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The Bookshelf

March 31, 1985|TERENCE M. GREEN and The fifth edition of Aggressive Tax Avoidance for Real Estate Investors by John T. Reed (published by Reed Publishing, 342 Bryan Drive, Danville, Calif. 94526; $21.95 plus $1.50 for postage and packaging, excluding sales tax; paperback; 271 pages) includes the author's rules for understanding income taxes, talks about why aggressiveness is legal and describes how to get bigger depreciation deductions than most investors get. It also covers qualifying for and maximizing the home office deduction and how to save tax dollars by exchanging. and Business Condominiums--A Step-by-Step Approach by F. Scott Jackson and James Laughlin (co-published by Community Assns. Institute and National Assn. of Home Builders; 473 pages plus bibliography; $31.50 to institute members, $41.50 to non-members) is called a definitive text on developing commercial property--a medical complex, office park, strip shopping center, business condominium or other--utilizing the condominium form of ownership. It may be ordered prepaid plus $2.50 for shipping from the institute, 3000 S. Eads St., Arlington, Va. 22202. and A Guide to Timeshare Housekeeping by Stephen R. Craig (National Time-Sharing Council, 1220 L St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005, $30 for members, $40 nonmembers) is a 173-page guide to housekeeping and maintenance expressly written for time-share developers. and National Real Estate Source Book edited by John R. Johnsich (Real Estate Publishing Co., P.O. Box 41177, Sacramento 95841, two volumes, $29.90 per set) is a source book of information and published resources, as well as professional organizations and publishers. The publisher claims that real estate information and publications are listed by title, subject and topic covered, with author, price, year published, address of publisher and ordering information. and Nido Qubein's Professional Selling Techniques by Nido Qubein (Berkley Books, New York, 274 pages, $5.95) is another in the genre of motivational books for salespeople. Much of what he--and the others--say is common sense, but common sense isn't all that common. Salespeople seem to need books like these more than those in most other endeavors, probably because of burnout. and How to Survive While Realestating by Marvin and Alison Myers (M&M Productions, P.O. Box 1655, Newport Beach 92663, $6.30) is a collection of cartoons by Marv Myers, with the vital collaboration of his wife Alison. Most of the cartoons appeared in the Real Estate section of The Times. Real estate really is a laughing matter to Marv and Al.

Home Buyers: Lambs to the Slaughter? by Sloan Bashinsky (Menasha Ridge Press, Hillsborough, N.C., 115 pages, $10.95 hard cover)

The fact that the author is both a lawyer and a real estate broker gives a slant to this book different from most "how to buy a house" books written by real estate agents. It also gives plenty of scope to his cut-through-the-appearances approach and his wicked wit.

Bashinsky makes a strong point of the fact that the real estate agent, even the one you have "retained," is not working for you; the fact that his commission comes from the seller means that he is working for the seller and is legally bound to put the seller's interest before yours.

That view underlies the whole book, which discusses the legal, ethical and practical positions of your adversaries--all who are involved and concerned in the transaction--even "your" real estate agent. He combines this with practical suggestions on how to protect yourself in the clinches, including suggestions for putting yourself in the strongest possible negotiating position and then negotiating strongly.

Reading this book, and others on the same subject, written from a national viewpoint for a national audience, gives the Californian reader a feeling that, although they are very far from perfect, our state's real estate laws are a lot more protective of the public than most.

Even so, there are plenty of pieces of information in it that apply in California--particularly the fact of who "your" agent is really working for--both as things worth knowing, as traps to avoid and as ways to protect yourself. It is not very long and can be read quickly but the author's writing ability packs a lot in a little space.

A valuable book if you are buying a house or even thinking about buying one.

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