Appliances for 98 Units

39 Replies

Hey, guys!

So I am having a bit of an issue with appliances. @Sam Grooms and I closed on a 98-unit a couple of weeks back (there's a  10-page thread about it here). 

We are looking at a $1.4M rehab, and so far the bidding is extremely competitive. We've come under budget by significant margins on paint and landscape. The HVAC is on budget, and so are the flooring, cabinets, countertops, and roofs. 

All and all, pretty good so far. The one item we fudged up on are the appliances. We are using stainless, but our bids are coming in about $240 per unit higher. Home Depot where we are buying lots of stuff because they are so competitive (they kill competition on cabinets) is actually the weakest appliance bid we have. But, even the distributors are struggling with our expectations.

I am not sure what gives. Did the prices go up in the last few months? 

More importantly, does anyone have a referral to share? I am trying to get close to $1,400 on fridge, range, microwave, and dishwasher - my best bid is almost $1,600.

@Brian Burke@Brian Adams

@Ben Leybovich I have read your post about the 98-unit purchase with considerable interest. Thanks for sharing. I have heard that appliance prices have gone up after recent trade tariffs on China imports. You might have no choice but to pay extra. On the flip side, tenants might pay extra rent because you have new appliances and competition might have put off upgrading due to the higher cost.

The steel tariffs have increased the price of appliances. If you don't have an urgent need to replace them now then I would move them back towards the end of your rehab cycle to see if that changes.

Steel and Aluminum are both up due to tariffs. Also Trump’s policies specifically targeted certain foriegn produced appliances like washing machines which are up 20% in price since January.

Agreed as everyone noted above.  I use a scratch-N-dent place outside of Philadelphia, PA (private owner, small company) and after my last appliance purchase back in April 2018, he said the same thing.. all appliances went up about $25-100 depending on size (so a standard 30" frigidaire SS went from $1500 up to $1600 now), etc. 

I agree with the previous posts, the tariffs brought an almost immediate increase in appliance prices, but from what I've seen it mainly affected the higher end products. I saw very moderate changes on the lower priced appliances. I do not buy in bulk, but do wait for sales. 6 months ago I replaced the appliances in a unit and bought all Whirlpool Stainless.

I paid about:

$500 Fridge w/ ice maker

$500 Oven/Range 

$200 Microwave

$300 Dishwasher

So, $1500 total.

Recently for Labor Day I purchased the same appliances and paid:

$550 Fridge

$600 Oven/Range

$220 Microwave

$300 Dishwasher

So $1670 total. Most of the increase came to the oven/range.

Originally posted by @Mohammed Elzagha :

I agree with the previous posts, the tariffs brought an almost immediate increase in appliance prices, but from what I've seen it mainly affected the higher end products. I saw very moderate changes on the lower priced appliances. I do not buy in bulk, but do wait for sales. 6 months ago I replaced the appliances in a unit and bought all Whirlpool Stainless.

I paid about:

$500 Fridge w/ ice maker

$500 Oven/Range 

$200 Microwave

$300 Dishwasher

So, $1500 total.

Recently for Labor Day I purchased the same appliances and paid:

$550 Fridge

$600 Oven/Range

$220 Microwave

$300 Dishwasher

So $1670 total. Most of the increase came to the oven/range.

Where did you purchase them? 

It would make sense that the range saw the biggest increase, since that appliance has a lot more metal in it than the others. 

@Ben Leybovich  Know you mentioned stainless steel appliances and I love the look myself. Had my eyes opened the other day though on a new apartment bus tour I went on and saw many of them going with black appliances. When asked for the reasoning they all came back with the same thing and that was that stainless looks great but stainless shows every little scratch...especially with the fridge magnets. Consensus was same rents with black and less maintenance costs and just look better over time. I know black tends to be a bit lower in cost so this may be of help...

I agree with @Stephen Swiatek stick with black. Cheaper and still looks nice. Everything is going to black stainless these days so by going just black your sort of catching the trend and avoiding a potential of looking dated with stainless in 5 years or so. 

Sears is struggling and offering 40% off of all appliances in select markets.

Brand new appliances in every unit?  Bet you could keep the best half or 3rd at least while still maximizing rents.

Possibly wait for black friday? I dont know if there are discounts at the volume you are looking for but you'll see advertised prices under $1500 for packages from lowes and home depot

if you are basically buying 100 refrigerators you have negotiating power .  I would call around the country to dealers and tell them you want it drop shipped . They will be making money and wont have to touch a thing 

@Ben Leybovich , I have had the best luck with Sears for new appliances.  I get about 4 notices a year for special sales, but I only buy about 8 to 12 a year.  I have shoped home depot, Menards, and a few other department stores, but have consistently bought appliances for about $40 to $120 cheaper from Sears.

Sears offers bulk pricing. Just gotta ask...I'm going all black. Paying 400 for a fridge, 350 for stove (coil top), 170 for a dishwasher. I imagine a microwave would be under 200.  So around 1120. I have to buy 16 a year to maintain this pricing.  

At that quantity you could go factory direct. We're a Whirlpool town so you could look for a commercial rate through them. I've had hit and miss pricing that way. Sometimes the big boxes are still lower. But, remember everything is negotiable 

At that quantity you could go factory direct. We're a Whirlpool town so you could look for a commercial rate through them. I've had hit and miss pricing that way. Sometimes the big boxes are still lower. But, remember everything is negotiable 

@Ben Leybovich the tariffs are less about real cost impact today and more about companies raising prices to defend from increasing costs over time. The other factor is opportunistic price increases. The whole industry moves up together, so buyers are stuck. Over time, the real cost impact will be identified and the prices will start to drop again. That doesn't help you today, but for those who can wait 6 months, it may be worth it.

I am assuming you have reached out to local appliance stores, who may be more able to strike a deal? 

One other idea, if you are stuck at the higher price, you may be able to get them to throw in an extended warranty. Appliances are built cheap these days, so odds are good with several hundred appliances that some will have problems in the next 3-5 years. The store may be more willing to deal on a warranty, because there is no hard cost today. 

Good luck.

Originally posted by @Stephen Swiatek :

@Ben Leybovich  Know you mentioned stainless steel appliances and I love the look myself. Had my eyes opened the other day though on a new apartment bus tour I went on and saw many of them going with black appliances. When asked for the reasoning they all came back with the same thing and that was that stainless looks great but stainless shows every little scratch...especially with the fridge magnets. Consensus was same rents with black and less maintenance costs and just look better over time. I know black tends to be a bit lower in cost so this may be of help...

 I also like Black applainces, if I can avoid stainless in rentals I tend to get black ones, the white one get old fast and look cheap and the stainless is nice, but I don't know that people really pay extra for it. I have usually found that apartments with Black appliances rent just as fast as the stainless ones.

Originally posted by @Jason D. :
Possibly wait for black friday? I dont know if there are discounts at the volume you are looking for but you'll see advertised prices under $1500 for packages from lowes and home depot

 My observations are that labor day tends to be one of the best if not the best holiday to buy appliances