Becoming a property investor can be both enjoyable and frustrating, but, overall, it can prove to be a very rewarding venture.
Getting onto the property ladder can be a challenge from the offset, but, once the hammer falls and the contract is yours, you may then find yourself with a blank canvas and limited funds…
Just Landlords, provider of specialist Landlord Insurance, understands the financial strain of being a property investor, which is why they have put together this list of how you can furnish a house on a budget:
1. Plan ahead
If you do have a set price limit in mind that you don’t want to go over, it would be wise to get an idea of how much everything will cost. Split your budget up by room, and then consider the key items you want to include. For example, in a living room, you may want to simply have a sofa, a coffee table, some wall shelves, and perhaps a lamp.
You could then research how much these items would cost brand new, in order to give you an idea of what price really is a bargain. What you don’t want to do is think you’ve found a good deal second-hand, only to realise that you could have found such items for a similar price, or even less, in a high street shop.
2. Waste not, want not!
There are plenty of opportunities online for picking up freebies, which are no longer wanted or needed by others. By simply using websites such as Gumtree, or checking on Facebook’s Marketplace, you may get lucky and find just what you need. Ranging from bed frames, to coffee tables, some people want to make some space, or don’t want the hassle of taking unwanted furniture with them when they move. You would actually be doing them a favour by taking it away. A bargain can often be found by having a dedicated keen eye. Even if it’s not for free, you may find something for next to nothing.
Similarly, this can be a great idea if you need paint, but don’t require a full tin. People often find themselves with half a container leftover, so you could get what you need at half the price, and they get half their money back. Win-win!
As well as looking out for bargains, encourage them to come to you by putting up requests on social media for anything you’d specifically like. It’s also worth doing this on selling websites, but be conscious of the costs for adverts, if you’re trying to stick to a budget.
3. Get creative
Upcycling is still all the rage, so consider snapping up items that have seen better days, if they are cheap enough or free to a good home. If all it needs is a fresh paint job, then you can’t go wrong.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box with this one. If you’re DIY savvy, you can create no end of contemporary pieces for your property. Don’t take everything at face value, as often an item may have an intended design, but could be perfect for other uses. For example, a set of drawers from an unsalvageable cupboard could make unique wall shelves.
Also, consider the option of keeping the house minimalistic. Having a few pieces of furniture around as examples of how the space can be best utilised is key, but leave room for tenants to make their own personal touches.
4. Hit the high street for bargains
Despite our passion for renaissance, you don’t necessarily need to rule out the shops. Keep a lookout for end of season items, reduced for clearance.
There’s also no harm in making an offer, if you think there may be room for a further discount. The worst that can happen is they say no! Look out for any imperfections, which may warrant a lowering of the price tag, but remember that it still needs to be in suitable condition to furnish your rental property.
Buying in bulk can also leave room for bartering, so if you have multiple properties to fill, this could also work in your favour.
Overall, these tips could save you money, but remember to keep in your mind the overall look you wish to achieve. You could save a lot of money, or perhaps spend almost nothing at all, but if the décor doesn’t match, you might be doing more harm than if you were to leave the property unfurnished. Keeping colour schemes in mind should give you directions, but, when it comes down to it, you can’t go wrong with a bit of common sense. Have photos on your phone of pieces as you get them, so that you always have a reference to go to with any further possible additions.
We find the combination of bargain hunting and home decorating to be a fun and exciting experience, so get stuck in and enjoy yourself!