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Home Furnishing – A Waste of Money?

Home Furnishing
Home Furnishing

Home Furnishing is one of the critical and final step to realize the dream of owning a home. Home Furnishing is aspirational in nature and there is no end to the amount being spent on the same. Marketers sell it as a dream package to convert your home to a premium property. It is highly profitable business as people don’t bargain in this. Only condition is that the perceived value should be high. I have seen my clients bargaining hard for property deal for months but don’t mind over spending savings from bargain on Home Furnishing. Common discussion while finalizing a property is around Home Furnishing only. For example, kitchen will be Italian modular kitchen designs with white marble or wardrobe will be of teak wood.

Though the definition of Furnishing is “Furniture, Fittings, Decorative and Accessories such as curtains and carpets, for a home or room”. In this post i am using it literally i.e. anything done to convert home in a livable condition i.e. modernize, decorate or furbish the home. In my opinion there is a very thin line between spending judicious and over spending rather wastage on Home Furnishing. As i mentioned sky is the limit but we have to consider few points before deciding on Home Furnishing. Lets discuss in detail

Investment or Own Stay

This is the deciding factor. Though its a no brainer that if you are buying a property for investment purpose then you will not spend much on Home Furnishing. You will be more liberal in budget when you are buying a property for own stay. Reason why i included this point is that whether you are buying for an investment or own stay, you should always think that you are buying for an Investment :). The following points will answer why i am suggesting this, In context of Home Furnishing.

Nature of Job

World is now a global village. People are more mobile compared to 10 years back. Recently one of my client bought a very beautiful flat in Chennai. Previous owner must have spent atleast 15 lakh on Home Furnishing but his company decided to shift base from Chennai to Mumbai. He had to dispose off the property before shifting to Mumbai. Million dollar question whether he got atleast 10 lakh incremental over and above market price just for Home Furnishing. Answer is NO. We will discuss this in next point

Premium for Home Furnishing

Next big question is how much premium you can command towards Home Furnishing. During my recent visit with one of client, i observed that the furnishing of sample flat was done by well known Home Furnishing company. Total cost quoted was 20 lakh for 1300 sq ft 3 BHK flat. The flat was costing Rs 40 lakh and 20 lakh on Home Furnishing. A common sense says that it does not make sense. Though it was looking very beautiful and wife of my client was insisting on same. I was only a mute spectator and enjoying the discussion. I can bet that finally wife must have won in their debate on Home Furnishing.

Everyone has different Taste

Before finalizing on home furnishing, we must consider following 2 points

(A) I might like a kitchen with White Marble all over but may be 80% people don’t prefer as it depend on how much i can maintain. Marble will turn yellow or black in kitchen which require very high maintenance. How many people will prefer the same. Everyone has different taste and in many cases, if people are buying a resale property then they prefer to re-do the entire furnishing depending on their own taste. In this scenario,  even if the owner has spent 10 lakh towards furnishing but buyer will not value the same.

(B) If you agree with point A then it is always advisable to play safe  and opt for tried and tested Home Furnishing. Opt for most popular and common set up. It will help to monetize better at the time of sale of property. Also most common set ups cost cheapest compared to unique or premium designs.

Movable / Detachable Fittings

You should try to opt for as many movable or detachable items as you can. It will help to carry the set up of your “home” in case you shift city or sell the home. It will also help to save the future cost. In case you are selling, you can negotiate better if most of the items are detachable. If they are fixed then buyer will arm twist as he knows that you cannot move them or sell them. Opt for permanent fittings and fixtures only when it is absolutely necessary.

Home Upgrade

Normally i observed that average stay of family in the home is 7-8 years. Even if you are in same city, people either upgrade to premium location or upgrade to bigger home. These 2 are most common reasons for upgrade. Now before committing a budget for home furnishing do keep this thing in mind that in all probability whatever you are spending today is only for 7-8 years. It will help to decide, how much you are willing to spend.

Home Loan and Home Furnishing

When you are availing Home Loan then it becomes absolutely necessary to spend judiciously. I do agree that spending X amount is absolutely necessary to make it livable. If you spend X + Y then this incremental Y could have been utilized to reduce Home Loan liability. Another way to look at it is that you borrowed Y amount at your Home Loan interest rate for Home Furnishing.

Home Furnishing by Builder

A new trend is emerging these days that builder is providing Home Furnishing. It is labeled as FREE but do remember that there are NO FREE Lunches my friend. Cost is already included in the cost of flat. You may estimate the cost of furnishing and try to negotiate with builder to reduce furnishing cost.

Budget

All said and done, here comes the main point how much budget should be kept aside for buying a Home i.e. mainly for Home Furnishing.  In my opinion, it is not a wise decision to spend more that 15% of the property value for new construction and 5% for Resale flat on Home Furnishing. Reason being furnishing expected from a property is directly proportionate to the value of the property. You cannot expect furnishing worth 10 lakh in 30 lakh property. 15% of property cost for new construction is decent amount for overall home furnishing otherwise as i mentioned that SKY is the LIMIT. Most importantly, you need to provision this amount separately as it will not be a part of property value for Home Loan. Remember “A Rupee Saved is a Rupee Earned

Hope you like the post.

Copyright © Nitin Bhatia. All Rights Reserved.

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