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The Bookshelf

August 16, 1987|DAVID M. KINCHEN

Books listed in this column are not necessarily recommended by The Times. Housewise by Suzanne Brangham (Clarkson N. Potter Inc., New York, 219 pages, $18.95). No, that's not a typo. The title is "Housewise" and the subtitle is "The Smart Woman's Guide to Buying and Renovating Real Estate for Profit." The point could be made that women are the smarter sex when it comes to real estate. Gloria Allred, forgive me, but women seem to possess an extra sense about housing values and what can be created from what looks like a tear-down shack thanmost males. After all, it was a woman named Sarah Winchester who created San Jose's spectacular Winchester Mystery House. She kept a crew of remodelers busy on her house from 1884 until her death in 1922, earning the premier place in the remodeling hall of fame. Brangham's book is full of useful advice on both renovation/remodeling and how to make a profit on rental property. Her lively writing style makes the book fun to read. It's an added bonus for Californians that Brangham once worked in Los Angeles, as a publicist for a builder, and currently lives in San Francisco. All too many books on this subject are written by people unfamiliar with the peculiar problems of our state.

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