TIPS FOR LONG LASTING FURNITURE

Most realtors use a general rule of thumb used to provide their clients with a rough estimate to furnish a new home. They calculate the amount by using 10% of the home's retail price. The average price of a new two-bedroom condo in Vallarta ranging from $4,500,000 to $8,000,000 MXN ($200,000 to $400,000 USD). If you use this approach, the furniture budget should be approximately $450,000 to $800,000 MXN ($20,000 to $40,000 USD). Whether you budget that amount or even half of that amount, it is still a sizeable financial investment. That is why it is important to ensure you purchase furniture and décor that lasts as long as possible.

Over ten years ago, I purchased a pre-construction condo in Bucerias, Nayarit. Although I had visited and enjoyed many holidays in Mexico, I was woefully unprepared to buy furniture here. Our climate is quite different from where I lived previously in Canada. My goal was to purchase furniture that would stand the test of time, be comfortable and stylish. I, too, was working within a budget.

I was unable to find anyone who could answer the questions I had. That is why I started SOLutions Mexico, the furniture store for Americans and Canadians who buy rental, retirement, and vacation homes in Vallarta. I want to help people by providing answers to the questions we all have when buying furniture in Mexico. Over the past ten years, I have researched and studied the best materials for furniture – so we get the best value for our hard-earned money. Here are a few of my tips.                                   

For those buyers who plan to rent their condos, avoid buying cheap, disposable furniture from big box stores. Renters tend to be hard on furniture, even when you restrict renting only to family and friends. The cost of replacing cheap furniture multiple times ends up being more than if you had purchased moderately priced furniture from the get-go. For clients renting their units, I recommend a manufacturer in Mexico who can do a complete two-bedroom furniture package for about MXN 100,000 (USD 5000). That includes furniture for the living room, dining room, two bedrooms and an outdoor terrace. The furniture is well-made, comfortable, and ideal for homes in Vallarta. Best of all, it lasts.

Many people ask whether they should get parota wood furniture because it is the only wood that does not get termites. This is not true. Termites will eat parota wood. Termites will eat concrete. Furniture made with solid parotta wood costs more. Unless you want a live-edge table for your décor, it is over-kill to get all your furniture and cupboards made with this wood. There are manufacturers in Mexico and the US who use termite-resistant materials. These pieces are beautiful and less expensive than solid parota wood furniture. Be wary of anyone who tries to convince you only to get solid parota wood items if you want to avoid termites. This is not correct.

For upholstered goods such as sofas, sectionals, and recliners, don't just buy for looks. Most retailers in Mexico carry a low-end product. The covers tend to be fake leather, which cracks and peels within 12 months. The foams are generally low grade, so compress quickly, making them extremely uncomfortable. Support systems are cheap springs that rust. For about the same price as these cheaply constructed models, you can get a sofa, sectional or recliner that will last twenty plus years. There are top North American upholstered goods companies that have manufacturing plants in Mexico. For example, Palliser is rated a top upholstered goods manufacturer in North America with plants in Saltillo, Mexico. Their products use real leather and performance fabric (a revolutionary material that does not stain). They use the proper density foams so that the back and seat cushions on their sofas are as comfortable twenty years from now as they were when you purchased it. The support systems they use for their seating are mostly webbing, so no rusty springs. When it comes to an investment in upholstered goods, do not just purchase based on looks.

One of the best ways to help your furniture last is to close the curtains. Direct sunlight is hard on furniture and decor. Another option is to invest in window tinting. Paying upfront to reduce the sun's harmful rays will reap rewards of your furniture looking new for longer.

If I can assist you with any questions you have about furniture that lasts, or if you would like to get contact information of good furniture companies, please email me at sa.novak@solutionsmexico.com.

For ideas and more tips, join our Facebook Group: Mexico Furniture and Decor.