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Start Small, Profit Big in Real Estate: Fixer Jay's 2-Year Plan for Building Wealth - Starting from Scratch Paperback – December 7, 2004


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Frequently Bought Together

Start Small, Profit Big in Real Estate: Fixer Jay's 2-Year Plan for Building Wealth - Starting from Scratch + Investing in Fixer-Uppers : A Complete Guide to Buying Low, Fixing Smart, Adding Value, and Selling (or Renting) High + Building Wealth One House at a Time: Making it Big on Little Deals
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (December 7, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071443800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071443807
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

A 2-year program for finding ugly duckling houses--and turning them into beautiful, wealth-producing swans

In Start Small, Profit Big in Real Estate, legendary real estate investor "Fixer Jay" DeCima opens his toolbox and shares his secrets to finding beauty--and big money---in rundown houses. He explains how to find "properties with all the right things wrong" and, using a little money and a lot of elbow grease, transform them into the type of clean, affordable homes that good renters desire in every market.

How did DeCima go from virtually zero money to nearly $100,000 a month in rental income in a few short years? Start Small, Profit Big in Real Estate walks you through every step of the process, including:

  • 4 sources of real estate profits--rents, amortization, tax benefits, and appreciation--and how to maximize each
  • Types of houses that will consistently let you buy with the largest discount-to-value and most profitable terms
  • Sample rental agreements, independent contractor's agreements, information resources, and more

Getting rich in real estate is easier than you think. It requires little more than knowledge and initiative. Start Small, Profit Big in Real Estate will give you the knowledge you need to assemble a portfolio of top income-producing properties and a steady income for life--within just two years.

About the Author

Jay DeCima is the bestselling author of Investing in Fixer-Uppers and a veteran of more than 45 years of real estate investing. Over the past two decades, his home-study products and seminars have helped thousands of real estate investors launch their careers.


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Customer Reviews

I recommend this book for new RE investors.
G. Cohen
As one of a handful of real estate gurus recommended by John T Reed, Decima's books are very readable and accurate (with minor exceptions).
Hans
He says that most of the fixing up is low skilled labor that he can do himself cheaper than hiring it done.
John Matlock

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Hans on April 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
As one of a handful of real estate gurus recommended by John T Reed, Decima's books are very readable and accurate (with minor exceptions). What is refreshing is that he promotes the classic William Nickerson model...rather than the 'nothing down' nonsense (RichDad/Allen/etc.) or the speculation game (and interest only ARMs). Instead, buy a dumpy house (w/positive cashflow), put in the sweat equity, rent it out, repeat. It's hard work (and definately not sexy)...but the pay just can not be beat. Moreover, buying distressed homes under market protects your investment in the event of an economic downturn (if you bought at 30% discount and median home sales dip 10% - you can still sell at a profit)...and results in lower taxes (at least, in CA).
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on March 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
There are a lot of books on how to make money in real estate. Most of them say that you want to stay away from fixer uppers. They say that the time you spend fixing is time that you could better spend buying or selling.

Jay DeCima takes another view. He says that he buys Ugly Ducklings and then fixes them up to make them desirable rentals. He says that most of the fixing up is low skilled labor that he can do himself cheaper than hiring it done. This would include things like clean up and painting. Other more specialized things like installing a new toilet may be something you don't know how to do. So hire a plumber, but watch what he does so you'll at least know how later. He does say, however, that he knows a lot of such investors who contract out the work.

So called sweat equity is certainly a good way to get started. When I was looking for my present house, I looked at a rental. Comparing I found that about five years of rent would be equal to the purchase price of a house.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By David Ray Malone on March 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
Jay writing style makes it very easy to follow the material and not get bored. I felt there is a lot of useful information in the book. I would caution the reader that when I compared this book with some of his others, it seemed like each book had a lot of the same material. I would recommend this one, but would not recommend buying all of his books.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A. Small on February 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
I loved Fixer Jay's original book, Investing In Fixer Uppers, so I was thrilled to buy his second book as soon as I heard about it. It is an ok book, but it is his original book in a new cover. Even some of the sentences are the same. It was kind of like listening to a friend who tells you the same stories without remembering that he has told you already, using the same words, gestures and inflection. I was dissapointed that there is actually no explanation for creating a 2-year plan anywhere in the book. The closest thing that I could find to a 2-year plan, was a sentence on page 8 that said, "Two years after you acquire your first property, you should have a dependable income, assuming that you're following my strategies." Then comes an analogy that investing in real estate is like kissing frogs to find a prince. I suppose that it is, but it didn't help me with a 2-year plan. If you are interested in fixing up houses to rent for income, don't hesitate to buy Jay's first book-I have read it 5 times, and am using his strategies from that book right now, having just fixed up an older house in my neighborhood. With 3 month's part time work, I now have 28k in equity, and 209.00 per month positive cashflow, on my first fix-up ever, thanks to his first book. The house was even owner financed, 2% down, and deferred payments too! (Jay's strategies) Don't bother with the 2-year plan book though, because it isn't anything new.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mariusz Skonieczny on August 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
I think this is one of the best books on this subject. I've read many books on real estate and investing in general, this is one of the few that talks about real estate as a business. The author says that the biggest mistakes that inexperienced investors make is to treat this business like a hobby. One small rental house is a business just as 100 rental houses are. I cannot agree with the author any more. When you own a property, you are selling something that is called rental space. That's your revenue, and you also incur expenses. If you do it right, you will have something left, which can be called cash flow, earnings, or whatever you wish to name it.

The strategy behind this book is to purchase rundown properties in decent neighborhoods, fix them up, and rent them out. The author believes that profits in these types of properties are the highest because most investors are not able to look beyond ugly looking houses. They have no imagination of what they can look like when cleaned up. Since there are few buyers, the chances of getting good deals are high. But the author warns you that you must always buy from motivated sellers. If you want the property more than the seller wants to sell it, this is a red flag.

- Mariusz Skonieczny, author of Why Are We So Clueless about the Stock Market? Learn how to invest your money, how to pick stocks, and how to make money in the stock market
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jack Ramsey on February 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
Author's basic premise makes sense-- there is money to be made buying fixer upper single-family houses that are rehabbed and rented for investment income. Author suggests focusing on houses that require cosmetic repairs and/or sweat-equity repairs that offer cost savings via investor completed repairs versus hiring and paying a professional.

Book's shortcomings include ad nausea repetition, a lack of practical how-to advice and too many references to investment returns based on gross income versus net income or before tax cash flow (i.e., A $100,000 house that rents for $1,000 per month does not produce a 12% return unless the tenant covers all operating expenses, capital improvements and there is no debt service. John Schaub's single-family house investment books offer a more detailed road map.
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