As a newbie to all things real estate, the task of furnishing a room to be rented out left me with plenty of questions. What items are essential for furnishing such a room? Does quality matter?
Perhaps the most glaring question of all, how much would it cost? Having only window-shopped at lavish furniture outlets previously, I had expected the cost to be in the four-figure range for my room.
To my pleasant surprise, I was able to furnish the room for less than RM700. There were many options available, but many of the furniture I viewed seemed flimsy enough to fall apart at first use.
Furnishing in the room needs to be durable enough to withstand reckless usage by my potential tenant yet be affordable enough to maximise return on investment, especially when the room is in a low-cost flat. With those objectives in mind and a tight budget on hand, I set out to explore the options available at the furniture stores, from international retailers to warehouses and modest shop lots in the neighbourhood.
Breakdown of furnishing costs
Here are the items and costs for the furnishings in the room:
To get the best value, the furniture was purchased from different stores. For example, the stores which delivered the cupboard quoted RM250 for a mattress, so I looked around in mattress shops until I found a better bargain. Soft furnishings such as curtains rounded up the total to RM700.
Ultimately, the lessons learnt here are that the extra time spent hunting for the right bargain at a decent quality paid off and physically inspecting the furniture matters more at this low price point. A year later and thankfully the furniture has held up to usage by the tenant with only minor glueing and tightening of screws needed.
Prices and quality of the furnishing do vary and many of the local furniture shops I visited lacked an online presence, so dropping by the brick-and-mortar stores was the only way to inspect the offers available.
Complete bedroom sets are also available and typically range from RM850 often consisting of a wardrobe with sliding doors, a queen-sized bed frame and a dressing table. However, as mentioned above, do inspect the quality of the furniture before making a purchase and note that prices seem to be negotiable when dealing with local furniture stores or when buying in bulk.
Another alternative to hunting for low-cost furnishings is to shop for second-hand furniture. However, be wary of damages and their worn-out look as you would not want to put off prospective tenants.