How to Furnish an Apartment on a Budget in 2020

in Property Management Tips

If you’ve just taken out a mortgage or put down a deposit on a new apartment, chances are you’re going to be a little short on cash. For those who intend to live in the apartment themselves, this is not a big issue. Most of us will be happy to hold back on furnishing the place with anything but the absolute essentials.

However, if you intend to rent out or sublet the apartment, you don’t have this option. If you find yourself in this spot, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll take a look at how you can spruce up your new place without maxing out your credit cards.

Buy Used “Big Ticket” Items

Most occupants aren’t going to know (or care) if their sofa, bed, or dresser is brand new, or if it used to belong to someone else. In most cases, they’ll assume the latter, anyway. They’re renting a furnished apartment, after all.

If you live in a big city, you’ll be able to find at least a dozen used-furniture stores. Just be aware that they’ve probably tacked on their profit to the cost.

In most cases, you’ll save even more money if you go directly to the source. Tons of websites will put you in touch with people selling furniture. 

Craigslist is the most obvious, but there are alternatives. Kaiyo, Chairish, and Etsy all offer a wide range of furnishing options, although you may have to do some digging to find affordable pieces. Some of these sites tend to highlight their more exclusive (expensive) products.

Don’t Be Afraid of Some Elbow Grease

2 person wearing blue denim jeans

If you’re the DIY type, you have a massive advantage over people looking to buy only used items in perfect condition. 

Many used-furniture sellers depart with items on the cheap simply because they’re broken or a little worn down. If you have the means and the skill to fix these up, you get to choose from a much wider variety of items and price ranges.

If you’ve never fixed up a piece of furniture, but the thought of doing it doesn’t make you want to run for the hills, then great! Here’s a way for you to save some money and have a bit of fun learning a new skill or hobby. Often, you’ll also be able to fix up an item so that it better complements the general aesthetic of its room. Don’t be afraid to get creative.

It’s totally doable to buy a bed, sofa, or dining table that needs a bit of TLC before it can be proudly placed in your new apartment. YouTube has a ton of instructional videos on making used furniture look as good as new. 

Find Affordable “Luxury” Items 

If you want to make a great impression on your potential tenants, show them that you’ve gone the extra mile in unexpected ways. Certain items in your apartment can add massive value to the occupant’s lifestyle without costing you an arm and a leg.

Memory foam pillows are an excellent example. The benefits of sleeping on one of these are well known. They’re super comfortable, highly sought-after, and it’s not hard to find an affordable one. Nothing beats casually mentioning, “Oh yeah, those are memory foam pillows. So you know you’ll get a great night’s sleep,” as you show people around the place.

Here’s a list of other items that fall into the category of affordable pieces that are sure to delight your prospective tenants:

  • Real wine glasses. There is a great variety of styles available at very reasonable prices.
  • An authentic Italian stovetop coffee maker is the ideal coffee preparation method for people who prefer the ritual over convenience.
  • A portable desk for tenants who work from home. A desk that can be easily moved around will be an excellent addition to the apartment’s furniture.

Show That You’ve Thought About the Little Things

Showing that you really care about your tenants can be easy and affordable. We’re not talking about cute little decorations or baubles here; this is about convenience and safety. 

Here are some tips that will go a long way towards showing your tenants that you really care about their comfort while they’re occupying your apartment.

  • Ensure that all externally-facing doors have an extra lock on them.
  • Have an abundance of towels and bathmats. 
  • Mount a selection of wall hooks for keys, coats, and handbags.
  • Make washing up easier with utensil holders and a dish-drying rack.
  • Have an elegant collection of coasters to protect your wooden surfaces.

white ceramic sink near white ceramic sink

In Closing

Making sure that your apartment is more than just “suitable” for new tenants is crucial if you want to maximize your rental income. And even if you’re a little short on cash, there are affordable ways to ensure that you not only attract the right tenants but also keep them happy as long as possible.

A little bit of research and hard work goes a long way here. Don’t be afraid to spend some time finding affordable furnishings. They’re out there!

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