WinCo Brings the Competition to Orem and Threatens Wal-Mart as the Low Price Leader

Filed Under (hot deals) by Jason L. on 26-10-2009

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A typical Wal-Mart discount department store i...
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Soon there will be another grocery store chain in Utah County. Yes I know, another one!

WinCo is the newest competitor entering the picture. Right now they are setting up shop on 8th North in Orem, in a massive¬† building under construction. I have learned some very interesting information just in the past few hours. It turns out WinCo may finally be the grocery store chain that can compete and actually beat Wal-Mart! I’ll be honest, I have no idea how they actually execute short term or even long term. All I know is what I’ve heard. Hint, it’s great for consumers!

WinCo has already entered the Salt Lake City area and has nearly killed Wal-Mart’s grocery business in nearby stores. WinCo is going to try and win your business by having amazingly low prices. Right now they are buying in product and then selling it below cost! I can’t imagine everything they sell is below cost, it just doesn’t make sense. However the person I talked to knows first hand that WinCo will buy a product in for $12 and then turn around and sell it for $9.99 simply to beat the competition.

Their stores are huge and resemble the Food-4-Less format. Unlike Food-4-Less however, they are extremely price aggressive. Their entire business seems to focus around price. Bag your own groceries, shop in a warehouse, pull product right out of the cardboard. They know people will do anything to save money.

Time will only tell what happens to the business strategy of Wal-Mart, Smith’s, Macey’s, Albertsons, Dan’s, Buy Low, and any other grocery store chain I may have forgotten to mention in Utah County. All I have to say is I’m excited for anything which creates competition and threatens the ‘all powerful’, ‘amazingly untouchable’ stores. *cough* Wal-Mart *cough*

It looks like you can find more information about openings and employment on twitter at http://twitter.com/wincofoods

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Open House

Filed Under (House Related, Personal) by Jason L. on 27-02-2009

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Mount Timpanogos, in the Wasatch Range, near O...
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Tomorrow, Saturday, my wife and I are holding our so-called “open house” for our newly remodeled home in Orem. We bought the house in October and just yesterday I finished up some of the last touches. I’ll be honest, there is more to do but for now we are done (and out of funds).

So please stop by anytime tomorrow from noon till 8pm. We will have food, drinks and photos of our house before the remodel. We are really excited to be done and hopefully have a life away from Home Depot now. :)

See you tomorrow!

By the way (Nessa), we don’t expect people to bring gifts. This isn’t a “bring us stuff” party. We just want to visit and show everyone our hard work we are so proud of.

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Offer on a Bank Owned Property

Filed Under (House Related, Personal) by Jason L. on 23-09-2008

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Mount Timpanogos, in the Wasatch Range, near O...

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Friday we put in an offer on a bank owned propery in Orem. The house needs a bit of work but is a good price for the square feet and has a good layout. We honestly like it equal to the house you read about where we offered full asking price with closing costs back. This one however is 40 grand cheaper.

We expect to hear back today from the bank. There was another offer that came in over the weekend so we actually upped our offer 10 grand to be more competitive (i’m sure they did the same). The submission is due today at 10 am so hopefully we hear back soon after.

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Stubborn Homeowners Refuse to Negotiate

Filed Under (Ranting) by Jason L. on 16-09-2008

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SAN ANSELMO, CA - MAY 17:  A real estate sign ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Just this past Friday we put in an offer on a home (mls# 776061) which has been on the market for 202 days. The list price was 290k and has zero-scape and a giant concrete retaining wall in the backyard (taller than the house) which is probably the reason that people have shy-ed away from this property. The house was in pretty good condition, the carpets and walls needed some refreshing but overall it was in alright condition for being 2 years old.

We offered 269k which seemed like an affordable and reasonable place to start for this home. We put in an expiration date on our offer for Saturday and just today, Tuesday, we got a verbal response from the sellers agent. Apparently the seller countered with 290k and will only accept full price. Are you kidding me? Do you not understand that there are far fewer buyers out there, far fewer QUALIFIED buyers out there and that homes are not selling for full price. Price your house 10k or so above what you would be willing to accept.

All I can say is apparently this seller doesn’t really want to sell their home. What a shame. Thank you for wasting our time and your own. And now we move on. Today we are going to look at around 15 homes that are similar priced but brand new, never lived in and 500 sq feet bigger – with no giant wall in the backyard.
This is a perfect example of what we are encountering in the ProvoOrem area. Buyers that still think their house is worth the same as it was in 2006. Stubborn ignorance. No worries, we are getting used to it and don’t really get attached to any one house.

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A new day – We are homeless

Filed Under (Personal) by Jason L. on 22-06-2008

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Location of Orem, Utah

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Today our house is nearly completely empty. It is a sad moment in our lives. We are walking away from a house Mandy and I purchased 3 years ago. Our first home. We will miss so much about this house. It was a house we both loved. We added a patio, grass, sprinklers, a fence and so much more. There will be so many memories of this house.

Unlike many sellers in this market, we were selling while we were ahead. Gasoline and eduction costs are ever-rising and our incomes are not. Each day our 30 minute commute felt like a significant donation to OPEC. Our best attempts at carpooling significantly reduced our monthly expenses, though I could feel this only going to get worse.

We put our house on the market four months ago with agent Mike Coutlee. He works for Exit Realty in Orem Utah. Vanessa and Korban recommended him to us after they used him to purchase their townhome. Mike has done a great job in getting out house in the public’s sight. He kept our fliers full and had showings on average once a week. In the current market, we consistently had an above average number of showings. Something else Mike did right is he didn’t let us over inflate our price. (now that we are shopping around, we can see how many houses are overpriced – by like 50k!) He was honest and kept our price consistent with the other homes on the market. In the end we sold our house for about five thousand less than we started out with. We were satisfied with the price and didn’t even counter-offer.

For the past four months we feel as though we have been living in a model home. Our house is normally pretty clean, but when you are selling a house, everything has to be perfect all the time. We would make our bed in the morning – something I’ve done maybe twenty times in my life, wash the dishes we used immediately, and keep the bathroom counters clean. We enjoyed returning home at the end of the day to a spotless house. Taffy, our dog, started out living with my in-laws. We figured that having a dog in the backyard might be a turn off to some buyers, and Mandy’s parents don’t mind the dog. After a couple months we brought her home again. It was depressing to not have her happy face there to wake us in the morning or when we got home from a long day at work. I heard once if you ever want to see who loves you more, just lock your dog and your wife in the trunk of your car for an hour. When you open it, watch to see who is happy to see you. :)

The closing process on our house was quick and painless. We signed the offer acceptance paper on 06-07-08, the closing papers on Friday the 13th, and deposited the check on our Mandy’s favorite number, the 16th. Yes, we closed super fast. I was afraid we wouldn’t have time to even pack. After four months, we weren’t sure if we would actually sell our house, so we weren’t ready when they said “you’re closing this Friday!”.

My wife is so amazing in every way. She single handed packed 80% of our house in the first day. I got home from work and we had nothing to eat with, nothing to do, and not much left to pack. I have moved 15 times that I can remember and besides when it was just me, I have never seen such efficiency. We had a box shortage at first, we both were packing as much as we could into each box.

I called around looking for a storage unit in the vicinity of Orem. I was surprised that none of them had any availability on the larger units. I guess they try to fill them asap. I lucked out and found a 15×20 unit in Orem. I called them and tried to reserve it, but they didn’t take credit cards so Michelle was nice enough to run down there and write a check to get it. Wouldn’t that have sucked to not have a place to put all our stuff?

Checking our mail I saw an ad for 7 Brothers Moving Company. It said you don’t have to be rich to hire a moving company. Bah. So I called to get a free estimate of what it would cost. I was amazed it would only be $303 for 2 hours of 2 movers. The lady on the other end said she was new but sounded confident of the information. Supposedly the drive time didn’t count towards the 2 hours, however we found out only at the end that this wasn’t the case. Mandy and I got all our boxes placed in the garage and in the morning of the move, her and a few of our friends helped to move furniture into the front yard. We wanted to get the most out of our money, so we were ready.

The movers showed up and started wrapping our dressers in shrink wrap to keep the drawers in. We helped as much as we could hoisting the piano onto the dolly and loading boxes into the truck. I was thrilled they let us help load the truck with them, though they kept apologizing that since we were helping we might not fit it all. There was barely anything left behind. It was no big deal. By the way, today was the hotest day this week. Blazing 95′ sun. Several times I had to sit down so I didn’t pass out. Nate was sure I was suffering from heat exhaustion by the end of the move.

Our storage unit was definitely big enough, I’m glad we didn’t go smaller though. We finished unloading the truck and headed back to the house to take one last load in our cars.

Now before I go on, if you have ever moved before, you know that something has to go wrong. Well nothing really major has happened yet. No furniture falling out of the moving truck, no children sent to the emergency room (though Evie was close to shredding her fingers), no broken mirrors (that I know of). Instead we decided it would be fun to have a flat tire. My Mazda 3 had one of the tires completely flat. I was outraged! Not only do I not have time for this, but I don’t have the wheel lock key! When I bought this car from my brother-in-law Stuart from his dealership in Colorado, they failed to give me the key. I didn’t even notice I had wheel locks till I got home to Utah. I had made 3 different calls to see what they could do about getting me the key, but no one ever called me back. Now I was really screwed. Its 6:30pm, so no place is really open that could help me and I was sitting at home alone.

My step-dad Paul was nice enough to offer to take me up to Maceys grocery store to get a can of fix a flat. I haven’t ever used it, but he swears by it. I noticed that the can says right on it “do not use if you have air pressure sensors”. Wonderful. I had them leave me at Macey’s so Mandy could come back and get me without driving so far. I called her and she was pissed off about something. She told me she had to eat or she would kill someone. Instead, Mandy’s dad arrived to get me and we headed back to the house to get stuff out of the car that was incapacitated. He had a wonderful idea. Why not check with the spare tire to see if the key was in there. And there it was! All this time I have been so frustrated and it was right there in my trunk. Gosh. We then changed the tire (which didn’t want to give up easily) and headed back to Orem.

So here we are. Homeless. Ok, so not really. We have Mandy’s parents to live with until we can find a home to purchase which is closer to where we live work and play. Originally we moved to Spanish Fork so we could afford a newer nicer home. In the end we discovered location is very important and should have been on the top of our list.

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