Whether you’re moving into a new house, or one of your current appliances has suddenly died on you, there comes a time when you have to shop for kitchen appliances. The question is, do you know what to buy or where to look?
7 Appliance Buying Tips for Homeowners
The average kitchen appliance is only going to last between 10 and 15 years. This means every homeowner will eventually have to shop for and buy new appliances. In fact, you’ll probably do it a handful of times over your life as a homeowner. Thus, it’s important that you know how to approach the process. Here are a few tips:
- Set a Budget
Gas ranges can cost anywhere from a $400 to $5,000 or more. Refrigerators can run you anywhere from $1,000 to $7,000 and up. The cheapest dishwashers are just $300 to $400, while the top of the line models will cost you more than $5,000.
In other words, prices vary dramatically. And if you aren’t careful, you’ll end up shopping for features that aren’t within your price range.
The quickest and easiest way to narrow down the dizzying array of appliance options is to set a budget. The sooner you do this, the easier it becomes to find the model you want.
- Select Features
Many homeowners get so caught up in the look of an appliance that they forget about the importance of features. And while a sleek stainless steel finish is nice, you’ll be much happier with your appliances if they’re actually functional and efficient.
Take the time and effort to make a list of features. It’s even a good idea to divide your list up into “must-haves” and “wants.” This helps you make smarter decisions when comparing multiple models.
- Do Proper Research
There’s more information online than you’ll ever need. However, it’s highly recommended that you perform some research to at least verify the reliability of any appliance model you’re considering. Online reviews, ratings, and reports from resources like Consumer Reports are always helpful.
- Choose the Right Retailer
The right retailer can make all the difference. It’s a good idea to work with a company that carries a variety of brands, as well as one that offers exceptional customer service, support, and appliance repair. In other words, you want a company that stands by the products it sells. A company like Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center would certainly fall into this category.
- Look for Perks
Whenever you make a big purchase, it’s smart to figure out what else you can get. Some vendors and/or appliance brands will offer things like extended warranties, complementary appliance repair, discounts, or freebies. Keep an eye out for these!
- Consider Your End Goal
What’s your end goal? In other words, are you buying an appliance for a new house that you’ll live in for 10 or 15 years? Or are you likely to move in the next couple of years and leave the appliances behind?
Situational factors like these will determine the type of appliance you buy, as well as how much you spend. No purchase is made in a vacuum – so consider all of the relevant factors.
- Check for Size
Last but not least, make sure the appliance fits!
While you’ve probably measured the opening where the appliance will sit, it’s also important to consider the path the appliance will take into your house.
“Appliance salespeople are full of stories about savvy customers who fail to note that the only way to access the kitchen is up a set of steep stairs, through a narrow doorway, and down a hallway that takes a sharp turn before dead-ending in a spot too small for its hoped-for purpose,” writes Deborah Baldwin of ThisOldHouse.com. “Bring a map to the showroom with every single angle and dimension.”
There’s nothing worse than ordering a brand new appliance and not being able to fit it into the desired location. Some careful measuring and common sense will prevent frustrating problems on installation day.
Make a Smart Purchase
If possible, it’s best to replace appliances before they quit working. Otherwise, the urgency of the situation forces you to make a rash decision.
By proactively starting the purchase process at an earlier date, you’re able to perform the proper due diligence and find the right purchase for your home.