Cheap Gas?

Home Builder with Garabedian Properties

Summer is here and Americans are hitting the highways for family road trips.  This brings to mind a story of an imaginary family on an imaginary road trip and two imaginary gas stations. 

Dad was driving along I-35 towards the beautiful Texas Hill Country (all of Texas is beautiful, however for this story we will focus on just one area).  He noticed his tank was getting low in gas so he pulled off into a town we will call Texasville.  He drove into a brand new Lexon gas station.

The Lexon was new, clean and bustling with activity.  Before filling up, the family ran inside to purchase snacks (essentials for a road trip) and use the restrooms.  The store was neat, clean and smelled fresh.  The clerks were polite, smiling and wearing uniforms.  They were prompt to answer questions, made eye contact and offered any help that was required.  They treated every customer as a friend and always encouraged them to return.  The children returned from the restrooms and remarked how clean and nice they were.

Dad knows Lexon well and recalls all their stations seem to be bright, clean and stocked with current merchandise.  It gives him a warm sense of comfort just being in the store after such a long grueling drive (yes this is a bit emotional for a gas station story but trust me I am going somewhere with it).

What A Deal

As the family piles back into the car, dad is about to start filling up and out of the corner of his eye, he sees another station.  Wow, the gas is $ .20 cheaper a gallon over there!  Dad thinks, forget this I am going to that station to fill up.  From a few blocks away the station looks similar to the one he just left, except the sign was a brand he had not heard of before.  Who is Vilgo?

No worries, all gas is the same and it is so much cheaper at the Vilgo station!

As he approaches the station he notices that it is not quite as new as the other station and the potholes in the driveway require careful navigation.  The windows are due for a cleaning and the trash cans outside have the Sunday paper stuffed in the overflowing lid.  That seemed odd as today is Wednesday.  As he pulls up to the pump he notices the yellow sign taped over the display which says in faded ink, credit card machine broken.  Dang, he has to walk inside to pay!

Oh well a small inconvenience to save money and since all gas is the same, it is so much cheaper at the Vilgo station!

As Dad enters the Vilgo the stale air hits him in the face like a brick wall.  The 1970s asbestos flooring reminds him of his elementary school and the store shelves had an assortment of products in no particular order and covered in dust.  Wow, spam, rolling papers and biker magazines all on the same shelf, nice merchandising skills.

Christmas In July

The Coke display has those cute polar bears cans, to celebrate the Christmas Season.  Dad loves those polar bears even on the Fourth Of July weekend.  Wonder how that Coke tastes now?

No worries, all gas is the same and it is so much cheaper at the Vilgo station!

Dad runs to the restroom and has to step over the plunger and a pile of paper towels by the trash can.  The dripping faucet, overflowing trash can, empty soap dispenser and missing paper towel holder validate why the last entry on the bathroom cleaning schedule was 9 months ago.

He drops off his credit card and goes to fill the tank.  The pump was slow in pumping gas and he had time to ponder the area.  He looked up and noticed all the cars he saw at the Lexon were long gone. They were already on the highway heading to their vacation.  He starts to wonder if the Vilgo gas is as old as their Coke.  Then the pump clicks off as the handle catch broke.  Crud now he has to hold the handle while it pumps.

No worries, all gas is the same and it is so much cheaper at the Vilgo station!

22 Gallons?

As the counter rolls past 20 gallons, Dad thinks to himself, that's weird, I usually only need 20 gallons.  He consoles himself that he probably remembered wrong as the pump stops at 22 gallons.  Standing in the hot sun while the pump trickled along was not very relaxing but the tank is now full.  He starts to make excuses for all the inconveniences but he is very proud for being able to beat the system and find the cheapest gas on the Interstate.  It is perplexing that none of the other nicer late model vehicles were stopping at the Vilgo.

No worries, they are suckers for paying more as all gas is the same and it is so much cheaper at Vilgo!

Dad goes to pay and again notices the cars were zooming in and out of the Lexon station.  Wow, it seems like he has been at this Vilgo station for 20 minutes. 

Once inside the clerk brings out one of the old credit card imprinters.  Dad is thinking crud, now this guy who is wearing a stained T-shirt and worn out jeans is going to have an imprint of my credit card.  The clerk never looked up or speaks while struggling with the credit card machine.  Finally he gets it done and returns dad's slightly bent credit card. 

Dad asks for directions to world's largest ball of twine (yes everything in Texas is the world's biggest).  The clerk mumbles he does not know and tosses dad a five year old map.  Never mind!  As Dad walks out of the door to his car (which magically holds 2 more gallons of gas) he hears from behind him .... nothing.  The clerk never acknowledged him leaving.

No warm fuzzies here, but all gas is the same and it is so much cheaper at Vilgo!

Now back to the highway!  Wow those cars at the Lexon are coming and going so quickly. 

Back On The Road

After Dad gives himself one more imaginary high 5 about his great deal and the children chime in on their last observations on how gross the Vilgo station was, the family is back on the road.  After awhile dad notices the engine is sounding a bit different than he remembers and the acceleration is somewhat sluggish.  In the back of his mind he says nothing a tune up and fuel injection cleaning can't fix.  Another $200 dad had not planned on spending.

But all gas is the same and it is so much cheaper at the Vilgo station!

As the family progresses down the highway the tank nears empty again.  Strange Dad wonders as he normally gets 400 miles to a tank, why is it only at 375 miles?

But all gas is the same and it is so much cheaper at the Vilgo station!

Dadcomes across another Lexon and pulls in.  The family runs inside to buy fresh snacks and use the clean restrooms.  The gas is about what he expects to pay however dad cannot help but take one last look to see if he can find another Vilgo.  After filling up, dad notices it only took 20 gallons.  That is weird!  Why did it take 22 gallons at Vilgo?

No worries all gas is the same and it was so much cheaper at the Vilgo station!

Ok our imaginary family is off to see the world's largest ball of twine. 

But you have to wonder if there is a difference in gas and if buying what appears to be a deal can cost you more in the long run (tune ups, fuel injection cleaning, lower mileage, etc...) then maybe staying with the tried and true is a safer choice for your family's large investments.  That could relate to your vehicles or your home.

If you would like to learn why all builders are not the same and how trying to save money building your home can cost you more in the long run, please feel free to call or visit our website.  There is a reason many builders go broke and why the cheapest homes often have the highest utility bills.

Ask about our Miles For Dreams Program where you can earn up to 500,000 American Airline AAdvantage Frequent Flier Miles for building a new home, remodeling your existing home or sharing the program with someone else.

Thank You

I hope this helps remind you that just like in almost any other industry, you get what you pay for.  Sometimes tripping over dollars to pick up pennies will end up costing you many times more than if you started out with the proven professionals from day one.

Your home is your family's most significant and most expensive asset.  Be careful on who you trust it to, that low price on the sign may distract you from bigger bills hidden in the gas tank.

If you have a question on how we can help you build a custom home, please feel free to email your questions to our offices.  Garabedian Properties is a full service building firm serving the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.  We offer new luxury homes, premium remodels, green building/remodeling, home care services, storm/roof repairs and commercial building contracting.

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