Saturday, May 30, 2009

Lucky Finds

Wow, we really lucked out today at the model home sales. We went to just one subdivision, but they had three separate model homes fully furnished. We got there about an hour after the sale started, and they were getting wiped out pretty quickly. We've been to them before, and they are like yard sales- cars lined up and down the street, and early birds getting all the good stuff! Plus the weather was simply spectacular this morning, sunny and not quite 80 yet, and no humidity whatsoever- so people were happy to be out and about today. The first house we went to, they had almost nothing left, even most of the furniture was gone. We thought, crap, we got here too late. We could see people loading up their cars with accessories, and their trucks with furniture. There were even pickups carrying mattresses! Everything goes in these sales.

We went to the second model home and walked in, nothing much there either. People were crawling all over these houses, snatching up everything it seemed. In the second house there was even a guy removing the kitchen curtains for a buyer. So we trudged down to the third and final model home, and we found the deals we were looking for. I was specifically looking for artwork featuring palm trees. Our sun room, which includes most of our vacation souvenirs from the tropical islands, is decorated with almost exclusively palm trees. I needed something to go on the last empty wall in the room. As luck would have it, at the last house we stumbled upon the pieces below. Nothing outstanding about them, although they certainly were close enough to palm trees. The pieces are big, about three feet by three feet. Heavy frames, pretty good quality. They were $40 for the pair, so we decided to get them. When we got home, we turned them over and found the original price of $320 for the pair. Pretty good deal with those.

James went upstairs in the house to look around, and he called me up there. He found a few pieces that he liked, but I didn't care much for (too funky), so I passed on them. In the hallway, leaning against the wall, we found the item below. It's a nice nature scene, which is what I like- I don't care for abstract or modern pieces at all. We weren't sure where we would put this piece, and with its price tag of $40 we had to think about it for awhile. After hemming and hawing, we decided to get it. It's a rather large piece as well, about 3 feet by 4 feet, and we put it in our informal dining room. We looked on the back and although there was no price on it, there was an envelope attached with the certificate of authenticity. I could see on the front there was an original signature by the artist, a giclee and #6 out of 600. We looked the artist up online, and found his work in a few galleries. We didn't find this particular piece, but we found very similar giclee prints of his work, and framed nearly identical. The price? $650!! Not sure what they paid for it originally there at the model home, but for our $40, I feel quite satisfied that we got a pretty good deal.

Seems to me for the day, we got about $1000 worth of art for $80!! I love a great bargain!

As I mentioned before, the model home sales are really just something fun for us to do. It was a long drive, three counties over, but we had a fun day that included lunch out (we went to a Mexican restaurant but I only had a salad, then shared one dessert with the hubby) and a lot of good conversation. It gave us a chance to drive through a few cute little towns along the way, see some of the sights in our new state, and gave us a project of hanging them when we came home.

By the way, James and I both wanted to mention that all of our artwork, including larger and heavier pieces than the ones shown, were all hung using the Hercules Hook- those absolutely stupid looking fishing hook hangers sold on TV by scary, shouting spokesman Billy Mays. Yes, folks, they really do work and they really are as easy to use as they make them out to be on the commercial. Who knew??

If six months from now, everything comes crashing down, I will be sure to blog about that!


  1. What a terrific bargain. We don't have sales like that in the UK, well none that I have ever heard of. Sounds like a great day out too.

  2. Sounds like you scored well. Can't wait to see how everything is looking at your home. You have done so much since we were there last. Take care,,,

  3. Hi there. I particularly like the last piece. The details, even down to what appears to be a triple mat (??) look wonderful. Quite a bargain according to your research!!

  4. Dad, sounds like you guys are overdue for another visit soon! Might as well come on up while I am still in the ranks of the unemployed!!