‘Nothing down’ home-buying book debuts

Don’t be misled by the title “Nothing Down forWomen” by Robert G. Allen and Karen Nelson Bell. Men should also study itstechniques. Although written primarily by Bell, a former Las Vegas showproducer, to show how she and her late husband, Duncan, became multimillionaireinvestors using Allen’s no-cash methods, Allen contributes his”Bobservations” at the end of each chapter.

Based on the revolutionary “Nothing Down” book byAllen written in the 1980s, this new book shows how Bell and her husbandapplied those methods to jumpstart their investment careers to becomemillionaires in four months and nine days after they lost their Las Vegasshow-producer jobs.

Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.

The book even explains a few costly mistakes they made, suchas buying an out-of-state house based on an appraisal by a dishonest appraiser.After that, Bell learned to buy within an hour’s drive of her Las Vegas home.

Each chapter (called a “helping” for someunexplained reason) explains the techniques Bell used to get started andprogress by acquiring single-family houses. Some houses are held for long-terminvestment; others were sold for quick profits soon after acquisition andfix-up.

The key to successful buying without cash from theinvestor’s pocket (that’s the definition of “nothing down”) is tolook for houses for sale by motivated sellers. Bell explains how to find thesemotivated sellers and what constitutes a highly motivated seller who is likelyto be cooperative. When the seller indicates lack of motivation, Bell uses herfavorite four-letter word “next” and moves on to the next prospectiveseller.

Throughout the book, Bell uses many examples from her”nothing-down” experiences to illustrate the topics. For example, sheexplains how to find a buyer for a house even before she takes title to it,thus using the buyer’s down-payment cash to buy the house before reselling itat a substantial profit.

The only part of the book with which I disagree is in thechapter about using lease-options to sell houses.

As a longtime successful user of lease-options, I dislikedBell’s statement: “By the way, the option payment is nonrefundable. So ifthe tenant decides to move on, you actually will be just fine, because you’llnow take a new tenant’s option payment. Wow, does that mean that you don’tactually want the person to buy the property? Nod your head up and down. Yes!That’s exactly what it means! Of course, if he does take the option, you’rehappy to have done an enlightened deal.”

By charging her tenants above-market rent and offering themonly small rent credits toward the purchase price, such as just $200 per month,Bell provides little incentive for the tenant to exercise his/her purchaseoption. Yet, under Bell’s lease-option terms, the tenant is responsible for allmaintenance during the lease period. That’s hardly a fair deal for thelease-option tenant.

Chapter topics include “Nothing Down for Blondes (WhyWomen Make Better Investors Than Men)”; “The Truth Behind NothingDown”; “Make Money in Real Estate No Matter What ‘The Market’ isDoing”; “Why Real Estate Beats the Stock Market”; “100Percent Rate of Return”; “Retire in 10 Years with 10 Houses”;”Fix Your Credit”; “Finding Deals”; “Why SellersBecome Motivated”; “Figuring Out the Deal”;”Foreclosures”; “Risk-Free Contracts”; “FundingNothing Down”; “Farming”; and “Fun Finale.”

This is a fast-paced, well-written book with short chapters,each followed by a quiz to be sure the reader understands the main points. Theauthor’s many personal experiences, good and bad, make for easy understandingof what could otherwise be a boring book. On my scale of one to 10, thiswell-organized book rates a solid 10.

“Nothing Down for Women,” by Robert G. Allen andKaren Nelson Bell (Free Press-Simon & Schuster, New York), 2007, $26;405 pages; available in stock or by special order at local bookstores, publiclibraries and www.Amazon.com.

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

Copyright 2007 Inman News

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