Real Estate Investing in the Real World

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News and views for real estate investors. From statistical analysis to offbeat observations. Check it out.
The gaffe of the week goes to John McCain, when in an interview with he was unable to remember how many houses he has. Folks of all political stripes who read this blog will probably be willing to give Senator McCain a little slack on this one. We're real estate investors and we buy ...
Ethics in investing is a topic that I’m interested in. This is one that I’ve written about before, both in the press and here in this blog . It’s one that I don’t think gets enough airplay – but the lessons of ethics and investing are the subplot to many of the other ideas and strategies that I w...
Regardless of who you support in this election - Senator Clinton, Senator McCain or Senator Obama - this is a speech that you should watch in its entirety.  I have never before heard a politician speak this directly, or with such subtlety and complexity, about this important issue facing our nati...
Plumbing, Foundation. Roof.  HVAC.  These are the big ticket items when you're doing a physical inspection on a potential investment property.  Most investors are part timers.  Most of us are somewhat good with our hands and know something about houses (we all live in houses, don't we?)  So three...
Here are some ideas to give your clients who investors wondering what they should do next.  Hold 'em?  Fold 'em?  Walk away?  Run?  Or double down, maybe...Well lots has been written on how our current soft market is hitting homeowners. But it’s not so easy to find anyone addressing the issue tha...
A reader who goes by the handle “Max” made a comment the other day that got me thinking. There’s a concept in pop business theory called the Peter Principle which states that managers tend to get promoted to their point of incompetence – taking on bigger and bigger responsibilities until they eve...
As investors we’re not out there spinning the roulette wheel; we’re looking at the underlying fundamentals and taking measured risks. That said, investors do need to take a view of the future in order to make decisions in real time – and BusinessWeek’s recent cover story gives the housing market ...
We're so accustomed to having our intelligence insulted by politicians that we rarely complain about the dumbed down worldview that we’re spoon-fed by both sides of the political aisle. The partisan mudslinging that we’re subjected to these days makes it hard to imagine a world in which candidat...
An economic indicator that I consider occasionally is one from the Global Insight quarterly study on housing prices in America. Here’s an interesting tidbit from the most recent report: of the 330 markets surveyed, Houston is the most undervalued.The study uses many factors in determining the the...
In A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking refers to a publisher’s rule of thumb that states that every formula that a writer includes in a publications will cut his readership in half. Well real estate investing is based on relatively simple principles - especially next to the stuff that Hawkin...

Christopher Smith

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