My 5 All-Time Best Scores

My 5 All-Time Best Scores

In many ways I’m embarrassed to admit this, but it’s probably pretty obvious anyway.  

I was born with a bit of a silver spoon in my mouth. There, I said it. As white children from a wealthy family, we were afforded opportunities that other’s weren’t. My father worked hard to make that happen and I sincerely appreciate that. There’s no denying it, our family reeked of privilege, in a town full of other successful white families. The only student of color was an exchange student from Africa.

My sister, brother and I were raised in a fancy town in New England that was so lilly-white that people bragged about being descendants of passengers on the Mayflower. As in the pilgrims.  

Speaking of which, we lived on Pilgrim Road and I was briefly friends with a direct descendant of the Mayflower in fourth grade. She informed me of her proud heritage, right after she had eaten her booger. Ironic.

That’s blue blood at it’s best when your family tells you that you are a direct descendant of the ‘true Americans’ that came over on the Mayflower. 

I acquired expensive taste because I was surrounded by nice things as a child.

 

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Fast forward about 35 years and let’s just say, I may have champagne taste but we’ve got a beer budget. So I’m constantly scamming on buying some piece of ‘Living Large’, but for far less than it’s technically “worth”.  

I derive some sort of sick satisfaction out of getting a bargain. Yes, I have been known to brag about my deals. I can’t help myself....

 

Plus, getting a steal on everything is half the fun, am I right?!!  

 

When it comes to shopping for bargains, I say fuck the coupons and we go right to the source.  

 

Dave and I only buy rich people’s discards. Especially those that are deceased.

 

Wealthy people discard stuff, a lotta great stuff. ;-). (In case you didn’t notice, I gain tremendous satisfaction over getting a screaming deal.)

It is great wealth to a soul to live frugally with a contented mind.
— Lucretius

 

So, here we go, folks.  

My five all-time ‘Best Buy’ scores, in terms of getting a screaming deal. Drum roll, please!

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  1. Our House in Evergreen, CO

$539k Purchase Price was $100,000 under appraisal!  

Current Zestimate: $812.91!

 

What?!! Yes, folks. You find a steal, you have got to be ready to jump!

He who hesitates is lost.  

Tenants can often be difficult during home sales.  Our realtor kept getting put off by the tenant and had to get the property management company involved so that we could even arrange a showing.

Tenants can often be difficult during home sales. Our realtor kept getting put off by the tenant and had to get the property management company involved so that we could even arrange a showing.

The home we purchased was tenant occupied, so the tenants were difficult to arrange showings with and the property didn’t show at its peak. Particularly since the tenants were Preppers, meaning they were Prepping for Armageddon.  

It was orderly, I have to give them that.  They had brought in what appeared to be 1,000 over-sized plastic bins and had them neatly stacked four or five bins on top of one another.

It was orderly, I have to give them that. They had brought in what appeared to be 1,000 over-sized plastic bins and had them neatly stacked four or five bins on top of one another.

Needless to say, the property didn’t show well but it did photograph well, as we could see through the professional photography shot prior to the tenants’ arrival.

An older eccentric couple and their two dogs shared the large 3,100 square foot home for several years. They considered themselves to be “alternative healers”, so the house contained an odd assortment of therapeutic devices such as a massage table, an inversion table and a lab chair designed to be used for blood draws.

They had also established a Kombucha production zone which to the untrained eye, appeared somewhat reminiscent of a meth lab.

They had very little furniture, except for two beds. Mostly because the floor space was eaten up with rows and rows of white plastic buckets, all filled to the brim with supplies.

Touring that house was like an out of body experience for me. I had seen the interior photos online, so I knew what the layout looked like. But wandering into someone’s world — seeing what life as a prepper would look like — left me with overwhelming sadness. Such a waste.

Our home is now listed full-time with Evolve Vacation Rentals in Evergreen, Colorado

Our home is now listed full-time with Evolve Vacation Rentals in Evergreen, Colorado

We submitted a full-price offer and walked away with what is now our vacation rental property, all because we were first in line to see it. 

Homebuyer’s tip: When the real estate market is hot, you have to move quickly. Set up alerts for new MLS listings on Zillow and you’ll be updated with the new listings each week in the zip codes that you’re looking for.

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2. Solid Marble Dining Table & 9 Leather Chairs - $250

As told on a previous post, “10 Estate Sale Shopping Secrets Revealed”.



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3. Conifer Kitchen Remodel - all cabinets, new appliances and sink, installed by a General Contractor for less than $10,000.

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*Except for the kitchen sink, all replacement appliances and cabinetry were second hand.

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Where do you find used high end cabinetry for your kitchen remodel?

Craigslist - just search under high end kitchen cabinets. Appliances were purchased along with the cabinets or found separately on craigslist. These other kitchen pictures were found on Craigslist as well.

Since our kitchen was much smaller than the original and just a simple “L” shape, it was easy to utilize the existing cabinetry. I tasked the general contractor with figuring out how to piece the different cabinets together, and he put together a diagram, I approved it and we were off and running. And he did a beautiful job!

We wound up purchasing one narrow cabinet for the new kitchen and were shocked to discover that these high-end expensive cabinets were only three years old!

4. Decorating our home with used furniture and accessories all for under $3000:

We got the oversized couch and chairs from someone else who was moving and she was desperate to get rid of them because they wouldn’t work in her new property. Found her on the neighborhood App,  NextDoor . She sold us the couch, chairs, side tables, large glass coffee table and matching lamps for $1100.

We got the oversized couch and chairs from someone else who was moving and she was desperate to get rid of them because they wouldn’t work in her new property. Found her on the neighborhood App, NextDoor. She sold us the couch, chairs, side tables, large glass coffee table and matching lamps for $1100.

These outdoor sets are comfortable but EXPENSIVE! This is a perfect thing to shop estate sales for. We got this set for $300 with all the cushions.

These outdoor sets are comfortable but EXPENSIVE! This is a perfect thing to shop estate sales for. We got this set for $300 with all the cushions.

5. Most fun day ever. At an estate sale in the mansion pictured below:

Imagine going to an estate sale at a mansion like this one -- Dave and I did!  Our neighbor went too. It was quite the affair…….

And we bought some re-aaaaaally cool shit - all for a couple hundred dollars and some muscle.A car full of goodies, all for less than $200!!

Dave and I had soooooo much fun at this estate sale in a ritzy area here in Florida. We were there for hours; it was like being in a museum with fascinating artifacts from all over the world — and you could buy them dirt cheap. A painting that we purchased at this sale for $30 and signed by the original artist may be worth as much as $3,500!!! More on that later.

Dave and I had soooooo much fun at this estate sale in a ritzy area here in Florida. We were there for hours; it was like being in a museum with fascinating artifacts from all over the world — and you could buy them dirt cheap. A painting that we purchased at this sale for $30 and signed by the original artist may be worth as much as $3,500!!! More on that later.

That’s when you get the best deals, at estate sales!!

Let’s face it. If you’re going to buy used furniture and appliances, why not buy it from the wealthiest people around? They typically buy high quality and often have very unique and interesting pieces of artwork and clothing.

Don’t get me started on the clothes. I’m having so much fun in Florida with the unbelievable amount of consignment shops, estate sales and even Goodwill are all packed to the brim with fancy women designer clothing. If you think about it, they’re stock is constantly being replenished in Florida, it’s where many old people come to die.

You can buy poor people’s cast-offs, or wealthy people’s prized possessions. I know which I want!

You can buy poor people’s cast-offs, or wealthy people’s prized possessions. I know which I want!


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Here’s some final quick tips on shopping estate sales:

  • Sign up for a weekly email of upcoming estate sales in your area online at estatesales.net

  • Or enter your zip code to find all the upcoming sales near you

  • Fancy neighborhoods = fancy shit



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