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Fix 'em Up, Rent 'em Out: How to Start Your Own House Fix-up & Rental Business in Your Spare Time; or, Investing in Real Estate and Creating Wealth with Fixer-Upper Houses

4.3 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0979856617
ISBN-10: 0979856612
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  • Fix 'em Up, Rent 'em Out: How to Start Your Own House Fix-up & Rental Business in Your Spare Time; or, Investing in Real Estate and Creating Wealth with Fixer-Upper Houses
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Great information for anyone starting out in the fixer-upper business. The author has served his apprenticeship in the trenches. -- Fixer Jay P. DeCima, Investor and Author

It's full of useful tips and advice. I have used these methods to make a good living in real estate. -- Paul Hoyt, Real Estate Investor, Tucson, Arizona

Terry Sprouse has created a profitable rental business in his spare time. What sets him apart is he took action -- Bob Zachmeier, Investor, Educator, Author

This book is beyond a simple how-to guide, it provides inspiration for seekers of a way to achieve financial success -- Cynthia Pope, Ph.D., Connecticut

With the wit of Will Rogers, this book provides simple guidelines for restoring homes, and sanity to our crazy lives. -- M. D. Matlock, Ph.D., P.E., C.S.E., President, American Ecological Engineering Society, Award-winning designer of green neighborhoods for Habitat for Humanity, Professor of Ecological Engineering, University of Arkansas.

Award-Winning Finalist in the Real Estate Category of the 2008 National Best Books Awards. --USA Book News

Review

Great information for anyone starting out in the fixer-upper business. The author has served his apprenticeship in the trenches.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 148 pages
  • Publisher: Planeta Books (September 19, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979856612
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979856617
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #489,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on November 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
What a unique and useful book this one is! First, I will state that I have dabbled in this sort of thing, i.e. fixing up old houses for resale, for a number of years now. To be honest, had I had access to this particular book twenty years ago, I would have been able to avoid a lot of mistakes and a lot of grief. Some of what this book addresses I have learned over the years through trial and error and simple luck. Mr. Sprouse has been able to articulate what I have known, but was unable to say for myself. I must say that the author was able to point out much that I have missed or was unaware of. Reading this work was a very pleasant learning experience for me. This is a very useful book for anyone wishing to purchase old homes, fix them up, and either rent or sell them. This is a wonderful resource!
The book is actually rather funny, or I should say amusing. The author has a quick wit and it shows through his writing. The book, even though dealing primarily with physical things, is so much more. The author has given us a good dose of old fashion common sense, philosophy, and very sound advice. He has done this in a way that fits perfectly with the subject his is addressing. Attitude in any endeavor is extremely important and the author quite well makes this point.
Now take note. This book is not one of those flashing works similar to some of the late night T.V. infomercials, which promise instant wealth (picture of a dorky looking guy with gold chains driving a new Hummer that is setting in front of his multimillion dollar home telling you that he just made a zillion or so dollars with nothing down, no credit and no work, and did it all in just six weeks...just sent him $19.95 and he will tell you how he did it).
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Format: Paperback
Are you thinking of buying, selling, or renting property out? Then get this book! Compact, easy to read, and packed with step by step instructions for several phases of making real estate work for you, Terry Sprouse has written all the basics in a way that anyone can understand, and will be especially welcome in steering people through this time of fluctuating and uncertain markets, so that you'll make the most of every dollar you invest or gain as a buyer, seller, or landlord, and the principles will even make sense for you in other forms of business, as I found that some of what is in "Fix Em Up Rent Em Out" could even be applied to my career as a free-lance artist.

I've always been tempted with the idea of buying a "fixer upper," whether to live in myself or rent out (I've done it several times for other people in exchange for cheap rent, never for myself), and Sprouse gives the complete details on what I could expect to find in this adventure. You'll learn a lot from his Tables too, which at a quick glance one can get information on cash flow, interest, appreciation, even the tools to have on hand (it is recommended to learn how to do as many repairs as you can yourself) and much more. There is even one table on page 84-85 on "The 5 Rules on How to Lose Money and Get Your Rental Property Trashed by Your Tenants" that is funny as well as wise counsel.

There's great advice in Chapter 8 on what to look for in a prospective tenant, and how to make out a rental contract that suits your requirements; Chapter 9 is about taxes. Read and memorize! You'll be glad you did. One of the final chapters is on how to make this real estate experience a family affair, and lists some activities young children can do to help and the advantages to having the kids be involved in the process.
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Format: Paperback
How to get into the rental property business? This author takes you through the pitfalls and positive aspects of buying, fixing up and renting out properties.

Author Terry Sprouse is very insistent that the successful property owner will be needing to use "sweat equity" and careful shopping. He notes that good enough is good enough for rental properties--find nice linoleum at liquidation sales, look for good, if slightly dinged appliances and be sure to do as much of the work as you can yourself. Making it a family project is a suggestion.

He also gives a bible of how to lose your shirt by wrongful renting practices and helpful suggestions on finding the ideal renter, and dealing with problems that crop up (example letters about excess noise, lease month-to-month to be able to evict troublesome renters.)

He also deals with buying and selling. This is a very nice, short but pithy and meaty book for the beginner. You probably couldn't find a better place to start if you are considering investing in a rental property than Sprouse's witty and concise book. Recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Please save your money. Amazon reviews are generally pretty spot on, but I genuinely don't understand the rave reviews here. This is a very slim book, huge font, filled more with this guy's life philosophy than how to fix up and rent out houses. There's nothing wrong with his philosophy. The author comes across as a self-reliant, modest guy with a strong work ethic and some good life perspective. However, it would be an extreme exaggeration to call this a book on "how to start your own house fix-up & rental business..." The sections on identifying, financing, repairing, and managing rental properties are covered at a very surface level. You can easily find all of this information for free online, in one of many intro articles to real estate investing. I've read many real estate investing books, and there are many, many better books out there.

I guess on the positive side, it only took me a 40 min train ride to read the entire book, so at least I didn't lose too much of my life on this.
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