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The Skinny on the Housing Crisis: What Every Homeowner and Homebuyer Needs to Know Perfect Paperback – April 9, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book performs an extraordinary public service, and I hope that it is widely read." --Richard Blumenthal, Attorney General, State of Connecticut

"Jim Randel has put together a no-nonsense, thoroughly readable book on what caused the nation's housing crisis and what we will need to do to get out of it. This plain English analysis of a complex subject is a must read for the millions of Americans impacted by this shattering event." --Arthur Levitt, Former SEC Chairman

"The Skinny on the Housing Crisis is critically important reading for anyone contemplating the buying or selling of a home in today s drastically chaotic housing market and an ideal addition to personnel and community library reference collections." --Michael Dunford, Midwest Book Review

About the Author

Jim Randel has been writing about real estate and business for twenty-five years.

An attorney by education, Randel has made his living as a real-estate entrepreneur buying and selling single-family houses, apartment buildings, land, retail centers, factories, distribution facilities and office buildings.

His first book, The Real Estate Game, was written in 1986. This book led to guest lectures at Harvard and NYU Business Schools and to numerous radio, television and public appearances around the United States. In 1988 Randel went back to his activities as a real estate buyer and seller.

Randel wrote his next book, Confessions of a Real Estate Entrepreneur (McGraw-Hill) in 2006. This book has received rave reviews from readers and industry professionals, and has reached #1 ranking on several Amazon categories, including Real Estate Sales where it has been ranked #1 for about one year.

Randel believes that any author owes his reader tremendous respect. That an author needs to do the heavy lifting, reading and studying a topic in depth, and then synthesizing and summarizing for the reader the salient points preferably told in an entertaining fashion.

THE SKINNY ON THE HOUSING CRISIS: What Every Homeowner and Homebuyer NEEDS TO KNOW!!! is nothing less than an entirely new genre that Randel and his ten-person team have created - with the reader in mind. It is the first of another half dozen such books now in production - the goal being to cover important and current topics in that manner which is most likely to be understood, absorbed and appreciated by the reader.
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Product Details

  • Series: Skinny on
  • Perfect Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Rand Media Co; 1st edition (April 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098189352X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981893525
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,013,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jim Randel, a graduate of the Columbia University College and Law School, has made his living as an entrepreneur. During his 30-year career, Jim has been the lead investor in many real estate and business deals. He has been a guest speaker at Harvard and NYU Business Schools, annual conventions for national organizations, and investor sessions in every large city in the United States. He has also appeared on numerous networks as an expert on investing. Recent engagements include ABC, CBS, Fox, Fox Business and BetterTV.com.

Throughout his career, Jim's passion has been to teach and write. His first book, The Real Estate Game (CCH), was published in 1986 and received national recognition from investors and critics. From 1988 to 1990 he was a daily commentator on the Financial News Network (now CNBC). In 2006 he wrote Confessions of a Real Estate Entrepreneur (McGraw-Hill) which reached #1 in several Amazon categories.

In 2008 Jim founded Rand Media Co, which, under the imprint The Skinny On™, publishes a revolutionary line of illustrated non-fiction books.

The first book in this series, The Skinny on the Housing Crisis, was awarded First Prize in the prestigious Robert Bruss Real Estate Book competition sponsored by NAREE, a group of 600 journalists who cover business and finance. This was quickly followed by 8 more titles: The Skinny on Willpower, The Skinny on Credit Cards, The Skinny on Success, The Skinny on Real Estate Investing, The Skinny on Direct Sales (also available in Spanish as The Skinny on Venta Directa), The Skinny on Time Management, The Skinny on the Art of Persuasion, and the newest in the series, The Skinny on Networking.

Jim lives and works in Westport, Connecticut with his wife Carol. They have four grown children and two grandchildren.

For more information on Jim Randel, go to: www.JimRandel.com.
For more information about the Skinny on series, go to: www.TheSkinnyOn.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Killelea on September 9, 2008
Format: Perfect Paperback
The stick figure format is a good way to get across points that would otherwise be lost in abstract arguments. Clearly inspired by the stick figure "Subprime Primer" that made the rounds on the internet, this book explains more gently and from the buyer's point of view how the US got into the current housing mess and how individuals can stay out of it.

It really is essential reading for all first-time house buyers. My own 11 year old son read it and understood the conflicts of interest inherent in the advice given by people who get paid only if they convince you you make a bad buying decision.

Patrick Killelea
[...]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tom McGee VINE VOICE on November 7, 2010
Format: Perfect Paperback
This weekend I read six of Jim Randel's "Skinny on" books--creativity, credit cards, direct sales, the housing crisis, real estate investing (part 1) and networking.

These books use the Japanese writing style known as Magna. The author researches his topics and reduces the subject down to a one to one and a half hour read that simplifies the concepts in easily understandable stories. Following the illustrated stories he provides a quick summary of the points to remember. He then lists a further reading section and recommends specific books for those that want the fine details.

The Skinny on The Housing Crisis: What Every Homeowner and Homebuyer Needs to Know was voted the number one Real Estate Book of the Year in 2009. This easy to understand and timely information is a must read for potential and current homeowners.

Until I read this book, I really did not understand how the value on my house could have went down, why so many people lost their homes and how the world economy was negatively impacted by this crisis.

This book is extremely informative, a time savers and an easy read. Don't be fooled by the stick figured illustrations. This is a serious book about important issues homeowners and potential buyers needs to know written in an easy to understand format.

If you are contemplating homeownership and you read no other book this year, read this one!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Israel Drazin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 22, 2010
Format: Perfect Paperback
This volume in the current series of eight generally humorous and always informative books addresses a subject that is currently in the news because of the housing price slump since 2006. The book won first prize in the annual book competition sponsored by the National Association of Real Estate Editors.
Randel points out that people should not believe everything they see on TV or read in the newspapers or what real estate salespeople or mortgage brokers' claim. He describes the tricks that are used to sell and finance houses. He emphasizes that buyers need to beware of so-called "standard forms." He also explains such things as:
* Why did lenders lend to people who would probably be unable to repay the loan?
* What is the meaning of names like "piggyback mortgage"?
* What kind of scams did sellers commit?
* How can people learn the true value of properties?
* Are there too many real estate agents and is this causing a problem?
* Where should people go to get a building inspector, an appraisers, and an attorney?
* What happens to a mortgage loan after the borrower signs it?
Randel dramatizes his presentation by having a husband and wife discuss the benefits of investing in a house purchase. The husband is gung-ho, while the wife is cautious in the beginning, but then mistakenly agrees to the purchase.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gary Severance VINE VOICE on November 21, 2010
Format: Perfect Paperback
The "Skinny On" series presents interesting topics related to individual decisions in a quick learning format. Using stick figures to illustrate good and bad decisions with their costs and benefits, the reader can gain good understanding in a short time, about one hour per book. Good citations and references are given for readers who want to pursue more in depth knowledge about the subject.

This book on the housing crisis was written in 2009, so it represents an interesting history of the rapidly changing problem in America. As with any type of effective learning from books, definitions are keys to knowing how to make good decisions. Like other Skinny On books, definitions in this book are spelled out in practical detail and illustrated with the thoughts and behavior of stick figures. Terms include: realtor, mortgage, mortgage brokers, brokers' fees, loan closing, housing boom, tax deductions for mortgage interest, market valuation, house inspectors, appraisals, subprime lenders, "flippers", Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM), payment option loans, negative amortization, national lending company, hedge funds, equity risks, securitization, Tranche, ratings agencies, overseas investors, foreclosure, and credit history.

The Skinny on the Housing Crisis ends with the benefits of learning the history of the crisis and how we can use information to make our housing financial lives better in 2010 and beyond. As the housing market begins to show some glimmers of recovery, the information in this book can help readers to avoid mistakes encouraged by people who just want to separate you from your money. Who knows what the future will be in the new more regulated housing market. But, you will learn not make the same mistakes that many did in the past.
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