Only because of the superb reputation of long-time real estate author Tyler G. Hicks should his latest book with the long title, “209 Fast Spare-Time Ways to Build Zero Cash Into 7 Figures a Year in Real Estate,” be seriously considered.

This unusual real estate book, written by a unique author, offers extremely positive, upbeat advice to beginner and experienced real estate investors about how to get started and why it is important to continually buy for zero cash from the investor’s pocket.

Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.

Hicks is an author like none other. He constantly refers to readers as “good friend,” even giving his phone number and inviting reader calls from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The author says he is “director” of a New York City mortgage lender, but he never gives its name. Yet he frequently comments how eager lenders are to make real estate loans.

If this is your first Tyler G. Hicks book, reading it takes some acclimation. Having read all of his real estate books for at least 25 years, I’m used to his writing style. He’s positive, enthusiastic and always encouraging. This latest book includes perhaps 100 excerpts from letters he received from readers of his prior books, explaining how they profited. Hicks even invites readers to visit his Manhattan office to inspect the letters. I’d like to do that someday, just to meet this one-of-a-kind author.

Although I didn’t count the real estate investment finance methods briefly explained, I’ll give Hicks the benefit of the doubt that there really are 209 methods explained. He emphasizes, “In real estate, you are in the borrowed-money business; this means that it is easier for you to start by using Other People’s Money (OPM) even if your credit is not the best when you start.”

What makes the book especially interesting and relevant are the many examples from the letters Hicks has received from readers of his previous real estate books. If the book has a fault, it is the author and the numerous letters make it sound like real estate investing is too easy.

It has been a long time since Hicks wrote his previous book. Frankly, I thought he might have passed on. But I’m glad he wrote this book to remind real estate investors of the basic no-money-down investment techniques, which still work today. “Build your real estate wealth on other people’s money” is the author’s basic philosophy.

Although the book is filled with generalities, it is lacking in specifics. Hicks mentions many realty alternatives, but the numbers of his examples are rather vague. To illustrate, the author says, “If the seller wants cash, offer the asking price for the property but zero cash down.” Examples from the author’s recent personal real estate experiences would have reinforced the advice.

But the book’s major benefit is its positive attitude for investors. “You have an unlimited potential, good friend, in what you can do in residential income real estate,” Hicks advises.

Chapter topics include “Build Your Real Estate Wealth on Other People’s Money”; “How to Base Your Real Estate Riches on Borrowed Money”; “Start Your Real Estate Empire Without Using Any of Your Own Cash”; “Bootstrap Your Way to Your Real Estate Cash”; “Use Single-Family Homes for Your Quick Real Estate Start-Up”; “Where to Find Money for Your Real Estate Wealth Building”; “Creative Financing of Your Real Estate Fortune”; “Find and Use Unique and Unusual Funding Sources”; “Use Sellers Having Built-in Funding for Your Deals”; and “Save Time and Build Your Real Estate Fortune Faster.”

It is always a pleasure to read a Tyler Hicks real estate book. His latest is filled with sage advice plus lots of success example letters from readers of his previous books. After the reader gets accustomed to the author’s unique writing style, this is a pure-pleasure, profitable read. On my scale of one to 10, this outstanding book rates a solid 10.

“209 Fast Spare-Time Ways to Build Zero Cash Into 7 Figures a Year in Real Estate,” by Tyler G. Hicks (John Wiley and Sons, Hoboken, NJ), 2004, $14.95, 254 pages; Available in stock or by special order at local bookstores, public libraries and

(For more information on Bob Bruss publications, visit his
Real Estate Center


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