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Lowe’s & 9/16 X3-¼ PFJ WM623

After spending over 1 million dollars in a couple years at big box hardware stores in the Hampton Roads area, you will learn quite a bit. When you have your first flip underway and it’s your first time headed to the home improvement store to find that plumbing piece you know nothing about, you quickly understand how vast the home renovation challenge becomes. They say it takes about 10,000 hours to master a trade and if you have been to Home Depot or Lowe’s around 5,000 times it’s very likely you are a Class A contractor. There are parts of the real estate business that have always been a challenge and will always be a challenge. Mastering your local home improvement stores is one of them if you plan to add flipping houses to your toolbelt.

Start parking in the pro section

Getting Familiar

There’s no better smell than Lowe’s to lift your spirit on Christmas Eve. Ironically, it’s a great place to buy Christmas gifts. That being said, it’s a working holiday and at the moment, there’s no heat and well, no parts in stock at any location to fix the problem! No big deal, space heaters are cheap and you can use a heat gun to dry your mud faster anyway. However, when you know the stores like the back of your hand, you are aware of where to find that specialized gas regulator. Big box stores often do not sell or have in stock what is needed. Some of the most frustrating experiences during a flip can be pinpointed to this nightmare. While this part of the real estate house flipping business is not glamorous, it is a necessary function and can greatly decrease the time it takes to flip a house in Virginia Beach.

Do this and not that.

Increasing Efficiency

Watch the same bird fly around, catch a rat, play on your phone, and get to know the security guards. This happens when there are no store employees available to help and the helper you have employed decides problem solving is not worth their time. Just forget about the phone sale. Have the same employee paged 3 times and continue to wait. How long does it take to find a lift? Better yet, it’s out of stock again and what you should have done is checked your store location on your phone prior to sitting in traffic to find out it’s not in stock.

What you do not want to get in the habit of doing is loading 80 sheets of drywall yourself or having to wait for store employees to pick and load the order for you. It goes without saying, but this applies to high volume/heavy orders, concrete, lumber, cmu blocks, etc. Instead, order ahead online by two days (call three times to verify your order is pulled and *has not been transferred to another store) and make sure you find an experienced forklift operator to load it up for you. It’s amazing what a great forklift operator can accomplish. If all else fails, simply have the order delivered to your project address for a minimal fee. This is house flipping scheduling 101 and over 80% of the time, no one cares!

What counts is an organized and well stocked store with motivated employees. Different locations have different management styles and some locations fail miserably at everything. There are many contractors and flippers that simply won’t go to certain stores and instead choose to drive much further to a more organized and helpful location. This is what counts at the end of the day. Once you find that organized store with helpful employees, you’ll want to go back!

QSP is the way to go.

Controlling Costs

There are multiple ways to get discounts on materials. For starters, the Military discount is a great option. Second to that is the standard 5% Lowe’s card and any other storewide sales or discontinued clearance items. Typically, you will see a yellow price sticker if the item is either on sale or clearance. However, the best option is the QSP sale.

What is Lowe’s QSP? This is the Lowe’s Quote Support Program. You must understand the materials you’ll need in advance for the renovation you’re working on. Larger ticket items often qualify for larger discounts. The idea is to purchase everything for your flip in one shot and receive a large discount via the Pro Service Desk and the QSP sale. This can add up very fast when purchasing tubs, tub surrounds, appliances, flooring, building materials, etc. The last QSP sale we had, there was a $1,500.00 minimum purchase and it’s been this amount for a while. Now, there are different ways to get this discount as it’s pretty difficult when loading up multiple push carts…and good luck loading up 5+ push carts!

  1. You can purchase all of your materials and then give the Pro Desk your receipt and they will reimburse you the original sale and then apply the discount amount.
  2. Load up everything you can and get the Pro Desk to run each item on the spot. Sometimes this can be a bit time consuming depending on what time of day and how busy Lowe’s is. 
  3. Have everything in your cart online before purchasing and let the Pro Service Desk run the QSP prior to purchasing. 
Near and in Virginia Beach.

Local Building Materials & Supply Stores

Should you go to Lowes or Home Depot? Which one is closer to your renovation project? There are other options if you want to step outside the bland, generic, cookie cutter finish materials. For instance, tile, wall coverings, fixtures, landscaping, etc. all can be found at smaller trade stores located in and around Virginia Beach. These are extremely important to be aware of. Here’s a good list of local trade parts stores not far from Virginia Beach: 

About the author

757Offers buy's homes! We eliminate the need for a real estate agent, close quickly, and most importantly, perform. With over 20 years experience in the real estate environment our dedication to helping is hyper focused to the high stress scenarios real estate can create. We solve problems and provide options!

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