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The Bookshelf

February 01, 1987

Books listed in this column are not necessarily recommended by The Times.

Street Talk in Real Estate by Bill W. West and Richard L. Dickinson (Unique Publishing Co., 1825 Clinton Ave., Suite D, Alameda, Calif. 94501, $9.95) includes both conventional language and slang. Definitions are supplied for "vulture fund," "Tooth Fairy Theory of Investment," and "vegetable soup," among other slang and standard terms. The 218-page paperback has a handy two-page listing of national and international realty groups and associations of those with a particular interest in real estate, including the National Assn. of Real Estate Editors and the National Assn. of Real Estate License Law Officials.

Hidden Wealth in Local Real Estate by Richard H. Jorgensen (Amacon, 135 West 50th St., New York, N.Y. 10020, $19.95 hardbound, $11.95 paperback) is the second edition of a book Jorgensen self-published in 1984. The book contains updated information on tax changes. A word of caution is necessary about books dealing with buying fixer-uppers for investment: The procedure is not accepted in every market, including much of the Southland. Buying real property for little or no money down is a controversial subject. Many of the advocates of no-money-down buying make more money from their heavily advertised seminars than from their investments.

Property Management in California (J.D. Publication & Seminars, P.O. Box 1438, Costa Mesa, Calif. 92628, 312 pages, $19.95 plus $5 for shipping and sales tax in California) emphasizes the "nuts and bolts" of managing a variety of income-producing properties. Several sample legal documents are included, and review questions are used at the end of each chapter.

Financially Free (Simon & Schuster, 268 pages, $17.95) is primarily aimed at part-time real estate investors. It examines the basics of real estate investing, offers personal scheduling procedures, and suggests different buying and selling strategies.

Home Seller's/Buyer's Guide by Oliver Berliner (United World Assembly, P.O. Box 224, Beverly Hills 90213, $17.50) is a chatty, idiosyncratic 32-page booklet containing hints for dealing with real estate professionals. Berliner is not a trusting sort (probably a good attitude to have for a person making such a major purchase as a house) and he recounts a number of horror stories of errors committed by real estate professionals. The price is high for such a small book.

The Owner-Builder Experience by Dennis Holloway and Maureen McIntyre (Rodale Press, 33 E. Minor St., Emmaus, Pa. 18049, $19.95 hardbound, $12.95 paperbound) covers a very complex subject in 208 pages. An architect, Holloway helps Boulder (Colo.) area clients create their own architectural statements; McIntyre is the director of the Colorado Owner-Builder Center, Boulder. The owner-builder process is certainly not for everybody; it's stressful acting as your own contractor and could be time consuming. For those considering it, this book is an excellent introduction.

Guide to Real Estate and Mortgage Banking Software edited by Ina S. Bechhoefer (Real Estate Solutions Inc., 2609 Klingle Road, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, 4th edition, 3 vols.) is available on a subscription-only basis for $135 a year (two editions) or as a single edition for $95. The book claims to be the most comprehensive of its type, listing and describing more than 525 software products. Each of the products gets a two-page analysis.

Smart Trust Deed Investment in California by George Coats (Barr-Randol, 136A N. Grande Ave., West Covina 91791; 281 pages, paperback, $21.50 plus $1 postage; California residents add $1.40 sales tax). Provides strategies for evaluating trust deeds, negotiating prices, and avoiding potential legal problems.

1987 Old-House Journal Buyer's Guide Catalog (Old-House Journal, 69A 7th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11217; 240 pages, paperback, $14.95 including postage). Directory listing more than 10,000 products from companies that sell old-time housing items, such as push-button light switches, wooden porch columns and Victorian tile. Also lists firms providing maintenance and repair services for older homes.

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