Don’t fall for real estate shortcuts

Mood of the Market

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I recently read a blog post offering the writer's take on the "Four Fundamentals of Financial Success." Now that's bold, I thought -- with all the complexities involved in the massive field of personal finance, to claim that you've narrowed "success" at this endeavor down to four little ol' points. And it was a great effort, although one comprised of high-level philosophical tenets rather than nuts-and-bolts tips or how-to instructions.

Of course, as soon as I read it, I had to wonder: Could "success" at buying, selling, owning -- even renting -- real estate be boiled down to four points? I usually spend 5,000-10,000 words a week trying to help people achieve success in their real estate strategies, plans, actions and transactions.

But I want to believe that a short list of universal principles is possible, and I do generally believe that the rigor required in reducing complex subjects to pithy points forces you to ...