Our Recent Washer and Dryer Debate: We Need Your Opinion!

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Have you ever had a “discussion” with your spouse that never seemed to reach a resolution? The debate goes on for days and right when you think a compromise is going to take place, suddenly, the red flags are waived once again and the battle is back on.

My wife and I recently purchased a house that was in need of a renovation. We basically agreed on everything we did and hardly argued about any of the major projects that we took on. For the most part, we are a great team.

We Finally Saved Up Some Cash

Recently, we have decided that it’s time to get our own washer and dryer. Taking our clothes to my mom and dads house is starting to get a little old, and we always end up letting the laundry pile way to high before we go – which means that we’re over there for 5+ hours at a time. They have no problem with us using their machines (in fact, I’m pretty sure they enjoy our company), but now that we have saved up enough money for a washer and dryer of our own, it’s time that we take the plunge and make the purchase.

Craiglist, My Love

Since I hate paying full price for anything, my first action was to take our search to the wonderful online classifieds known as Craigslist! Unfortunately, most of the washers and dryers listed are 10+ years old and quite inefficient. Not only that, they still cost about 75% of what the new washers and dryers are selling for in the store. While I still do peruse the new ads each day, I don’t expect to find a great deal here.

On to Best Buy

Since there wasn’t much hope for the used washer and dryer, we took our search to Best Buy (where we got a great deal on our kitchen appliances). After talking with the salesman, we decided that we did not want a front-loading washer – there’s just too much maintenance (with the seal) and additional variables that could go wrong. Plus, the new top loaders now have features like high efficiency, extremely quiet operation, and they have a high spin-speed which almost dries the clothes before they even enter the dryer.

Our Agreement

So, at this point my wife and I both agree that we’d rather have a top loading washer with a matching dryer – preferably by LG or Samsung. But that still left a couple of options open on the sales floor.

My Choice and My Wife’s Choice

Before I start this comparison, I want to let all of you know that I’m being as non-biased as possible. If I stray from the facts and figures, please feel free to call me out on it.

Based on your experience, please let us know what decision you would make and why. Thanks!

My Washer and Dryer Set

My washer and dryer have a regular price of $749 each, but are on sale this week for $549 each. Model # WR4801CW (washer) and DLE4801W (dryer).

LG – 3.7 Cu. Ft. 8-Cycle Large Capacity High-Efficiency Washer – White

 

  • 4.4 of 5 4.4 of 5 (33 reviews)
  • 8 wash cycles
  • 5 wash temperatures
  • 3.7 cubit ft. large capacity
  • 10 year warranty
  • Energy Star

LG – 7.1 Cu. Ft. 8-Cycle Large Capacity Electric Dryer – White

 

  • 3.8 of 5 3.8 of 5 (8 reviews)
  • 7.1 cubit ft capacity
  • 8 cycles
  • Sensor Dry System
  • Aluminum steel alloy interior

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Wife’s Washer and Dryer Set

The washer and dryer that my wife has picked out are originally $999, but are currently on sale for $899 each. Model # WT5991CW (washer) and DLE5001W (dryer).

LG – 4.5 Cu. Ft. 12-Cycle Ultra Capacity High-Efficiency Washer – White

 

  • 4.5 of 5 4.5 of 5 (101 reviews)
  • 12 wash cycles
  • 5 wash temperatures
  • 4.5 cubic feet
  • 10 year warranty
  • Energy Star

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LG – 7.3 Cu. Ft. 12-Cycle Ultra Capacity Electric Dryer – White

 

  • 4.9 of 5 4.9 of 5 (20 reviews)
  • 7.3 cubic ft. capacity
  • 12 cycles
  • Sensor dry system
  • Never-rust stainless steel drum
  • drying rack
Summary
With my washer and dryer, the total bill will ring up to about $1,166. With my wife’s washer and dryer, the total bill will ring up to about $1,910. Are these higher-end machines worth the $744 difference?
What’s your opinion? With your help, I hope to finally do some laundry at home!
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Money

Derek

AUTHOR Derek

My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

72 Comments

    • Thanks for the input Maria! 1 vote for the lesser expensive set. Check.

    • That’s what I figured. It’s still a good name brand and has a good warranty, and it’s reasonably priced! 3 good positives.

  1. I had a Haier washer that broke 3 months in. It took 3 more months to replace it. I just got it yesterday. The company really doesn’t care about their customers. Not 1 person contacted me. I called them 22 times. NOT ONE CALLED BACK. Wow. Anyway I also have a Maytag that broke a year and a half later. They fixed it immediately.

    Save the $744 and put it toward my Christmas gift at the end of the year. 🙂

    If it breaks you get it fixed or replaced for free (hopefully without headache).
    Jai Catalano recently posted..Week In Review – Photography Scam, Funny Salsa Story, My Kids First Word & A SHOUT OUT

    • I vote on saving the money for something down the road too. Thanks for the comment Jai.

    • The more expensive units do have some more bells and whistles, but I don’t see them as necessities. Thanks for the vote!

      • My question would be…do you do the laundry? Or does she? Or is it half and half? I’d let the woman get what she wants. Granted, most are just jacked up on cost because they’re new. However, if your wife is the bearer of most the laundry than I would let her choose. I recommend a front loader for both—it’s easier and you can stack them!
        Jon – Free Money Wisdom recently posted..Why a Young Conservative Supports Ron Paul

        • It’s about half and half. Sometimes I do hers, and sometimes she does mine, but most of the time, we’ll just take care of our own. We like the top loaders because they are less likely to break or get moldy. We’re not too worried about stacking them because they are in our basement, with plenty of space around them.

  2. I know I’ve written bad things about them in the past, but just for the heck of it, I checked out HH Gregg, and their prices are $100 cheaper on each of your selections Derek. Since you already know what you are looking for, in your case, I would disregard my article on the bad service since you won’t really be needing any “advice” as they like to call it. Then you can use the extra money for other things that you would prefer to spend it on!
    Eric J. Nisall – DollarVersity recently posted..Tim Thomas, What Were You Thinking?

      • Haha, that’s alright! I love to see the comments anyway!

    • Sounds like something we might need to check out! Thanks for the heads-up.

    • No advice for us on which one you would buy though?

    • We saw some of those too, but they were about $900 a piece as well.

    • I think we could stick it towards our mortgage! 😉

  3. I laugh when I read this because Dave & I are going to my parents tomorrow for an overdue laundry day! Our apartment complex has one crappy community washer & dryer downstairs that you have to pay for. We buy my parents detergent every few times and they let us use their HE washing machine! My mom had mentioned before how much they saved on water/energy from switching to an HE machine. Have you calculated that cost out? I know wifey’s is bigger & an HE, so would it save more $ in the long run? Money Beagle has a good point though- if you do need to do any maintenance, you can use the $700 you save toward any maintenance your choice might need. Sorry I didn’t give a specific vote for either!
    Jessica @ Budget For Health recently posted..Get fit with Beachbody

    • Haha! I think we are at a similar cross-roads in our lives huh? Thanks for the vote!

  4. When I replaced my Maytag Neptune, the repair guy said get something simple and use liquid detergent. The fancier machines do not necessarily wash better and there is more that can go wrong. I bought a low to mid level Kenmore and it works just fine. For what it’s worth!
    Krantcents recently posted..Friday Night Links: Pinched Nerve Edition

    • Yep. Sounds about right. Even my machines are a higher-grade model (I think), but more toward the mid-level than some of the other ones I’ve seen.

  5. Just to be contrary, I’ll give the other side of the argument a go. Let’s say the extra 20% of capacity saves you 1 load per week and that each extra load requires 5 minutes of human intervention. We’ll assume you’ll own them for, say 10 years (since you don’t seem to be the appliance flipping type). That’s 520 loads and 2600 minutes, or ~43 hours saved/lost over the life of the appliances depending on your choice. The difference in price is $744. So if you expect the hourly rate of whoever’s doing the laundry to be > $17.30 on average over the next 10 years, you win with the bigger set. Most literate, skilled people have an hourly much higher than that.

    In other words, there could be a solid argument for the bigger set just on size alone.
    W-at-Off-Road-Finance recently posted..Adjusting to Market Volatility

    • I think we’d be more like, 1 load per month! I like the calculations though – it made the analysis pretty interesting!

  6. That is a huge difference in price! Her choices have much better reviews than your choices, but I don’t think that’s worth spending more than $700 extra.

    I say get your models, and test them early and often to make sure you can still return them if there is a problem.
    Khaleef @ KNS Financial recently posted..Build Up Your Financial Security In Uncertain Times

    • It sure is a huge difference in price! That’s why my panties are in a twist…. (or boxers…)! Her review numbers are better, but for an extra $700, I bet we could afford one repair service if we had to (even though I bet it will be just fine).

  7. My question is- are you planning on having kids before you get a new w/d set? If so, you probably want to get the ones with larger capacity.
    My next question is- who does the majority of the laundry? In my mind, that person gets final say. (I get final say over w/d in my house, C gets final say over stove/oven, etc).
    How, just out of curiousity, did you check any of the “high end” appliance dealers in your area? When we bought our w/d a few years ago, we assumed we’d get it from Best Buy/Home Depot/Lowes, but decided to walk in to a specialty appliance store just to see. (It was the week between Christmas and New Years so there were sales). We ended up getting a Fischer and Paykal set for less than the sets at the other stores.
    Both my washer AND dryer are top loaders. My washer weighs the laundry to determine water usage, so I still got the water rebate that you normally only get with front loaders. I LOVE my washer and dyer. LOVE them. So you know what, even if they had been slightly more expensive than the box stores, I probably would have gone with them. Not hating doing laundry means a lot to me.

    • We aren’t really anticipating kids soon, so I don’t think that reason would hold, and as for who does the laundry, we both do our own. I haven’t tried any of the high-end appliance dealers. I just looked at some ads, and those high-end places had units in the range of $1,300 a piece….. which is insane in my book.

    • Yep. I think you’re exactly right. But, if “down the road” means 7 years from now, by that point, we might be looking at a whole new set.

    • Yep. That’s my vote. Thanks for the comment!

  8. I’m going to go with, it doesn’t matter as long as you don’t buy retail. We bought our energy efficient top loading set six months ago at a Sears Outlet. It’s essentially a scratch and dent store, but our set is perfect and they were easily 30% off retail.

    Afterwards, we found a local appliance repair shop that we wish we’d found two months earlier. They do all the delivery and install for Best Buy appliances in our state, so if an appliance shows up DOA, they essentially get to keep it, repair it, and sell it for a pittance.

    Whatever you decide, get the most for your money, and keep track of your paperwork for any tax rebates.
    Andi B. recently posted..Yakezie wha?

    • Good tips Andi. I’m good with the sale price offered by Best Buy right now – it’s a solid set of machines and the total cost isn’t that much above a good used pair. I think they’ll last us for a very long time.

    • The only thing is, how do we know that the higher end option won’t break? It has more gizmos and more things could possibly go wrong.

  9. Over the last two years our old washer and dryer (17 years old) each died. I am not the technogeek in the family, that’s my husband’s job. He did the research and decided to go with the basic models (similar to your choice). Even the basic has more functionality than the old, and is more than sufficient. Its like buying a car today – its impossible to GET a basic without bells and whistles!

    • I think the new basic option is a good choice. With many bells and whistles, it just means that more things could go wrong.

  10. We got our Samsung washer and dryer set from lowes for $999. They are front loaders, and we love them! The regular price was around $700 each so I think we got a pretty good deal.

    • I remember when you bought that washer and dryer, Tim! I didn’t realize what an awesome deal that was at the time, but that was definitely a good find!

  11. Personally I would go to a used appliace center or thrift store first, many times you can get something for a $100 a piece and from a used appliance center many times are under at a 3 month warranty.

    I also would go with just a washer and hang clothes to dry. They have space saving apartment lines for inside that you would not even notice when not in use.

    But that is just me, I would not buy a washer brand new.

    My sister found one on the side of the road one time that was perfect, it only needed a hose replaced on the back that cost under a dollar to fix!

    I have always had good luck with appliace repair centers though where the washer lasted just fine, I am hoping to be able to get one in the spring!
    Carrie Hetu recently posted..Sugar Babies

    • Ha, that was my first idea! But, my wife had a good point. Many of the used washers have that middle cylinder, and we’ve had quite a few of her items get caught on that and absolutely ruin them! These new top loaders don’t have that any more, which means fewer ruined clothes!

  12. I think that you should get your wife’s (the bigger) washer, and your (the smaller) dryer. That way it is a happy medium, and you can save money in operating costs (especially electricity). The size difference between the washers is significant but not the dryers. Doing smaller loads of laundry is more expensive than larger loads.

    • That’s an interesting compromise Casey. I know my wife wasn’t crazy about the dryer I chose though because of the lower reviews.

  13. When I first moved to Holland in 2004 I bought a very expensive set for brand new condo…didn’t really think about price; I was recently widowed. When we moved here 4 1/2 yrs ago my husband and I had to purchase a new set…the previous owner took her very expensive set with her! We shopped all around. I of course wanted a top of the line set like I had. My new husband wanted the cheapest set we could find. That’s the one we purchased. I hated it within one week. We ended up calling the appliance store and having a middle of the line washer delivered instead. We lost money on the deal because our washer became a “trade-in” even after just 1 week! It’s not the top of the line, but does every bit as good as my previous very expensive set. Sometimes as a spouse, one has to choose one’s battles. My late husband and I often shopped at Sears for scratch and dent appliances. Never had a problem!

    • So it sounds like a happy medium, middle of the line, would be the right choice. Sounds about right to me.

  14. We recently just updated to a new washer and dryer (unfortunately after using the washer, we both hate it! It takes a long time to run and has a locked lid).

    I saw similar machines to yours where we bought ours–a Sears Scratch and Dent store. Do you have one near you? It could be worth taking a look. Our new set cost us less than $800, and is energy efficient.
    Amanda L Grossman recently posted..Frugal Confessions Fridays – Frugal Living

    • We looked at a couple of scratch and dent places, but it didn’t seem like there were very many options. I’ll have to take a second look though I think.

  15. I like Casey B’s answer, go with your Wife’s choice on the washer, more efficient and keeps your wife happy. Then choose your Dryer and save money. Like my wife keeps saying “Happy Wife = Happy Life!!!”
    Mark recently posted..Surfing and the Mobile App Developer

    • Sometimes I see couples that model the phrase, “Happy Life, Broke Retirement”…. so I’m not always so quick to roll over and let my wife buy whatever she wants. I like to look toward our future together and I think we’d be much happier on a cruise somewhere than with a washer that has an extra 4 cycles…. I think she respects me more for holding my groud as well (eventually…). 🙂

  16. I thought it was “Happy wife, happy life” followed by a big cheesy grin! LOL

    Have you thought of looking on ebay for something near driving distance to you?
    Carrie Hetu recently posted..Our Tax Refund Plan

    • I did look on eBay, but the closest distance was 70 miles, and there really wasn’t anything that met our criteria.

  17. Well, I am wondering why you are choosing an electric dryer? If gas is available I would consider a gas dryer! Electric can be way more expensive to run. Another thing I would pick would be a stainless steel washer tub. Most important! ( from experience). I also would think this Mrs LAMF set should be going on a better sale! I would think that you would keep this for 10-15 years and that is about the life expectancy of them. Usually the maintenance issues will be with the washer, motor, transmission and not with the features.
    I also saw a 2500.$ set for a special buy of 1499.$ at Northgate Appliance that was awesome and was a little bit taller than most. This store also had some really nice models for prices that you are looking at. Service is local and a phone call away! So maybe there is some more shopping to do.

    • Only electric hookup is available, so we really didn’t have much of an option there. That deal at Northgate sounds pretty good, but still a little higher than what I wanted to spend. I was hoping to keep it below $1,200.

    • I’m really not sure why the second set got such better reviews. It is a larger capacity, and it does have some more features, but I think the cheaper one will work out just fine as well.

    • If the second set were slightly more expensive, then I might consider it, but $1900 vs. $1150 is quite a large difference! I just can’t bring myself to pay that much. Plus, it’s just the two of us – there’s really no need for a 4.5 cubic ft. washer.

  18. Go with the cheaper one. What will make more difference in how clean your clothes get (that’s all that matters ultimately, right?) is the detergent. If you can get some with phosphates in it, it will work far better than the low-phosphate junk that about half the states require to be sold now.

    Reference: http://bit.ly/izOi83
    mbhunter recently posted..How to save money on gifts for your spouse

    • Good point mbhunter. I think both of these sets will do a great job on our clothes. I never heard about the detergent difference though. I’ll have to remember that.

  19. honestly the LG brand is pretty good for washer/dryer. We had a similar discussion when we bought ours but our biggest reason for taking the washer/dryer we have now is their anti-vibration feature since they are on the 2nd floor. I would go with the cheaper route. Seems that one of yours is a front loader and one is a top loader. With a front loader, they try to get you to buy the pedestal stand for another 200 bucks.
    Evan @ Smart Wealth recently posted..How to Reduce the Cost of Home Insurance

    • Yeah, those pedestal stands will get ya! That was another reason I didn’t want to go with the front loader washer. With the dryer, that’s pretty standard, plus, we have a little step up for our washer and dryer, so I think it will be fine. Thanks for the comment!

  20. I have had my Maytag Nepturn dryer and front load washer for 11 years with just one repair. The thing I light is the dryer is always done before the washer so that set is folded and put away. Where ever you buy, be sure that they will service the washer and dryer if you should have a problem, we found that many of the appliance stores will not service an appliance that was not purchased from them.

    • That sure would be nice! Having the dryer done before the washer that is. Good tips on the servicing.

  21. By the way. The washer dryer set I told you about was a little more but they had several at a lower price! You should just double check to be sure you are finding the best bargain!

    • Gotcha. Most new washers and dryers seem to be at least $600 or more (the good ones anyway), so I feel like this one is a pretty good bargain. Plus, it seems like it will last us a long time.

  22. Hard for me to say. I guess I would need to know how important the choice is to your wife and why. Obviously, you want to save money. But what is her real angle? Is it worth getting your way for the money? Sometimes it pays to pick your battles wisely.
    cashflowmantra recently posted..Blogging Goals for 2012

    • Haha. I like you answer CFM, or should I say, non-answer….? 😉

  23. I think I would choose this LG – 3.7 Cu. Ft. 8-Cycle Large Capacity High-Efficiency Washer – White because of the warranty. I wan’t my appliances to be used for longer times so I choose this for the 10 year warranty. Thanks for sharing the review.
    Toni37 recently posted..What’s Your Number?

    • Thanks for the vote Toni!

  24. How big is your bed?

    Random question, I know, but the one your wife picked out will be able to fit a queen or king size comforter with ease, while you’ll probably be fighting to clean a queen sized one in the 3.7 cu ft one.

    Worth the gap in price? Probably not, but there are cheaper washers around the 4.5 cubic foot size.
    PK recently posted..Predicting the S&P 500 – January 2012 Edition

    • We’ve got a queen size. Supposedly, this washer would handle it just fine…. thanks for the info.


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