Real Estate Investing For Dummies

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John Wiley & Sons, Mar 8, 2011 - Business & Economics - 384 pages
2 Reviews
"This is simply the best book on the topic.”
—Randall Bell, Author, Home Owner's Manual

"Tyson and Griswold have truly opened the world of real estate investing to all by tackling often complex issues in this easy to understand and use book. I can't think of a better way to get smart about building wealth through rental properties than to read their excellent Real Estate Investing For Dummies!"
—Vern Hoven, CPA

Non-prime time TV is cluttered with infomercials about how you can buy non-prime real estate for next to nothing and get rich quick. Common sense should tell you that’s an exaggeration. (If common sense doesn’t tell you, bankers will.) Nevertheless, it is possible to get rich gradually by investing in real estate. Long term, you can expect to realize an annual return of 8 to 10% a year.

Real Estate Investing for Dummies gives you the keys to successful real estate investment, whether it’s in single family homes and condos, apartments, vacation homes, commercial properties (office, industrial, and retail), raw land, or REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts). With guidance from authors Eric Tyson, MBA, a financial counselor, and Robert S. Griswold, a veteran real estate investor, you’ll discover how to:

  • Find and buy the best properties at a fair price
  • Capitalize on opportunities such as foreclosures, no money down deals, auctions, tax sales, and more
  • Secure financing and good mortgage terms
  • Value, evaluate, and negotiate everything to do with real estate
  • Work with agents and other professionals
  • Project income potential and cash flow
  • Handle contracts, inspections, and closings

Whether you’re interested in a fixer supper for rental, premier office space you can lease, or a vacation home you can enjoy and rent, when you become a buyer, you also become a landlord. That means you can hear from tenants any time, night or day. It means you may not hear from them when the rent is due. Real Estate Investing for Dummies also helps you:

  • Find and keep good tenants
  • Negotiate lease agreements
  • Insure and maintain your property
  • Keep good records for tax and accounting purposes

Remember, with any deal, you have to know when to hold them and know when to fold them. So Real Estate Investing for Dummies gives you guidelines on when and how to sell and how to reinvest to build wealth. It also lists 10 real estate investments you shouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole. Especially if you’re tempted by those late-night infomercials, that warning could save you a fortune!


What people are saying - Write a review

User Review  - Sandra R. -

these book series are always great. They breakdown complicated and confusing concepts into easier readings. It really helps you understand the subject. Overall very informative book. I will be buying more "for dummies" books for future interesting topics. Read full review

Thinking of investing in Real Estate Buy this NOW

User Review  - airy123 -

GREAT resource to learn about real estate investing Read full review


Foolish Assumptions
How This Book Is Organized
Operating the Property
Where to Go from Here
Part I
Chapter 1
Comparing Real Estate to Other Investments
Figuring Net Operating Income
Moving from fiction to useful figures
Tallying operating expenses
Calculating Cash Flow
Servicing debt
Accounting for Commercial Property Lease Options
Balancing things out
Three Basic Approaches to Value

Capital requirements
Ability to add value
Determining Whether You Should Invest in Real Estate
Does real estate interest you?
Protect yourself with insurance
Consider retirement account funding
Chapter 2
Buying a place of your own
Serial home selling
Vacation homes
Investing in Residential Income Properties
Attached housing
Considering Commercial Real Estate
Uncovering Undeveloped Land
Researching Real Estate Investment Trusts
Distinguishing between public and private REITs
Chapter 3
Reality or myth
Finding those unique properties
Flipping Out over Buying and Flipping
Heeding the risks
Lender REO Real Estate Owned
Looking Into Lease Options
Probing Probate Sales and Auctions
Real estate auctions
Taking the Passive Approach
Triple net properties
Notes and trust deeds
Tax lien certificate sales
Limited partnerships
Chapter 4
Establishing Your Team Early
Finding a Financial Advisor
Lining Up a Lender or Mortgage Broker
Building relationships
Working with Real Estate Brokers and Agents
How to find a good broker or agent
Making the most of your agent
Considering an Appraiser
Finding an Attorney
Part II
Chapter 5
Forgetting the myth of no money down
Overcoming down payment limitations
Turning to low entry cost options
Rounding Up the Required Cash
Tap into other common cash sources
Advanced funding strategies
Chapter 6
Fixedrate mortgages
Adjustablerate mortgages ARMs
Reviewing Other Common Fees
Making Some Decisions
Deciding between short and longterm
Borrowing Against Home Equity
Mortgages That Should Make You Think Twice
Recourse financing
Seller Financing
Chapter 7
Mulling over mortgage brokers
Web surfing for mortgages
Solving Loan Predicaments
Polishing your credit report
Conquering insufficient income
Dealing with low property appraisals
Part III
Chapter 8
The Big Picture
Population growth
Investigating Your Local Real Estate Market
Supply and demand
Path of progress
Considering barriers to entry
Governments effect on real estate
Comparing Neighborhoods
Crime rates
What attracts you to the property?
Mastering Sellers Markets and Buyers Markets
Timing the real estate market
Chapter 9
Lease transferability and analysis
Comprehending residential leases
Understanding Principles of Valuation
Determining highest and best use
Comparing fair market value and investment value
Establishing Value Benchmarks
Gross rentincome multiplier
Price per unit and square foot
Replacement cost
Chapter 10
Cost approach
Income capitalization approach
Deciding How Much to Pay
Finding properties where you can add value
Chapter 11
Building your knowledge base
Assembling attractive and realistic offers
Making Your Offer
Completing the purchase agreement
Presenting the purchase agreement
Chapter 12
Opening Escrow
Preliminary title report
Estimating the closing date
Reviewing the books and records
Inspecting the property
Negotiating Credits in Escrow
Determining How to Hold Title
Joint tenancy
Tenancy in common
Limited Liability Company
Closing the Transaction
Estimated closing statement
Title insurance
Property insurance
Final closing statement
Deed recording and property takeover
Part IV
Chapter 13
Being your own property manager
Hiring professional management
Avoiding Discrimination Complaints
Being fair to families and children
Dealing with tenants with disabilities
Working with Existing Tenants
Entering into a new rental agreement
Increasing rents
Renting Vacancies
Determining lease length
Setting the rent
Deciding on security deposits
Adding value through renovations and upgrades
Advertising for tenants
Showing your rental
Accepting applications and deposits
Verifying rental applications
Dealing with rental cosigners
Signing Leases and Collecting Money
Collecting the money
Inspecting the property with your tenant
Chapter 14
Getting the Insurance You Need
Understanding insurance options
Determining the right deductible
Talking with tenants about renters insurance
Chapter 15
Maintaining property records
Filing made easy
Accounting for Your Rental Activities
Documenting income and expenses
Creating a budget and managing your cash flow
Doing your accounting manually
Using software
Chapter 16
Understanding the Tax Angles
Minimizing income taxes
Exit Strategies
Outright sale
Installment sale
Using taxdeferred exchanges
Using the capital gains exclusion
Looking at lease options
Gifts and bequests
Part V
Chapter 17
Reduce Turnover
Consider Lease Options
Maintain and Renovate
Cut Back Operating Expenses
Refinance and Build Equity Quicker
Be Prepared to Move On
Improve Management
Chapter 18
Build up Savings and Clean up Credit
Buy Property in the Path of Progress
Renovate Property Right
Keep Abreast of Market Rents
Reposition Property with Better Tenants
Superior Management Increases Income and Value
Consolidate Holdings into Larger Properties

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About the author (2011)

Eric Tyson, MBA, is a best-selling author and syndicated columnist. Through his counseling, writing, and teaching, he equips people to manage their personal finances better and successfully direct their investments. Eric is a former management consultant to Fortune 500 financial service firms and has successfully invested in real estate for more than two decades.
Eric earned his Bachelor’s degree in economics at Yale and an MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Despite these handicaps to clear thinking, he had the good sense to start his own company, which took an innovative approach to teaching people of all economic means about investing and money.
An accomplished freelance personal finance writer, Eric is the author of the national bestsellers Personal Finance For Dummies and Investing For Dummies, co-author of Home Buying For Dummies and Taxes For Dummies, and was an award-winning columnist for the San Francisco Examiner. His work has been featured and quoted in dozens of national and local publications, including Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and Bottom Line/Personal; and on NBC’s Today Show, ABC, CNBC, PBS’s Nightly Business Report, CNN, CBS national radio, Bloomberg Business Radio, and Business Radio Network. He’s also been a featured speaker at a White House conference on retirement planning.
Despite his “wealth” of financial knowledge, Eric is one of the rest of us. He maintains a large inventory of bumblebee colored computer books on his desk for those frequent times when his computer makes the (decreasing amount of) hair on his head fall out.

Robert S. Griswold, MSBA, is a successful real estate investor and hands-on property manager with a large portfolio of residential and commercial rental properties who uses print and broadcast journalism to bring his many years of experience to his readers, listeners, and viewers.
He is the author of Property Management For Dummies and the host of a live weekly radio talk show, Real Estate Today!, now in its 14th year ( Robert is also the real estate expert for NBC San Diego with a regular on-air live caller segment since 1995. He’s also the lead columnist for the syndicated “Rental Roundtable” and “Rental Forum” columns published in dozens of major newspapers throughout the country and has been recognized twice as the #1 real estate broadcast journalist in the nation by the National Association of Real Estate Editors.
Robert’s educational background includes having earned BS and two master’s degrees in real estate, business economics, and finance from the University of Southern California. His real estate investing and managing professional designations include the CRE (counselor of real estate), the CPM (certified property manager), the CCIM (certified commercial investment member), and the GRI (graduate, Realtor Institute).
Mr. Griswold has been retained on hundreds of legal matters as an expert in the standard of care and custom and practice for all aspects of real estate ownership and management in both state and federal cases throughout the country. Robert is the president of Griswold Real Estate Management, managing residential, commercial, retail, and industrial properties throughout southern California and Nevada.
On a personal level, Robert enjoys travel (particularly cruises), sports, and family activities. He truly enjoys real estate and tries to keep life in perspective through humor!

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