Improving home equity Our Story

This segment helps us by teaching about improving home equity. So many of us find ourselves stuck in a rut we call daily life. We spend all we earn and a little more. We put ourselves in financial bondage with high mortgages and hope to be able to keep up the payments.
puppet worker

It seems as if we are working all the time and not fully enjoying the things we borrowed money to acquire. Creditors tell us what we can and can’t do. The rich rule over us with a tight fist. Our hard work maintains their exotic lifestyle.

Why are we struggling so hard only to get further behind? Our parents struggled and their parents struggled yet they were able to retire in comfort. Will we be able to stop working when we get old? If things continue the way they are, many of us will still be in the workforce in our declining years. Social Security probably won’t be enough to pay the bills.

small house

The need to improve home equity is dire these days.

I don’t know of a time in our great country’s history when the income-to-expense ratio has been so far off kilter. This is what I’m talking about:

old truck
In the early 1970’s, before inflation hit us hard, a person could buy a nice home for around $25,000. A new ¾ ton pickup cost about $3,500. The medical costs for a new baby delivery were right around $500. Minimum wage was $2.00 per hour. Income to expenses was manageable with one income.

baby expenses

Now, in the 2000’s, that same kind of home costs over $200,000. A new ¾ ton pickup costs over $30,000. A new baby delivery free of complications costs around $8,000. The kicker is that minimum wage is only around $5.50 per hour.

So, the cost of homes since the 70’s has increased about 900%, the price of a new pickup has increased by over 1,000%, medical costs for a new baby has increased by a staggering 1,500%, but minimum wage has only increased by about 275%. If minimum wage truly kept pace with inflation, it would be around $20.00 per hour. That would be nice for many low-income families.

It’s no secret that to be able to make those monthly payments, we need one big income or two or more smaller incomes. Those who were fortunate enough to have received a family business or those who had enough foresight to get a college education can make it on one income. All the others are those that work hard to maintain a modest lifestyle.

On average, the biggest monthly expenses are the home mortgage or rent, food, auto payments, and medical bills, usually in that order. Both parents need to work to meet those obligations.

working woman

Children are raised in daycares and schools. In the evening when the typical family is home, the parents are busy doing necessary chores or are resting from a hard day. Children need attention and parents need to be spending quality time with their loved ones, but there aren’t enough hours in a day so they do the things that have to get done instead of being with the family. The few hours each day spent with the kids are usually nerve-racking and seem to drain the energy from the already tired parent.

Life has a way of making us focus on unimportant and often trivial matters at the expense of that, which is most important. If we work at improving-home-equity we can weather the storm easier.

I knew that I had made a few bad decisions that brought me to the point of being a low-income wage earner. I realized that I was depriving my family of a better life as a result of some of my bad choices. But I also realized one very important thing and that was that I didn’t have to continue making bad choices.

In 1991, I was a typical low-income wage earner. My wife and I were renting a small home and with our first child, we were trying to live a good life. We wanted to own our own home, but couldn’t afford it. We looked at Mobile Homes, but they were too pricey and were of poor quality. Even to buy an old home, as a fixer-upper was too expensive so that wasn’t an option for improving-home-equity.

It was then that I found out about building my own house from a friend who built his house.

working man
He was a good carpenter and told me he would give me any advice I needed. After looking into the situation a lot deeper, I decided to do it. My wife and I made a plan on how to save money so we could get started as soon as possible. My parents encouraged us to move into their basement so we could save money. We restructured our spending on food and fun and decided to live beneath our means until the house was finished.

It was a long, difficult process, but was undoubtedly the most rewarding thing we have ever worked for. It took over four years because of a permanent lay-off from work and vocational retraining to help find another job. We did whatever we could do to keep the building project going. Finally, in 1997, we finished our house and took out a home mortgage loan to consolidate all the bills we had incurred for building materials. We moved in and got on with our lives.

Since that time so many people have told me how great an achievement it is to build a house. I hadn’t considered it to be anything great; it was just a project that was fun and rewarding. I had gained a lot of knowledge in the process and learned a few things about myself along the way.


The one thing that really stays in my mind however is the amount of money we saved by doing it ourselves. It’s unbelievable and it makes me wonder why more people don’t do the same. The money people pay to contractors for labor is almost 2/3 the cost of the home. The fact is: Your house is your best financial tool or your worst financial burden. What usually makes the difference between the two is the amount of equity you have in your home or plainly the amount your house is worth minus what you owe on it. The best way of improving-home-equity is by building it yourself.

My full book has two parts that help with improving-home-equity. The first part is the most important by far, because it is something you will never forget. It will benefit you from this point on. It is about “why” you should build your house. The second part will tell you “how” to build your house. At the time I was building my house, there was no “how to” books that were complete. I spent a fortune on books only to learn from inspectors that a lot of my information was incorrect. I have tried to make a complete “how to build your house” book that is accurate but not overwhelming. I like simplicity.

It is thorough as far as basic house building is concerned. Because of the large amount of information involved in the construction of a house, each area is brief, yet sufficient to give the reader a complete idea on each phase of the building process. Local codes and ordinances differ greatly from one building site to another, so it is necessary to get localized information from the local building, health, plumbing, and electrical inspectors.

Remember, building your own house either completely or partially by yourself, will be one of the greatest, most beneficial choices you have made so far in your life. That’s my promise.



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I just wanted to say that I love your website. My husband and I followed your instructions on building our own home. Most of the work we did ourselves, but not all. We saved $90,000 in labor costs and now have a beautiful home that we own.

--Sue and Les Carrigan, Draper, Utah

I built my own home doing all my own labor. My house costs me around $70,000 for materials. It took me 8 months to build and is about 2,000 square feet. I didn't think I could do it, but your house web site encouraged me. I used all the info you had.

Thank you,

Benny Luis Lopez,

Gainsville, Florida

I can't thank you enough for your free information web site about home building. I was looking for Electrical wiring diagrams when I found your site. It was very helpful.

Steve Lundquist,

Little Rock, Arkansas

My wife and I lost our home to foreclosure but we kept a plot of land to start over. We are halfway through the construction of our house. Your website gave us hope to start over and build a house with low payments. We are in our late 60's but we find it rewarding to put so much effort into a project that will reward us for years to come.

Name respectfully withheld