Author Topic: Furnished or Unfurnished House...WWMD?  (Read 1462 times)

Nissykins2

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Furnished or Unfurnished House...WWMD?
« on: March 04, 2020, 10:34:36 AM »
Last summer, my family got rid of everything we owned to travel as a family. As you might imagine, it was a lot of work, however being without stuff is AWESOME.

Now my husband has accepted what might be a potential dream job in a brand new city 2200 miles away from our nearest family members. He signed a one-year contract because we like being nomads and arenít sure we want to commit to regular life again.

Furnished rental houses are $500-$1,000 more expensive (and are much harder to find) than unfurnished ones. If you were me, would you spend $6K-$12K in excess rent or work to cobble together furniture from IKEA, garage sale sites, etc., knowing there was at least a 50% chance youíd have to get rid of it in a year?

charis

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Re: Furnished or Unfurnished House...WWMD?
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2020, 10:40:15 AM »
Buy some stuff on craigslist and at goodwill - and put it back on craigslist when you are ready to leave. 

terran

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Re: Furnished or Unfurnished House...WWMD?
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2020, 10:48:04 AM »
So you're definitely there for at least a year? Seems like you could easily furnish a place for less than $500-1000 x12 = $6000-12000 unless you're super picky. Definitely go used/craigslist at least for the non-fabric items.

nereo

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Re: Furnished or Unfurnished House...WWMD?
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2020, 10:59:01 AM »
IKEA furniture holds its value surprisingly well. In two recent moves I've been able to sell everything for 50% or more of the new IKEA price.

I would not hesitate to furnish the home entirely to your liking from IKEA and then sell on CL should you have to move in a year.

@terran is right - for > $6,000 you can furnish an entire 4 bedroom house very nicely from IKEA.  Depending on your tastes and the size of your home you could very easily furnish a home for $3k-4k.  If/When you have to move I'd expect you could get half of that back very rapidly if you are near any sort of metropolitan area.

And of course if you're willing to stalk CL you can find all sorts of deals on furniture which could cut this cost in half.  It's very possible to 'rent' quality furniture for $0 from CL - basically sell it for the same amount that you buy it for.

Put another way, your return on investment (ROI) is likely going to be in the 6 to 8 month range.


six-car-habit

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Re: Furnished or Unfurnished House...WWMD?
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2020, 11:01:52 AM »
 Beds - used mattress ?   although i suppose a furnished house has used matresses
 Table and chairs for kitchen / dining room.
 Couch , or 2 , depending on size of family /age of kids
 dressers should be cheap - can't really hang socks + underwear on hangers in a closet
 side tables - cheapish

  Big thing for me would be having a washer + dryer, but i don't want to spend hours at a laundrymat each week.

  Seems to me , if you spend cheaply at craiglist or garage sales, you 'll come out ahead, but if you're in a "rush" to move out for a new contract, you're not going to get anywhere near what you paid for your 2x used furniture when trying to sell it, so figure in another $50 [ or more if you dont have a truck ] for a trip to the dump at the end of your years stay.

 Are you currently travelling around the country in an RV ?  If so, can you just rent a spot in an RV / mobile home park, and not buy any furniture ?

cangelosibrown

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Re: Furnished or Unfurnished House...WWMD?
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2020, 11:03:25 AM »
I've done this recently, and am currently in the process of moving -- getting rid of all our furniture and doing it all again. You definitely do not need 6k-12k to furnish a place. My recommendation for you, if you've been without stuff for a while (as I was for about 4 years before getting a permanent place again) is to seriously rethink how much furniture you need.

Dressers? nope, don't have enough clothes for that, just got  $10 hanging shelves from Walmart.

Desk? I always had one, and never actually did any work on it. I just work from the couch.

Bedframes? Why? Just one more thing for my toddler to fall off of.

Mattresses are cheap these days, I love my Allswell mattress from Walmart.

We have a playroom that has no furniture at all in it, and it's perfect for my son. I'm not sure there's an age where that won't be true.

Ballpark, we spent $1500 all-in to furnish a 3 bedroom place.  My guess is we'll spend about the same on our next place. We're planning to spend more on a couch this time, but won't have to rebuy anything that we can fit in our car for the move.

We bought every single thing on the internet and had it delivered. It was all very easy.

Another consideration -- furnished options are not only more expensive, but the selection is very limited. If you go unfurnished, there's a much greater choice of area, etc.

honeybbq

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Re: Furnished or Unfurnished House...WWMD?
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2020, 01:01:07 PM »
If it's just for the year, I would probably go with furnished and pay the extra to not deal with the hassle.

SunnyDays

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Re: Furnished or Unfurnished House...WWMD?
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2020, 01:10:25 PM »
If you might only stay for a year and have lived without a lot of stuff already, why not just get as small an apartment as you can tolerate and furnish it second hand, since you would need less stuff than for a house?

partgypsy

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Re: Furnished or Unfurnished House...WWMD?
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2020, 01:11:30 PM »
Like others say you really don't need 6-12K to furnish a house, unless you HAVE to have things matching, etc. Get mattresses soft goods from Ikea. dishes, silverware etc from thrift stores. Live minimally. The ikea stuff in a year you can prob recoup some cost from. I've actually spent some money on furnishing my house the past 2 years (divorce) and I admit I did spent more money than need be, such as for example spending 300 on a French style dresser. But there is always a way to do things more cheaply.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Furnished or Unfurnished House...WWMD?
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2020, 01:26:10 PM »
I'd go for unfurnished.  If you were going to a small town or rural area I would go for furnished, becasue it is harder to find stuff and also to get rid of it.  But a city?  Easy.  Lots of second hand stuff out there.  Ikea is good for housewares.  I like going for higher quality on small things that get used a lot - i.e. nice cutlery instead of super cheap.  Plus small stuff can go with you on the next move.

Davnasty

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Re: Furnished or Unfurnished House...WWMD?
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2020, 02:55:35 PM »
Another vote for unfurnished.

It sounds like you've already embraced some form of minimalism and I think this would be a good time to find out what pieces of furniture are really important and make your life easier/better. In a furnished place you'll start with lot of stuff and find ways to use it. In an empty space you can figure out what you really miss and then see how day to day life changes as you add pieces of furniture.

A few years ago I spent 18 months in an apartment with a folding card table, 2 folding chairs, a roll up sleeping mat, and a futon couch. I learned that I didn't really need the couch.

Also worth thinking about, would you be charged for damage to the furniture? Living around stuff that I'm worried about damaging is stressful for me. I prefer stuff that's already "broken in".

socaso

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Re: Furnished or Unfurnished House...WWMD?
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2020, 04:02:40 PM »
You have the opportunity to live out a tightwad fantasy I've had for years. If I were in your shoes I would do unfurnished and haunt the craiglist free list and grab stuff as it comes up. There's also free stuff on FB marketplace. I bet you could rent a van for a weekend and get most of what you need. Personally I would still buy beds new but you can get a lot of stuff in decent shape for free. You might want to scope out the free list in your area and see what kinds of things end up on it. I have lurked on the free list for years in different cities I've lived in and seen a lot of good stuff go up there. Even if you don't see enough stuff in free to get the job done there are always people selling things for a song over in new, too.

Plus if you are crafty you can really have some fun fixing things up. Dining chairs with seat cushions are super easy to cover, paint can make anything come back to life, wood is easy to refinish although it does take some time.

Nissykins2

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Re: Furnished or Unfurnished House...WWMD?
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2020, 04:46:51 PM »
Thank you all for reminding me that furnishing a place is no big deal. Weíve been AirBnB-ing it for the last 11 months, and Iíve gotten addicted to the convenience of just showing up to a home ready-to-go. Probably time to shake things up. I appreciate all of you taking the time to weigh in!!!

Villanelle

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Re: Furnished or Unfurnished House...WWMD?
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2020, 04:52:55 PM »
Join the local Buy Nothing group on Facebook, if you have one.

I am utterly amazed at what people give away on mine.  There is often really great stuff that would sell for hundreds of dollars, but true believers in Buy Nothing project give it away.  And in my group, you can post specific asks and they are nearly always fulfilled.   

9patch

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Re: Furnished or Unfurnished House...WWMD?
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2020, 05:08:45 PM »
I agree with joining a Buy Nothing group on Facebook. People always give away desks, chairs, dressers, etc.

six-car-habit

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Re: Furnished or Unfurnished House...WWMD?
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2020, 11:41:36 PM »

A few years ago I spent 18 months in an apartment with a folding card table, 2 folding chairs, a roll up sleeping mat, and a futon couch. I learned that I didn't really need the couch.


  Did you ever bring a potential boyfriend / girlfriend / date back to this apartment ? 

    My old self would have been embarrased .... actually my current self would be also ... it sounds like living in a "cell" in a monastery with nothing but a wood plank chained to a wall for a bed [ that doubles as a desk ].  I mean i understand some folks are young and flexible, and like having a big bank account - but having somewhere comfortable to sit while waiting for your Ramen noodles to boil is nice also. Ah, wait i re-read, futon , i suppose that has padding.

Malcat

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Re: Furnished or Unfurnished House...WWMD?
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2020, 03:47:18 AM »

A few years ago I spent 18 months in an apartment with a folding card table, 2 folding chairs, a roll up sleeping mat, and a futon couch. I learned that I didn't really need the couch.


  Did you ever bring a potential boyfriend / girlfriend / date back to this apartment ? 

    My old self would have been embarrased .... actually my current self would be also ... it sounds like living in a "cell" in a monastery with nothing but a wood plank chained to a wall for a bed [ that doubles as a desk ].  I mean i understand some folks are young and flexible, and like having a big bank account - but having somewhere comfortable to sit while waiting for your Ramen noodles to boil is nice also. Ah, wait i re-read, futon , i suppose that has padding.

Pfft, I dated a few nomadic types when I was younger, I don't think they're particularly prone to embarrassment about shit they don't care about, which can be incredibly appealing.

six-car-habit

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Re: Furnished or Unfurnished House...WWMD?
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2020, 11:30:34 AM »
 I wouldn't consider someone who spent 18 months in the same apartment as  "nomadic" .  I'm sure it's fine having a set of folding chairs + folding card table, and a sleeping mat, if you are just hosting someone long enough to make the beast with 2 backs , before sending them on their way in the morning.

 Seems like most american women would like to see a bit more permanance and/or comfort , from a guy they plan on long term dating... maybe we're referring to different age groups... I bought a house when i was 23, so maybe i wasn't following a traditional timeline. I would have found living with folding chairs, and paper plates - when i could afford better, maybe embarrasing isn't the right word - but certainly not living up to my potential.  I imagine if Malkynn found herself with zero money in the bank 5 years ago, or now, she'd be embarrased by it.  Different prioritties for different folks.

Malcat

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Re: Furnished or Unfurnished House...WWMD?
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2020, 12:05:15 PM »
I wouldn't consider someone who spent 18 months in the same apartment as  "nomadic" .  I'm sure it's fine having a set of folding chairs + folding card table, and a sleeping mat, if you are just hosting someone long enough to make the beast with 2 backs , before sending them on their way in the morning.

 Seems like most american women would like to see a bit more permanance and/or comfort , from a guy they plan on long term dating... maybe we're referring to different age groups... I bought a house when i was 23, so maybe i wasn't following a traditional timeline. I would have found living with folding chairs, and paper plates - when i could afford better, maybe embarrasing isn't the right word - but certainly not living up to my potential.  I imagine if Malkynn found herself with zero money in the bank 5 years ago, or now, she'd be embarrased by it.  Different prioritties for different folks.

Oh my...well...I've had substantially less than zero money in the bank for the vast majority of my adult life, and my confidence is, um, pretty robust.

Also, my own DH had folding lawn chairs and a futon on the floor when we started dating, and he was 30.

I've known enough wildly fantastic people who live way off the beaten path that I simply am not at all put off by someone being a bit odd.

The coolest person I know, by far, and that is saying A LOT, is 50, single, lives with his mother, and has never had what anyone would call a proper job.

Just imagine the story behind that statement, lol

Davnasty

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Re: Furnished or Unfurnished House...WWMD?
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2020, 12:24:02 PM »
I wouldn't consider someone who spent 18 months in the same apartment as  "nomadic" .  I'm sure it's fine having a set of folding chairs + folding card table, and a sleeping mat, if you are just hosting someone long enough to make the beast with 2 backs , before sending them on their way in the morning.

 Seems like most american women would like to see a bit more permanance and/or comfort , from a guy they plan on long term dating... maybe we're referring to different age groups... I bought a house when i was 23, so maybe i wasn't following a traditional timeline. I would have found living with folding chairs, and paper plates - when i could afford better, maybe embarrasing isn't the right word - but certainly not living up to my potential.  I imagine if Malkynn found herself with zero money in the bank 5 years ago, or now, she'd be embarrased by it.  Different prioritties for different folks.

Not quite nomadic but keeping the options open. Long distance relationship at the time, so no bringing dates over. They didn't mind when they visited.

I certainly could have afforded something more solid but I liked being able to easily move everything out of the way and have wide open space for working out/projects.

Oftentimes people assume a lack of one "adult" things tells them something about other aspects of someone's life but at that time I also had a well stocked kitchen and cooked almost every meal from scratch, ramen is for when you're sick. And paper plates? C'mon now, Corelle ware or bust. Thin, lightweight, strong, and pleasant to eat off, that stuff is a miracle of modern science.

And to be clear, I wasn't suggesting that OP or anyone else should limit themselves to such sparse furnishings. Just giving my anecdote of a time when I had just enough to sit, eat, and sleep and was quite satisfied with it. I think that's a good baseline and from there we should only add something when there is a specific problem it can fix.

Malcat

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Re: Furnished or Unfurnished House...WWMD?
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2020, 01:21:22 PM »
I wouldn't consider someone who spent 18 months in the same apartment as  "nomadic" .  I'm sure it's fine having a set of folding chairs + folding card table, and a sleeping mat, if you are just hosting someone long enough to make the beast with 2 backs , before sending them on their way in the morning.

 Seems like most american women would like to see a bit more permanance and/or comfort , from a guy they plan on long term dating... maybe we're referring to different age groups... I bought a house when i was 23, so maybe i wasn't following a traditional timeline. I would have found living with folding chairs, and paper plates - when i could afford better, maybe embarrasing isn't the right word - but certainly not living up to my potential.  I imagine if Malkynn found herself with zero money in the bank 5 years ago, or now, she'd be embarrased by it.  Different prioritties for different folks.

Not quite nomadic but keeping the options open. Long distance relationship at the time, so no bringing dates over. They didn't mind when they visited.

I certainly could have afforded something more solid but I liked being able to easily move everything out of the way and have wide open space for working out/projects.

Oftentimes people assume a lack of one "adult" things tells them something about other aspects of someone's life but at that time I also had a well stocked kitchen and cooked almost every meal from scratch, ramen is for when you're sick. And paper plates? C'mon now, Corelle ware or bust. Thin, lightweight, strong, and pleasant to eat off, that stuff is a miracle of modern science.

And to be clear, I wasn't suggesting that OP or anyone else should limit themselves to such sparse furnishings. Just giving my anecdote of a time when I had just enough to sit, eat, and sleep and was quite satisfied with it. I think that's a good baseline and from there we should only add something when there is a specific problem it can fix.

Spot on.

When it comes to plates, I agree, it's either Corelle or fine china. I have zero patience for that heavy, easily chipped normal dinnerware that most people use, plus it's often not hard to find a relative (or a friend's relative) who's eager to get rid of a china set or two, and that shit is durable.


six-car-habit

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Re: Furnished or Unfurnished House...WWMD?
« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2020, 07:00:53 PM »
Thanks Davnasty and Malkynn for your further perspectives on my comments. I made some assumptions that i shouldn't have, and didn't need to be as coarse in my wording.

Nissykins2

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Re: Furnished or Unfurnished House...WWMD?
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2020, 05:34:07 PM »
Kind of off-topic, but I just filled out a rental application and realized we look like total freaks. I wrote n/a on at least two dozen boxes of the application. My last house was in Maryland, my driverís license says I live in Texas, my last two landlords were in Spain and the Dominican Republic. Iím crossing my fingers that someone will actually rent us a place, and Iím grateful that we have one high salary, two credit scores above 800, and money in the bank...no adults here, though, lol...

cangelosibrown

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Re: Furnished or Unfurnished House...WWMD?
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2020, 09:15:53 PM »
Kind of off-topic, but I just filled out a rental application and realized we look like total freaks. I wrote n/a on at least two dozen boxes of the application. My last house was in Maryland, my driverís license says I live in Texas, my last two landlords were in Spain and the Dominican Republic. Iím crossing my fingers that someone will actually rent us a place, and Iím grateful that we have one high salary, two credit scores above 800, and money in the bank...no adults here, though, lol...

HAHA, I've been there. But in my experience at least, all they care about is income and credit score.

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Re: Furnished or Unfurnished House...WWMD?
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2020, 06:34:32 PM »
If you were me, would you spend $6K-$12K in excess rent or work to cobble together furniture from IKEA, garage sale sites, etc., knowing there was at least a 50% chance youíd have to get rid of it in a year?

I would definitely do the latter.