Building a Personal Finance Library: 25 of the Best Books About Money

A great collection of essential books on personal finance topics. This person really separated the wheat from the chaff is what one person said. I noticed a distinct lack of focus on real estate or other asset classes compared to listed securities. Still some great books on the list. If for no other reason than to know what some think are the classics when using the mainstream prism.

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7 Responses to “Building a Personal Finance Library: 25 of the Best Books About Money”

  1. Beach_babe9711 Says:

    pre foreclosers, distressed property, bank reo’s, notes, and tax liens for single family homes, would you say these are the best ways to start investing in real estate? everyone says cashflow is better than capital gains, but if your new, wouldnt it be better to make capital gains, then later use that into cashflow. i want to make money first, then later use that to put money down, and make a alot of cashflow on rental properties.

    are there other real estate investments that are good for single family homes? i was going to not do forecloser auctions and tax deed sales auctions till after I make more money.

    There are no best ways to invest. You need to look at your cash situation, your credit, the local market conditions and your strategy. Some folks flip because they want nothing to do with tenants. Others have weak credit so focus on deals where their credit will not be checked.

    Short term deals that produce lump sums of money can be fine when you are building up a cash pile. It makes it easier later if you own rentals and you have emergency repairs.

    If you focus on short term deals you will end up paying more in taxes (ordinary income tax rates) and you will have to keep going out and repeating the process or the cash stops arriving. Similar to a job so not negative. Just how it is.

    If you hold long term as an investment then you can pay capital gains tax rates or you can defer the tax due using a 1031 exchange. You need to manage the tenants or hire it out to a property manager. You might even be able to reduce the taxes you would otherwise pay from the paper losses (depreciation).

    There are trade-offs. You make your profit when you buy and you receive the cash when you sell or refinance. Buy low and sell higher works pretty well. What sort of strategy (REO, etc) that works best depends on a lot of things and many will change over time so be prepared to flex with your market and your personal situation.

  2. Beach_babe9711 Says:

    would you recommend getting a real estate license but not work as one.

    No. Never!

    i think it would save me money to sell my house by putting it on the MLS myself and marketing it myself instead of paying 5-6% for someone else to do the same thing. I evem heard agents dont even market your house aggressivley, they just put it on the MLS, put up the sign, and a little advertising. if I had my license, then i could do the same thing, and i could market a lot more aggressive and market my incentives to buyers. and i would only have to pay the buyer agent who brings a buyer and the broker agent i list with. so thats like 2.5% to the buyer agent, and 1.25% to the broker. and i keep the other 1.25% for example. im sure the broker agent would accept only 1% or less. so if i sold a house that was 600,000 the 1.25% i got to keep was %7,500. and if im always investing, then in years id be saving alot of money. and i heared you can get a brokers license if you have a bachelors degree instead of having to have 3-5 years experience as agent.

    You will have other costs. You also have a lot more legal liability.

    Many investors (most?) do not have a license. Many licensed agents and brokers do very little investing. Think about it.

  3. Beach_babe9711 Says:

    i heard you can make more money for doing a lease option? i know if im the buyer if i do that, i can save money by buying the house after a year or 2 years, and actualy keep the apprechiation from those years. but how can a seller benifit from doing a lease option?

    You need to look at both sides. As a seller there could be tax benefits before and after the final sale, they could be getting more income compared to a simple rental, they have the option money from day 1 without being taxed until the option is exercised or expires, they likely are getting a better price compared to a more traditional sale.

    and would you say there will always be an inventory of houses that can be bought below make value, like pre foreclosers, distressted, and bank reo’s,? or are they harder to find sometimes because the inventory keeps changing to a lot to only a few sometimes?

    Yes, but…

    The inventory does go up and down. Best to focus on motivated sellers who have problems that do not require the sale of their real estate achieving the highest price. People who need to sell more than they need a specific price. They might be motivated based on health issues, an estate sale, job relocation, divorce. Issues that are more important than the exact price they receive. There are also people who sell on good terms given tax implications.

  4. Beach_babe9711 Says:

    would you recommend single family homes to rent or multi family homes? someone told me you can buy a 4 unit multi unit for about the same price of a single family home, and the first or first and second rooms will cover the loan payments, and the other two units will be cash flow? and if you buy 4 units or less, it wont be considered a commercial building, so it will cost a lot less?

    The key difference is the land costs are lower when you compare a 3-4 multi-family to a single family home. Also some shared costs given common walls, roof, etc.

    You will also find that 2-4 unit multi-family property appreciates slightly slower or differently than single family homes. Most people see a 2-4 unit as slightly less desirable. There can be zoning differences so 2-4 unit buildings might not be in the same areas or lots that are slightly less desirable.

    They can be a great deal for those who want to live or buy 2-4 unit buildings.

    NOTE: 2-4 unit building are not, repeat not commercial. Commercial starts with 5 unit multi-family properties.

    is buying a large empty lot ( that can fit 3-4) in a nice neighborhood a good investment? if someone else wanted to build there i could charge rent right? or i could put houses on them and sell it for a lot more than what i bought the empty space for. im not sure if thats a good investment or not?

    Maybe. Hard to say. Price of the land, cost of construction and then the resale value will are the key variables. You could own the property (land plus building) as rental units if that makes sense. Or you can sell. In some rare cases you could sell a long term lease for the building and retain the land (collecting ground rent).

    You can only sell the units as individual condo or townhomes if the property is zoned and titled as such. Hence you would be required to sell all the units as one sale if there is only 1 title. The planning department for the area will have details.

  5. Beach_babe9711 Says:

    could you explain how short sales work?

    The owners of the second can and may sell at a discount. It has happened before. Some of the time they do not sell as they expect to bid or otherwise protect their position.

    Unless you ask you will not know if they want to sell.

    There are a number of specific details and the details do vary a bit by lender. Maybe I will write up a short how-to primer. Something for later.

  6. Beach_babe9711 Says:

    if a house is in forecloser with the bank, since it will go to forecloser, usually the first loan would get payed off. and the second woudlnt. would you say before it goes to auction, the bank will negotiate selling the second loan to me for a discounted price since they wouldnt get any money back on the second trust from the auction sale? this is the only other creative idea i can think of.

    It is possible to buy a 2nd or other junior lien at a discount. It will depend on the seller’s motivation. Some people do strange things and will not sell.

    In a short sale the lender in 1st might discount is the lender in 2nd is taking a big discount. A discounted 2nd is more or less required before the lender in 1st will talk in many cases.

    You need multiple ways to put deals together and then adjust based on what the other party is willing to do. There is no perfect answer as each negotiation is different.

  7. Kristy Strong Says:


    Doublewides are hard to fund. Much more so if there is no land involved. In that case you would need a personal loan as a doublewide without land is personal property (not real estate).

    If you do not have a loan yet then you are not one of the ones really being hurt by the sub-prime loan mess. At least much less so than those who are being foreclosed upon.

    The link on the main page to could be helpful. There is a MH forum. You can post a question there to find lenders who do fund doublewides. There is a limited number of lenders.

    I found this link on Yahoo answers, and was hoping you could help me. My husband and I are one of many victims of the sub-prime lending mess, I’m sure. We had a loan on Monday, and Tuesday we didn’t. Now we have a contract, and a rapidly approaching closing date, but no loan. The house in question is also a doublewide, which is difficult to get financed even with good credit. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time.

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