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    You are here: Investing : Articles : Real Estate : Management

    Good Ideas Spawn New Ones
    By Dolf de Roos
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    October 2002

    I would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming response to my newest book, “101 Ways to Massively Increase the Value of Your Real Estate Without Spending Much Money.” For years, I’ve been telling people that there are loads of things they can do to increase the value of their real estate. These things don’t necessarily cost much, but they can greatly increase the value of a property and are easy to put into place.

    Many people seemed to agree with the sentiment, even if they thought the number 101 was something of an exaggeration. Other people challenged me, using the defeatist argument, “If it were that easy, everyone would be doing it.”

    So, I wrote down 101 things that you can do to massively increase the value of a property. Let me tell you from the outset, it was difficult coming up with 101 ideas. More specifically, it was difficult to limit myself to 101, because there were so many more ideas I wanted to include. And even more ideas came to mind while I was fleshing out my original list.

    So, believe me, I recognize that the 101 ideas in my book are not the last word on all possible improvements. In fact, I tell readers if they feel there are ideas I haven’t covered, please visit our Web site and submit their own ideas for everyone to see and benefit from.

    I invite you to go to our Web site too (it has been completely revamped) and see the real-estate improvements that other people have suggested, or even submit ideas of your own.

    One effect of the new book has been that wherever I go, people spontaneously suggest new ideas. Such was the case a couple of weeks ago, when an enthusiastic reader came up to me and said, “Whenever we buy a new investment property, we always change out the faucets. That couple hundred dollars spent really changes the whole feel of the place.”

    The ideas in the 101 book range from the simple (put in a new mailbox) to the slightly more sophisticated (put in a helipad). Still, readers have come up with ideas more spectacular than I could have imagined.

    One woman from California had bought a property in Santa Barbara about six years ago. For those who don’t know, Santa Barbara is a pretty ritzy town–Oprah reportedly bought a home there worth $55 million. Our reader paid $1million for her property, and then had it appraised about a year ago at $2.3 million. Realizing that she was sitting on a goldmine, she asked her accountant, attorney and financial advisor what to do. They all advised her to sell and “cash in on the profit.”

    She happened to attend one of my seminars in San Francisco and asked me the same question. My response was that, to me, selling something that had gone up so much seemed foolish. After all, the fact that it had gone up in the past gave some precedence to the possibility that it may go up in the future.

    For whatever reasons, she hung on. And recently–just a year after the $2.3 million appraisal–two independent appraisers put a value of $3.4 million on her property. I know some readers will doubt that a property could go up so much in such a short time, but readers in California will be well versed with the phenomenon.

    Here is the really interesting thing, and the reason for relating this story in the first place. Both appraisers said that if our friend put in entry gates, the value of her property would go up by another half million dollars.

    Now, gates that can increase the value of a $3.4 million property are not the plastic or mesh kinds found at the local garden-supply store. On the contrary, they are some pretty fancy gates. The owner got quotes for solid, remote-controlled ones and had a set installed for $27,000.

    For many people, $27,000 is easily half their annual income, so I think you will agree that you can expect a lot of gate for $27,000. But who wouldn’t spend $27,000 if it could increase the value of a property by $500,000? Talk about massively increasing the value of your real estate without spending much money!

    As with so many aspects of the real-estate game, you are limited only by your imagination. Granted, you probably need a multi-million dollar home for a $27,000 investment to be worth an extra $500,000, but I challenge you to read my new book and not find at least three easy-to-accomplish things you really could do to increase the value of your property.

    Successful investing!

    Dolf de Roos

    Buy It Now:

    101 Ways to Massively Increase the Value of Your Real Estate without Spending Much Money by Dolf de Roos

    101 Ways to Massively Increase the Value of Your Real Estate without Spending Much Money (Paperback)

    Dolf de Roos is a real estate investor who bought his first property as an undergraduate student. After completing eight years of university education and earning a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering he was offered a job at $32,000 per year. The week before, he had completed a real estate deal worth $35,000. Consequently, he didn't accept the job and to this day, has never had one. Dolf willingly shares his enthusiasm for real estate and has "rattled cages" in audiences in over 16 countries. He passionately believes that the "Deal of the Decade" comes along about once a week.

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