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The Home Ownership Thread

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by Douglas, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. otc

    otc Well-Known Member

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    Since they just made walmart legal here recently, there are now several "walmart express" locations within walking/biking distance of my apartment (and they wonder why people think they drive other things out of business).

    I've been in a couple of times and I don't get it. Hell, the milk costs almost as much as it does around the corner at whole foods...far more than it does down the street at walgreens or the regular grocery store. Nothing seems good about it except for the fact that I think it is open 24 hours while the walgreens and whole foods are not (the normal grocery store is, but that's another 2-3 blocks away so you know...impossible)
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  2. mike1445

    mike1445 Well-Known Member

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    you can call wal-mart the picture perfect model of capitalism because they streamline all deliveries and deal in such volumes that they can negotiate prices so much lower than most all competitors. But I think their business model is gross. It might be hypocritical and wasteful of my own money to pick and choose where i want to spend it but Wal-Mart has always rubbed me the wrong way. Great people watching though.
     
  3. Ataturk

    Ataturk Well-Known Member

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    Walmart's just a store. It's not as competitive as it used to be, but only because it raised the bar for a lot of other retailers. Why people hate them for that I have no idea.
     
  4. otc

    otc Well-Known Member

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    Because target is like 10x better?
     
  5. aravenel

    aravenel Well-Known Member

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    WalMart is still the only option in a great many rural areas.

    My family has a lakehouse in the middle of nowhere, SC. There is a WalMart about 20 minutes away that is about your only option for shopping. I wish there was a Target, I'd go there instead.
     
  6. Douglas

    Douglas Well-Known Member

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    I am always a bit skeptical of all the Wal-Mart hate; a lot of it is irrational, reactionary, and elitist. But I have to say, I rarely set foot in one of their stores and each time I do I am reminded of why I hate doing so. They really are sad, sad places.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Piobaire

    Piobaire Well-Known Member

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    Walmart was a favorite of b-school profs for case studies back when I was getting the MBA. I often read the claim Walmart independently kept a % or 2 off the inflation rate in the US. Their supply chain and customer service were often the topics of case studies. I stop in once in a great while mainly to buy target ammo. Even in my occasional stops the mainline stores seem to have deteriorated some in the last decade. I think they're diluting their brand and actually becoming like the image they are often portrayed as.

    FWIW, if I want to do pleb shopping, it's CostCo.
     
  8. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Well-Known Member

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    One improvement that the Home Depots and walmarts have causes is that th local guy as had to change markets to survive. So now my local hardware carries all the high end stuff that I like (festool, ect) and the local paint shop is a Benjamin Moore distributor.
     
  9. Douglas

    Douglas Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, this, for sure. I used to go to a Walmart near my old house somewhat regularly and I liked it for sundries and basic home goods. I don't know if Target's emergence caused them to go further downmarket, but now they are a real disaster. The shelves are always a mess, merch on the floor, nothing even remotely organized, things mis-labeled... which only compounds the situation as courteous customers stay away and less courteous customers, frustrated, just throw more shit on the floor as they search for what they're looking for. I notice they do seem to hire a lot of what appear to be developmentally disabled folks, which is nice, but they're not really going to do the best job then making sure the place is operating like a well-oiled machine. I was struck on my last visit (just last weekend) how much the "people of Wal-Mart" meme really has become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    The membership stores are a completely different ball of wax, IMO. I love Sam's Club - would probably prefer Costco if there were one even remotely convenient for me.
     
  10. aravenel

    aravenel Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, me too. I have definitely seen first hand what a WalMart opening can do--that same lakehouse, there used to be local hardware stores, small grocers, etc just up the road that have all closed since then. But at the same time, that's progress--you can't protect businesses just for the sake of keeping them around and saving jobs, otherwise we'd still have blacksmiths in every town and we'd all be living in log cabins and holes in the ground.

    Regardless of your feelings on the impact of WalMart, you do have respect their supply chain prowess. More and more companies have gotten their supply chain similarly efficient so they can't compete on that alone anymore, but it very impressive nonetheless.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
  11. random-adam

    random-adam Well-Known Member

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    Our local Costco was fifteen minutes from the house and kinda sad, with surly employees and wretched parking; we happily drove twice as far to get to Sam's Club. Then a new Costco was built just two miles from us in the other direction... night and day difference. It's scant yards across the DC line, too, so I can pick up inexpensive handle jugs of liquor and cases of table wine. We spend far too many dollars there.
     
  12. mike1445

    mike1445 Well-Known Member

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    yeah its tough to see Mom & Pop places go out of business, that's what irks me. Its a similar argument behind the "Buy American" or "buy local" that's been so popular in the last few years. I can get behind it sometimes but it doesnt always make sense, even if you have the best intentions.
     
  13. Ataturk

    Ataturk Well-Known Member

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    It's Amazon that really did Walmart in for me. These days I won't buy any durable goods without reading reviews online first. Walmart still has a niche for some things that are too cheap or bulky to buy online. But, honestly, they don't have real bargains on a lot of the smaller stuff anymore. There's a lot of competition, so the various stores will sell things as loss leaders and try to make up the difference by marking other stuff up. Walmart has had to do it too and the "everyday low prices" seem to be out the window.

    The best strategy is, I think, not to shop all at one place.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
    2 people like this.
  14. whallyden

    whallyden Well-Known Member

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    God I love Costco. I think my receipt from last last week's visit included 4lbs of prime beef, 3 bottles of brunello, a 55" Plasma TV and diapers.

    On topic, can anyone recommend a good source for indoor topiaries?
     
  15. Harold falcon

    Harold falcon Well-Known Member

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    I am a BJ's member, but sadly Pennsylvania is held hostage by the liquor store union so they can't sell booze. :(
     
  16. hopkins_student

    hopkins_student Well-Known Member

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    How expensive is it to have sod put down? I've been pretty negligent with yard maintenance and now there's nothing in my backyard that is identifiable as grass. The front yard isn't AS terrible but it's still not great. Does anybody have any estimate on price per square foot?
     
  17. Ataturk

    Ataturk Well-Known Member

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    Sod is expensive. Cost depends on what variety you use. I got some St. Augustine last year. It was $175 per 450-square-foot pallet if you pick it up. Centipede and bermuda should be cheaper.

    Rule of thumb is three times materials cost, so figure about $1 per square foot installed--I'd think, but I put it down myself. It's not rocket science. Wholesalers will deliver pallets for a modest charge. Laying it out is easy and usually you can lay it over your old yard without much prep work. Most important thing is watering twice a day for the first couple weeks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  18. Piobaire

    Piobaire Well-Known Member

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    My best advice about sod is to make sure it's installed with the green side up. Hope this helps!
     
    4 people like this.
  19. whallyden

    whallyden Well-Known Member

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    Just got a quote that worked out to ~$0.80/sqft for Kentucky Bluegrass (installed).
     
  20. hopkins_student

    hopkins_student Well-Known Member

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    Good to know...probably would have effed that up. :foo:
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
    1 person likes this.

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