Your first home is an exciting purchase – and a sobering one. If you’ve been living in apartments for a while, you will have some of the furniture you need. However, with a house, you generally have quite a bit more space, and maybe even some extra rooms that need to be furnished.

Hotel Room – Habitación de Hotel, Salamanca (Spain), HDR
Marc via Compfight

With the additional responsibilities that come with owning a home, watching the budget is important. Fortunately, it’s not hard to get additional furnishings without breaking the bank. Here are three great resources for furniture that will be high on charm but low on cost.

• Garage Sales. I’ve gotten incredible deals on everything from wall hangings to rocking chairs at garage sales. There are three keys to making the most of your bargain-hunting time at garage sales:

o Look at the garage sales ads on Craigslist or in the newspaper – many of them will list the types of items they are selling, especially furniture pieces.
o Go early, so the pieces you want won’t be already taken.
o Don’t be afraid to haggle a little bit. Many owners are eager to part with furniture they don’t have room for, and may be willing to cut you a deal.

• Craigslist. This is another great resource for furniture at a great price. Sometimes people are moving and trying to get rid of something quickly, which means great deals for you. Some quick tips:

o Never wire money or send money in an untraceable form. Also, beware of ‘too good to be true’ prices – they usually are.
o When going to pick up a piece, take a friend. Not only can they help you carry it, there’s safety in numbers.
o Don’t be afraid to counter-offer a lower price – you make get an even better deal.

• Auctions. Household or estate auctions are a great way to score amazing furniture at rock-bottom prices. Although it takes time, it’s worth the effort to hang around for the good deals. Here are some tips to make the most of your auction experience:

o Be sure to attend the auction preview so that you can thoroughly review what you might want to buy. The items will be set up on tables or against the walls, and you can inspect them before buying.
o Know how much your maximum is before bidding starts. It’s easy to get caught up in the pace and lose track of what you’re offering. Be sure to stop when your budget is reached.
o Attend mid-week sales if possible. There will be fewer people, which means less competition for good items.

Furnishing your first house doesn’t have to be a huge expense. With these three resources, you can get classy, good quality furniture for less. Have fun and enjoy the deals you discover!

The folks at authored this post on furnishing your home on a budget.

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