Archive for the ‘gurus’ Category

Low-end market houses becoming affordable for first time buyers, and Weekly Blog Roundup

Friday, February 29th, 2008

The real-estate slump has an upside for first-time home buyers looking to spend $200,000 or less. As median-home prices continue dropping, the supply of homes for sale in the much-coveted low-end market is swelling. That’s good news for those of us operating fixer upper house businesses.

The subprime debacle, foreclosures and “short sales” in which a buyer offers less than what is owed the bank, continue to drive Phoenix real-estate prices down. That, in turn, makes more homes than ever affordable for first-time home buyers. Bidding wars on “short sale” properties with multiple offers are breaking out.

Under-$200,000 market gives home sales a push in the Arizona Republic describes this new phenomena.

Weekly Blog Roundup

Thee were some truly outstanding posts this week. Some highlights from this week’s blogs include: hits the jackpot at a thrift store; notetalk’s article gives good insight into what home buyers are looking for in a house; extremeperspective sees lease-to-own as a way out of a financial spot; tells us, in his own “sensitive” way, why we don’t need advisors, networks or mentors (okay, I admit that’s his webpage, not a blog); wealthisgood deals with tenant problems, and retals’r’us is closing in on selling a property.

Also, gatherlittlebylittle describes the epiphany that inspired him to put his financial house in order, and moolanomy describes differences between Prosper vs. peer-to-peer lending.

Thrift Store Shopping: Major Score at
Characteristics of First Time Home Buyers at
Where to Get Rich? at
Do You Really Need Team of Advisors? A Network? A Mentor? at
There is Light at the End of the Tunnel at
My Financial Epiphany: The Storm of My Life at
LendingClub Highlights and Giveaways at
Late Rent, and Landlord Craving at

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John T. Reed — Dark Knight "guru buster" or Transformer "loose cannon"?

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

In a comment posted on yesterday’s blog (“Real Estate Gurus”) the writer rightly pointed out that John T. Reed receives a lot of criticism. It’s true that Reed may not provide a balanced review of some gurus. Sometimes he may have an ax to grind, and he can be strident, blunt and arrogant.

Many people saw his attack on Robert Kiyosaki’s book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” as over the top. “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” is not my favorite book, but Reed was using a cannon to swat a fly in his book review.

To provide some insight into what the critics say of John T. Reed, I post this link to a review of Reed’s new book by Aaron Wall of SEO Books. The comments following the review go into even more detail about the criticisms that are made about Reed.

While Reed can be opinionated and harsh, most of his guru evaluations seem to hit the mark. He is the only person on the web that provides this kind of information, and maybe it takes a guy with a thick-skinned confrontational personality to dig out the information he comes up with. Some of these gurus do lie, cheat people out of money, and use questionable hard-sell tactics. They’re no saints either. It would be nice if Reed could evaluate them without such a hard edge, but where else can the average person turn to for this kind of information?

Info on Terry’s Book

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Real Estate Gurus–sure-fire, air-tight, risk-free, fool proof, win-win, bullletproof promises

Friday, September 28th, 2007

Is there a shortcut to riches in real estate investing? Probably not.

Who are these real estate gurus who make incredible promises of real estate wealth to get you to sign up for expensive seminars and mentoring?

A good place to find out is on John Reed’s Guru Rating Site. He has made a career out of tracking the activities of real estate gurus, and evaluating their honesty and the value of their programs.

What are some common claims that the gurus use to lure you in? John Reed identifies some of the following ways to spot them:

Emphasis on luxurious life style

Universally applicable techniques

Emphasis on motivational material

High prices

Use of key words such as:
sure-fire, secret, air-tight, always, risk-free, fool proof, win-win, bulletproof, goldmine, no-brainer, and many others

Another site to check for information on get-rich-quick schemes like these is at the Federal Trade Commission. They don’t name names, but they point out the pitfalls of investing in promotions that sound too good to be true.

Ben Frankliln said,”A fool and his money are soon separated.” Watch out for expensive real estate investing “short cuts” that can leave you worse off than when you started. Do your homework before you buy into a “sure-fire” offer.

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Should you attend a real estate boot camp to learn about investing?

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

Should you invest in fixer upper rental houses the old fashioned way, or try to learn it all in 2 days?

Yesterday, I received an email announcement inviting me to a real estate boot camp. It read,

The Ultimate Investor’s Bootcamp!

“You’ll Be Spoon-Fed Cutting Edge Tactics & Insider Secrets. And You’ll Walk Away Knowing Exactly How To Create Stunning Business Success & Vast Amounts of Positive Cash Flow.”

New investors must wonder, “Do I need to attend workshops like this to learn to invest in real estate?” It sounds tempting to be able to learn everything you need to know about investing in 2 days. Who wouldn’t want to take a shortcut like that?

My response is that you might learn some good techniques on investing at a bootcamp, but is it worth the money? I’ve been to free introductory presentations that say you will learn money making techniques about real estate investing, but it turns out to be a sales pitch to get you to sign up for an expensive “mentoring” program. Since the email with the above ad did not mention any price for the bootcamp, I imagine its not cheap. The important thing about bootcamps and mentoring programs is that you can spend a lot of money and only learn a little information. Worst of all, you can get roped into buying a program that sounds good, but may not be as good as it sounds.

My philosophy is more of a “do-it-yourself” approach. I like to cut corners, save money, and not take too many chances with my money. I’m the kind of guy who wears both a belt and suspenders to hold my pants up. I really like play it safe.

To get started in real estate investment, I would recommend to start by reading some of the excellent books that are available, such as “Investing in Real Estate” by Andrew McClean and Gary Eldred. I think you can learn more from reading a book like this than you can from going to expensive seminars. It provides information on many aspects of real estate that investors should know, without having a hidden agenda to get you to buy something more. I have mentioned other useful books in earlier blog postings, such as those by Jay DeCima, Bryan Wittenmyer and John Schuab.

You can also learn very useful information by taking real estate investing courses taught at local community colleges. I took one when I was just starting to invest, and it was outstanding. It was taught by a real estate agent who was an investor. The students learned all of the basics from someone who was actually investing in the same community where we would invest. I learned basic techniques that I am still using.

You learn by visiting a lot of houses and talking to owners and real estate agents. Practice calculating how much monthly payments would be for houses that you visit. Talk to other real estate investors. After you have a idea of how the process works, and when you can recognize a good deal from a bad deal, buy a low-priced fix-up house and learn to repair it as you go along. That’s what I did, and 7 years and 6 houses later I am still going strong.

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