Clark Howard

Is It Worth Buying High-End Appliances?

If you need a new washer or dryer, you may be considering shelling out for the more expensive brands – but should you?

A listener to the Clark Howard Podcast was considering buying high-end appliances for a kitchen remodel because of concerns that the mid-priced "general" brands don't last very long. The question: Are those pricier appliances worth the money?

Clark says that, although some real estate agents believe that high-end appliances add to the value of your home and can be a selling point, there are other things to consider as well.

High-End Appliances: Are They Worth It?

“The reality is, their production runs are so much greater, the chances that something will be more reliable in a general brand are higher than they will be with one of these premium brands – and much cheaper to fix,” Clark says.

He adds that repairing a high-dollar appliance can cost more than replacing a general marketplace brand such Whirpool.

“Unless … it’s really important in your neighborhood where your home is that people expect to see those snob brands, stick with the mass market brands of appliances.”

How To Choose a Reliable Appliance

Even mid-range appliances are big-ticket items, so you should do your research before buying. In addition to buying at the right time and place, Clark wants you to use the ratings and reviews from ConsumerReports.org (subscription required).

“Go see what Consumer Reports says about the individual models you’re considering buying, if they’ve reviewed and rated them, you’ll have a sense of record of reliability and quality for those appliances,” Clark says.

This Consumer Reports article has rankings for refrigerators, ranges, dishwashers and more.

Want more expert advice? Clark.com has reported on the best appliance brands according to customer satisfaction as well as how long your appliances should last

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