There isn’t much new from the previous best-seller editions in Robert G. Allen’s “Nothing Down for the 2000s.” Whether you are a beginner home buyer or real estate investor, or a seasoned “old pro” real estate tycoon, Allen’s latest edition is still a great read.
Before continuing with this book review, I must confess what I learned in the original edition of “Nothing Down” earned me substantial profits. I even took Robert Allen’s weekend course when he personally taught it. As I recall, the cost was around $295. Today, his course costs thousands of dollars.
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Most prospective home buyers and real estate investors are not fully aware what nothing down really means. It does not mean the property seller won’t receive any cash. Often, the nothing-down seller receives 100 percent cash and walks away with a smile. But nothing down does mean the buyer doesn’t come up with any cash from his/her own pocket.
For example, I recall one nothing-down residence purchase where my community bank made me a 75 percent mortgage loan and I borrowed the other 25 percent on my credit line with the same bank. That is 100 percent financing of which the lender was fully aware. In fact, that bank even featured the fixed-up home in its newsletter as an example of the bank’s community reinvestment.
Having personally bought and sold many properties for nothing down, I shall always be grateful to Robert Allen for teaching me and millions of others about the many benefits of buying real estate for zero cash from our pockets.
If you are looking for a detailed, exciting, thrilling “how to” book about becoming a real estate tycoon with zero cash from your pocket, you will be disappointed by Allen’s latest book. However, if you are realistic and can plod through lots of inspirational go-go material, you will love this new book.
Although I didn’t keep count, the author explains dozens of nothing-down real estate purchase techniques. Most are easily understandable. I have personally used many of these methods. However, some methods are not easy to understand.
The key to nothing down real estate purchase success, as Allen emphasizes over and over, is to buy from a motivated property seller. Much of the book is devoted to secrets for finding these motivated sellers, such as contacting out-of-town absentee owners and landlords advertising houses to rent in a slow local rental market.
This is one of the very few “must read” books for serious real estate investors. The author has a skill for explaining virtually all the no-cash realty purchase methods. But the book would have been much more valuable by some recent personal examples of the author’s realty no-down acquisitions. However, I understand he now earns so much money from his realty seminars he doesn’t have time to invest in real estate.
Chapter topics include “You Can Still Make a Fortune in Real Estate”; “They’re Not Making Any New Land”; “It’s Time to Pursue Your Passions”; “The Don’t-Wanter Seller: You Pick the Price and the Terms”; “Just How Much Money are You Going to Make”; “Negotiations: The First Person to Mention a Number Loses”; “How to Get What You Want Without Using Cash”; “Short-Term Funds from Hard-Money Lenders”; “Some Great Tips on Buying Law, Refinancing High”; “Using Paper to Achieve Your Investment Goals”; “Seven More Nothing-Down Techniques”; “Greed and Need: Using Partners”; and “Overcoming the 10 Biggest Roadblocks to Your Success.”
This new book has great material presented in a dull way. The publisher is to blame for creating a boring format. Only highly motivated investors will finish reading the book.
Blame the publisher for taking well-written material and making it difficult to read. For home buyers and realty investors who sincerely want to acquire real estate for nothing down, this is a great book. On my scale of one to 10, this new book rates a solid 10.
“Nothing Down for the 2000s,” by Robert G. Allen (Free Press-Simon and Schuster, New York), 2004, $25.00, 281 pages; Available in stock or by special order at local bookstores, public libraries and amazon.com.
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