Moving house, and the refrigerator

Eventually I’ll be moving house. I don’t know when, as it depends on my employment situation. Nevertheless, I’m buying a house (or at least in the process of being financed for one) and I won’t be in my flat forever.

When I moved here, there was a refrigerator. Refrigerators are not provided with the rental; it was left by the previous tenant. When it stopped working I bought one second-hand for $100. I think that when I do move house, I’ll leave it for the tenants to follow. I mean, do I really want to haul this thing 1,300 miles when I can probably find another used one for a couple-hundred bucks?

How do you feel about leaving appliances?

It depends on how much I paid for it and how much it will cost me to replace it.

If I’d bought a $1,300 fridge, I’d find a way to move it. The same thing would happen if I bought a new washer or dryer. If I bought inexpensive used ones and was fairly certain I could replace them inexpensively, I’d leave them there. Sometimes that’s a lot easier than moving them.

I’m curious about the cost of refrigerators. I was in Sears a few weeks ago and I saw some for $350. I also saw some for $1,500. Why spend five times as much for something that does the same thing?

FWIW I don’t use ice cubes, and I have no problem opening a fridge to get at the pitcher of cold water instead of getting it from a door-mounted tap. I also try not to buy more perishables than I need for a reasonable time.

Is there something about the more expensive refrigerators that make them better than the cheap ones? :confused:

Oh, Lsura: I don’t mean to question your decision to buy a $1,300 fridge (if indeed you have, and are not just using it as an example). I sincerely don’t know the difference between those and a $350 fridge, aside from such obvious things as an ice maker and cold water tap.

It was really just an example: I’ve never had to purchase a fridge as they have always been provided with my apartments.

My brother did buy one several months ago that seemed expensive to me (IIRC it was a little over $1,000) and he told me why he decided on that one instead of the others…but I really can’t remember why. I think it had all sorts of gadget things in it that made him go “oooooooh, neat!”.

Maybe the warranty…

Well, I have a cheap refrigerator sitting in my garage if you want it. It works fine, but I wanted to get one that had water/ice in the door, so I could stop paying Sparklett’s $50 freaking dollars each month for the cold water dispenser.

So, we buy a much more expensive refrigerator - ice/water in the door, lovely. Except, the water is NOT ice-cold - why? Who wants “sort of cold” water?

I’d leave the fridge and buy a new one! Or come to Dallas and take mine, it’s taking up room in my garage… :slight_smile:

I’m almost embarrassed to admit we spent $2000 on a refrigerator last year. Yep we did get a warranty (that includes full cleaning once a year, and if anything goes wrong, they fix it), ice & water in the door (this is in use all the time, we drink a lot of water). Stainless steel was more expensive than white (gotta have all appliances matching, y’know), side by side. You’re darn tootin’ I’m bringing it with if we move.

I would have no problem leaving cheaper appliances behind.

I think there is a difference in the energy rating on refrigerators also. Something that is more energy efficient might cost more when you initially purchase it but over the long term would use less power thus in theory saving you money.

Also scout around for dent and ding models. I bought a new fridge last year from Lowes, and they claimed it was a dent unit. Damned if I could find the dent, but I took the $50 price reduction. :smiley:

My recent shopping showed me that more costly units have subtle differences, like half-width shelves instead of full width making it much easier to organize stuff the way you want it. Tempered glass shelves and inserts rather than plastic. Shelves in the freezer-a light in the freezer-freezer on the bottom, etc.

One feature that costs more is frost-free. We have a little fridge that requires periodic emptying so that we can get the accumulated ice out of the freezer, whereas our regular fridge doesn’t have that problem.

As far as taking vs leaving - I have been told that transporting can be very hard on refrigerators, and by virtue of being big and bulky, there are lots of chances to damage it just moving it around. We’ve never moved one - over the last 20 years, we’ve had to buy 4 of the durn things! Last house we sold, the realtor told us it was customary in that area to leave the fridge behind. We wound up buying an identical model for our new house here.

Anyway, second-hand refrigerators seem to be plentiful around here - I would think that would be true anywhere. Certainly easier and cheaper than replacing an old, cheap fridge.

I think the moving/leaving of appliances is a regional thing. In Chicago, the fridge (as well as the washer and dryer) almost always stays with the house. When my brother moved to Oklahoma City, he was surprised that most people take the refirigerators with them when they move. To me, it would seem to make more sense to leave the fridge with the house since there are no guarantees that it’ll fit in your new kitchen (or do you not purchase a house based on the fit of a $500 appliance?) and it’s a pain in the rear to move.

When we moved from SW VA to the DC burbs 5 years back, we seem to have moved from one of those areas where you take your fridge with you, to an area where the fridge stays with the house. So ever since, we’ve had two fridges - the one we brought with us, which is in the kitchen; and the one the previous owners left, which is now my ‘beer fridge’ down in my workshop. Envy me. :slight_smile:

Since the government was paying to move us, it didn’t cost us anything extra to move the fridge we had, and it survived the trip just fine.

We paid about $700 for it, back in 1994, which was a lot of money for us then. There were a number of extras we thought were worth paying a bit extra for: frost-free, built-in icemaker, the half-width adjustable shelves, the adjustable temp control on the meat drawer, and the adjustable humidity control on the fruit/veggie drawers.

Responding to the OP, there’s little reason to move a cheap-ass used fridge if you’re going to have to move it yourself; like you say, you can get another one when you get to where you’re going.

My feeling about buying fridges is: they’re very simple appliances that normally last forever (despite FCM
's experiences). If you can spare the money, buy a refrigerator that you’ll be happy with for a long time.

Taken from a pure economic standpoint, you’ll spend over $100 in fuel and volume in the moving truck to move that secondhand fridge 1300 miles.

As for the things that make one fridge cost more than another, more expensive units tend to be larger inside and quieter. Also, the “fit and finish” is of a higher quality. Tempered glass instead of plastic or wire shelves, sturdier drawers, more cleverly thought-out slots in the door to hold milk jugs, soda bottles, etc. and generally, a better use of space.

You just need to be aware of who actually makes the thing. As an example - what’s the common factor among refrigerators wearing the names of Costco’s Kirkland, Sears’ Kenmore, Whirlpool and KitchenAid? They’re all made by Whirlpool. Just be prepared to spend more for that KitchenAid nameplate.

I went through this a little over a year ago - this is the sort of thing Consumer Reports is great for. You can buy a one-month online subscription for $4.95, which gives you full access to the archives - including fridges, which they tested in July. From looking at their ratings, almost all fridges do a good job keeping stuff cold. But there are a lot of differences in features. I’m like you, I don’t care about ice makers/water dispensers (which, by the way, have a habit of breaking). But glass shelves are terrific, because they can contain a spill or leak that otherwise would go all over everything. Different temperature compartments are convenient, too.

I would suggest leaving it behind because it’s always best to buy the most recent model you can afford, energy-wise.

Although if it was me, the real excuse would be to buy this:

But if ice in the door doesn’t impress you, I guess TV and internet access wouldn’t either. :wink: The price is conspicuously absent on that site, but a review here,24330,3439369,00.html quotes the price at (gulp) $8,000. Yowza!

Just be thankfull you don’t live in Russia. In discussing this thread with a russian immigrant co-worker, she mentioned that its very common for a russian household to take all of their kitchen cabinets with them when they move. She said that the Russian cabinets are somewhat more freestanding than what we’re used to, but the last time she moved between homes they spent a full day unmounting all the cabinets from the walls.

Hmmm, just realized that I never got an answer from her about what they do with their refigerators, though…

Blonde I’ll take that old fridge off your hands! I just moved into a house, and my fridge is still in storage and too big for the space in the new house. I’ve been looking in the classifieds for fridges and was just making calls today.

I’m in Coppell and have the rest of August off (now only if they’ll do a Las Colinas Lunch Bunch this week, maybe I can finally meet some other Dopers!)