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2 Years to a Million in Real Estate Paperback – May 12, 2006
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“This is the success story of an ex-dot-com employee who got tired of working long hours at a great job for 10 years and watching his fellow workers lose their jobs. He accidentally discovered real estate's market-value appreciation, leverage, tax savings, cash flow, reliability and freedom from a 9-to-5 workday. In the process, he became a multimillionaire, and he shows readers how they can have the same result.”(Bruss, Robert J. San Francisco Chronicle. 2006-12-08)
From the Back Cover
Quit your day job!
Make a million in real estate!
It's easier than you think!
A few years ago, Matthew Martinez was a lot like you - he worked hard to make as big a salary as he could. But it wasn't enough. He worked by the clock, and yearned to be his own boss. With a small amount of savings, he acquired his first rental property. Two years later, he was making more from his rentals than he was working 9 to 5, so he quit his day job to oversee his real estate investments. Today, he enjoys a multi-million-dollar collection of income-producing properties--and he's ready to share his money-making strategies so you can begin your own journey to career and financial independence.
Two Years to a Million in Real Estateshows you everything you need to know, including how to
- Invest small amounts early-on while working a full-time job
- Avoid real estate “bubble” risks
- Get others to pay your mortgage for you
- Pick a hot property (and spot others that will become hot)
- Simplify the ins-and-outs of financing
- Negotiate like a pro
- Screen for reliable tenants
- Understand how local tenant laws work
- Hire good people to manage your properties
- Know when to sell
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The second problem I have is that the author recommends multi-family units e.g. duplexes to get started. Depending on the market you're in, this can be entirely impractical. Here in southern California, a multi-family unit starts at $300k and the median is more like $600k. If a $600k duplex is your first investment property, then I am truly impressed.
The book does contain good advice - everything from handling tenants to driving around looking for properties - but it's really more of a summary of each topic.
In short. If you buy this book, rip out the chapters about crazy bubble leveraging. Read the remaining chapters for an overview of finding properties, financing, attracting and retaining tenants. Then go find more detailed books devoted to each of those topics.
That isn't to say there isn't any good information in the book, because there is. Some of the advice surrounding being a property investor and landlord still apply today, and many of the basic tactics involved in analyzing markets and buying properties remain true. But aside from this information you're more or less reading about the experience of someone who made it big during the best boom years in real estate by using a lot of leverage and taking advantage of incredible short-term appreciation to amass his wealth. If you tried to mimic everything in the book today, you'd be nowhere near as successful. These days you don't go out and buy a property with little money down, realize 10-20% equity gains in a single year and then tap into that equity to finance your next deal, and so on.
This book is mainly trying to sell the dream. Just based on the title alone you can tell it was marketed toward people at the peak of the real estate boom and wanted to quit their job and get rich just buying up property. That's still the dream of many today, but this book won't give you all the answers to accomplish that in today's economy. I'd suggest a more recent book if you want to get a better idea of what it takes to make it in the business these days. Probably the best book out there is Investing in Real Estate, which I also just finished reading.
The only suggestion I would recommend is to provide content on commercial real estate such as retail and others of the like.
Great read for a budding real estate investor.
Having said that, I found the information on how to manage a property, calculate income & expenses, and determine appropriate property values are quite good for beginners.
1) This isn't a proven system, it's a story about how this guy lucked into real estate during the bubble of the early-mid 2000's. He made equity on a soaring urban condo market, and leveraged it into more properties. The second part is great, but expecting others to do it like he did with his proven system (of being plain lucky in what would be a dumb purchase for someone looking to get in to real estate.
2) He did it with a low down payment because they were handing out zero down home loans at wal-mart during this time period. That doesn't happen anymore.
3) There are some useful forms, rent addendums, etc. but nothing you couldn't get from a better book, or for free from your local (and therefore more applicable to state law) landlord association.
Do NOT buy this book, unless you're just looking for a feel good story of a rich guys path through luck. Even then, $0.99 at a used book store (at most).