Saving Money: Why I love craigslist and buying local.

avadooneSeptember 24, 2010

This is my money saving story. After graduating college I was moved into my grandparents home. I get to stay here, and I also will be updating and improving the home for sale.

The average age for the community of 24 houses is probably 50. If is mostly empty nesters. The houses are your usual red brick, white trim, traditional interiors, crown moulding, throughout, and a vaulted ceiling. It is very important to me, to update the house in a manor that that would appeal to me, future buyers, and fit with the character of the house.

The first thing I did was take down the wall between the kitchen and living room to create an island. This was expensive, but I saved big time in the kitchen.

There is new granite counters, a Kohler cast iron sink with Price Pfister faucet, and a new backsplash.

So to conclude my tips:

FIND USED PRODUCTS. I use Craigslist. I began to post wanted ads. I got a near perfect condition cast iron sink for 60. It came with a chrome faucet that I sold for 30. I found the new faucet on CL for $60. Also, in near perfect condition. Then I sold the old sink with faucet for 40 and the counter tops for 40. You can do the math on that one! I found a person on craigslist who was remodleing. I bought their old counters and has them cut and installed to fit. *If you can haggle, by all means, haggle and barter.

BUY LOCAL- look into what natural resources or services are in your area, this cuts out the price of a middle man. It was in the kitchen forum I came upon a posting about Alabama white marble. I love it because, the veins are much lighter and not in such high contrast. Want to know the real kicker... I live in Alabama and didn't even know there was this marvelous resource in my state. I live an hour away from the mine in Alabama and picked it up at the quarry for a little less than around $6 a sq ft!

CONSIDER KEEPING ELEMENTS: I hated my cabinets. Melamine, not my first choice, but they are in good condition and easy to clean. I replaced the white knobs, with a combination of oil rubbed bronze handles and knobs. I was being a solid wood snob. But after the changes in the rest of the kitchen and the hardware change, they fit right in.

STAINLESS IS NOT THE ONLY OPTION: I kept my white appliances. They blend better into the cabinets, I hope to find cabinet facing for them, but we will see about that.. My other thought about stainless (and glass mosaic tiles) is, in 25 years, will we be looking at stainless appliances like we do harvest gold. I could be wrong. White is going to be timeless, in my opinion. I see farmhouse type kitchens in magazines all the time with stainless. I don't get it.

DON'T THROW AWAY, the things you are getting rid of. Sell it to others who are looking for what you have. You can gift to Habitat or something similar for tax purposes too. They do not use your donations directly, they sell them too.

There is a lot of bad press out there about CL. Just don't use their adult services and your odds of having a bad experience drop in a huge way!

Meet in public, and always take cash when selling, always talk to the person on the phone, or you might get no shows. It's not as scary as you think. I am a young female and I have never felt threaten or uncomfortable. Just use common sense.

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    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 7:15PM
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I figured out how to post them now :)

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 7:17PM
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I am with you on all of the reuse and buying out of the box so to speak. I have gotten some amazing finds where other people would refuse to look. I have gone to auctions and builder's clearance centers and flea markets.... You name it. I love the idea of finding something for a lot less than you would have thought possible. I also like to find unusual uses for things that end up being cheap or free.

* a tub at auction $25
* a double basin ceramic vanity top (new) $5
* shipping crates from a local factory (free)
- used the dividers for building cabinets in kitchen
- used the dividers for underlayment for hardwood floor
in the bathroom. (seems crazy, but it only cost me $50
at auction
- used the 16 ft boards from bottoms on ceiling for
rustic barn look
- used 4 shipping crates to build garden shed
* bought a refurbed ceiling fan with 3 yr warranty for $24
at builder's clearance center

As you can see there are a million ways of doing things differently and saving money.

By the way, your kitchen is gorgeous! I love it. And I agree on the whole white appliances being universal and timeless. I think they are easier to keep clean compared to stainless.

It was nice to hear from someone who likes to think outside the "box" when remodeling, too.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 8:32PM
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I love those ideas. I will have to look into what is available in my area for what you suggested. I see people trying to get rid of shipping pallets all the time for free. I have been trying to think of ways to use them. I think some of your ideas could apply. I love look of a wood ceiling.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 7:54PM
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avadoone - has lots of things to make out of pallets. Easy things!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 6:39PM
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Outstanding job on the kitchen. I use CL for about 90 percent of my furniture. It is fun to bargin with the sellers. Some people don't realize that CL is one step away from the curb, garage sale, or Goodwill. If you get a buck, take it and move on. I have got some great Ethan Allen, C/B, Pottery Barn furniture. All my lawn equipment is from C/L, or Estate Sales. Estate Sales are sometimes overpriced, but still fun to look. You have to control yourself and learn which Estate companies are willing to bargin. Sometimes they will. I got a great Sony tv last week. Garage sales are ok for some small stuff too. Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2010 at 5:50PM
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