Furnishing your property in Romania for the Romanian market

This blog is intended to guide owners of investment property in Bucharest, or for that matter, Any Romanian location including Brasov, Cluj, Bran, Constanta, Sibiu etc.

There are many providers & even more people who believe they can provide the furniture you need, but actually dont have the skills, taste or general ability to achieve the best results, or if they do, it may be at the expense of your wasted money.

I’ve carried out maybe more than 30 such jobs in Romania & so can speak from personal experience.

If money is no object, you aren’t under the same restrictions, but if like many owners, it is important to get the best value for money, read on.

Personally, I consider myself to have done a good job, as both a landlord, & a provider of furniture for other owners, ONLY if I can say I achieved all of the following:

  • robust, quality fittings not liable to fail after 6 months
  • tasteful, but not too opinionated or market-specific choices
  • lowest cost possible for a given feature or look
  • contain a wow factor
  • stand apart from all other apartments in the same block or price point or market segment

This is not always easy but its how I work. Tips for achieving this are:

Appliances (oven, hob, extractor, washing machine, dryer:

If you are not engineering minded & able judge good from bad products, get some advice on what appliances are likely to last in the long term. A broken oven or washing machine causes a lot more hassle to replace than to fit a good one in the first place for example. Stick to good brands you know.

Often a bottom of the range or old model Bosch can be cheaper than a high end Artic of Finilux but will last indefinitely in normal use. Ask the shop keeper but try multiple stores ALWAYS before buying, to form a picture. Use Google to check customer opinions. Some products have built in obsolescence or design flaws. Don’t be a victim to this, benefit from other peoples experience.

Avoid fancy features on an oven, or trv with built in DVD, or washer dryers. The more features you have, the more there is to go wrong, writing the entire appliance off.

If you have built in appliances, especially fridge freezers, make sure they have sufficient cooling & space around them. Don’t ask the fitter to tell you, of course he will say it’s ok. The appliance instruction book should tell you the minimum circulation. Failure to do this will end up reducing the life of the appliance. Where would you get rid of a broken fridge if it ever failed with a tenant in situ?
Lights

This is a much ignored aspect of furnishing a place, but is easily one of the most important jobs. Lighting a place could be the difference between minimal rental voids & a poor investment property as it dictates the mood of the space. Key considerations for lighting are:

Power consumption: cost of bulb replacement & life cycle (eg, gu10 bulbs give bright & atmospheric lighting but can be expensive & don’t tend to last too long. Once one goes, any others in the circuit can be affected by the light surge & fail soon after. At 4 euros per bulb, changing 6 each time one fails get a bot annoying.

Durability: don’t fit Chinese or Turkish imported crap just because it looks good for the price offered. If you have to replace it, its not such a bargain any longer. Try to buy lights from decent lighting shops, including IKEA but prices vary from great value to ridiculously overpriced, without a major change in appearance or functionality. In other words, your can get some great looking, durable lights without spending a fortune.

Exuberance: if you do cut back on lighting, try to have a few areas in the house with no compromise in expense, such as the living room & kitchen area. I often see house equipped for rent with not more than 20e spent on the whole property & it just puts viewers off everything.

Taste: try to think ahead. Don’t fit lights that will be out of fashion in 5 years if you can help it. Aim for classic styles or at least ones that can be changed at little cost.

to be continued…..

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