Home buying is an exciting time in the life of a consumer.  It can be tempting when you’re taking out a loan for tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars to add on a few extra thousands by financing some furniture, as well.  While the idea of brand new furnishings in a new home seems appropriate, there are many reasons to wait.  Here is why I suggest putting off the shopping for at least 6 months.

1.  It’s financially stressful.

Let’s face it, for a first-time buyer especially, the addition of a mortgage, insurance, and the cost of upkeep can be overwhelming.  While many handle it like pros, some just aren’t ready to add another $100-200 a month in payments for a bedroom set into the mix.  Go easy on adding new debt until you are certain you can handle it.  Give yourself at least 3-4 months to “try on” the house payments and add new responsibility when you’re positive you can deal.

2.  You don’t really know what you need.

Looking at a new home seems promising and exciting all at once.  You may envision grand plans for that spare room, understand exactly how you think the laundry room should be set up, and know just what bookshelf will fit nicely in the office.  I encourage you to use the home for while before you make any firm commitment to a new piece of furniture, however.  If you buy furniture before you know how to make the best use of your space, you may be buying something that won’t work down the road.

3. Moving is busy enough.

If you think that shuffling all your belonging from your rental or your parents’ house is hard work, try coordinating the delivery of new couches and a loveseat into the fray (plus finding a home for the old stuff).  If you’re without a needed item that you can’t live without when you move (a bed, for example), by all means, let the furniture store handle that transition.  If you’re buying new stuff as a replacement for a decent item you already own, however, wait to get everything in place before considering an upgrade.

4.  Shrewd buying takes time.

The best time to buy a new office chair may not happen to be the same weekend you close on a house.  Therefore, you should avoid buying anything just when you want to, and stick to buying when it’s the best price.  Careful shopping can happen any of the 12 months out of the year, so expect to wait months for the value you deserve.

Congrats on buying a home!  While you unpack, paint, or reorganize, take a moment to prioritize just what new furnishings you want to purchase first.  Then seriously consider putting all the money away to buy it with cash.  Adding on to lots of debt with even a little more is no way to start out life as a homeowner.