Annual cost vs. value report

Every year Remodeling Magazine produces a report of costs vs. the value recouped for a variety of home improvement projects ranging from a bathroom remodel to a two-story addition. The slice and dice the stats for each region of the country, showing that while a minor kitchen remodel in Cleveland will cost $18,712 and recoup just $10,278 (54.9% of the cost), that same project will cost $20,434 in San Francisco and return $25,789 in value (126.2%).

Check out the report from Remodeling Online here.

View Real Estate Listings in Google Earth

Real estate search site Trulia now integrates with Google Earth, meaning you can fly to and view property listings in 3D.

Here’s how:

1) You need Google Earth installed on your computer.

2) Go to Trulia, and go to the RSS pull-down menu on the top right of any Trulia search results screen and select “Google Earth” to view your search results.

When your results load to Google Earth, you’ll find it in the “Places” section; click on the results to zoom on in.

Google Earth will automatically update (much like an RSS feed) with the newest listings that match your search criteria once a day.


Remodeling on my mind, and on

I’m knee deep in a remodeling project at my house (knocking out an interior wall, moving the kitchen to the living room and vice versa, new windows, sliding glass door, etc.) and with that in mind, I want to share an article from about remodeling.

Called “Remodeling School,” the article tells you lots of things you’ve heard before: expect to go 10% or more over budget, shop around, be flexible, and know when to hand over the reins to the professionals instead of being a weekend DIY warrior. I can agree with most of these things, except I’m absolutely amazed to report that with about three weeks left to go, I’m on budget. Yep, no 10% overrun here — at least not yet. If you need a good contractor, let me know.