Book Review #6:
Zillow Talk: Rewriting the Rules of Real Estate
Real estate has been good to me. I’m always trying to learn more. Zillow Talk has been a great resource to delve into a deeper and more analytical understanding of the premises that have come intuitively, and maybe with some luck, so far. At age 21 I bought my first home — keeping up with my motif of Low-Overhead — I was able to acquire a 3-bedroom home, in a highly desirable and growing city near my dental school, for a mortgage payment of less than $300 per month. This goes to show the power of capitalizing on a down-market; shortly after the real estate crash is when I purchased. My 2nd real estate purchase was of course the real estate where my dental practice sits. Again, the monthly real estate note is far less than the cost of rent would be; and also is located in a growing area (new Starbucks recently opened among other businesses — we’ll talk about the Starbucks effect down below).
As good as real estate purchases sometimes are, they can also be bad. If you don’t do your research, dumping cash into an immovable ‘asset’ like real estate can actually end up being a monstrous liability. Zillow is the leading online real estate website and they have collected and analyzed massive amounts of data on the real estate market. The Huffington Post describes Zillow Talk as “Entertaining and Informative” and I honestly couldn’t agree more. This is a great book to add to your home library.
This book is full of diagrams, charts, figures, and tables that make detail oriented dentists salivate. This is worn right on the sleeve with chapter titles like, “Scoring a Data-Driven Deal on a New House.” In that particular instance, we see a great aid in the ever-so importance of the data-driven selection for where we decide to open a dental practice. The book focuses on understanding how to evaluate real estate, and also shows us what type of investments (remodeling) are actually bringing tangible long-term value to a property – and which ones are not.
Things you will learn:
+ Timing the real estate market. The market has ups and downs in terms of real estate pricing. When is it best to BUY vs when is it best to RENT.
+ How to evaluate the QUALITY of a real estate investment.
+ How to determine if you are acquiring real estate in a neighborhood that will APPRECIATE in value or remain stable/decrease.
+ Predictors of neighborhood gentrification and what this means to us.
+ The ‘Starbucks Effect’
+ The effect of Schools Districts on Real Estate value
+ Understanding when to use a fixed-rate loan vs an ARM loan
+ Financially responsible remodeling
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