101 Cost Effective Ways to Improve the Value of Your Home

101 Cost Effective Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home
Steve Berges

Paperback - Dearborn Trade
290 pages
June 2004


List Price $18.95; Our Price $14.21; You Save $4.74 (25%)



Bob Bruss, Nationally Syndicated Columnist
If you want to? add market value to your home by making profitable improvements? be sure to read this book!


Every year, millions of Americans spend varying degrees of time and money on home improvements.  Some are planning to increase their own enjoyment by adding, say, a deck or some landscaping.  Others are making more vital repairs?installing a new roof or replacing a furnace.  Whatever their goals, all homeowners hope that their fixing and fussing will ultimately improve the value of their home. 

Which improvements are likely to add the greatest value upon resale?  What kinds of small, inexpensive projects can really make a difference?  How do homeowners get started on the project of their dreams?  Real estate expert Steve Berges draws on his more than 25 years of experience to provide homeowners with the advice and guidance they crave, as they mull over their home improvement options and prepare to venture out into the world of building inspectors, subcontractors, deed restrictions, and other thorny issues. 

 101 Cost Effective Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home covers a range of home improvement options?no-cost, low-cost, and pricey?and helps readers determine where they?ll get the most bang for their buck.  Homeowners will learn how to:

·         Find the best subcontractors for the job, and protect themselves through smart negotiations and the right agreements

·         Weigh the benefits of a ?do-it-yourself? project

·         Move smoothly through tasks that can seem so daunting, such as getting the required permits and researching local insurance and bonding requirements

·         Appreciate the importance of such intangibles as odor, cleanliness, and décor

·         Determine how much they can expect to recoup on every single project, from bathroom

and/or kitchen remodels to new windows, fences, or gutters 

Focusing on the intrinsic value of each home improvement?from a brand-new kitchen to a simple lawn clean-up?101 Ways helps readers assess their needs, organize their priorities, and make budget-sensible decisions that will help them preserve and enhance their greatest asset?their home. 

The most profitable real estate improvements

By: Bob  Bruss, Inman News

July 13, 2004

"On my scale of one to 10, this superb new book rates a solid 10!"

If you want to know how to add market value to your home by making profitable improvements, perhaps before putting it up for sale, be sure to read "101 Cost Effective Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home" by Steve Berges. The author, a 25-year home builder and real estate investor, shares the facts about which home improvements are most profitable and which probably won't increase your home's market value more than their cost.

As a longtime investor in rental houses, I had a good idea which home improvements were the most profitable. But I quickly discovered from this new book that "visibility adds value." If the improvement isn't highly visible (such as foundation repairs), it probably won't gain much (or any) market value.

Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.

Unfortunately, the book doesn't include a nice, simple list of the most profitable home improvements. Instead, it leads the reader through several chapters listing the 101 cost-effective ways to improve your home's market value, room-by-room.

Berges has a five-star rating system for virtually every possible home improvement, such as painting (one of the most profitable and least expensive improvements), to attic and wall insulation (one of the most unprofitable improvements).

The author, in my humble opinion, is too generous with his star ratings. For example, he says adding a "powder room" adds a "moderate" three-star increased value to the home because it is a small room with limited visibility. I'd like to know where he gets his statistics. Frankly, very few homes I've seen even have a powder room.

But Berges is "right on" with the majority of his evaluations as to how much market value most improvements add. To illustrate, he says room additions add moderate value, meaning they add from 90 cents to $1.10 for each dollar of cost. Based on my personal experiences with room additions, he is a bit on the generous side.

This is an excellent book to consult before making a substantial improvement to your residence. Suppose you are considering spending $30,000 or more to install an in-ground swimming pool. This book could save you from making a major financial mistake.

Berges says swimming pools have a "low impact value." That means for every dollar spent on a new pool, you will be lucky to add 50 to 90 cents to your home's market value. Additionally, he cautions pools often detract from home marketability to prospective buyers with small children because of the danger of swimming pools.

If you are getting ready to sell your home, and are considering updating it before listing for sale, reading this book can be very profitable time well spent. To illustrate, Berges recommends adding new kitchens appliances and including them in the sales price even if your kitchen isn't updated. He rates new appliances as a five-star improvement.

However, some high-rated home improvements are surprising. For example, adding a pantry rates a five-star improvement value rating, according to Berges. Except in luxury up-scale homes, how many homes have you seen that have a pantry for storing food items? As a regular attendee at home builder national conventions, having toured hundreds of model homes, I can't recall any modest-priced homes with a pantry.

Chapter topics include "Your Home is Your Greatest Asset'; "Required Approvals'; "Everything You Need to Know About Subcontractors"; "General Property and Grounds"; "Exterior Structures"; "General Exterior"; "General Interior"; "Interior Rooms and Components"; "Structural, Heating and Plumbing"; and "Electrical."

This new book provides a quick and easy resource to determine if a contemplated home improvement will be a profitable investment, especially if you expect to sell your home within a few years. It also provides an excellent guide to which improvements will add the most market value and which should be avoided because they add little or no value. On my scale of one to 10, this superb new book rates a solid 10!

101 Cost Effective Ways to Improve the Value of Your Home
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