What Appliances Come with Your First Home?

Quick answer? None of them. At least, no appliances are automatically included. When you buy a house, check the listing carefully to see what stays with the house. You can usually—but not always—count on the built-in appliances, like the oven range, stove, and dishwasher, staying put.

Here are a few things to remember about appliances when you’re negotiating the sale of a home.

No appliance is guaranteed until you have it in writing

Never assume you’ll be getting an appliance because if it isn’t in the contract, you could show up and find a gaping hole where the refrigerator should be. Be prepared to buy. Let’s say the fridge is a super special Sub Zero and the owners, who borrowed from their retirement fund to buy it, are taking it with them, even though it probably won’t fit in their new efficiency apartment. Whatever their (silly) reasons, regardless of their bad choices, you need a fridge and freezer and you need them to fit the space. Unless you’re prepared to buy another mammoth fridge, make sure the space will work for your thoroughly nice but realistic appliance. And if there’s no way to make it work, buying a less expensive but still more-than-you-want-to-spend large fridge to fit the space might be cheaper than remodeling the kitchen. And think of all the flavored seltzer and ice cream you could hoard!

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Budget for what you need, and do it before you move in

First-time home buyers can be surprised by all the little expenses the landlord used to cover, from new screens and paint to water bills and appliances. If you don’t plan ahead, you might be in hot water soon. Oh, unless the hot water heater breaks and you can’t afford a new one. Find out which appliances you need to buy and which ones you’ll keep. As for the ones that come with the house, do a little research and see how soon you might need to replace them. You might want to live with your old sofa for a while longer if a new dishwasher is on the horizon.

Consider a home warranty

A home warranty can make the transition from renting to owning so much easier. They’re generally good for one year, and cover repairs and replacements on just about everything, from sump pumps and hot water heaters to attic fans and dishwashers. In some cases, the seller will include a home warranty as part of the sale. If not, you may want to look into buying it for yourself. A home warranty takes a lot of uncertainty out of your first year in a new home.

Never turn down an appliance when you're buying your first home

Let’s say you’re bringing the washer dryer you bought for your apartment and you don’t need the set the sellers are offering. Ever heard of Craig’s List? Sell one of the sets and make a few bucks to put toward your housewarming party. Or give them to a friend in need to create some good will. Or donate them and take the tax deduction. Now that you’re a homeowner, you’ll probably want to be more careful with your cash, and an extra appliance can put some cash in the bank.

Negotiate

So, the seller painted every wall in the house a different color, including puce, periwinkle, and burnt orange. And that’s just the dining room. But they won’t budge on a painting allowance. Maybe they’ll be more inclined to throw in an appliance or two if they know it’ll hurry the sale along. It’s always worth having your agent ask, just in case. If you pay $1,200 more for the house, but it comes with a washer, dryer, refrigerator, and wine fridge, you’re basically rolling the cost of appliances into your mortgage.

If possible, keep as many appliances as you can. Why? Because it'll save you money in the short-term and give you more time to decide what you really like in the long-term. Don't let a dishwasher stand between you and your dream home, but be practical and pay attention when you're negotiating. Unless you like handwashing dishes or keeping wine in your regular fridge.