Powering future

Month: June 2022

Does Twitter sell books? if it does

With so much hype and excitement around Twitter, I decided to look for concrete examples of social media success in book publishing. I interviewed two different publishers to get their thoughts on how participating on Twitter has benefited them.

Twitter requires an investment of time and resources, so the first and most obvious question is, does it work? Do you sell books? I asked Michael Taeckens, director of publicity for Algonquin Books, and he emphatically replied, “Yes, absolutely.” I agree, too. At FSB, we’re running tests to judge the impact of Twitter conversations on sales, and the picture is undeniable: Twitter is driving sales (more on that next month).

Algonquin Books (@algonquinbooks) was featured in the recent Huffington Post article on the Top 12 Editors on Twitter. Another publisher on the list was Alfred A. Knopf, and I asked Mary Buckley and Pamela Cortland if they feel their efforts to manage Twitter feeds are selling books. They also said yes. The dynamic duo have been tweeting for Knopf (@aaknopf) for just over a year. Although they weren’t hired for this role, they seem to be naturals at it. They first took over the Facebook page and then the Twitter feed. “In April 2009, we decided to create a more active presence. Mary and I split tweeting responsibilities because we were both interested in the potential of Twitter to engage with readers,” Cortland said.

The growth in the number of followers of both Algonquin and Knopf has been substantial. In 2009 Knopf had 1,581 followers and today it exceeds 32,000. I asked them what the secret to their success is and if the growth was consistent: “Our growth is going in spurts, where some days we increase by fifty followers and the next by two hundred. On average, we gain about a hundred followers a day. We see a large increase when our large-followed authors (e.g., Anne Rice, Nicholas Kristof) retweet posts they’re interested in. In addition, we see that our tweets about general literary news, such as book festivals across the country or discussions of the world of today’s book has attracted a wide audience. Algonquin also has a huge following of over 26,000.

The trick to its success may lie in building the community that is so crucial to Twitter. Taeckens explains his three-point plan for engagement: “First, be proactive when interacting with other people; you should engage in conversations, not just post like you’re reporting to a captive audience. Second, show your sense of personality Use wit, humor, creativity, and have fun. Third, post and comment on topics you know and are interested in, not just literature and publications, but all topics of cultural dialogue.”

Building communities and loyal followers is a time-consuming task, especially since none of Twitter’s feeds are run by dedicated community managers. Taeckens has the demanding job of being the Director of Advertising and this fall he will assume his new role of Director of Online and Paperback Marketing, while Mary Buckley is the Assistant Manager of Advertising and Promotions and Pamela Cortland is the Assistant Manager of Marketing. How do they manage to run such successful Twitter feeds? “From the beginning, we created a system of alternating “tweet days,” so we didn’t burn ourselves out trying to find interesting things to say. Hootsuite allows us to queue up our daily load of tweets in a small hour block of the We always hear interesting news about books (on blogs, on industry sites, in the newspaper, on Twitter itself), so it’s never been too difficult to collect material to tweet. Plus, now that our “My colleagues are more Aware of Twitter’s potential to reach a wide audience of readers, booksellers and media contacts, they have been wonderful in providing us with great reviews and author events,” said Buckley.

For Taeckens, Twitter seems like a natural extension of his job: “It depends on how good you are at multitasking. I’m used to, and enjoy, multitasking. I think it’s a skill people will have.” “. to perfect, because Twitter and other forms of social networks are becoming more and more important. If you’re not particularly adept at multitasking, you can always set aside certain periods of time throughout the day to check in and engage on Twitter.”

To a simple question, both companies gave inspiring answers. What do you think is the biggest benefit of Twitter for authors and publishers? “Interacting directly with readers, authors and booksellers is very exciting for our company. Twitter allows publishers like us to be listeners as well as content providers. Being in a virtual room with millions of readers makes us more aware of what people want.” us, our authors and literature,” explained Cortand and Buckley. Taeckens eloquently added: “The opportunity to convey your unique and personal sense of identity in real time.”

In both cases, Twitter managers found a place to express their passion for their books, authors, and industry. They didn’t set out to build a large following. They set out, almost as an experiment, to engage with a community and found it extremely rewarding and successful.

Protect your wireless network

Having a wireless modem in your home has its benefits. Checking email, playing PSP, mobile operating system applications, surfing the Internet from the living room or bed, all have their advantages. The sad part about this technology is that nearly 30% of users mess up the setup, leaving unsafe wireless or free broadband for the rest of us. As I write this article, there are currently 3 users using insecure wireless networks around me.

This article will educate you on the basics of securing your wireless broadband at home. Cordless phones, mobile phones, and wireless apps work on the principle that the fewer cables there are, the better the experience. Wireless networks are great to use, however they can also be easy to hack if you don’t have the proper security settings or software running in the background. By default, most wireless networks out of the box are insecure. You should read the manual to know the different settings needed to secure your wireless networks. The list below are the basics to keep intruding on your limited network.

Step 1 – You need to know your current network settings

Wireless technology transmits data using radio waves from one application to another. The signal that carries your data is transmitted over a long distance, sometimes miles. Without simple security measures in place, anyone with the right tools can reach out and encrypt, steal, and hack your data. Insecure Wireless is the most common form of intrusion into private networks.

Step 2: Change your SSID and user password

SSID stands for service set identification number. All wireless networks, from large corporate systems to simple home setups, contain an SSID. SSID is the digital name of your network. First, change your SSID number and password from the default settings to something private and secure. Never keep the default SSID active. To change the SSID and password for your network, start the software for your wireless hardware. You should be able to change your SSID within the program’s control panel. Overwriting the default SSID won’t do you much good if your network name is broadcast to all users in your area. You can keep your information private from all users in your area by disabling SSID broadcast. It’s as simple as checking a box from your modem’s control panel.

Step 3: Configure MAC filtering

Media Access Control or MAC: A 12-digit address attached to the network device. Pocket PC’s, PSP’s, laptops, desktops, etc. all have a MAC address. it can be difficult to find a MAC address depending on the hardware used. However, time spent protecting this section will prevent hackers from directly accessing your network and stealing information. For Windows desktop users, click Start, click Run, then type cmd in the text box. Type ipconfig/all in the Dos window. The 12-digit physical address is the MAC address. Basically, the MAC filters devices from accessing your wireless modem. By identifying who can access your wireless modem, an additional layer of security is added to your network. To enable MAC filtering, open your wireless modem’s software and enter the MAC address of the hardware you are granting access to. This is usually located in the Security Settings of your modem’s control panel.

Step 4 – Encrypt and encrypt your data

Two common encryption protocols are WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) and WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access). Both protocols encrypt your data and block unwanted visitors from entering your network. WPA is considered to be more secure than WEP because the access key is constantly changing. However, WPA is not known to all devices and is subject to current hardware and device configuration. WPA is usually built into most routers along with WEP encryption. It is very important to make sure that your device connection supports WPA encryption. If you don’t use WEP and MAC filtering, you will catch most hacker intrusions.

Step 5: Education and Software

Stay informed: always read about wireless security. Some great online articles to stay ahead of internet safety. Every month check for updates to your wireless modem. Keep your desktop up to date with the latest updates from Microsoft or Linux. Download third-party software like Zone Alarm to help detect intruders and monitor your wireless transmissions at all times. More third-party software options will be added shortly, including an article on WarDriving.

Furniture Style – Kitchen Cabinet Design: Class En Masse

Are you someone who appreciates the finer things in life? Do you watch Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous hoping to see your house? If you refuse to settle for second best, then your first step in building your dream kitchen might involve a sleek furniture-style cabinet design. With a variety of configurations available, this type of design is a great alternative for people who will stop at nothing to have it all.

heavily cabinet
The closet style kitchen cabinet design looks a lot like the people who choose it – it does it all. It starts with numerous drawers below to serve dishes, cutlery and linens. These are framed by cabinet-style cabinets that offer the perfect combination; the look of classic furniture with modern conveniences like drawer dividers and pull-out storage.

The spacious top level of this cabinet design has ample room for a large flat-screen TV or state-of-the-art stereo system, while glass-door cabinets on either side showcase your prized antiques or elegant silverware reserved for special occasions.

Cold storage
It may not sound glamorous, but this is no ordinary storage facility. Conventional wisdom separates decorative design from purely functional items like refrigerators. But since when do you care about conventions?

If you’ve made your mark by daring to be distinctive, then your kitchen cabinet design should follow suit. And that’s exactly what you’ll do when you cover your fridge and freezer with beautifully designed cabinet doors. Add some smaller cabinets above and matching drawers for storage below, and suddenly those everyday appliances aren’t just taking up space. They will take the lead in transforming your kitchen.

island life
The original intent of the island concept may have been to provide more counter space for slicing and dicing, but you know what they say about all work and no play. Instead, play around with creative kitchen cabinet design options and turn that island from a simple work center into the centerpiece of your new look. Indulge in some decoratively painted cabinets and drawers with classically carved feet and ornate inlays. Add a stone countertop for added practicality and you have your own private island that is a far cry from the ordinary world of cabinet design.

Buy the Book…
… And while you’re at it, why not build a bookcase and incorporate it into your new furniture style kitchen? A book display and storage area adds a touch of class and refinement to your office, study or living room, and can do the same for your kitchen when inserted at the end of an island. Add a few of your favorite cookbooks to the mix, top it off with some elegant finishing work, and you have the recipe for success in creating the kitchen you crave.

sharp commodes
Kitchen storage space is like the chocolate frosting on your birthday cake. You can never have too much. That’s why a vanity-style cabinet design is perfect for the busy cook and the family hungry for it. With loads of well-appointed drawers running the length of the unit, this cabinet design is a great way to enhance your storage capacity for glasses, dishes, and small appliances without detracting from the aesthetics of the room as a whole.

These are just a few of the many ways to add a rich, classic look to your new or renovated kitchen through cabinet design. Spend a little time with a custom designer and you’re sure to find an option that fits your unique style.

So maybe you can’t have it all. But by adding a cabinet-style kitchen cabinet design to that rich and famous lifestyle, you can have all the things that really matter.

Facebook Boosts Its Blockchain Division With a New Boss

Tech giants are exploring blockchain and Facebook will not be far behind. The company has reportedly promoted one of its senior engineers, Evan Cheng, as Director of Engineering for its new blockchain division.

Driving the blockchain divide

Last May, Facebook Messenger boss David Marcus announced that he was stepping down to help the company explore the uses of blockchain technology.

“I’m creating a small group to explore how to best leverage Blockchain on Facebook, starting from scratch,” Marcus announced via a post on his Facebook page. This came months after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement that he had begun exploring possible uses of cryptocurrencies for Facebook. Blockchain turns out to be the underlying technology behind the cryptocurrencies made famous by Bitcoin.

Joining Marcus is now another senior Facebook engineer.

Taking blockchain seriously

Now that one of its lead engineers has transferred to the blockchain division, the social media giant seems more serious than ever. Evan Cheng’s LinkedIn profile supports the transfer of him, as he recently became the Director of Blockchain Engineering. Previously, Cheng was known as director of programming languages ​​and runtimes at Facebook. He had held the position for three years.

Before that, Cheng was at Apple and worked as a senior manager of low-level tools. She also has a background in post engineering and build technology. Cheng’s history showed him tweeting about blockchain. Additionally, he previously served as a splitter for various blockchain companies/projects such as ChainLink and Zilliqa.

“It means it’s [Cheng’s promotion] not just an exploratory project,” TechCrunch quoted a source that monitors the blockchain space. According to the same source, putting Cheng in the blockchain division means the project is important because he knows a thing or two about scalability and performance.

As of Q1 2018, Facebook has more than 2 billion monthly active users worldwide, making it a likely target for security threats because of the vast amount of valuable information it currently holds. In recent news, the company has been involved in different data breach scandals in which data from 87 million Facebook users was collected and used in political campaigns. Despite this, the number of monthly users increased by 13 percent compared to the first quarter of 2017. Seeing the significant impact of social networks in today’s society, it is high time that Facebook and similar social networking sites find ways to protect their users from unscrupulous manipulation.

Facebook’s move to explore blockchain may be one of the steps to address these issues. With the decentralized and immutable design of blockchain, it bodes well for streamlining processes and strengthening security for data handling in many industries.

Here are some things parents can do to ensure their children’s success in the classroom

Ugh, bad behavior in classrooms!
Disruptive behavior in classrooms is a common problem in various regions beginning with kindergarten. This information highlights a profound fact: appreciation for education begins in the home. According to brain research, many children struggle with academic and social skills in school because critical pathways in the brain were not formed during the first three years of life. And language development is needed to strengthen the process of this formation. There are some things that parents can do to ensure the success of their children.

Read stories
Parents can read stories to their children with interesting characters, beautiful settings, and exciting plots. With this face-to-face time, children will hear the inflection of the voice and observe the facial expressions with each emotion the story presents. They will learn early to make the necessary literary connections. Plus, you can help your child learn to make those necessary literary connections simply by asking questions about the story during and after reading. Who or what was the story about? Who were the main characters? Was there a problem and, if so, what was it? How was the problem resolved? When, where and why did the main event occur? Keep your child focused on the five W’s and H’s, and her understanding will skyrocket.

read poems
Parents can read rhyming poems that encourage language expression and develop multi-phonemic listening skills necessary for mental manipulation of word construction. After reading two lines, ask your child for the two words that rhyme. When this practice is done often, your child should be able to tell you which words rhyme.

Play language games
Playing language games at this early age will introduce children to letter knowledge and teach them to manipulate beginnings, rhymes, and the beginning and ending combinations needed to create multiple words. Filling your child’s world with language development opportunities from ages 0-3 will ensure proper brain cell development and multiply their chances of success in the classroom.

What is myelin?
In conclusion, it hurt me when a guest speaker in a kindergarten classroom asked a student (who had no behavior control) if his mom hugged him. He frowned, shook his head, and said, “Only when she was a baby when she bottle-fed me.” We can see that this child is associating a loving hug with being held for food and he has no other recollection of receiving a hug. Affection is essential to human maturity. Hugging and massaging your baby creates the fatty material, myelin according to Perles (2014). “[Myelin] it coats brain cells and speeds up electrical impulses that cause them to function more effectively than neurons that aren’t covered in myelin.” Caring Moms, Dads, and Guardians: Affection, Reading, and Word Play Introduced at This Early Age they will prepare your child for school before school.

My twelve year old still looks forward to bedtime stories. She is in the top 25% of her class and is reading at the high school, if not early college level.

Optimum Men’s Health and Fitness Guide – Top Fitness Tips for Men

Finding the perfect balance between health and fitness for men is a daunting task these days. There are many so-called “fitness experts” who tell you one thing, while everyone else tells you something else. So what fitness tips for men are actually proven to improve a man’s life?

Let’s take a look at some of the main problems and the best way to tackle them.


So much rubbish comes out daily on this topic. The worst products are often marketed diet pills that promise so many results and almost ALWAYS fail to deliver!

So what really are the best recommendations for losing weight? I’ll go straight to chasing here since I’m not one to sugarcoat things. The best way to successfully lose weight and keep it off is to get your butt up and do something! Anything!! Just do what you are capable of.

Human beings are inherently lazy and this often causes them to gain weight with each passing chronological year. The best health and fitness ideals for men come from physical activity. I’m not saying it has to be hard work.

In fact, it’s not hard work at all when you make male fitness a lifestyle and not a chore.

I highly recommend cardio interval training for 20-30 minutes, 3-5 days a week. That’s only about 3% of your entire day! Are you seriously going to tell me that you can’t dedicate 3% of your day to your health and fitness goals?

It doesn’t have to be 20 minutes, 5 days a week right from the start. Just start slowly, take baby steps, you’ll get there eventually. If you value your life at all, you should equally value good health. These fitness tips for weight loss are not that hard to follow and you will get used to them, just like everything else in life.


As a general rule, I like to lift weights to build muscle every other day. And, typically, your entire muscle-building routine can be done in about 20 minutes. Allowing a day’s break in between allows your body and muscles to recover. Weight training is a big part of optimal health and fitness for men.

Don’t have time to go to a gym? Invest in a home gym unit! I highly recommend a Bowflex home gym unit or a Total Gym. A Bowflex is great for ultimate muscle building, while the Total Gym is great for toning your entire body and building modest muscle mass.

Not to mention, they’re both incredibly easy to use. Having a home gym in your home also saves you gas and the aggravation of driving in traffic to and from the gym!

You see guys, men’s fitness does NOT have to be hard or difficult.

So now that you have a slim and almost perfect body, where do we go from here?


To complete the best health and fitness plan for men, I highly recommend facial exercises for men. Why? Because more often than not, regular exercise and weight training won’t exactly develop chiseled facial features. While building muscle will define your chest and shoulder area, it won’t target your face and neck muscles effectively.

What can be achieved with these exercises? How about a chiseled jawline, enhanced cheekbones, removal of under-eye bags and jowls? Not to mention the burst of confidence that will come from your new look. Imagine what can come from a quick burst of newfound confidence.

The great thing about facial exercises is that the results are super fast!

They only take up about 15 minutes of your day and can be done sitting in traffic, on a plane, or just about anywhere! There are over 50 muscles in the face and it would be naive to think that we cannot manipulate these muscles and sculpt and define them to enhance facial features without plastic surgery!

So there you have it guys! The best men’s health and fitness guide and fitness tips for men, simple outline all in one!

Top 5 Associate Degrees Online

Many working people recognize the importance of pursuing a degree program that will enhance their careers, but find they can’t attend classes on campus. The state of the economy requires employees to gain specialized skills to be more competitive in the workforce. Job uncertainty is forcing people to seek training that makes them more employable and valuable to employers. Earning an associate’s degree is a step in the right direction, but traditional college programs don’t always fit with life’s busy schedules. An associate’s degree online is the answer for those struggling to balance family responsibilities and professional demands.


A career in accounting requires expert knowledge and skills. Private companies and government agencies employ experts in budget analysis, financial document preparation, and business practices. An online associate degree equips graduates to perform accounting duties in any organization.

pharmacy technology

Commercial and hospital pharmacies employ trained pharmacy technicians. An online associate’s degree in pharmaceutical technology prepares students for the responsibilities of this job. They receive an in-depth coursework and hands-on experience necessary to work with a pharmacist. Earning this degree is a first step to taking the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam, which allows them to practice as a certified pharmacy technician.

legal assistant

The legal field offers many opportunities for those interested in the law. Private law firms and independent consulting firms employ paralegals to help prepare legal documents, conduct research, and conduct client interviews. An online paralegal degree program is designed to help those interested in a legal career or to advance an existing position. Advanced training gives paralegals the opportunity to earn higher salaries and makes them eligible for promotions.

criminal justice

While it may not be necessary in some areas, an associate’s degree in criminal justice is an advantage for a police or corrections officer. Although most police departments require trainees to go through their academy, having a degree gives applicants an advantage. Online programs designed with flexible hours provide the perfect solution for those who work multiple shifts but want to continue their education.

Dental Assistance

An online associate degree in dental assisting is ideal for those interested in working in a busy dental office under the supervision of a dentist. Their duties include preparing patients for procedures, sterilizing equipment, and performing various reception duties. Flexible hours make it easy to work while taking courses.

Online education programs allow people to achieve their educational goals and enhance their careers. Many become discouraged because they find themselves unable to meet the requirements of traditional educational programs. Those people can take comfort in knowing that there are alternatives. They can meet the challenge with diligence and perseverance.

Diet To Go – One of the oldest diet delivery plans offering food for weight loss and good health

Have you ever heard of Diet to Go? This is a great way for you to lose weight. You can eat healthier while saving time for better things instead of preparing your food. They are known for their service offering freshly prepared meals that are great tasting and nutritionally balanced. Sticking to your meals will definitely change your eating habits and way of life sooner than you expect.

All you have to do is simply choose your favorite foods online from the comfort of your home or office computer, and you’ll have your breakfast, lunch or dinner delivered to your doorstep served hot, fresh and tasty. You will have a selection of a wide variety of dishes that will surely adapt to your taste. If you find you don’t like the dish you’ve ordered, you’ll have the option of easily substituting something else. It really is very convenient and simple, right?

The plans were designed to cater to ordinary people, including vegetarians, diabetics, or people with food allergies. Just remember to mention your specific needs and the dieticians will see to it that the plan follows you. They follow the guidelines of the American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association making sure that virtually everyone can use their service without restriction.

The benefits of using your service. Please include the following:

• You’ll lose 2-3 pounds total weight each week, even if you’re a busy executive, homebound, or executive.
•You have the convenience of ordering online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
•It won’t take you long to prepare meals.
• You have unlimited free support from experts in professional dietetics.

Understanding the Pennsylvania Consumer Advisory

The Pennsylvania Consumer Notice refers to certain mandatory disclosures and information that a real estate agent must provide to a consumer under the law. This notice is part of the “Agency Disclosure” legislation that went into effect in 1999.

The notice is designed to help consumers understand in advance and in writing what service options are available to him or her, and specifically who is involved in a real estate transaction.

Favoring Consumers

The Pennsylvania Consumer Notice is a legal document intended to support, inform, and protect a consumer before he or she conducts a real estate transaction with an agent. As a consumer, whether you engage with a real estate agent to help you sell or buy a home, or attend an open house, you should expect the real estate agent to ask you to sign the release form. Pennsylvania Consumer Notice.

You do not have to worry about signing this form because it is required by law, and the real estate agent is simply fulfilling a legal duty by asking you to sign the form. In the event that your initial contact with a real estate agent is by phone, the real estate agent will read the required portions of the notice orally to you over the phone. He or she will have the notice physically and effectively signed by you at the next opportunity.

Relationship Types *

The Pennsylvania Consumer Notice does not constitute a contract, a fact that is clearly stated on the form. Signing this notice does not bind you to any relationship with a real estate licensee. The notice simply tells you about the real estate services the real estate agent owes you. The notice also lists five different types of relationships you may have with a real estate licensee:

Buying agency relationship

Under this relationship, the licensee, by entering into a contract, works exclusively for the buyer or the lessee.

Seller Agency Relationship

Under this relationship, the licensee, by entering into a contract, works exclusively for the seller or the lessor.

Double agency relationship

Under this relationship, the agent, when entering into a contract, works with both the buyer or lessee and the seller or lessor in the same transaction, with the prior written consent of all parties involved.

Relationship to Designated Agency

Under this relationship, the employing agent, with your consent, may designate another licensee of your company to act as the exclusive agent of the buyer or lessee, and an additional licensee in the same way for the seller or lessor.

Transaction Licensee Relationship

Under this relationship, a seller or broker provides communication services, or document preparation services, or performs other actions for which a license is required without being the attorney or agent of the buyer or lessee, or the seller or lessor. .

Understanding the consumer notice may seem like a daunting task at first for many consumers, but it is only a legal formality and is only one of several forms that must be completed to comply with Pennsylvania real estate law. .

Most other states have similar legal requirements to ensure that consumers clearly understand their relationship with a real estate professional.

Fix it and Flip it – How I Lost Money on Real Estate

I have met many people who have lost money when they sold their homes. In fact, I am one of those people, and it has happened to me more than once.

There are a number of factors that can cause a financial loss when you sell your home, including needing to sell at the wrong time due to an impending divorce or foreclosure, or a downturn in the local housing market. However, it is also common to lose money simply by making too many expensive changes to the house before putting it on the market. This is how I lost money on real estate, before I knew it.

My most resounding failure in the home improvement market was a house I bought in Spokane, Washington. Knowing what I know now, I would have just replaced the carpets and fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom, painted inside and out, and bought new appliances. I would have probably also replaced the old style windows to make the place look nicer and more attractive to the energy conscious buyer. These corrections could easily have been made within the two years he needed to live there to avoid capital gains taxes.

Because I didn’t know what I know now, I did major renovations, including changing the bathroom. I did most of the work myself, but the materials alone cost more than I was able to recover when the house was sold. With the exception of repairs made to the house to make it eligible for an FHA loan and watering the lawn, I doubt any of my major projects have really helped me sell the house or increase its value.

If a house is really solid, with no structural damage or bug problems, the main reason it will sell for less than its value is often cosmetic. This was certainly the case with the house I bought in Spokane. Dirty carpet and a mirror-tiled wall in the living room kept most buyers from going further into the house. I was able to see past the aesthetic issues and see the full potential of the house, but my imagination went a bit too far.

The floor plan was odd and a little awkward, but leaving the bathroom where it was would have been much more financially rational. Why didn’t I do that? Because my emotions and nested instincts took over, pushing aside all thoughts of future gain or loss.

Let’s face it: Most people don’t buy their own homes with the intention of making a profit, although they certainly hope that the home will be a good investment. In fact, the emotional stress caused by the process of buying a house and moving into it can be enough to completely erase any thoughts of moving again a few years later. However, I know of several families who have made a very good living buying houses cheaply, living in them and fixing them up, and then selling them when the IRS allows them to do so without paying additional taxes. Clearly, these people do not make any changes to these houses without careful consideration of the end result.

After my adventure in Spokane, I decided to learn from my mistakes and figure out how to stop losing money on houses. I read books by authors who have experience fixing up and remodeling houses, and then I read them again. When I saw that most remodeling projects almost never recoup their costs when the house is sold, I was a bit surprised, because I had been guilty of almost every mistake on the list at one time or another. I know many people who have also made the same mistakes, even when they started those remodeling projects with the intention of increasing the value of their homes.

When I bought my next house, that list was very much on my mind. For example, my kitchen was in dire need of a major overhaul (or so I thought) and it was too small. I pored over the latest home decor magazines and ideas flooded my head. I thought about knocking down some walls, and even tried to imagine adding something to the house to make the kitchen bigger. New cabinets and new appliances would be needed…

In the end I painted the kitchen cabinets and replaced the sink with a new one I bought at Ikea. I covered the chipped orange Formica counters with patterned cotton fabric and coated them with many coats of water-based Verathane which was meant to protect the hardwood floors. The entire “remodel” cost less than $400, as opposed to the thousands of dollars I would have spent if I had gone ahead with my idle dreams of a “perfect” kitchen. Since the house sold for a very good price within two weeks of being listed, my buyer obviously didn’t care that the kitchen didn’t meet my idea of ​​perfection. Because I kept my costs low, I made a useful profit on the sale.

Would you have been able to sell the house for more money if the kitchen had been remodeled and expanded? Maybe, but not enough to cover the cost of the remodel. Although the National Association of Realtors lists a kitchen remodel as one of the projects that will add the most to a home, they still advise that you expect to recover only 80% of the costs. If your new kitchen is much fancier, larger, and more expensive than any other kitchen in the neighborhood, the benefits will be even smaller. A complete kitchen remodel can cost thousands of dollars, so the 20% you don’t get can be a lot of change.

Does this mean that you shouldn’t make changes to your home that would make you happy? Not at all, especially if you intend to live there for many years. But it’s worth sitting down with your spouse or partner before you start making your remodeling plans, determining exactly how long you’ll be staying in the house, and then thinking through all the financial implications of the remodeling project. Even if you don’t consider yourself a home expert, it might be worth slowing down a bit and finding ways to improve your home without spending money you’ll never see again. As a bonus, your family could avoid the stress and disruption of all that remodeling hassle.