The Craziest Week Ever and Why I Don’t Want to Buy Cheap or Used Furniture Anymore

Man has it been an crazy week! Things started looking good on Sunday, then the most intense storm I’ve ever experienced happened on Monday, Tuesday was just a mess, we thankfully got power back sometime on Wednesday, and Thursday I got to meet up with the lovely Marissa from Thirty Six Months.

Oh yeah, and me and the HB got an apartment! I think I’ve mentioned that the place we’re subletting right now is rather small and outdated, however we instantly fell in love with the neighbourhood and since the rent for a suite in one of the complex’s highrises is super affordable (I’m talking $1274 for a one bedroom in Toronto) we checked with the rental office to see if there was anything available in September. Luckily there was one and besides having to get my parents to co-sign the lease with us (since we’re unemployed and all), the application process was easy-peasy and we just found out we got the place! And if that wasn’t cool enough, the suite’s kitchen was update with new(er) appliances and cabinetry. Woohoo! I’m so excited that come September 1st we’ll have a place to call our own and now we can just focus on getting jobs.

Now, that all being said, we have got a lot of stuff to get to fill our new place. We sold all of our furniture before we left, which means we have to buy a couch, coffee table, desk, bed, lamps, kitchen appliances, and the list goes on. I know as a good, financially responsible PF blogger I should start scouring Craigslist for some deals, but this time around I really don’t want to. In my last place literally everything was second-hand and although it did make it easier for us to sell it all before we left (since we really didn’t lose any money in the process), I want nice stuff for once! I’m not talking designer door knobs from Anthropologie, I just want a couch that has never been sat on, a mattress that doesn’t have mystery stains on it, and furniture that I don’t have to spend ten hours putting together with an Allen key.

Before going out a buying anything, I definitely want to do my homework, see what deals are to be had, and come up with a budget we can afford to stick to. We may have to forgo the leather couch for a faux-leather couch, and we may have to wait it out until we can afford more than a mattress and a box spring, but I want to buy quality pieces this time around that we won’t want to replace in a few short years.

What to do you think? Is buying new, more expensive furniture a waste of money? Or is buying quality furniture a better investment than going turning to IKEA or Craigslist?

(Image: midorisyu)


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  • One of the reasons we’re sticking with used/cheap furniture is that we are planning to move cross-country in the near-ish future. We won’t be transporting furniture, new or used, all that distance, so it didn’t make sense to buy new. So you should consider if or when you might make another move before buying!

  • When first married and living in a rented apartment on a 3 year lease, prior to buying our first home, we bought functional good quality but inexpensive furniture. The appliances were provided. The reasons that we went this route:
    We were unsure if our apartment furniture would later suit our new house or if our tastes might change in the future.
    We planned to start a family when we bought our first house and kids can be rough on furniture.
    We wanted to save money towards the house down payment.

    Just things to consider in making your furniture purchase decision.

  • I think that if you can afford it, then why not? Fresh new furniture for a fresh new start in Toronto as a married couple! Like you said, don’t break the bank buying the best of the best for every little detail in your apartment, but if you plan on being in Toronto for awhile then it’s good to invest in some quality pieces!

  • Congrats on finding a place to live! As for the furniture question, I totally agree with you. I like buying new couches because then you know where they’ve been. If it’s a dining room table and chairs, I don’t mind getting them second-hand, but I’d like to stay away from used couches and anything with fabric/cushions. You can find some good deals out there if you just shop around. Good luck!

  • When we moved to our little apartment we only purchased end tables for the living room. Everything else I had, and we took a kitchen table from my parents. We don’t have much space, and we are also pretty sure we will move again, so this was fine for now.

    My parents just moved and decided not to take much with them, but all their furniture has been around since I was born. They ended up going with a brand new living room, bedroom and kitchen set for $3,500. They had the money from the sale of the house, and my parents rarely buy anything new, and they are happy. So I would say, if you have the money, and you are sure the furniture will fit whatever future needs you may have, go for what will make you happy! Congrats on finding something so quickly, that must be a relief!

  • I think it’s all personal preference. I understand your want of new furniture. That’s how I was when I first got married. We bought a new living room suite and the rest of the stuff we bought used. If it’s in your budget, why not? But, if you can find a good deal on *quality* used stuff that you like, then that’s a good idea as well. To each their own!

  • I bought the majority of my furniture brand new while I was in university *gasp*. The vast majority of it was assembled with an allen key though, lol. I understand not wanting to assemble every single chair and side table you own, but one thing I would suggest checking out is their couches. Mine came fully assembled, just fluff pillows and go. I’ve had it for 7 years now and it’s still as comfortable as it was brand new. You may still be able to get your leather 😉

  • Yay, glad you got the apt!! Here is my 2 cents. Spend more on key pieces that you might take with you or make a profit if you sell it later. That is the couch, a good quality bed, and maybe a table. Stuff that your eye goes to when you come in a house. But don’t spend a lot or get 2nd hand house accessories. Lamps, end tables, coffee table, etc. Find the balance. You don’t want to buy everything new and expensive in an apt. More than likely you won’t stay forever and your next place might require a different type of furniture.

  • With the new condo, I’ve slowly started replacing my furniture. Some stuff I’ve bought new, like my EQ3 couch, other things I’ve gotten used but in great condition like my bar stools and my rug. Next on my wish list is a new coffee table!

  • Yay! We are totally in the same boat!!! (and I mean that in no way a reference to the Alberta flood OR Toronto flood)

    I am SO SICK of people offering me cheap or used furniture. Seriously. I am 27, I have a nice job, I just got a posh apartment (did you hear I have a balcony now? and a dishwasher?) I DO NOT WANT your ottoman from the 90’s in it. Yes, I WOULD rather sit on the floor for 2.5 months until I can buy the couch I want brand new from the store.

    That said, I looked at furniture at the “nice” and “grown-up” stores and I still went back to IKEA. I like IKEA. My IKEA stuff has held up well — and I have great faith in it to last even longer now that I am no longer a rowdy 22 year old.

    But I’m getting the new expensive IKEA stuff now, no more of that crap made for college dorms!!!

  • If you see yourself staying in Toronto, I say get some new stuff. Or get new things you use the most (couch, bed) and gently used for the rest (tables, TV, etc.).

  • It’s funny, I was just thinking about this the other day! I’m almost 30 and in the process of buying my first house. It struck me as amusing how in college and with first apartments, IKEA can’t be beat! But then once you get a little older and strike out on your own, you want “real” furniture because IKEA is sooo college. But then, you buy your first house and realize how expensive everything is and back to IKEA you go, because their furniture quality is just fine and it’s affordable, darn it! It’s like this vicious cycle! :) I realized that I change my mind and taste way too often to buy anything really expensive, so as long as it’s in my budget and I like it, it will suit me just fine! Good luck!

    • I don’t think we’ll be getting anything from any fancy furniture store, but I’m hopeful we can find some good quality pieces for good prices at some department stores or places like The Brick. But I’m sure we’ll be getting a few essentials (lamps and kitchen stuff) from IKEA. We just always end up there for something haha

  • Ikea is the way to go! Unless you have a big budget for furniture, in which case I think buying expensive/higher quality pieces might be a good idea. I really like that Ikea has a range from dirt cheap all the way to some pieces that are a bit more expensive and out of a lot of people’s budget. I’m not a fan of their couches and bed, but everything else I got is essentially Ikea. The dining room table and four chairs I got on Craigslist and it was a great buy. $150 (or less?) for a whole set that is in pretty good condition.

    I refuse to buy couches and whatnot used because I have allergies so it’s usually not advisable.

    • Lately I’ve actually been comparing prices of IKEA furniture to some furniture stores and it’s interesting to see that sometimes IKEA isn’t the cheapest. That being said they do have a lot of good stuff, especially for small apartments.

  • We acquired nice(ish?) furniture REALLY slowly. A lot of our stuff initially was hand-me-downs that eventually broke or if it’s old enough that we’ve stripped and refinished. When stuff broke, we replaced it with nice stuff that’s going to last a long time. But it wasn’t overnight. We’re still working on it and we’ve been out and on our own for a good 8 years.
    That said, I love my Craigslist bed. That thing was literally never used when I got it 8 years ago, and its double-pillow top and 18 inches of heaven keep me sleeping like a baby every night. =)

  • So I had really crappy furniture in college that was a disaster. Then, right out of college I updated to Ikea, and I’ve had that furniture for 2 and a half years now and it’s still going strong. If I could do it over again I’d stick with Ikea for everything but the couch.

  • I’m always a fan of quality over frugal/cheap but when it comes to furniture I think I’m switching over to frugal/cheap. When I bought my house in 1999 I bought some super expensive “quality” furniture to go with it. Granted they are still like new but they are outdated in terms of style. Funny how that worked out for me. Make sure the style will be timeless too :)

  • If you’re going to keep your furniture, I’d say your best bet is to buy more expensive furniture. We bought some furniture at Walmart/Ikea before and they didn’t last for very long as they weren’t well made!

  • I totally hear you! I’m house sitting right now so not only is none of the furniture mine, but it’s all very old and mismatched. I really want to replace it, but since I’m house sitting, I can’t! It keeps me from spending money for now, but I’m pretty sick of the living in shabby town.

  • We’re in the same boat, we’re moving at the end of the month and I’m really tired of all the used, hand me down stuff we have. I think it’s ok to spend a bit on yourself, you can still be frugal about it.

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