Written by Rachel O’Conner
Shopping for home appliances can be a big investment—and like any investment, research is a must. Appliances should be budget-friendly, high-quality and come from an established manufacturer with a suitable warranty. Energy efficiency is also a top priority for many shoppers. Not only are energy-efficient appliances kinder to the environment, but appliance and electricity bill costs are closely related. These tips on buying the right kitchen appliances will make your kitchen renovations much more successful.
Set A Budget First
Identify which appliances you need. This may include a washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, stove/oven (separate or together), as well as potential costly but small appliances, such as microwaves, which can range dramatically in price. When you first start researching appliances, it can be overwhelming. A budget will help you narrow down many of your choices.
Make A List
Create a realistic list of must-have details for every appliance. These lists might change as you shop and your budget compared to actual prices comes into play. Making this list is also possibly the toughest of tasks. It will require honesty with yourself and willingness to compromise with anyone else who might be making the purchase with you. Also consider if matching kitchen or wash room appliances is a must for you. This can include matching colors (such as all stainless steel), matching brands (which is increasingly popular), and/or matching handles, which is a trend many homeowners don’t think about when they first start this process.
Personal preferences can also play a big role. For example, does having a stainless steel french door refrigerator belong on your must-have list or your nice-to-have list? Budget-minded property owners will often have to make sacrifices and compromises. Sometimes downgrading one appliance in order to get another dream appliance is just how it has to be.
Consider Energy Efficiency Options
Once you start comparison shopping and see prices, you might change your mind about energy efficiency appliances. However it’s also important to gauge the upfront cost compared to potential savings in the long run. ENERGY STAR appliances are rated by a non-biased government agency. All marketing materials will tell you upfront how much, on average, you can expect to save. If you plan to keep these appliances for a long time, energy efficiency savings might quickly surpass any additional upfront investments. Now if you’re flipping a home or plan to sell soon, energy efficiency might not make sense for you. It can be a great selling point for potential future buyers or renters.
Another bonus with energy efficiency appliances is that the IRS offers a variety of tax credits you might be able to take advantage of. These credits can change yearly, so check with your CPA before making a purchase, and look into getting information on green credits and write-offs.
Do this wisely. Going with gently used can save you money, but it’s not worth it if you lose any part of the warranty. Instead, shop seasonally, and seek out holiday deals. Big-box stores often carry quality brand names at the lowest prices, and some offer zero interest financing or store credit for up to 18 months. If you go this route, make sure to calculate your monthly payments, and stick with that budget to pay off items slowly without accruing any interest.
In the end, just simple planning is all you need. According to numerous surveys and studies, kitchens are the most valuable room in a home. Gourmet kitchens aren’t just the norm, but deeply desired. Having luxury appliances is a big part of giving your kitchen that wow factor. It certainly helps to increase the value of your home—whether you plan to sell or not. So do your research first. You’ll be happy you did.
Written by Rachel O’Conner. Rachel is an experienced content writer who has written for a variety of different industries, including business, interior design, travel, education, fashion and lifestyle. She enjoys practicing yoga, training for half marathons, and cooking in her free time.by