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This originally appeared in Real Estate Investor’s Monthly newsletter. It also appears in my book, Fixers.

Robert Irwin is a Rancho Palos Verdes, CA Realtor®. He is has written over 50 books on real estate. I wish he would write one good one. This isn’t it.

It probably is not possible to improve the value of your home by $100,000, profitably, at least. To increase the value of a home that much, you would almost certainly have to buy some uninhabitable disaster—cheap.

His subtitle is “50 surefire techniques and strategies.” Item # 20 on my Real Estate B.S. Artist Detection Checklist ( is a list of words used by B.S. artists. “Surefire” is one of them.

“Surefire” technique #17 is Not In My BackYard activism to stop development. There is no mention of the immorality of such behavior, or of the fact that it often fails. Some other “surefire” techniques: join the school board, hang good quality prints of paintings by the masters, install lots of moldings, add a spa. He should have called it How to Spend $200,000 of your Time and Money to Increase the Value of Your Home by $100,000.

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