10 best real estate books of 2006

Each week I read and review at least one new real estatebook. At the end of each year, it is my honor to select from these 52 books the”top 10″ real estate books. 2006 was an especially difficult year toselect the best because there were so many new, high-quality realty books.

All of these excellent real estate books are available instock or by special order at local bookstores, public libraries, and www.Amazon.com. Here are the 10 best realestate books of 2006, plus five Honorable Mentions:

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1. “Trump-Style Negotiation,” by George Ross (JohnWiley and Sons, Hoboken, NJ), $24.95, 259 pages. This unique book offersinsights into Donald J. Trump’s big-thinking negotiation style, which leavesthe contract details to his trusted adviser, George Ross. Only serious realestate buyers, sellers, real estate agents and investors will study thisextremely well-written book that reveals negotiation tactics not foundelsewhere, illustrated with many actual examples from Trump acquisitions.

2. “The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner,” by DavidBach (Broadway Books, New York), $19.95, 244 pages. If you could read only onereal estate book, whether you are a renter considering a home purchase, acurrent homeowner, a seasoned realty investor or a real estate agent, this isthe book for you because it shows how home ownership can lead to wealth. The book’stwo themes are (a) renters can become millionaires by investing in their firsthouse or condo and (b) that residence can become the foundation for a betterhome or more investment property in future years.

3. “Buy Even Lower,” by Scott Frank and Andy Heller(Kaplan Publishing Co., Chicago) $18.95, 238 pages. Aimed at real estateinvestors and real estate sales agents, this book, by two full-time corporateexecutives and part-time realty investors, shows how they buy single-familyhouses at targeted below-market prices and then either buy and hold, buy andflip, or (their favorite) buy and lease-purchase. The authors favor “uglyand awful” three-bedroom, two-bathroom houses in middle-incomeneighborhoods.

4. “Real Estate Debt Can Make You Rich,” by SteveDexter (McGraw-Hill, New York), $21.95, 156 pages. The two audiences for thisbook, which explains why real estate debt is good, are (a) home buyers andrealty agents who want to understand the inner-workings of the mortgageindustry and (b) investors who need to know how “good debt” can becreated to maximize realty profits. The mortgage-broker author reveals howavoiding “inexperienced and inept loan hacks” can obtain the bestmortgages to buy a home or investment property. The book includes the best compilationof real estate Web sites available.

5. “Bubbles, Booms, and Busts; Make Money in Any RealEstate Market,” by Blanche Evans (McGraw-Hill, New York), $16.95, 167pages. This extremely well-researched and up-to-date book explains the signalsof local rising, falling or neutral local home sales markets, and how to profitin any situation if you take a long-term perspective on home sales.”Except for local economic shocks, like the collapse or exit of a majoremployer, home prices nationwide have not gone down since the GreatDepression,” the author reminds readers.

6. “Success as a Real Estate Agent for Dummies,”by Dirk Zeller (Wiley Publishing Co., Indianapolis, IN), $21.99, 350 pages.Whether you are a new real estate agent, a longtime “old pro” agentor an individual thinking about becoming an agent, this basic book by a realestate “coach” explains what is involved in selling real estate forsales commissions, how to use sales time management profitably, and how to getstarted fast by contacting expired listings and “for sale by owners.”The book includes an invaluable list of Web sites for realty agents plus theauthor’s advice how to gain competitive advantages by obtaining a “sliceof the market.”

7. “Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a Co-Op,Condo, or Townhouse,” by Ken Roth (AMACOM Publishing, New York), $18.95,197 pages. The real estate attorney author shares his many legal and real-lifepersonal experiences so readers don’t make costly mistakes when buying into theunique lifestyle of these properties. Heavy emphasis is placed on the pros andcons of homeowner associations, including “condo commando” memberswho seek to take charge of the “mini-democracy” members.

8. “Who Says You Can’t Buy a Home?” by David Reed(AMACOM Publishing, New York), $17.95, 182 pages. This mortgage-broker authoris on the side of home buyers and real estate agents as he explains howmortgage lenders look at borrowers in this “tell all” book.””Anyone with steady income, no matter how bad their credit rating, or evenwith no credit, can find a mortgage to buy a home,” the author reveals.

9. “Confessions of a Real Estate Entrepreneur,” byJames A. Randel (McGraw-Hill, New York), $29.95, 256 pages. This book’s themeis “add value” to real estate, whether you invest in raw land,houses, run-down factory buildings with rezoning potential, or fixer-upperapartments and offices. The self-deprecating author shares his mistakes and hissuccesses, along with his advice to invest with as little of your own cash aspossible so profits can be maximized. Negotiation strategies are heavilyemphasized throughout this unusual book.

10. “The Reverse Mortgage Advantage,” by WarrenBoroson (McGraw-Hill, New York), $21.95, 169 pages. Virtually all the keyaspects of senior-citizen reverse mortgages are thoroughly explained in thisdetailed but easy-to-read book that emphasizes the potential pitfalls as wellas the major benefits. The author shatters the reverse-mortgage myths, such as”the bank owns the house,” the supposed high costs, and even thescary stories of early reverse mortgages, which are no longer possible.


11. “Trump: The Best Real Estate Advice I EverReceived,” by Donald J. Trump (Thomas Nelson Publishers-Rutledge HillPress, Nashville), $19.99, 273 pages. This is the most unusual real estate bookof 2006 because it has 100 successful real estate investing, brokerage andmarketing co-authors (including me) who contributed 100 chapters revealing thebest realty advice ever received. What do all these realty entrepreneurs havein common (other than being very diverse individuals)? “Apprentice”Bill Ransic said it best: “Learn to recognize value.”

12. “Find it, Fix it, Flip it!” by Michael Corbett(Plume Books-Penquin Group, New York), $15.00, 323 pages. This author, host ofthe TV Extra program “Mansions and Millionaires,” created a techniqueof changing a fix-up home’s lifestyle from dull routine to upscale, but withouthigh renovation costs. The before-and-after photos are amazing. The “profitcalculator chart” shows readers how to spot the potential profit bypurchasing problem houses and correcting drawbacks to add value. This book isunique because the author shows how to add market value by improving thelifestyle of the buyer.

13. “Landlording on Auto-Pilot,” by Mike Butler(John Wiley and Sons, Hoboken, NJ), $19.95, 190 pages. Both “old pro”residential landlords and beginner novice property managers will profit fromthis unusual book about how to profitably manage the tenants in yourproperties. “Your tenants are your employees” is the philosophy ofthe retired, no-nonsense cop author who shares his basic belief that mosttenants would own their own homes if they had adequate income and good credit.

14. “Two Years to a Million in Real Estate,” by MatthewA. Martinez (McGraw-Hill, New York), $21.95, 182 pages. This is the successstory of an ex-dot-com employee who got tired of working long hours at a greatjob for 10 years and watching his fellow workers lose their jobs. Heaccidentally discovered real estate’s market-value appreciation, leverage, taxsavings, cash flow, reliability and freedom from a 9-to-5 workday. In theprocess, he became a multimillionaire, and he shows readers how they can havethe same result.

15. “Home Buying for Dummies, Third Edition,” byEric Tyson and Ray Brown (Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, IN), $21.99,328 pages. Because of its ultra-complete coverage of virtually everyhome-buying topic, this 600,000-copy best-seller in prior editions is still thebest “how to buy a home” book. The new edition adds extensivecoverage of Internet resources for home buyers, where more than 75 percent oftoday’s buyers begin their quest. This ultra-honest book even takes a fewswipes at inept real estate agents who make the home-buying process moredifficult than it needs to be.

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

Copyright 2006 Inman News

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