This should clear up a bit of the math (as well as a general walkthrough) on the game Build-a-Lot. When all else fails, I�m also attaching a bit of a cheat to open up �casual mode� as well as making all the scenarios accessible at the same time. General rules of thumb:

  • It is almost always better to flip your house at 2 stars than 3 stars if you want to just sell it.
  • 4 Stars are more profitable on the smaller houses.
  • The percentage on the overall value of house that goes into rent increases when you add stars.
  • On a Tudor:
    • Base house: 3.16%
    • 1 Star: 3.45%
    • 2 Stars: 4.4%
    • 3 Stars: 6.35%
  • On a Colonial and Tudor, flipping the house at 3 stars will gain you LESS net profit than if you did it at 2.
  • If you need to HAVE a specific house at the end of a scenario, it�s always cheaper to build your own than buy one.
  • The above applies to any house. Including lot fees.
  • For example, in the �build 5 Tudors� scenario, at basic (no discount) construction costs, building a Tudor costs $55K. If you bought it, it costs $150K. If you buy a Rambler, demolish it, and then build on top, it still only cost $80K. How does that work? When you buy a house, you�re paying $25K of it on the lot. So it�s only $25K extra to buy a house and demolish.
  • Always flip your first house. It�ll give you enough startup funds to pay for materials and whatnot. In later scenarios, keep in mind that the most logical progression is:
    • Build a Sawmill
    • Spend $75k on materials
    • Build a workshop
    • Build a bank, set it to donate
    • Hire a worker if you have to, and build the most expensive house you can afford.
    • upgrade the house to 2 stars if Rambler and mansion, 4 stars everything else if you can afford it. NEVER sell anything at 3 stars.
    • flip it
    • Buy materials at the cheapest bulk rate
    • Hire some workers and build the most expensive houses you can
    • upgrade those to 4 stars if you plan to keep them. Rent is proportional to the money you spend on it by %.
  • Upgrade and inspect houses in between rent periods. As soon as that dollar sign goes cha-ching, click on upgrade. That should keep you from missing payments.

Here�s a table detailing the math. The cost of the houses does not take into account the number of builders needed, bulk / sawmill discounts, or the fact that you almost never get the asking price.

Now, onto the big stuff. Really stuck on a level? Well, there is no difficulty level setting, and it can get pretty hard. So here�s how to open up all the scenarios - don�t go around changing the score though - that isn�t what this is about.

1. Search for the file buildalot.ini - don�t forget to check �search system folders� and �search hidden files and folders� as well as �search subfolders�.

2. Double-click on the file and it should open up in a plain text editor like notepad.

3. Find your profile name. That�s the name you gave the game when you boot it up. Mine�s Sally. You only have to change values after [User 0] and before [User 1].

4. Now, look for �LevelStatus� followed by numbers. 0 means you haven�t played it yet, 2 means you�ve passed, 3 means you experted it. Change them all to 3.

5. Now look for �LevelNumPlays� and change all of those to 1�s.

6. Change all the �CityGift�s to 1�s as well.

7. Change all the �CasualLevelStatus�s to 1�s.

8. Save the file.

9. Close everything and open the game. Now, when you click on the main screen, you should be able to access all the missions as well as all the casual levels.

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