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2 Years to a Million in Real Estate Paperback – May 12, 2006
The Amazon Book Review
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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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Top customer reviews
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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.
While the author's personal story was interesting, it's not representative of the "average" new investor and it took up far too much of the book. Rather than using examples from his career to illustrate points, it read more like a tribute to himself. Unlike most of the people who will read this book, he had a high paying job and a healthy amount of home equity to get started, and his investments were made in one of the most profitable periods of time (and when funding was relatively easy to come by). That's not to say the results couldn't be achieved in today's markets, but it would certainly take more skill to get started now.
Perhaps because this particular author had plenty of funds to get started, the sections on financing tactics were very weak, with little depth. There are quite a few books out there that offer superior coverage on these topics - especially for individuals with less than perfect credit or few existing assets.
The sections that discussed various laws and acceptable practices were dangerously inaccurate in some places. The author may have been citing the correct rules for his state, but I compared it against rules for the 2 states I've lived in, and there were significant differences. For example, he states that you can't charge more than 1 month's rent as a security deposit, but the state of California allows between 2 and 3.5 months' rent depending on the circumstances. He also states that the security deposit can be used as the last month's rent, but not every state allows that. Be careful and do your homework so you're compliant in the states where you intend to do business.
If you enjoy reading books on real estate, you may still feel that this one is worth a read. However, I would strongly recommend that you look elsewhere if your budget is limited and/or you want to read just one or two books on the topic.
Martinez also briefly describes how to effectively manage income producing properties. While not entirely out of date, I found the material to be extremely general and with no real substance for someone who is actually trying to be a landlord.
Don't be fooled by the title. If you are interested in spending your hard earned money and valuable time getting into rental properties, look for books with more substance and more current information.
On the plus side, it is a quick read, has some inspirational quotes and hidden amongst the fluff are a very few interesting tips. Pick it up at the library if you are still interested.
Also, this book assumes that you are starting with a large source of income ($100,000k a year is what I am estimating), or at least a large sum of starter money.
That being said, the book does have good rules to do business by, and gives very good information on how to be a good landlord.
This book explains everything so that it's understandable. It doesn't speak to those who already have some experience. It speaks and inspires to those with none.
A must buy!