BuyingReal Estate January 30, 2019

Focus on the House, not the Couch

Often when I am hosting an Open House, I hear buyers talking about how their furniture will fit or be placed in the home.  The rooms of most concern are mainly the Living Room, Dining Room and Master Bedroom.  Furniture does represent a substantial investment for most home owners.  A sofa, dining table, or bedroom furniture is likely to be swapped out maybe once (if at all) during the ownership period of the typical home owner (which is less than 10 years nationwide).  For those that stay in their home longer, we might swap out the couch once or twice during a 20 year or 30 year period.

I have seen buyers not make an offer based on their furniture not fitting in the house.  In the Metro Boston area I serve, the average home is easily in the $750,000 range.  If the average new couch is $2,500, do you want to base your decision on less and 1% of the purchase price – or 0.3% in this example?  It can difficult to get rid of perfectly good furniture that is not all that old.  Family piece aside, looking at the bigger picture is important.  A house is a place to call home, but it is also an asset, the largest asset most people have or will ever have

Look at the flow of the house, the size of the rooms, the location, the lot, proximity to things important to you.  The last three can’t be changed.  The first two can be, but at a cost.  A cost much higher than new furniture.  Really look at the home as if you have no furniture.  If your furniture fits, great!  You saved some money.  If it does not fit, you get to go shopping or you may need to live with an awkward furniture placement for a while.  I would argue it is better to curse your furniture in short-term over your house in the long-term.

Doug McNeilly is a REALTOR® with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Wayland, Massachusetts.  He specializes in Wayland, Sudbury and the Greater Boston Metro West Area.