If you are considering the benefits of investing in real estate, reading “The Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing” by Gary W. Eldred is a good resource to determine if you should start acquiring property. This is a basic real estate investment book that explains the advantages of realty investments and warns of the possible pitfalls in a positive format.
In his latest book, longtime realty investor Gary Eldred shares his many property investment experiences, especially his success tips, which he has learned as an investor. Readers will enjoy the author’s advice for avoiding investment and management mistakes, as well as his practical suggestions based on many years of experience.
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For example, Eldred recommends being firm with rental tenants. “Tenants who can’t pay today will rarely pay tomorrow,” he advises.
However, most of the book is devoted to explaining why investing in real estate is usually a long-term profitable investment rather than a quick-profit opportunity. But the author doesn’t hesitate to mention the possible investment pitfalls, such as why it is often smart to buy during a “down market” rather than purchasing when property prices are rising.
Eldred emphasizes the many profit opportunities when investing in rental property. He explains the major benefits, such as appreciation in market value, cash flow, mortgage principal reduction paid by the tenants, possible below-market value purchase prices, making profitable improvements, and tax shelter advantages.
The author also shows how to buy investment real estate for little or no cash from the investor’s pocket. It’s called real estate leverage. That means controlling a property with little cash investment. But Eldred doesn’t hesitate to also explain high leverage can increase risk for the investor, especially if the rental cash flow is inadequate.
The book explains 27 ways to find bargain-priced properties. Although some are a bit far-fetched, most are very practical and realistic. Having used many of these methods myself, I found the review to be very profitable reading.
The chapter about buying foreclosures and REOs (real estate owned by foreclosing lenders) is a bit superficial but nonetheless still valuable. Serious foreclosure property buyers will need more detailed information to tap this potentially profitable but sometimes risky source of bargain investment properties.
This basic survey book for “newbie” real estate investors is also a superb summary of why real estate investments can be so profitable and how to make rental properties long-term sound investments.
The book’s best chapter explains realty negotiation basics. For example, Eldred says, “Never offer to split the difference.” He says that means don’t suggest arriving at a purchase price halfway between the buyer’s latest purchase offer and the seller’s latest counteroffer. The reason, the author says, is because splitting the difference means the seller is already thinking of cutting his price so that indicates the seller might go even lower.
“Never let your agent do your negotiating for you. Don’t give your agent information you do not want the other side to learn. Do not let on to your agent that you’re willing to pay a higher price than your first offer. Use your agent as a fact finder and intermediary. But guard your emotions, confidences, and intentions,” Eldred wisely advises.
The last few chapters of the book involve important issues to be considered when leasing property, such as whether or not to accept pets in a residential rental, security deposits amounts, and even evictions.
Eldred even recommends renting the classic 1991 horror film “Pacific Heights” where Michael Keaton was the demented tenant who torments his landlords (Melanie Griffith and Matthew Modine) to learn what landlords shouldn’t do.
Chapter topics include “Get Started Now”; “Multiple Paths to Building Wealth”; “Strengthen Your Credit Power”; “How to Invest Using Little or None of Your Own Cash”; “Forget the Banks, Seek Out Seller Financing”; “How to Come Up with the Money to Close”; “27 Ways to Find or Create Below-Market Deals”; “Make Money with Foreclosures and REOs”; “How to Write Your Purchase Offer”; and “12 Secrets of Successful Landlording.”
Even experienced real estate investors will enjoy this excellent new book, which reviews the basics of realty investing and then adds some twists that longtime investors might overlook. Author Gary Eldred does an admirable job of emphasizing why real estate investment pays off for investors who know what they are doing. On my scale of one to 10, this superb new book rates a solid 10.
“The Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing,” by Gary W. Eldred (John Wiley and Sons, Hoboken, NJ), 2004, $14.95, 285 pages; Available in stock or by special order at local bookstores, public libraries and www.amazon.com.
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