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The Bookshelf

April 21, 1985

The Common-Sense Mortgage by Peter G. Miller (Harper & Row, 234 pages, $13.95) is an attempt by a Washington, D.C.-area real estate broker and writer to demystify the subject of housing finance. He reduces the jargon to the minimum and explains how various forms of mortgages work. He also shows how to reduce the total cost of the loan by increasing monthly payments. One of the best available guidebooks to the realty financing jungle.

The Real World of Buying and Selling Your Home by Bob Dean (Derlinger's Publishers Ltd., P. O. Box 76, Fairfax, Va., $6.95, 208 pages) is exactly what the title says it is. The paper-bound book has crude illustrations and uses Eastern terminology ("rambler" instead of "ranch-style"), but the writing style avoids sleep-inducing real estate jargon. A fairly good guide to the subject.

All America's Real Estate Book by Carolyn Janik and Ruth Rejnis (Viking Penguin Inc., 40 W. 23rd St., New York 10010; 850 pages, $29.95) is a guide to buying, selling, renting and investing. Among the topics are: How to pick the right property; how to get the most from a real estate agent; how to negotiate the best price; how to compare mortgages; housing advice for the handicapped, and how to deal with zoning and local taxation. 31 Financial Secrets by Paul Douglas Catchings (Long Range Planners Co., P. O. Box 60400, Pasadena 91106, 274 pages, $49.95 plus $2.50 postage and handling, plus 6 1/2% sales tax for California residents) is a rambling, discursive tome that eventually gets around to promoting the author's AMOR 3169 mortgage, which apparently permits faster equity buildup than the traditional 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. The book also seems to be part of a series of seminars promoted by the author. Anyone who can read this book certainly deserves to be rich!

How to Manage Apartments for Maximum Cash Flow and Resale Value by John T. Reed (Reed Publishing, 342 Bryan Drive, Danville, Calif. 94526; 227 pages; $19.95 soft cover plus $1.50 postage, California residents add sales tax) includes eight chapters on how to increase income, 14 chapters on how to reduce expenses, and chapters on hiring and supervising resident managers, keeping books using a personal computer and managing on an absentee basis. The author has been an apartment owner and manager for 16 years, edits a real estate investing letter and has written other books on similar subjects.

How to Make It When You're Cash Poor by Hollis Norton (Simon & Schuster, 228 pages, $14.95 hardbound) is subtitled "The New Strategy for Buying Real Estate With Little or No Cash." The author is described as a self-made millionaire, an out-of-work electronics engineer who parlayed meager savings into a net worth of over $1 million by real estate investment, and his book is a step-by-step plan that he says has worked for him and others.

255 Home Designs for Family Living (Home Planners Inc., 23761 Research Drive, Farmington Hills, Mich. 48024, 192 pages, $3.50) has 700 illustrations, floor plans for primary and vacation homes ranging from 576 to 4,890 square feet, in a wide variety of architectural styles. Blueprints are available for each plan.

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