How to save material cost

8 Replies

I'm getting my first investment property (2-family/ duplex). I've been following BP for 6 months now. I jumped in with both feet and I'm very excited. I'm based in NYC, and the property is in upstate/ Hudson Valley. The property is in good condition, and I just need to change out the kitchens, bathroom sinks, etc. Could someone share with me any tips about how to save money on material cost? My sister told me to look at Craigslist (people either give away material or sell for a low cost) and I discovered I wonder if there are more resources out there my fellow, more-experienced investors can share with me. Thank you so much! 

Look at the kitchen closely. See if construction for cabinets are solid wood. Older cabinets tend to be made very well and usually can withstand heavy abuse from tenants. The newer cabinets tend to be cheap particle board crap that falls apart and if any water gets on them or a pipe leak they blow up and crumble apart fast.

If you have solid wood you might want to keep them and just refinish with maybe new hardware.

If this is a rental versus a resale you want to not over improve.

If you need appliances there are often (scratch and dent) sales from Home Depot and other places where the product is new to almost new. Just make sure the scratch and dent is a place that is not generally visible to the tenant.   

Great tip! Thank you so much. I saw the kitchen only for a few minutes during a quick showing. It's going to be a rental and possible resale in a few years. I didn't know Home Depot had good sale on appliances with scratch marks! 

Hi @Sunny Pyun congrats of your first investment property!

Where in the Hudson Valley is the property located? I may be able to suggest some resources that would be helpful. In particular, I work with a great kitchen supplier who orders direct and usually donates or cheaply sells extra supplies that are rejected or slightly damaged. 

Other than that, I would definitely agree with Craigslist, and even Facebook marketplace is a great resource. If you are looking to continue doing this and are willing to invest in long-term relationships, you could touch base with other suppliers to see what they do with damaged supplies. 

Hope that helps! Best of luck.

Thank you Allyssa! It's Newburgh. FB is a great resource too! Please let me know about your supplier so I can reach out. 

We're coming up on black Friday/end of year sales.  I was able to save $1000 by getting all of my appliances for a remodel last November at Home Depot.  Getting them used from Craigslist is probably cheaper, but you need to transport them and dispose of the old. There were extra incentives for getting more at the same time.  

Cabinets have sales cycles too, check with the home depot kitchen department designers who can let you know if they are having a good promotion or not.  Another poster alluded to avoiding cheap particle board cabinets, I would recommend paying the extra for "all plywood construction" and "painted finish" stay away from any kind of "thermofoil finish" which can't be painted/touched up or any particle board construction.

Thanks @Matt Leonard for the tip about the difference between "particle board cabinets" and "plywood construction"! I didn't now thermofoil can't be touched up. This is the real nitty-gritty stuff I wanted to learn :) And thanks @Allyssa Compton I'd love to connect with your suppliers! 

@Sunny Pyun I actually found a Habitat Restore in Newburgh, by accident. I had a few minutes to kill so I stopped in. They happened to have a 36" wide, stainless fridge (French door top, bottom freezer) with no cosmetic dents or issues on the front. There was no price on it, so I went up front and asked. Turns out the girl in front of me "bought it" (she couldn't afford it, but they were holding it for her to gather the funds). I might have been able to push them to sell it to me, but decided to let it go. They were asking $375 and claimed it worked well. They carry a bit of building supplys, paint, etc. I imagine it is hit or miss, but it isn't far from the HD/Lowes in town, and might be worth stopping in before you plunk down the full retail price.

I have also seen some fridges and stoves in the Newburgh HD and Lowes. Scratch and dents, saving a few hundred $$. Look for the yellow tags (HD, not sure what Lowes does off the top of my head) which is the floor model you can buy.

@Brian Pulaski I actually knew about Re Store because my realtor took me there, and I went back again today. They had a beautiful kitchen cabinet for under $350! I'll continue to stop by to find deals. They have quality stuff. @Matt Leonard when I was at Habitat store, there were 2 sets of cabinets and I knew one of them was plywood and the other particle board thanks to you! I love learning from other seasoned investors and I'm trying to find my 2nd property (it's not so easy!) 

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.

By signing up, you indicate that you agree to the BiggerPockets Terms & Conditions.