I Want to Know: Where Do You Shop?

58 Replies

Most investors need supplies of some sort. (I shop at Home Depot because I can literally see it from my front yard.)

But unfortunately, Home Depot doesn't carry everything.

Where do you shop? 

What dumpster company are you using? Do you fly or rent cars to go view out of state properties? Do you rent moving trucks - or provide your tenants/clients with moving trucks for a day? 

Aside from software, what companies/products do you use on a regular basis to help you with your investing?

@Mindy Jensen ,

Floor and Decor is amazing!!!!    Absolutely the best prices (hello-- wood looking tile for 0.59/sq ft!!!), best selection, you really can't go wrong!  I need to be on their commercial-- love them!!!    That's the only store I swear by, other than.. Lowes and HD for majority of other stuff! 

@Mindy Jensen I'm extremely predictable in that I fly with United (to where I invest) and I rent a Ford Explorer (it has Apple CarPlay) from Enterprise.  I hate to say it, but using CarPlay instead of staring at my phone or using some other navigation system in an unfamiliar car has become pretty indispensable for me. 

@Mindy Jensen I have a feeling this will be a good master thread for rehabbers!

Over the years, I've found some things are cheaper to get at Home Depot. Since they buy in bulk for certain line items sometimes it pays to go there - so for example, I've found ladders were cheaper at Home Depot than the actual ladder company direct.

Working as a painter for years and years, I liked buying direct from Sherwin Williams for paint because with my account there, they would warranty the product. So if there was a defect in the product, they would not only pay for the product replacement itself but also the labor to fix it! Home Depot would never do that.

So I'm sure that's the case with other trades. A place like Home Depot is great for a lot of things but they don't carry all of the plumbing or electric supplies necessary for every type of job. So me or my contractor would go to a place like Weinstein Supply for specific plumbing materials (I mention them since they cover a large area - Southeast PA, Delaware, South Jersey, and Eastern Shore Maryland) . And it's like that across the board. Sometimes it pays to go the lumber yard, electric supply house, flooring wholesaler, etc. Especially for custom materials.

It's also worth mentioning that as a former contractor I get different (and often, more advantageous) pricing than a person off the street. 

I've had good luck with Amazon.com

I've bought fixtures, faucets, tools, even a frameless shower door!

I have a managed Pro Account at Home Depot. I was the biggest spender at the Greeley store earlier this year, but I think I got passed up recently. I have spent over $300,000 there this year. lol

The managed pro account is nice because you get another .5 percent cash back on top of REIA discount, and they give you special pricing on everything.

If your city has a Habitat For Humanity Restore, go there! It's so awesome! A friend recommended them to me. 

I bought a few doors for $11.95 (instead of buying the same-sized door for $80 with frame at Lowe's - plus this vintage door isn't going to break if some angry tenant punches it).

I also buy vintage glass light shades there - they look freaking amazing in a rental - often better than the newer ones available at Lowe's. 

Of course, they also sell things I would never buy (used toilets, for example), but they are definitely worth checking out! And if you want vintage light fixtures, definitely check them out. They have some amazing ones!

Originally posted by @Mark Ferguson :

I have a managed Pro Account at Home Depot. I was the biggest spender at the Greeley store earlier this year, but I think I got passed up recently. I have spent over $300,000 there this year. lol

The managed pro account is nice because you get another .5 percent cash back on top of REIA discount, and they give you special pricing on everything.

Ringing up once at my local store, the cashier said, "You look familiar." 
Me: "Yeah, I'm in here every single day. I've been here 4 times already this morning."

Originally posted by @Mindy Jensen :
Originally posted by @Mark Ferguson:

I have a managed Pro Account at Home Depot. I was the biggest spender at the Greeley store earlier this year, but I think I got passed up recently. I have spent over $300,000 there this year. lol

The managed pro account is nice because you get another .5 percent cash back on top of REIA discount, and they give you special pricing on everything.

Ringing up once at my local store, the cashier said, "You look familiar." 
Me: "Yeah, I'm in here every single day. I've been here 4 times already this morning."

 Haha, they do not even know me. Nikki on my team does all the shopping and she gets the special treatment from them. She also gives them cookies which helps. 

I use Lowe's and HD for most things, because they are everywhere around here. Menard's has better prices on some things (basement windows) and carries things in-stock that the others don't, like solid wood six-panel doors. Menard's also has inexpensive hidden-fastener metal roofing.

For paint, I have switched to using Valspar from Lowe's exclusively. Their stain-blocker plus paint is worth the $40 per gallon. One coat sprayed or rolled on works in most cases.

I use Home Depot for rentals and  buy tools from HD or Lowe's depending on what I need and what's on special.

Dumpsters? I usually just call around and try to get a 20-30 yard for around $400. I'd like to just get a used diesel truck and dump trailer some day, but it's hard to justify the cost, even used.

I used to try to find the cheapest places to buy flipping materials

Made a HUGE change which has saved me lot of money and countless hours

I now require anyone giving me a quote for the work I need done to include the cost of materials and getting it to the flip house. 

So so so much happier with this. 

For materials I use Lowe's almost exclusively, as there are multiple ones where I live and I get a 10% military discount on everything. Doesn't sound like much but when you buy $30-50k worth of materials in a year it is worth $3-5k. 

Outside of that, I will buy old, oddball stuff from my local Habitat store, which will sometimes have things that you can't get at Lowe's/Home Depot. For example, I had an oddball vanity size that needed a new sink top. Got one that matched up perfect at Habitat. 

I may switch to Sherwin Williams on my next project, but I am leaning towards contracting out labor plus materials on the next paint job so maybe not. On the other jobs I contract I leave it to the contractor to source their materials. 

I use Cozy and Erentpayment for rent collection. 

Mostly use menards... For flooring, fixtures and cabinets. There is an outlet cabinet store which has the menards,lowes,hd rejects I have used. Paint I don't buy very often.. I posted a thread a while back on diy on how to get paint free. When I do buy it's usually sherwin williams or hallman lindsey.

I use a large enclosed "stock" trailer (also have beef cattle) for my dumpster. It holds as much as a 20 yd and costs about 70-85 bucks to dump. 

@Mindy Jensen just this week the outdoor load cashier at menards asked me if "I have ever seen ground hogs day, because the same truck has been here 5 weeks in a row buying the same cabinets"  I just completed the 5th reno of a 22 unit complex I bought 5 weeks ago..

I usually go lowes. Sometimes I do Home Depot too. But I always always got get gift cards first from Kroger's for my purchases. That way I have lots and lots of fuel points for money off on gas.

I have a Lowes Accountable Receivable account that I love to use. The PO system has really helped me get more organized with different job sites running now.  I try to use use their Quote Support Program and get a larger discount on big orders. The stuff I get from Lowes are building supplies, paint, and "regular items"

For cosmetic supplies e.g. tile, backsplash, countertops etc. I like shopping on craigslist and habitat for some of those one-off things. I don't want my houses to look like the builders and generic stuff.

I usually have a "look" I try to repeat in most of my houses and bulk buy those things, for example, bought some white subway tile last year on black friday and ordered 1000 sq ft. 

I also had a friend bring me some IKEA butcher block countertops, since Tulsa doesn't have a store. May start implementing something like that, to keep it spicy. 

Amazon for plumbing fixtures. 

Mill Creek is local to OK and has a store in KS. They work with a lot of local builders, I source carpet, lumber, and 2cm granite from them. 

Locke Supply for plumbing materials. (OK company)

Johnstone supply for ducting and HVAC. (Tulsa company)

I have an account with several local lumber yards. They have a some great material options, and some deals if you do enough volume with them. Plus, you don’t need to pay for 30 days in most cases and they give your company a credit rating through Dunn and Bradstreet.

Additionally, if your looking for a legit sub, the lumber yard knows which guys are rockstars. Different clientele than the local HD generally. Having said that, I am also at Home Depot almost every single day out of convenience.

Mostly Home Depot because it outnumbers Lowe's in my area like 10 stores to 2. 

For one offs, I have been lucky to find them on Amazon Marketplace.

I do not do flips, but if we need a clean out, a local guy with a truck.

Can't resist.....silly joke, but...

@Mindy Jensen Are you sure the cashier didn't recognize you from the poster hanging at the post office ?

HD called my friend before Christmas telling him they were $800,000 short of their yearly goal to get bonuses. They asked him if he could buy in advance and they’d hold the products.

So he bought a ton of stuff but mostly
Lumber, which they held for him. Then they called a few months later and offered to buy it back for .30 more per dollar because price skyrocketed.

It’s good to have cash. He made over $200k in a few months.

He shops there.

No Home Depot here, so I use Lowe's for most stuff: flooring, tile, lumber, landscaping. The only paint I buy there is the Property Maintenance flat white (I use it on ceilings) - about 30 bucks for a 5 gallon bucket. Covers great.

All other paint comes from Sherwin Williams.

All hinges, cabinet pulls, and usually faucets and some plumbing stuff comes from Amazon. Lowe's can't beat their prices. I also snoop around their Warehouse Deals site, I've gotten some great stuff for cheap there - I don't care if the box is torn. GoOpenBox.com is another favorite site, I've found very nice lights, range hoods, and medicine cabinets for cheap.

Furnace/air filters I buy in bulk from Amazon, also. (I love my Prime account, lol) Flanders is the brand I get.

The local Habitat Restore has some neat vintage things, too. 

The local electric company occasionally runs a special on LED bulbs - sometimes you can get them for free! - and I stock up when they do.

Cozy.co for tenant screening and online payment.

I'm not hugely store-loyal except with appliances and plumbing.  Lowe's just gives me lower prices and better service and better faster free delivery on the appliances and their plumbing dept is better stocked and has more trade-savvy associates back there in case I have a question.  

The 10% vet discount is nice also, although I think both offers it.

For paint, I always look for mis-tints while at either store.  I can transform any room for $9-$10 and a few hours of podcast listening time!  All of my places have color.  My investor buddy comes over to help and says 'Yep, it's a Steve house.  No boring a** off-white in here!'

we do very little at the big box's we buy all ours from supply houses.. and or our subs buy the materials we rarely acutally buy anything.  subs buy them

little fact is most plumbing stuff that is sold in big box is not state of oregon approved.. I learned this the hard way.

you need to buy at supply house like Fergusons since they only sell state approved plumbing supplies.  in our world I ONLY want state approved .. the big box's can sell anything they don't need to be state approved..

Home Depot mostly. Lowes sometimes if it is closer or HD doesn't have exactly what I want. I also tend to go to local plumbing supply houses (for better quality items) if I am doing plumbing work, Electrical supply house if I have to do electrical work, or lumber yard for better quality products.

I will use online or local cabinet supply shops, have never used HD or Lowes for kitchens. I used a large well known dumpster company, and will most likely do the same in my new location. Have been known to have the wife hit up her Amazon prime for certain things she can get cheaper than any HD, Lowes or supply house.

I've found tons of gems at the builder's auction (the company that does them in my area is Paranzino Brothers, they are right across the border from me in Ohio http://www.pbauctions.com ). Got a 17-Pc brand new kitchen cabinet set for $1600 one time, brand new washer and dryer for $400 another time, ceiling fans as low as $20-30. You just have to be careful with the fees, and make sure you are factoring them in to the overall OTD price when you're bidding. Also, from what I remember, everything is You-haul so we always bring at least a pick-up truck, sometimes a trailer as well, depending on what we're looking for (I think they give you like a week to come back and pick up your purchases if you can't take it the day of).

I just checked their website, it looks like Paranzino Bros is actually all over the tri-state area (PA, OH, WV) as well as Michigan, Maryland, and Florida

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