Do You Know How to Grow a $300 Tomato?

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker West Shell
$300 Tomato I do! Take one "do it yourself" gardener add multiple type of pots, several tomato plants and various "things" for the vines to hang onto...add copious amounts of water, mix them altogether and the outcome is ....a $300 tomato. Like any "do itself projects" this one bears the pride of ownership. The gardener (my husband) insists that these tomatoes taste far better than anything from the store-but I think for $300 I could buy a carts of tomatoes as well everything else at Jungle Jims. Many greater Cincinnati homeowners and potential buyers think they can save tons of money by "doing things themselves". And for many handypersons whose household updates and fixes rival professional contracted work- "doing it yourself" makes sense. But for many of us- the cheap fix can end equating to a $300 tomato. You did it- but by the time you fixed all the mistakes and corrected the problems you created, the cost savings may have disappeared. Before you decide the "how" and "who" of any job -ask yourself the following questions:
  • cost of supplies
  • delivery costs (if you can't transport it yourself)
  • tools required
  • permits
  • estimated to complete job
  • how long can you live with the mess
  • do you need to sub-contract some of the work-ie: electric, plumbing
  • can a contractor obtain materials at a discounted rate
  • will your work pass city, county inspections
Over confidence can be very expensive in "gardening" and "real estate home improvements"- just make sure the final product is really worth the investment. There's nothing wrong with "doing it yourself" or saving up to have "somebody else do it" as long as you are happy with the results. If you would like a great deal on a $300 tomato- call or email me. Helpful Links: Do It Yourself; Do It Yourself Network

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Comments (3)

Laura Gray
RE/MAX Realty Group - Gaithersburg, MD



You bring up a valid point and one many "Harry Homeowners" should adhere too.

But every once in awhile I love the tsate of a $300 tomato , as there is no better taste than one of accomplishment.

Sep 09, 2010 04:42 AM
Donald Tepper
Long and Foster - Fairfax, VA
DC area investor helping heirs of inherited homes

To add to the drawbacks of doing it yourself, I'd add:

Time spent: That's similar to, but not quite the same as, your "estimated to complete job." Here, we're not just talking about how long from beginning to end, but whether there's a better use of one's time. If you really love installing a new toilet seal, then fine--chalk it up to recreation. Otherwise: Is there a better use of the time?

Buyer's concern: Whether the repairs are being done in anticipation for a sale, or whether they're just being done to do them, ask: How would a buyer react? I've seen plenty of floors put in incorrectly. Maybe, technically, they're OK. But the wrong adhesive was used, so there's a squishing sound at every step. Or the subfloor wasn't prepared properly, so you can feel joints and other things as you walk across. Or tilework--kitchen counter, kitchen floor, or bathroom. It may be functional, but it doesn't look right. The grout lines are uneven. The tiles aren't flat. Or the tiles at a corner aren't cut properly. That sort of thing. Not only are these obvious turn-offs for a buyer, but it also raises legitimate questions in the buyer's mind: Did the owner do other repairs--electrical or plumbing, for instance--that really could be health or safety hazards? And even if the answer is "no," it's difficult to reassure a cautious buyer.

Good post.

Sep 09, 2010 04:47 AM
Brian Rugg
Rugg Realty LLC Sun City Texas 512-818-6700 - Georgetown, TX
Sun City TX Real Estate - Georgetown, TX Real Est

Hello Kathy:


Some things are best left to the professionals.  We have also had some $300 tomatoes around our house , but not for several years.  I have suggested.

Sep 09, 2010 04:52 AM