Transforming Doghouses into Dollhouses

Jeanette Joy Fisher

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Successful real estate investing depends largely on a correct assessment of a property’s profit potential, but it also depends on your ability to transform a doghouse into a dollhouse. The renovation process involves physical work and choosing the best supplies, in order to create maximum positive emotional effect and profits, but if you make wise choices in your choice of colors, textures, and building materials, you'll assure yourself a fast and cost-effective sale.

One of the most important things to remember is that our human senses and emotions are affected by decorating details and choices of materials. Potential buyers will look at your home with their eyes, but their brains will then interpret what they see and feel, according to subtle touches you've incorporated into your house. Your goal is to create a home that buyers won't be able to live without.

After we've located and purchased a doghouse, my husband and I invite friends and family to a “Doghouse Open House Party. " We ask them to bring along any unwanted household fixtures they might have, and ask for any fix-up ideas that might occur to them while they spend time in the house. There have been many times when we've used those ideas when we were in need of inspiration. Having a party in the house also serves to divert our attention from what sometimes seems like an overwhelming amount of work ahead of us.

When we begin a makeover, we buy our remodeling materials with drama in mind. We want to take a dirty, neglected doghouse and transform it into a beautiful dollhouse, and we're willing to invest a bit more time and money than the average investor in order to achieve a truly dramatic result. Our average renovation of a doghouse will run about $12,000, including the cost of materials and the hiring of outside help, but the profits we receive have proven well worth the expense.

To be successful, know what you're getting yourself into, choose your remodeling materials carefully, and always keep your potential buyers’ wants and needs in mind. If you do that, you'll find buyers lining up to bid on your properties.

(c) Copyright 2004, Jeanette J. Fisher. All rights reserved.

Professor Jeanette Fisher, author of Doghouse to Dollhouse for Dollars, Joy to the Home, and other books teaches Real Estate Investing and Design Psychology. For more articles, tips, reports, newsletters, and sales flyer template, see


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