|Real estate notebook
The 10 best real
estate books of 2000
Friday, December 08, 2000 By Robert J. Bruss
Tribune Media Services
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Each year I read at least 52 real estate books before selecting the "10
best." There were so many outstanding new realty books in 2000, the task was more
difficult than usual. With an advance apology to each author who didn't make the list, in
no special order, here are the 10 best real estate books of 2000:
"SAMS TEACH YOURSELF E-REAL ESTATE TODAY" by Jack Segner (Sams
Publishing-Macmillan USA, Indianapolis, $17.99, 236 pages) explains how to buy, sell,
finance, auction and invest in real estate using the Internet. This well-researched
reference book should be consulted by realty buyers, sellers, agents and property owners
for relevant Web sites. The author reviews individual Web site pros and cons, emphasizing
how to maximize each site's usefulness.
"HOW TO MAKE BIG MONEY IN REAL ESTATE" by Tyler G. Hicks (Prentice Hall,
Paramus, N.J., $14.95, 319 pages) offers enthusiastic encouragement to novice and
experienced real estate investors. The author, a long-time successful realty investor,
shares his low- and no-down-payment investment strategies, along with practical tips on
property management and long-term profit strategies.
"HOW TO BUY AND SELL YOUR HOME WITHOUT GETTING RIPPED OFF" by Patricia Boyd
and Lonny Coffey (Dearborn Financial Publishing Co., Chicago, $16.95, 178 pages) explains
the pitfalls of buying, selling and financing your home. The authors warn readers how to
spot unscrupulous realty agents and lenders. Emphasis is on checklists to avoid costly
"FIVE MAGIC PATHS TO MAKING A FORTUNE IN REAL ESTATE" by James Lumley (John
Wiley and Sons, New York, $14.95, 285 pages) is filled with sound, practical advice
explaining how beginner realty investors can earn big profits. Emphasis is on buying
bargain properties, such as fixer-uppers, offering maximum profit potential. This book is
so good it is almost in the "classic" real estate books category.
"REAL ESTATE RAINMAKER" by Dan Gooder Richard (John Wiley and Sons, New York,
$24.95, 278 pages) should be read by every real estate agent. The author's enthusiasm for
building realty sales volume is contagious. He explains why old business-building methods,
such as "farming," don't work anymore. Numerous examples of successful
"rainmaker" business builder techniques make the book profitable reading.
"BUY YOUR FIRST HOME, SECOND EDITION" by Robert Irwin (Dearborn-Kaplan
Publishing Co., Chicago, $15.95, 179 pages) is an excellent "how to buy a home"
book. Written in layperson's language, it is easy to understand, yet filled with essential
facts and advice home buyers need to know. Irwin emphasizes how to find and buy the right
house, at the right price, and in the right neighborhood.
"THE TRUMPS" by Gwenda Blair (Simon and Schuster, New York, $30, 469 pages)
would make a great novel, but it's non-fiction. This is the biography of Friedrich Trump,
a German immigrant who earned a U.S. real estate fortune in the early 1900s; his son Fred,
Jr., who built on that base to become a realty multi-millionaire; and the legendary Donald
Trump who far surpassed his grandfather and father's real estate fortunes. Extremely
well-written and researched, this intriguing book teaches many realty lessons.
"EVERY LANDLORD'S LEGAL GUIDE, FOURTH EDITION" by Marcia Stewart and
attorneys Ralph Warner and Janet Portman (Nolo Press, Berkeley, Calif., $44.95, 355 pages,
CD-ROM forms included) is an easy-to-understand and well-documented explanation of
landlord dos and don'ts. Written in plain English, accompanied by practical advice, it
makes landlord-tenant law understandable. With emphasis on preventing legal disputes, this
awesome book includes statutes from every state.
"BUY AND HOLD: SEVEN STEPS TO A REAL ESTATE FORTUNE" by David Schumacher
(Floating Gallery Press, 331 W. 57th St., New York; Order phone (800) 920-0999, $14.95,
306 pages) is the memoir of a successful multi-millionaire and long-time real estate
investor. It is filled with sage advice and answers to investment questions that readers
would want to ask of an experienced real estate mentor. Written primarily for serious
realty investors, it shares a lifetime of realty investment stories that will benefit
today's younger investors.
TO FIND A HOME AND GET A MORTGAGE ON THE INTERNET"
by Randy Johnson (John Wiley and Sons, New York, $16.95,
is an up-to-date guidebook for home buyers that explains
how to use the Internet to simplify the home quest.
The author, a long-time mortgage broker, explains
pros and cons of the primary realty Web sites. More
important, he focuses on how buyers can avoid costly
mistakes when home shopping and financing.
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"SECRETS OF A MILLIONAIRE REAL ESTATE INVESTOR" by Robert Shemin
(Dearborn-Kaplan Publishing Co., Chicago, $18.95, 166 pages) is a "how-to"
realty investment book explaining methods the author used to earn his real estate fortune
of more than 200 properties worth over $10 million. Although the author is a bit
aggressive, he shares his techniques, which might not suit every investor, including
tough, no-nonsense property management.
"THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO SECOND HOMES FOR VACATIONS, RETIREMENT AND INVESTMENT"
by Gary W. Eldred (John Wiley and Sons Inc., New York, $16.95, 278 pages) is about the
pros and cons of second residences. The well-respected author shares the pros and cons of
buying a property that won't be your primary residence.
"MAKING MONEY IN REAL ESTATE" By Carolyn Janik (Kiplinger Books, Washington,
D.C., $27.95, 282 pages) is a lively survey of realty investment alternatives, sharing the
pros and cons of each property type. This thoughtful book is long on philosophical
approaches to realty investing, but a bit short on practical examples.
"FINDING AND BUYING YOUR PLACE IN THE COUNTRY, FIFTH EDITION" By Les and
Carol Scher (Dearborn-Kaplan Publishing Co., Chicago, $27.95, 393 pages) is about locating
and buying a country residence. The co-authors, who moved to a rural area 15 years ago,
share their experiences and advice. Emphasis is on the legal aspects of buying a rural
property and the pitfalls to avoid.
"TIPS AND TRAPS WHEN BUYING A CONDO, CO-OP OR TOWNHOUSE" by Robert Irwin
(McGraw-Hill, New York, $14.95, 182 pages) explains the pros and cons of buying these
special types of homes. The focus is on the negatives to consider, the "red
flag" warnings of a bad complex, and questions prospective buyers should ask before
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