I was at a dinner party with some friends this past weekend and one of them mentioned he was in the market for buying a piano. He asked me if I would go with him to look at some pianos because he wanted to make sure he was buying one that is a good investment.
As a financial investment, pianos are not a good investment. They require yearly maintenance and proper care, which can be expensive. It is near impossible to get an annual ROI of 7% or great by purchasing a piano.
Financially speaking pianos are not a good investment. I know this must sound strange coming from someone who teaches private piano lessons in Hillsboro. There's a chance you've heard rumors about people investing in very expensive grand pianos. Rumors that say they have gained value as the years go on, like fine wine. These cases are very few and far between. Plus the pianos that this applies to are more expensive than most cars. If you have that kind of money lying around and it's burning a hole in your pocket, sure, maybe go for it and buy a $100,000 grand piano and hope that it will appreciate in value.
The thing about pianos is, even if they are not financially good investments, they are very good investments for personal development. They are also great investments when it comes to educating a child. Playing piano can be extremely beneficial for a young child's brain. Plus it can develop self-discipline and show a child that hard work is worth it. Plus they're just fun to have around if you're having a holiday party or you want to spend some time by yourself. This of course relies on someone knowing how to play it.
So, in a roundabout way you could say the pianos are a good investment if you're investing in yourself. But this also means you can buy a second-hand piano that holds a decent tune and has been taken care of for a few hundred dollars. You will still get all the benefits of self improvement from a free or used piano. The first piano I owned cost me $100. I later took the piano apart to see how it worked and practiced and learned how to tune pianos. But that's a story for another time...
If you find the right piano for the right price, buying a piano is absolutely worth it! The right piano is a piano that's been taken care of and is in tune. Piano should be tuned regularly so they can maintain their tuning. If you're looking at a piano that's horribly out of tune, chances are it will take months to get it back in tune.
By that, I mean you will have a professional tuner come to your house and tune the piano. Sometimes, if pianos are really out of tune, a piano technician will have to tune the piano halfway. Then you have to wait awhile for the instrument to relax into that tuning, and then return to your home and continue tuning it back to where it should actually be.
That's why it's important when you're shopping for a used piano that it should be relatively in tune. If you're not able to tell if a piano is in tune or not, make sure to bring a professional with you or at least a friend with a musical ear. A good trick to tell if a piano is in tune is to play the same note an octave apart all over the piano and see if you hear any waves of bad intonation. By this I mean play two C’s an octave apart all over the piano.
If the piano is relatively in tune, doesn't have too much cosmetic damage and is in your budget it's absolutely worth buying. As long as you have the space in your house. Luckily there are different styles of pianos. They can fit in all sorts of different homes or apartments. There are grand pianos which are very large and then upright or spinet pianos which are quite compact.
So really there's the perfect piano out there for anyone especially considering so many people are giving pianos away for free nowadays on websites like Craigslist. So, basically any place you live and whatever your budget is you can own a piano. As long as their neighbors don't mind. Keep in mind that you might have to pay for moving the piano and you'll probably have to pay for tuning once you move the piano because pianos can lose their tune a little bit while being moved. Personally, I moved my first piano myself with a small U-Haul trailer, it was an upright piano. It only took two people and wasn't that hard to do.
People buy pianos for all sorts of different reasons. Some people think they look nice in their home and other people love to play piano. Also there's some people who don't even buy pianos, they just move into a house that already has a piano in it, which is a great bonus! My friend is currently in the market for a piano because he wants his son to start taking lessons. Another way people get pianos is sometimes grandparents pass them down to them. These instruments typically have sentimental value and have a nice story with them and end up being a family heirloom.
The main reasons people buy pianos are they like to play piano, they want to learn piano or have their child learn piano or they look at it as a piece of art to make their home look nicer. All of these reasons are great reasons to buy a piano.
There are a couple things you should think about before buying a piano:
You very well might have the budget for a piano because many people give away pianos for free. But just keep in mind that you will have to pay for moving the piano. In most cases you can do it yourself or you can pay movers which can be more expensive. You'll probably also have to pay for a piano tuner which can be anywhere from $100 to $300. This is a must if you're buying a new piano, it can be detrimental to your musicality if you practice on an out-of-tune piano. The last thing you need is to have out of tune music be normal to you. If you want to learn more about practicing piano check out this article:
The last thing you want to do is buy a new piano and get it home, start playing and realize your neighbors hate the sound of piano. So think twice if you live in an apartment before buying a piano. pianos might seem quieter than an electric guitar but in reality they're quite loud. They were designed to match the volume of a full Symphony Orchestra so keep that in mind because that's pretty loud.
The thing about buying a piano or acquiring a piano is once you have the piano, you have it. By this I mean you now have to move it if you move. This can be another expense. Sometimes you can leave your piano where you live but you have to check with your landlord or the people you're selling your property to. So, if you're in the mood to buy a piano right now just think how long will I be living in the place where I'm currently living.