Furnishing is a huge part of the fun of moving into a shiny new apartment.
But unless you're rolling in dough, most of us aim to make bang-for-the-buck purchases that are guaranteed to last way beyond that two-year warranty (which you paid extra money for).
Over at Reddit, some users have helpfully shared the best purchases they made for their BTO, though the advice applies to any home, really. Not surprisingly, items that made cleaning up their abode a breeze got the most votes.
We explore their top picks:
CORDLESS AND ROBOT VACUUM CLEANERS
The prime points that advocate for cordless vacuums — which we can't help but agree with — are that they're portable, non-bulky, and can be stored easily somewhere within reach.
Like one redditor said: Because they're so light-weight and accessible, you'd use them more often instead of reaching for the broom or hand towel.
You can read some reviews of cordless vacuum cleaners here.
Prices of cordless vacuums can go up to $800 depending on various brands and models, with popular names like Philips and Dyson thrown up in the thread.
Robot vacuums also get a mention from several users. In particular, Xiaomi's range of smart cleaners, with its reported excellent navigational system.
One of the cons, however, is that hair can often get stuck in its brushes, according to one reviewer. That, and the nearly $600 price tag for the latest, most premium model.
It's never occurred to me that installing a smart lock would mean banishing the daily frustration of digging around in my bag for the house keys.
That's five minutes multiplied by 365 days a year, which means approximately 30 hours better spent relaxing on the couch.
And not only that, gaining access to your home would be a cinch with fingerprint recognition, without having to key in a passcode or pin.
Cost concerns aside, who wouldn't say yes to that?
A check online showed prices of digital locks ranging from the low hundreds to thousands of dollars. As with all gadgets, the newer the technology (think advanced fingerprint recognition, RFID capabilities, slim design), the steeper the price.
The main reason why people are against dishwashers would be the cost of the product, as well as the fear of their monthly water bill spiking.
But these users have put forth very compelling reasons to get a dishwasher, including the observation that a fully-loaded machine can be more efficient than hand-washing your plates, utensils and cutlery.
To be sure, they cost a pretty penny — upwards of $500 from what we've seen — so one has to decide on what's more important: Time or money?
The same reasoning can be applied when it comes to getting a clothes dryer, which surprisingly did not factor in strongly on the list. But when our colleague waxed lyrical about how much effort and time having a dryer saved, we were sold.
Who would have thought that LED lighting will get so much love?
Apparently, cheap lighting triumphs over fancy lighting any day. What's more, LED lights tend to last longer — up to 6.5 years, according to a redditor.
One tip we gleaned is that LED strip lighting works well under your overhead kitchen cabinet if the main light isn't bright enough or if you tend to cast a shadow over your stove.
Another tip? Save more money by buying the lights from Johor Bahru.
Pricier smart LED lighting systems like the Philips Hue and Xiaomi Yeelight are also all the rage among trendy homeowners, and they're compatible with virtual assistants like Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant.
But do consider how to replace them as well if the bulbs ever blow.
Other recommendations from users include obvious answers like Smart TVs and beds, appliances such as air fryers (great for open kitchen concepts), motion sensor lighting (no more fiddling with on/off switches), or the next best thing — remote controls for fans and lights.
More interesting choices include black-out curtains and power outlets with built-in USBs. All highly useful information for those of us awaiting keys to their new homes.
When it comes to purchasing items for your flat, anything that saves you time and effort appears to be a shoo-in — we'd even outsource the cleaning too if we could (part-time housekeeping made the list as well). The expenses incurred would be the trade-off, but some would argue it's a small price to pay.
But really, through our research both online and off, the best purchases are often things you'd reach for most frequently because it's a breeze to use and, as weird as it may sound, may even give us some enjoyment when using it.
It's mostly a personal choice, really. A robot vacuum could mean hassle-free cleaning for someone but it'll just gather dust (in a figurative way) for another. A rain shower may offer the best feeling in the world to someone but be considered less efficient to another. You get the idea.
This article originally appeared on AsiaOne.