For many first-timer buyers, taking a step on the property ladder can be one of the most exciting moments of their lives.
Few things rival the excitement of becoming a homeowner, particularly when it is happening for the first time.
Of course, not every young adult has bottomless pockets, which means that a large proportion of their savings is often allocated to the deposit. Furthermore, for those who have previously lived at home or in furnished rental accommodation, it creates the conundrum of having to buy furniture for the new house.
Although this may seem a little daunting, it does not mean you need to go out and buy brand new furnishings and fittings for the entire house. In many new homes, appliances are integral and things like carpets, blinds and lighting fixtures are included.
Furthermore, there are plenty of options available to furnish the house with essentials that can still help you to stamp your own style on the property without breaking the bank.
Spy the sales
Before splashing out on brand new furniture, keep an eye on the sales and clearance sections of retailer websites. There are often huge reductions available on some items as new season stock comes in – even ones that have neutral colours and are therefore stylish year-round.
Alternatively, taking a trip to your local furniture store could prove to be fruitful, as many stores have a clearance section. It can be hit and miss, but often these sections have ex-display furniture that has nothing wrong with it, save for having been sat on by a few people.
Even furniture that has been returned due to an imperfection is generally OK; a scratch behind the headboard will never be seen, for example, while a mark on a sofa cushion can be concealed simply by flipping it over.
Second-hand is not second best
Gone are the days of second-hand goods being relegated to car boot sales and deemed second rate. The eBay revolution changed the way people look at second-hand items, with other sites such as Gumtree and Freecycle opening up new opportunities for bargain hunters everywhere.
Scanning the likes of eBay and Gumtree can be especially worthwhile, as it is possible to narrow search parameters to the surrounding area, which can reduce the hassle of delivery. Some sellers will even offer to help transport the furniture themselves, removing the issue completely.
In some instances, people will be selling a variety of items due to downsizing or emigrating, and in these circumstances it is possible to pick up matching furniture and a variety of items that will ensure you not only benefit from a good price, but retain a consistent style, if that is your preference.
A new lease of life
Sometimes, the only thing preventing an old item of furniture from being used is an easily fixable breakage or tear, or a style upgrade. Keep an eye out for items that are advertised as broken but really do not need an awful lot of work to make them usable again.
If a chair or other item of furniture is badly out of style, re-covering it can give it a new lease of life, while things such as lamps can be transformed simply by replacing the lampshade, saving a significant outlay on a new one.
For objects such as tables, sanding down the surface and repainting can completely change its appearance, while temporary coverings such as runners and tablecloths can hide blemishes or marks.
Fill space creatively
Not every house needs to be decorated in a similar fashion, and when it comes to your own home – particularly your first one – the world is your oyster. Rather than feeling you have to put a bed in every bedroom, think about how the space can be filled both usefully and frugally.
A large rug and an old, comfy chair, along with a bookcase full of literature, could provide the perfect mini library and cost next to nothing. If you are a fan of home exercise, then a workout mat, skipping rope and old equipment can create a home gym on a budget.
We have also previously looked at how to create a games room - something else that can be done without significant expense and yet help you to place your own stamp on your brand new home.