Tips and Picks

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Real Estate ownership is probably the simplest & most direct means of people becoming rich today. One of the keys to prospering through real estate is the ability to think creatively, and use available information to see opportunities missed by others. This is a very learnable skill, and there are some very good books out there to help develop this skill. Here is a "book report" on my favorite "top 5" books for Real Estate investors:

1. "Real Estate Riches" by Dolf de Roos. This is part of the "Rich Dad Advisor" series and in 160 pages, has more great ideas on how to find, buy, manage, sell andthink Real Estate than any other book that I have read. Many of the opinions and tactics presented in this book will make your Realtor, banker, lawyer, and parents cringe, but most of these ideas are just common sense. Best quote in the book:"The Deal of the Decade Comes along About Once a Week"! Published by Warner Books, available @ Chapters, Amazon $24.95.

2. "Rich Dad" Series by Robert Kiyosaki. Currently 5 books: "Rich Dad, Poor Dad"; "Cash Flow Quadrant"; "Rich Dad's Guide to Investing"; "Rich Kid, Smart Kid"; and "Retire Young, Retire Rich". I have lumped all of these books into one selection because they all expand and develop a few powerful themes. A few of these themes are: "Relying on a safe, secure job almost guarantees that you won't get rich." "How you make your money is more important that how much money you make." and "Using leverage is critical, and the most powerful leverage is your mind!" Published by Warner Books/Cash Flow Technologies. Chapters Books or Amazon are good sources, prices range from $20 to $30.

3. "Buy It By The Acre, Sell It By The Foot" by Sam & Sheldon Allman. This tells the detailed, step by step story of a Vancouver Island subdivision development. From the initial desire to do something, through finding something, raising money, and taking the project through governments, banks, construction, etc. to sale. The story, told by the developer/author, is practical, entertaining and interspersed with 37 "Great Truths". Best Quote: "If you've ever lost any money in a real estate deal, this book will tell you where it went." Published by Crossroads Press, available at Chapters/Indigo $19.95.

4. "Buffettology" by Mary Buffett and David Clark. This book explains the methodology and calculation processes that Warren Buffett - the World's most successful investor - uses to identify businesses that he feels are worthwhile investments. There is no mention of Real Estate in this book, and, in fact, Buffett does not invest in pure Real Estate. However, what he does do as an investor considering investments, is bring an approach and discipline to the selection process that can be applied to Real Estate. Think of this as enjoyable "cross-training" for the Real Estate game! Available @ Amazon.com $17.95.

5. "The Real Estate Game" by William Poorvu. The author is head of the Real Estate program at Harvard Business School, but don't hold that against him - he is also a very experienced owner/developer/manager of his own properties. This book is a very systematic examination of the decision making process in the real estate business from the viewpoint of small and medium-sized players. It is interspersed with a good number of case studies & provides a great "back of the envelope" analysis tool. Available @ Chapters & Amazon $29.05.

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