The real estate investor checklist

Important questions to ask before getting started

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Editor's note: Robert Bruss is temporarily away. The following column from Bruss' "Best of" collection first appeared Sunday, March 26, 2006. If you are just starting your real estate investment career and want to learn all the benefits realty investments offer, first read "Real Estate Investor's Checklist" by longtime investor Robert Irwin. Rather than being a dull book about real estate investments (there are lots of those), this is a lively checklist of important topics every realty investor should consider before investing or deciding what type of investment property is best. When I first began reading this unusual book, I thought to myself, "This seems like a dumb format." But after reading several chapters, I realized what a brilliant idea it is to have boldface questions, followed by brief answer explanations of a paragraph or two. If a topic doesn't interest you, just skip ahead to the next topic in which you are interested. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online...