PROPERTY NEWS - Ever feel like you’re on a never-ending merry-go-round of buy, break, replace in your home? You’re not alone.
It’s a sad fact that affordability and long-lasting quality don’t often come together these days.
If you’re tired of throwing money away on cheap but trendy items that don’t survive daily use, why not try a new approach? Debbie Reabow of the Rawson Property Group shares her top buys for the home that are designed to last for the long haul and often pay for themselves in the long run!
Solid wood furniture
It’s true that solid wood furniture generally costs a fair bit more than budget chipboard, ply and MDF options, but according to Reabow, quality carpentry that’s properly looked after can last longer than a lifetime.
“There’s a reason the furniture in antique stores is almost all solid wood,” says Reabow.
“It’s incredibly hardy when it’s looked after, can be made in any style you can dream of, and is super versatile because it can be updated with nothing more than a coat of paint.”
The good news is, you don’t have to shell out a fortune to get solid wood furniture, either.
“Trawl your second-hand stores and community sales websites and you’ll find a ton of affordable wooden – or wood-framed and upholstered – items,” Reabow continues.
“They may need a bit of elbow grease to get ship shape, but make for great investment pieces that you can hand down to you children and grandchildren in years to come.”
Granite is one of the most hardwearing surfaces around, and makes beautiful kitchen and bathroom worksurfaces that look brand new for decades.
Like most investment pieces, granite is more expensive than formica or melamine, but Reabow says spending more now could be well worth it in the future.
“Granite not only lasts well and looks great, it also adds value to your home. It’s a mark of quality, and is very popular with buyers,” she explains.
If you’re keen to maximise the value granite tops add to your home, Reabow suggests opting for classic kitchen and bathroom designs that appeal to a wide variety of people and don’t date quickly.
Avoid bright colours and bold patterns and add your own style and personality using updatable finishes like wall paint, artwork and appliances.
LED lighting is a classic example of spending a little to save a lot, and Reabow says it’s an excellent way to cut down on maintenance as well as day to day expenses.
“There’s nothing more annoying than having to change lightbulbs in awkward places on a regular basis,” she says.
“That’s one of the reasons I love LED lights – they last tens of thousands of hours longer than traditional bulbs.
"They cost a little more at the outset, but since they use far less electricity and barely ever need replacement, they more than make up for that initial outlay in savings over their lifetime.”
What’s the secret?
According to Reabow, the secret to breaking the cycle of poor quality purchases is to curb our desire for instant gratification.
“We’re constantly bombarded with magazines, websites and blogs telling us we’re behind the times if we don’t have the latest item in the latest colour in our homes,” she says.
“There’s this pressure to buy now, update now, and since most of us aren’t made of money, we often sacrifice on quality to be able to do that.”
Rather than falling into this trap, Reabow advises taking the time to save up for good quality, big ticket items.
“Buy wisely and buy once – it’s more affordable than you might think,” she says.
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