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Washing Machine
The belt on my dryer gave out about a week ago, presumably from its age.  I was really tempted to replace the dryer with a modern energy efficient unit and one that is probably a heck of lot quieter.  In the end, I didn’t pull the trigger.  Here’s why.

Like with anything that doesn’t belong to you, it’s going to be treated with less care. I found your roommates will just do that to your appliance AND your furniture.

In my particular case with my dryer, my past roommates have inadvertently run the dryer with pens in the pockets of their washed cloths, leaving streaks of ink on the inside of the tumbler.  It looks bad, but the ink has dried and doesn’t ruin cloths anymore.  Now, with a broken belt and the condition of the dryer, it was time to replace it.  But…

One side of me wanted to replace this POS dryer with a modern unit.  On the other hand, I know the dryer will get abused from “inadvertent” objects put through the dryer.  Now, I know that I’m human and prone to making mistakes, but with more roommates, the likelihood of accidents increases.  One can argue that depreciation of assets is just the cost of doing business, so to get the most value of out a piece of asset is to keep it until you “really” need to replace it.

This was my rationale for fixing the dyer instead of replacing the entire unit.  I did the repair myself so the only monetary cost was the part, which was $32(belt + tensioner pulley).   The fix was relatively simpler than I thought.  There are numerous of videos on youtube showing how to do it.

In addition, from an economic standpoint, it was far cheaper to spend $32 on parts than $300+ on a new unit, thus another reason to pursue the repair route rather than replacing the unit.  I can make an argument for replacing the unit since my bedroom area is in the same area where the laundry room is, the quieter dryer would have been a nice convenience.

 

Furniture

From the time they come home from work to when they go to bed, the couch is the place where they hang out, eat, snack, and sometimes sleep.  Needless to say, it’s the most used/abused household item from my roommates.  I would love to replace my living room furniture with newer and matching furniture, but I know it’s going to get used/abused and it’s just not worth it to replace them until I “really” need it.

The following question has been asked numerous times:

“Do you recommend renting the rooms furnished or unfurnished?”

Based on my experience with furniture in my living room, my response has been that it’s better to offer an unfurnished room for the reason that furniture will get abused.   It’s often pointless to spend money to furnish a spare bedroom for a roommate unless you have old furniture lying around.  I also found that roommates that roommates don’t tend to be long or short-term renters just because they have to move in their own furniture.  I rent out an unfurnished room and I had roommates that rented for as short as 2 months.  So in the end, I think it all comes down to location and amenities that makes the ultimate curb appeal.

Has anyone else had any other experiences with abused appliances or furniture?

Creative Commons License photo credit: Ovi G

{ 1 comment }
  • Linda October 20, 2011, 6:05 pm

    I guess I’ve been lucky because for the most part my roommates have been respectful of my appliances and furniture. One guy (the one with whom I had to terminate the agreement due to smuggling in a puppy) left some serious stains on the carpet in his room, though.

    Pens in the dryer?! I’m surprised they survived the washer first!

    Reply

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