Sunday, June 10, 2012

Shortcuts in Setting Up a New Household


     My daughter was not contented to let her house go, when her original mortgage company could not close on the VHDA loan for which she had applied.  It took some searching, but with the aid of the original mortgage company itself, she found a mortgage broker who has helped her to reapply, which should enable her to close very close to on time.  Her problem seems to be not a problem with her credit per se, but the fact that not everything she pays gets reported to credit bureaus, and when it does, it does not get reported quickly enough to positive impact her fairly new credit score.  It IS possible to have credit reported and amended to these reports.
         The real purpose of this particular post is to convey that setting up a new household, need not cost a fortune. For some time, we have been collecting things for the households which are soon to be set up for our twenty something kids.  So many people, when faced with the task of setting up a home, run out to Wal-Mart, JC Penneys, Bed, Bath and Beyond, etc. and pay hundreds of dollars for shower curtains, bath mats, place mats and all manner of items.  Facilitating household set up for multiple kids can really be done for very little money, and you can have FANTASTIC housewares and articles, far better than if you entered a store and bought whatever they had.  The first thing to do sometime in advance of planning to set up a new household, is to determine what colors you would like to use in your kitchen, your bathroom, your bedroom, your living room or other rooms if you have them.  Our daughter graduated with an art degree and therefore had very clear ideas for color schemes in her first home.   We wrote all of these down, and while we were at it, we wrote a "choice sheet" for my eldest son, just in case things we found didn't fit her desires, and did fit his.  In the following year, we kept an eye out at garage sales. We weren't really interested in linens which were used, but we were interested in linens which were new with zippered plastic packaging and with the card with photo and description of the item.  Many times people receive linens or they buy linens, shower curtains, rugs etc. and then find that they simply don't need them or that they have no desire to "have a winter shower curtain and a summer one".   We are happy to report that she now has most things she needs to set up a household.  Our daughter was able to put together almost everything she needed using things that were used, in that they were purchased from individuals and were owned before. Most of these items were in fact, new and never used by anyone.  However, I do want to say here that you can use used varietal linens if they are in excellent condition, and you must wash everything you buy anywhere.  Even new linens could have been exposed to MRSA when someone opened the package and looked at it, and returned it to the package later.  Also, many clothing items and household linens can travel in big trucks with pesticides, and so it is essential to buy washables and to wash them before use.
          Most people buying a first house already have furniture and household articles from an apartment, but this is not so of our kids.  They went to college, and then in view of the economy, returned to the farm to launch directly from here. They did not need dishes, silverware, shower curtains, sheets, etc.   Once a person is armed with a shopping list of items needed and a description of colors they would like, then you would be surprized at how many times you can find not only perfect, but high end articles at garage sales, consignment shops, flea markets and other sources.  I also don't pay a lot at garage sales or at flea markets.  A new Queen sized comforter, a JC Penney brand, for example, which has tags for $120. should not go for $75. in a flea market.  I paid $7.    It is very important in this age of money being so tight, that whenever we can, we conserve it.   I can't get much of a discount on a survey for example, or on a housing inspection.  I CAN get great deals on comforters and on blankets during January "white sales.".   We all must save money whenever we can, with the goal of keeping our homes as safe and as comfortable as is possible.

Both Stephanie's and my favorite curtains come from a store called "Country Curtains". They also have a website where you can order from them.      Saving money on curtains in other rooms means that Stephanie can go to Country Curtains to do the one room she hasn't been able to get curtains for, in our travels of a year, which is her kitchen.  

These are the curtains she plans to place in her kitchen.

To inspire you, here is what we got in the past six months or so, for our daughter's home, it's sources, and it's approximate costs:

      JC Penneys Queen Sized New Comforter                     Garage Sale                     $7.
      New, in zippered plastic

      Quality cloth shower curtain                                           Garage Sale                     $2.
    (new in packaging, for use with plastic liner)

      IKEA gauzy curtains                                                      Ebay                               $3.75

     Waverly formal curtains for living room                            Ebay                               $6.00

      Quality cloth shower curtain for her other bathroom       Garage sale                      $1.00
       (New, in packaging)

       Exquisite coffee table   (used)                                      Habitat Store                     $30.

Martha Stewart everyday dishes                                        Garage sale                        $5.
(in box , wrapped, new)  
  Crystal glass set   (genuine) 20 pieces                              Consignment shop              $10.

Things she selected and bought new:

   Queen sized sheet set                                                      Roses                          On Sale:  $20.
   Egyptian cotton

  Pillows                                                                         Wal-Mart                      On Sale   $10. for 2

 Curtain rods                                                                  Big Lots                         $12. for the entire house
(Brand that was in JC Penneys)

 Towle Quality silverware set for eight                            Tuesday Morning             $35. on sale
(I bought these for her)  stainless

 New locks and deadbolts, front and back door               Lowe's                          $36.

 for toolshed and for one security closet.                                                    
    (on sale items and using $10 off Lowe's purchase coupon found in twelve pack of Gatorade they were selling)

Varietal manual kitchen implements                                   Big Lots                         $11.
 (everything from silicone mat to silicone
  potholders, to Oxo spatula, etc.)

             The more you are able to successfully economize on household, linens, sheets, and other articles, the more money you will have for cushion savings, emergency supplies, a secondary well with hand pump, reserve food supplies, tools and whatever you like.


Mark Steban said...

There is an advantage if you approach a mortgage broker. They have access to mortgages offered by varios lenders. They will look for the best terms for you and what fits well for your kind of situation. Vancouver Home mortgage

JaneofVirginia said...

So far, so good Mark. Now we can focus a little bit on all the other things which need to be done ! Best wishes.