New or Used Appliances?

48 Replies

I just closed on a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom single family home which I bought as a rental. It doesn't have a refrigerator or stove. My question: Should I buy a used(habitat for humanity store) or brand new fridge and stove?

That would depend on the price point and quality of finishes in the house.

What's the ARV? What type of appliances do the comps have? What quality is the rest of the rehab? New Kitchen?

@Mitchlyn D.

You can get nice looking used appliances for a fraction of the price for new. After you have your first tenant your new stuff is then used anyway.

Some appliance place offer a short warranty or you can find some like new appliances on CL where a homeowner has upgraded.

Also get a self cleaning oven. When someone moves out and oven is dirty just start a cleaning cycle (hopefully while utilities are still in their name) :)

@Mitchlyn D.

As the others have stated, check to see what other rentals are offering around you.  Personally, I would definitely look into either new appliances with little scratches and/or dents (assuming they aren't an initial eye sore) or slightly used appliances.  Save yourself some money and chances are your potential tenants coming to see your new rental will probably never notice.  Besides, if a tenant completely destroys one of these appliances, at least you'll feel a little better knowing it wasn't new 

@Brian Garrett - The area is like a low B-. ARV was around $73K. The kitchen isn't new. It went through a minor rehab which was mainly paint. Thanks!

@John Underwood - I forgot about the self cleaning oven.  Good point!

@Christopher Giannino - I'll check the box stores to see if they have any that are dented which they are willing to offer at a discount.  Thanks!

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I USED to buy all appliances on Craigslist. Preach it, Kyle. Love me a deal for sure.

But Seattle is getting so upscale, and I'm getting so short on time, that I try to buy new when I can. Home Depot has Amana (good brand, related to Whirlpool) top load washer/dryers for $300/ea. Call Depot directly to order and can sometimes give you discounts through vendors. Their people handle delivery, install, and haulaway off old. Done!

I do some of both, depends on the price point of the rent.  In my area, we have a good used appliance place that is cheap and warranties their appliances for free for 6months and they deliver/take away old ones!  Craigs list is cheaper but a lot more work and I'm trying to do less work myself these days

I always replace with new appliances however all my units have been remodeled within the past 2 years.  I also try to get the scratch and dent appliances from big boxes but I try to keep a full set on hand at all times.  I do this since I use the new scratched ones but you aren’t guaranteed the appliance you need will be on the floor when you need it.  I also use the big box credit card for the initial purchase because they offer an additional 5-10% off then pay them off the next month.  Good luck.

We use all new in our rentals for a couple reasons. Warranties on appliances, knowing they are new and that there shouldn’t be any problems, and we can get max rent for supplying new appliances.

Most people replace stove and fridges due to looks not function so I buy those used with great luck.  Washers and dryers are sold used because they are on their last bit of life.

Do your due dilligence before using the "self clean" function, I personally tell my tenants to refrain from using it.

Alex, what could go wrong with a self cleaning oven?

Used, I get all mine from Craigslist or Facebook.  I never give more than 100 bucks.

I have put in a gently used coil top range in before a couple of time (because they last forever and fairly easy to move and install) but with a refrigerator or washer or dryer or dishwasher, I just get a new one. 

There can be quite a bit of work to get these into units, especially stacked washer dryers that fit in many apartments. And I get new ones delivered free or low cost (and the old one hauled away). 

So if you can keep a good new appliance in there ten years or more you have less wear and tear on the unit (and you!).

Then the hook ups can be some work to do well (and you will want to replace hoses/lines, clean the dryer vent, maybe test shut offs), so the less you have to do this the better.

Plus, in my area appliance repair can easily be 50% the cost of a new appliance so getting a used one that might not have the same life span or require more repairs can be penny wise and pound foolish. 

For example, it may cost $200 bucks to repair that $50 dollar refrigerator off Craigslist. And if you want to haul it off, that costs even more in my area to decommission and then take to the dump. 

When I add in my time and hassle, I often find the new one is the cheapest in the long term. 

Plus, you have added confidence in a new appliance and less risk (of a leaky washer or frig that dies and spoils all the tenant's food). I am frugal but not foolish...

Best of luck!

It’s a rental....are you going to buy brand new appliances EVERY time you have a turnover?

Of course not. Find some good used ones on the Facebook marketplace from homeowners that are upgrading.

I do occasionally buy new appliances. For example...I have a 16 unit complex that is all two story townhouses with the washer and dryers being located on the 2nd level. I just replaced my first dryer yesterday and opted to go new because it’s not nearly as easy to move one in or out as compared to swapping a stove or fridge on the first level. I also go with new dishwashers. Stoves and fridges I almost always purchase clean used ones.

Used all day long. It's a rental, tenants never get new appliances. 

As for warranties on new appliances it is rare you actually would use it and when you do the problem is usually not covered or pro rated to cost more than if you repaired it yourself. When you buy used it will likely last as long as a new unit would assuming you are buying units only a couple of years old.

I buy units in excellent condition for pennies on the dollar when I come across them and always have spares available to do a quick swap out when a tenants appliance fails.  

You may want to look into the tax benefits of buying new appliances too. You might be able to depreciate a good portion of their cost upfront.

We have had good luck with either the big box scratch and dent section or in our area there is a Sears outlet that has really good pricing on scratch and dent appliances

Depends on the appliance.

Stoves, dryers - used. Usually craigslist. Most common problems are really pretty easy to fix yourself. Vacuum the lint out of the dryer exhaust. Typical used ranges are $100-150 with nothing wrong with them. Used dryers are often $80-100. 

Washers used (refurbished) from a used appliance dealer. Or new. The moving parts on a washer wear out and are harder to fix than dryers in my opinion.

Fridges, new. Or used only if less than 5 years old and seller says they just wanted a color change. Never used if more than 15 years old. They are much more efficient now.

Dishwashers, used. Usually are being sold for a color change. We try to get higher end used ones because they are quieter than low end new ones. Old or cheap dishwashers are LOUD.

I get refurbished appliances with a warranty. No hard feeling when they leave. I get another one.

Nobody has mentioned estate auctions.  That's where my wife and I buy furniture and appliances to stock our STRs.  They are fully furnished, right down to pots & pans and laundry detergent.

@Mitchlyn D.   We almost exclusively purchase used appliances for our rentals.  Even the high end ones.  We have a local used guy who gets appliances looking great at a fraction of the cost.  We get a thirty day warranty.  If something goes wrong we normally just replace it with another used one.  I have not had issues having to replace many appliances so I think the quality of the refurb guy probably matters a lot.  

@Mitchlyn D. $73K ARV? Used...used...used...

At best you can go look for the good ol' Sears Outlet (or similar) or floor model sale.  The advantages of those is you can typically pay (or get for free) delivery and installation.  If you have a bad lower back there are worse things that getting a pro to install the stuff.

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