More Deals in Unusual Places

We have been busy the last couple of weeks! We have been living in the city in the condo while we have been working on Frankenhouse. You know, because walls and plumbing and electricity are all very desirable when living somewhere. Well, the Condo Association voted to sell our building to a developer this week. We are going to be “homeless”, but we are very happy about it. More to come on where we will live in the meantime. Mostly because we don’t know yet…

We also have done some shopping for Frankenhouse. Nick was at the Best Buy near my work one night, so I met him over there to discuss a refrigerator. First he showed me a French door with a  freezer on the bottom thing that I hated. I also knew he would hate it once we installed it. Somehow we ended up looking at a Viking fridge. This is a column fridge that is built into cabinets, and there is no freezer. I rationalized that anything I would put in a freezer wouldn’t be needed every day. I could get chest freezer for my “Whatever Amanda Wants” pantry. So, we bought two. Yes, you read that correctly – two column Viking refrigerators. These things usually cost about $8K each (yup, you read that correctly, too). We got these for 60% off since they were floor models being cleared out. We also got an under cabinet ice maker. This was one of my must haves, and we got a deal on that, as well.

The items we purchased are what is called “price locked.” These brands do NOT go on sale. The only way someone can get a better price than MSRP is to buy them like this off the floor or to find a place going out of business. It’s not easy, but it’s doable. I think we pretty much have everything we will need appliance-wise for the kitchen now. It will make life a lot easier when we are ready for them.

We also buy when the deals are hot. We don’t wait to buy something we’ll need when we need it because there may not be a sale or a better price at that time. That’s one of the keys of being able to afford the more expensive/exclusive stuff. We actually kind of have a list of things we need that we look for every time we are in a store. If they are on sale at a good price, we buy them and hang onto it.

One of the Viking Column Refrigerators We Purchased

Don’t worry –  I don’t wear yoga pants and sweatshirts to work. This is actually the second fridge that we checked out on a weekend day to make sure there was nothing wrong with it. We had to buy them from different stores sight unseen. Go EIU Panthers!

Alright, I know Best Buy is not exactly an unusual place. But this is:

Ed Debevic’s

Ed Debevics is a Chicago institution. My family used to go there at least once a year to be yelled at by the waiters and waitresses while eating malts, blue plate specials and the world’s tiniest sundaes. It was a fun place that brought you back to the 50s. The owners sold both this building and the Gino’s East across the street to a developer. The Ed Debevic’s building is slated to be knocked down Friday, October 23, 2015, so everything was up for auction. And I mean everything!

I met Nick over there and ended up getting a sign for fun. Nick bought tankless water heaters and a holding tank. The tankless water heaters retail for about $1700/each. We bought two water heaters and the holding tank for $400. These will be used for the radiant floor heating we are planning instead of a traditional furnace. Frankenhouse is going Green.

Now let me explain something about how these auctions work. The internals of these buildings don’t just end up in your truck. You, as the winner of the item, must uninstall them and make sure they are safely uninstalled. That means Nick had to do some work. Especially since these water tanks were high up in a stairwell. I don’t want to know the details of how he did this, but he somehow did it.

De Bevic’s De Best sign


Tankless Water Heaters


Tankless Water Heaters Uninstalled

See the stairs and how steep they are? Some monkey climbing talent was used here.

Holding Tank


Holding Tank Uninstalled

These items were in the basement of the building. I had no idea there was a basement. I’m glad I didn’t know there was a basement – it smelled like ass. Seriously bad! I also don’t think Nick needs sleep! He just keeps going and going making sure we have everything we need for he house no matter what time of day.

Nick contemplated buying both sets of front windows, but found out it would cost too much to have them uninstalled. Besides, he wants a WHOLE Curtain Window wall. This was just not BIG enough. Sigh.

Front Windows at Ed’s

Moral of the story is that anyone can get deals at retail places like Best Buy. You just need to watch for the opportunities to come up for you to purchase a floor model at crazy discounted prices. Also, you are always going to get better prices and discounts on the more expensive items. The stores have more play with the margin on those items than trying to sell the cheap stuff even cheaper. If it’s a regular white gas range, the price it’s marked is pretty much as good as it’s going to get. An $8K fridge is going to be knocked down A LOT more, and it will be a better appliance.

You can even find restaurant, bar, and store auctions in your geographic location. It takes some work to weed through some of the crap, but there are gems out there. I learned that the big steal hoods in these restaurants sell for scrap. I also learned you have to be certified to uninstall them, but everything is for sale (I have a restaurant grade tomato slicer – for serious) at these places. The Ed Debevic’s auction let light fixtures go for $10 each. That’s an economical way to get matching light fixtures for your house. Again, you are responsible for the uninstalling of these things, but you could save a ton of money if you are willing to do some work. Want a revolving door? The Ed Debevic’s auction was selling that too.

Stay tuned for a yard update. It no longer looks like a dumping ground where we might find Jimmy Hoffa or Stacey Peterson. Seriously, there was a blue drum in the backyard that I was afraid to look inside…

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