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Tips for Creating Your Dream Home Using Craigslist

Over the last several weeks, I've started to do some searching on Craigslist.  There's a list of things we need to get ready for the new condo and, in order to save some money, we've decided we'll be buying all our furniture second hand. I love finding great deals on practically new items and the potential to create some custom upgrades.  Here are some tips I've gathered during my search.
 
 
1.  Set a budget
 
It's a good idea to set a price range before you start looking or else it will be easy to over spend. Check out what people are selling in various price ranges and compare. If the post lists the original store the item was purchased from, make sure to check out the retail price.  Doing this will help you spot a great deal when you see one.

2. Look frequently and act quickly

Good deals go fast, great deals go even faster.  If it's a real catch, then you can bet someone else has their eye on it too.  Once you've decided you want it, don't wait to contact the seller.  It's pretty disappointing when you see something awesome only to find out it's already been claimed.  This has been an issue for me on several occasions.
 
3. Bargain
 
Set your price range slightly higher than your budget.  If you find something you like above your budget, haggle!  Most people who post on Craigslist expect it to some extent and it could potentially save you a ton of money.  If you're not comfortable doing it person, do it before hand through texting or email.  That way, there won't be any surprises when you get there.

4. Don't break your budget
 
It's tempting to go over your budget when you see something you really like but chances are something better will come along for cheaper.  There will always be more and possibly better deals that pop up within your price range.  Being flexible and letting one go means there will be more opportunities in the future. I constantly found things I liked and wanted to purchase immediately, only to find the next day that there was a new posting for something exactly the same or better being offered at a lower price.

5. Get Crafty 
 
Some people sell great stuff at a ridiculously low price simply because they don't want to take the time to fix it up.  Small things like missing screws, upholstering, repainting can be an insignificant cost compared to the worth of the finished results 

6.  Choose your search words
Different search words will bring up different results.  Don't miss out on great listings because you didn't think of alternative words.  For example, sofa and couch will bring up different search results.  

Lastly, don't forget to be safe and always go to another person. Give everything you buy a good cleaning before you use it.  I purchased a wetvac which turned out to be a great investments since we have carpet flooring.  If you don't want to purchase one, many grocery stores have rentals available.
 
 I'll add more as I go.  Any other good ones?

**Update**
 We ended up finding some great stuff and furnished our home for under $300.  Our practically new 40" flat screen cost us an additional $200.  Everything in the photo above was purchased second hand with the exception of our plant, which we bought fresh from Home Depot's garden center.

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Deposit made...

on the cute two bedroom two bathroom apartment we went to go check out yesterday.  It's the second unit we've seen in the same complex and there were pros and cons to each one.  Since the first unit we saw was rented out fairly quickly, we didn't want to pass this one up.

The first unit we saw was slightly smaller (not by much though) and was on the first floor of the complex.  It was really dark because there are several trees planted right outside the windows.  The best part about that unit was the large patio which was about twice the size of the balconies on the second and third floors.  The cons were that the rooms seemed really small and we didn't have the greatest cell phone service in there.

The unit we ended up putting a deposit on is located on the third floor, which is nice because it's quite for us ( top floor) but lame because apparently they can hear our footstep downstairs, so we'll have to be careful. The best thing about this unit is that it has a raised ceiling which makes the room look a lot larger than the first unit we saw.  It also makes my walk in closet slightly bigger, which is fantastic.  It has shag carpeting, cream colored walls, and a fire place which is a plus plus plus for me! My biggest issue is the wall cabinet in the bathroom makes the whole bathroom look a lot smaller than the one in the first unit I saw, even though its technically the same size.  I didn't really get a good look at it but if it's possible, I plan to remove the cabinet and put it in storage while we live there.

Now, I am on a mission to find the best deals on craigslist in order to make our house a home.  :]

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