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The Unofficial Guide to Real Estate Investing (Unofficial Guides) [Paperback]

Spencer Strauss , Martin Stone
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

11 Aug 2003 Unofficial Guides (Book 47)
The inside scoop... for when you want more than the official line! We′ve all heard stories of the millionaire real–estate tycoons who started out by scraping together enough money for a down payment on a modest first property–or so the legend goes. And we′ve all seen the books that promise to show you how to make a million dollars buying houses with no money down. But when average people like us can barely pay the mortgage or the rent, we don′t need get–rich–quick schemes or hocus–pocus–we need the inside scoop on how real estate investing can improve our lives. The Unofficial Guide to Real Estate Investing, Second Edition, gives savvy readers like you a foolproof appraisal of everything from the most basic concepts of real estate investing to complicated tax and financing formulations. Millions of Americans got burned when the Internet bubble burst and corporate scoundrels ran off with their retirement accounts. Now they′re discovering that real estate can be their ticket to a prosperous retirement. Fully updated to take account of new tax law changes and now including listings of current apartment owners′ associations in all 50 states, this new edition is friendlier and more comprehensive than ever. If you′re looking for a long–term investment that you can control–safe from robber barons and market swings–look no further than The Unofficial Guide to Real Estate Investing, Second Edition. ∗ Vital Information on the inside world of real estate investing ∗ Insider Secrets on tax shelter benefits ∗ Money–Saving Techniques for valuing property correctly and determining its most profitable use ∗ Time–Saving Tips on borrowing money and discovering which investments have the potential to turn into tomorrow′s hot properties ∗ The Latest Trends in hot real estate investing options ∗ Handy Checklists and charts that help you put together a top–rate investment plan, generate cash flow, and pick the best real estate agent


Product details

  • Paperback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 2nd Edition edition (11 Aug 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764537091
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764537097
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 13.2 x 20.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,137,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

The inside scoop... for when you want more than the official line! We’ve all heard stories of the millionaire real–estate tycoons who started out by scraping together enough money for a down payment on a modest first property–or so the legend goes. And we’ve all seen the books that promise to show you how to make a million dollars buying houses with no money down. But when average people like us can barely pay the mortgage or the rent, we don’t need get–rich–quick schemes or hocus–pocus–we need the inside scoop on how real estate investing can improve our lives. The Unofficial Guide to Real Estate Investing, Second Edition, gives savvy readers like you a foolproof appraisal of everything from the most basic concepts of real estate investing to complicated tax and financing formulations. Millions of Americans got burned when the Internet bubble burst and corporate scoundrels ran off with their retirement accounts. Now they’re discovering that real estate can be their ticket to a prosperous retirement. Fully updated to take account of new tax law changes and now including listings of current apartment owners’ associations in all 50 states, this new edition is friendlier and more comprehensive than ever. If you’re looking for a long–term investment that you can control–safe from robber barons and market swings–look no further than The Unofficial Guide to Real Estate Investing, Second Edition. Vital Information on the inside world of real estate investing Insider Secrets on tax shelter benefits Money–Saving Techniques for valuing property correctly and determining its most profitable use Time–Saving Tips on borrowing money and discovering which investments have the potential to turn into tomorrow’s hot properties The Latest Trends in hot real estate investing options Handy Checklists and charts that help you put together a top–rate investment plan, generate cash flow, and pick the best real estate agent

About the Author

Martin J. Stone, managing broker of Buckingham Investments, has been an investment property broker for nearly 30 years. Spencer Strauss is a real estate investment agent at Buckingham Investments in El Segundo, California. His investment analysis has been featured in Time, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, and other newspapers and periodicals.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for beginners 24 Sep 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I used this book intensively for a research in my university. It is great and outlines the process of investing in real estate from the very beginning to the very end. There are a lot of examples and everyday tips, the structure is easy to navigate, and the book is easy to read.
However, it focuses only on the US market (it doesn't mean it's not useful for other markets -- it still gives you the basis for further research) and sometimes is a bit simplistic.
I would recommend it as an introduction and as a "do-it-yourself" guide for people who want to start investing in real estate.
Another book I want to recommend is "Value investing in real-estate" that is not as comprehensive as this one, but gives a very interesting point of view on how to make investments in real estate more effective.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  57 reviews
63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent choice for novice real estate investors 24 May 2000
By MG - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is excellent, it covers most of the basics for first-time investors (and I expect that it is a great reference for the follow-on transactions). The section on valuation was particlarly useful. I also liked the idea of writing down an investment plan and checking your progress/udating it yearly. This will help keep you on track to achieve your goals.
I accidently left my copy on an airplane last weekend and am replacing it today. With information from this book, I hope to make an offer on my first investment property next week. However, one book is not enough. I suggest readers check out several other titles including "Real Estate Investing From A to Z" by W. H. Pivar and "Rental Houses for the Successful Small Investor" by S.P. Thomas.
43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Written by a committee - and it shows 26 Oct 2001
By Dallas A. Babineaux - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although this book was very well organized and clearly written, it lacks depth and detail... almost as if many things were "left out" for one reason or another. I moved on to my next title
"Investing in Real Estate" 3rd edition, and I'm only on chapter 3 and have already gotten more out of it than I received from "The Unofficial Guide". If your looking for a great book on the subject, I would suggest you forego this title and go for the "Investing in Real Estate" 3rd edition instead.
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be retitled "The OFFICIAL Guide" 27 April 2000
By Bryan Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Stone & Strauss have laid out a very well organized and easy to read masterpiece on real estate investing. The book focuses on an important aspect that most others miss- PLANNING for success by strategizing a step-by-step long term process instead of focusing on the unrealistic yet prevalent "get rich quick" strategy that so many of the other books try to lure you in with.
The chapters are well organized with real world case studies and great anecdotal information that go into great technical depth without taxing your comprehension in the process. Among the 16 valuable chapters is one dedicated to assisting the reader in building a long term investment plan that is tailored specifically to their needs.
I gotta go now,...there are quite a few 4-plexes out there to conquer.
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Realistic, Very Specific, Very Comprehensive 13 Feb 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is not entertaining. It doesn't have a catchy title. There aren't get rich quick schemes. You won't find a way to buy houses with no money down. You won't find a way to make money without lifting a finger. If you want a book lie that, read "rich dad, poor dad." However, that book will leave you frustrated because of it's endless babble about how some other guy got rich. It's basically a long pep talk.
In contrast, the Unofficial Guide gives you a realistic example of how and why this type of investing works. It goes into a great deal of detail about the benefits and drawbacks. It gives a pretty picture of the real estate business in an understandable manner and shows several different ways that profits can be made. It seems to be slightly geared towards investors who are interested in rental housing - especially buildings with 4+ units - but there is still more than enough information to justify any investor's purchase. Experienced investors would be helped if they aren't seeing very good profits or if they just want to renew their education and get some helpful points.
The only drawbacks to this book would be the way taxes are presented. There are several points that are a spread out over several chapters and I was left a little confused. It would've been a little better to do a full discussion of taxes from a very basic level in one of the first chapters, then reference that chapter throughout the book. Without a doubt, I still gained a better understanding than I had before, but it could've been done a little better...
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BY FAR THE BEST BOOK ON REAL ESTATE INVESTING 15 May 2000
By Lisa A Kaz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"The Unofficial Guide to Real Estate Investing" is by far the best book on real estate investing I've ever read! And, I've read them all! I have been actively investing in the stock market for years but always felt intimidated by real estate investments. That is until I found this gem of a book. It not only helps to clarify financial goals, but also provides very specific guidelines for acheiving those goals. Best of all, since applying what I have learned from the book, I have found their 40% return extremely conservative. I expect more than double that this year!
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