Top 10 Real Estate Books of 2000

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 mistakes.

"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.

"HOW TO FIND A HOME AND GET A MORTGAGE ON THE INTERNET"                      by Randy Johnson (John Wiley and Sons, New York, $16.95, 288 pages)         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.   To see the full review, click here. go5.gif (920 bytes)

HONORABLE MENTION.

"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 purchasing.

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