Renting an apartment can be exciting — especially if it’s your first home away from home. However, in your enthusiasm, you might find yourself going overboard when it comes to outfitting your new space. Unfortunately, purchases that aren’t well thought out can quickly turn from exciting additions to space-hogging regrets. From oversized furniture to costly workout gear, some items are better left at the store.
“I’ve seen so many renters fall in love with that king-sized bed or that sprawling sectional, only to find out it eats up most of their living space,” said Dennis Shirshikov, head of growth at Awning. “Apartments generally don’t have the space of standalone homes, so size considerations are a must.
“I remember a close friend of mine once bought this gigantic wardrobe after moving into a cozy apartment in the East Village. You wouldn’t believe the trouble he had maneuvering it through the narrow hallways! It took up half his bedroom and became more of an obstacle than a convenience.”
Temporary Fixtures or Customizations
“Another common regret would be going all out on temporary fixtures or customizations,” Shirshikov said. “Wallpapers, overly specific lighting fixtures or drilling too many holes can sometimes be frowned upon by landlords or result in part of the security deposit being withheld. And it’s not just about what the lease agreement says. Sometimes, it’s the effort and cost of returning the apartment to its original state when you move out.”
“Here’s another thing: high-end appliances that are meant for more permanent residences,” Shirshikov said. “Think fancy blenders, coffee machines or even some advanced tech gadgets. While they’re great, when you’re moving apartments often — as renters tend to do — it’s just one more (fragile) thing to pack.”
Expensive Workout Equipment
“Apartment renters often regret purchases of expensive and highly specialized home workout equipment,” said Carter Seuthe, CEO of Credit Summit. “With price tags well into the thousands of dollars, sometimes, workout equipment like this tends to be purchased more or less on a whim, with the assumption you’ll reliably use it once it’s in your space. However, especially if you purchase this equipment on credit, it can quickly become an expense that eats away at your budget — and it’s usually better to establish exercise habits first using your building’s gym before making the leap to home exercise equipment. And, when you live in an apartment, you probably have limited space, and such equipment might take up an entire room. Not to mention, you may get noise complaints from your neighbors.”
A Massive Television
“Renters often underestimate the size of their living room and end up with a television that’s overkill,” said Vova Even, consumer trends analyst and shopping expert and the founder of Vova Even. “It’s almost like buying a tuxedo for a barbecue — unnecessary and awkward.”
Oversized Kitchen Trash Can
“Many renters also regret buying a large kitchen trash can,” said Brian Davis, a real estate investor and founder at SparkRental. “They think I won’t have to take out the trash as often but then discover that as food waste sits in the trash can for days on end, it attracts ants, cockroaches and other pests. Stick with small — or at most — medium-size kitchen trash cans, and ideally, take out the trash every day.”
“Some renters buy cheap, temporary furniture with the intention of replacing it later,” said Richard Mews of Sell With Richard. “This often leads to discomfort and dissatisfaction with the living space. It’s better to choose durable, quality furniture pieces from the beginning.”
Unused Home Office Equipment
“With the increase in remote work,” Mews said, “renters may buy home office equipment they end up not using regularly. Items like oversized desks or ergonomic chairs may take up valuable space and lead to regrets if they are underutilized.”
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