Buying a home is one of the biggest and most worthwhile investments you will ever make. But the purchase of a house is only the beginning of homeownership! Once you move in, you’ll want to both fill your home with things you love and make sure you’re keeping costs down as well. Let’s discuss what investments are worth making, and how to do so while sticking to a budget!1. Furniture
When you buy a house, you want to make it feel like home! Furniture helps to do just that, but costs can add up quickly. That doesn’t mean you can’t furnish your home beautifully while being smart with your money!
Here a few ideas to find furniture without spending a lot:
- Social media: Many people choose to give their gently used items a second life by selling them on social media marketplaces. You’re able to see photos, shop for your style, and even negotiate price!
- Thrift stores: Many thrift stores have certain standards for the furniture they’re willing to take, so you know you won’t be getting anything with stains or odors. Since it’s secondhand, it’s also cost-effective.
- Garage/moving sales: Many people want to avoid moving big pieces of furniture and will practically give it away if you’re willing to haul it. Check out local garage and moving sales and see what deals you can score!
- Family/friends: So many people would rather pass pieces of furniture down to someone they know then just get rid of it. Don’t be afraid to ask a family member for that beautiful hutch you’re hoping to inherit or for a deal from a friend on that bedframe they’re getting rid of. Most of the time, people are happy to help!
Appliances are expensive, there’s no way around it. If it’s possible to repair something you already own, we recommend doing that (unless the repair is comparable to the price of a new version).
However, if you must buy new, it can be less expensive if you know when to buy. With many appliance stores having sales around holidays, you can find that fridge for much less than you would at other times of the year. Many stores even have scratch and dent sections or will let you buy the floor model at a reduced price.
While they aren’t quite appliances, kitchenware can go under this category as well. Invest in one or two cast iron skillets, and you’ll never have to buy another. They only get better with age and can do absolutely anything. For other items, the same appliance sales almost always have cookware sets available.
3. Landscaping and Outdoor Items
It’s important to make the outside of your house feel as cozy and inviting as the inside, but landscaping can break the bank if you aren’t diligent about your budget! Here are a few tips to keep the exterior of your home looking great while not spending more than you’re comfortable with:
- Stain your fence. If you have a wooden fence on your property, a simple stain can go a long way. Not only will it upgrade the look of your home and yard, but it can protect against the elements, allowing you to lengthen the life of the fence without needing replacement.
- Keep porches and patios clear of clutter. Between kids, animals, and day-to-day living, our outdoor areas can become a catch-all for toys, shoes, and sporting equipment. Adding this to areas that may already have items like chairs, pillows, and grills can have your home looking messy in no time. By keeping your space free of clutter, you’re upgrading your outdoor space without spending a dime!
- Hit those sales! Just like we said with appliances, patio furniture and grilling equipment can be bought for much less around end of the summer holidays like Labor Day.
- Add in string lights. A simple upgrade such as solar powered string lights will be cost effective and will add ambiance to your outdoor area!
- Plant a garden. Not only will a garden provide food for your family, but the upkeep is inexpensive and adds to the aesthetic of your yard. This also goes for flower gardens! By planting annuals, they’ll come back every year and all you’ll have to invest in is mulch and water.
- Keep your yard mowed and hedges trimmed. Landscaping doesn’t have to be expensive to look good. You don’t need to have a team come take care of things or spend a lot of money on fancy equipment. A good lawnmower and a pair of hedge trimmers will keep you looking good and feeling great, all while keeping your budget intact!
4. Home Décor
Purchasing pieces that make your house feel like a home is important. But it’s also important to stick within your budget.
Here are a few examples of home décor:
- Art and framed photos. Framing can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be a damper on your wallet. There are many creative ways to frame pieces that you love. Look at sites such as Pinterest to find cost-effective ways to hang your treasured memories. Art doesn’t have to cost a lot, either! Gather your favorite “abstract” pieces that your child creates and frame it above the couch or in the playroom. You can also find great pieces at secondhand stores and upcycling sites!
- Plants are such a beautiful way to add to your new home and can be inexpensive, too. Trimmings from a friend can lead to lush and full décor within your home and give you something to tend to as well.
- Area Rugs. Area rugs are an easy and inexpensive way to add warmth to your home. Many rugs are sold online at deep discounts, and some are even machine washable! Check out discount codes online to see how to get the most bang for your buck. You may want to see if grandma and grandpa have any vintage rugs laying around as well. Many rugs get better with time, as long as you know how to care for them.
Tools are worth purchasing when you buy a home to help keep your long-term home maintenance costs down. Maybe you don’t need a table saw, per say, but having a toolbox will be helpful for most tasks that come up around the home.
We recommend having these basic items:
- Toolbox (with a hammer, screwdrivers, and pliers)
- Stud finder
- Measuring tape
A basic toolbox usually runs around $20 and will help you around the house for basic repairs and to hang items. For bigger items such as saws and drills, Father’s Day is a great time to look for these items, as many home improvement stores will be having major sales!
Here at Churchill, we love to see people achieve the dream of homeownership. We love it even more when you can take on as little debt as possible. Getting on the smarter mortgage plan that Churchill provides can free you up to invest some of those funds into making your house a home. If you’re looking to buy or refinance, reach out. We’re always here to help!