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Bargain Homes
Most buyers want a home that is in tip-top condition and ready for them to occupy, but many homes go for bargain prices because they need work. Buyers love "fixer-uppers" for the obvious reasons: the price and the satisfaction of designing something attractive. Whether you are buying the property for yourself or as an investment, choose a house that is in a good location and structurally sound. It should be priced enough below market value (usually 25%) to allow plenty of room for a profitable re-sale after the work is completed.

It is important to educate yourself before taking on such a project. For example, inexpensive cosmetic improvements often give the greatest return -- paint will increase the value three times for every dollar invested. Landscaping, carpeting, and light fixtures are also relatively inexpensive improvements. Expensive structural improvements, such as a new roof, plumbing, wiring, or foundation repairs, usually add very little to the market value of a home.

Remodeling a kitchen will rarely add more than the cost, but new appliances usually give a fine return. An extra bathroom is the best renovation from an investment point of view, often giving twice its cost in added value; the worst investment is a swimming pool.

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