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Searching for backyard treasures

Susan Wood
Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Reflected in a mirror, Bart Stanger searches for a bargain at a yard sale.
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In an area where multi-million-dollar homes are listed, it stands to reason the furnishings would also be upscale.

Yard sales do so well at South Lake Tahoe they are advertised in different names – like “estate sales” and under a furniture category.

Last weekend, an assortment of what would be considered high-end items sported price tags. A six-piece bedroom set, antique dresser, computer desk, chandelier, polished candelabra, shiny candle sticks, three snowblowers and even a boat were up for sale on the South Shore from Stateline to the “Y.”

Since his living space was cut in half during a recent move, Ed Grounds put out a number of items on Sunday on his Los Angeles Avenue driveway, which would be classified as fine furnishings.

The crystal chandelier he bought for $279 was grabbed for $100. Coffee tables sat on the corner for $35 each. A basket was listed for $30. A “never been used” generator valued at $600 was going for $450.

By noon Sunday, Grounds estimated he sold about $2,000 worth of merchandise.

“It’s easy to make $2,000 at a garage sale. You just have to put out $20,000 worth of stuff,” he said.

Bart Stanger picked up a porcelain pitcher for his mother for $8.

Aleta Silvestri was on the prowl for antiques.

“If they only have these or baby clothes, I don’t stop,” she said, picking up a plastic utensil holder.

The San Bruno woman, who also owns a house in South Lake Tahoe, said she was surprised by the offering at the Grounds home.

“They have nice stuff. I think they should do well,” she said, adding second homeowners often seek items for two houses. Almost three quarters of homeowners in the city live somewhere else part-time.

Silvestri has even seen a $129 outdoor firepit sell for $50 at one garage sale. On Sunday, she went to the Tahoe Flea Market outside Meyers and found her 15th antique oil lantern.

Bob and Marian Delaplaine wanted to appeal to a mass audience when he decided to it would be OK to sell his power boat at his Helen Avenue garage sale alongside a silver-plated carafe and clothes hanging on a line.

“The boat’s $3,000. It runs great,” he said. “I’d sell anything. If the price is right, I’d sell the house,” he joked.


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