the test of time, rather than the cheapest furniture available. A few essential, steadfast pieces are better than a house full of furniture that will need replacing in a year or so. But what furniture should you invest in?
What is ‘essential’ furniture for a first home?
When furnishing your first home, start with the basics – furniture for eating, sleeping and storage. Choose your essentials carefully, and you can worry about dressing tables and wine racks later!
Sofa & Chairs - Look out for package deals, and consider wear and tear
Tables - Coffee, lamp or nest tables provide essential surfaces for a cuppa
Media Unit - Bringing your TV, CDs, DVDs? Keep them safe and organised
Dresser - Display ornaments and store away your post and documents
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Bed - A strong, solid-wood bed frame can potentially last you for decades
Bedside Table - Essential, unless you enjoy leaving your phone on the floor
Wardrobe - Keep your best (ironable) clothes pristine and safe from moths
Chest of Drawers - Organise and tidy away clothing, blankets and linen
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Dining Table - Choose an extending table to save space in your home
Dining Chairs - For longevity, buy a set of as many as you’re likely to need
Sideboard - Tiny kitchen? Store away crockery, cutlery and tableware
Browse our full range of oak dining room furniture
Study & Office
Desk - Ideal for working from home, or picking up a new indoor hobby
Desk Chair - Invest in your comfort, especially if you’re sitting for hours
Bookcase - If you’re a first time buyer, display your books with pride
Browse our full range of oak office furniture
Choosing furniture wisely as a first time buyer
If you’ve been saving up to buy your first home for years, it’s tempting to go with your gut and buy the cheapest or most on-trend furniture that catches your eye. However, this approach can backfire if the furniture is low quality or looks dated in a few years. Here are a few things to consider.
How long does your furniture need to last for?
Furnishing a first home might be the first time you’ve bought furniture built to last. And if you’ve been renting a furnished apartment, it might be the first time you’ve bought any furniture.
Getting a mortgage on a property implies that you want to stay there a few years at least. If you think you’ll be upscaling again in a few years, your first home furniture might not fit with your next home, so there’s always a chance you’ll need to replace it. However, if your first home is your ‘forever home’, or you’re determined to move (or dismantle) pieces, look for the longest guarantees possible.
You can save money not having to buy new furniture every few years, and high-quality furniture is built with longevity in mind. The best quality leather sofas and solid wood tables can be expensive, but they’re often crafted to develop character over time. With care, they may even outlast you!
Find out more about how to care for your oak furniture
Will the furniture style look outdated in a few years?
Remember Changing Rooms, and how awful some of the transformations look now? Trendy, highly stylised furniture doesn’t always age well, so consider whether it’d be good value for money to replace it in a few years. Classic furniture styles are popular because they go with anything.
Also think about how easy it will be to change the decor style of your first home – ‘neutral’ furniture can work with a number of trends, while very modern or very traditional furniture can be trickier.
Browse all our different furniture ranges here
If you move house again, how difficult will it be to relocate?
Some furniture is extremely difficult to move, once it’s in place. If you’re buying flat-pack furniture, think whether it will need to be deconstructed and rebuilt during a move. Is it worth the hassle?
Measuring your staircase and door frames might save you stress during a future move.
Ideally, you will want to bring top-quality furniture with you wherever you go, particularly if it has long guarantees. This isn’t an issue if you plan to stay in your first home for a long time. If you plan to sell up and move on in a few years, maybe even buy furniture that you can sell on with the house.
Buying furniture for a first home cheaply
If you’re buying your first house, you may not be ready to buy ‘forever’ furniture yet. Luckily, there are lots of great value furniture ideas available for people working to a tighter budget.
Buying furniture brand new in bulk (deals and packages)
You can always find great deals online, such as our oak furniture sale. We have an ever-changing selection of clearance furniture, alongside discounts on certain furniture ranges. Look out for extra savings and deals, such as discounts when spending over a certain amount in one order.
Our discounted furniture never sacrifices quality – we’re just making space for new styles!
Charity shops, vintage shops and antiques
If you don’t want to buy brand new furniture for your first home, you can save money by choosing preloved and second-hand furniture. If you’re feeling creative, you can even upcycle it.
Buy directly from suppliers, rather than department stores
If you’ve spotted your dream sofa in a department store or boutique, see if you can find it cheaper online. There’s nothing like trying out furniture IRL to see if it’s right for you, but it’s worth doing a quick search around for it on the web. Our unique handcrafted furniture is available to try out for yourself at our showrooms, at the same price as we advertise it online – the best of both worlds.
Got any questions about furnishing your first home? Get in touch with us.
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