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The Bookshelf

August 23, 1987

The Common-Sense Mortgage by Peter G. Miller (Perennial Library/Harper & Row, New York, 285 pages, $7.95) is the third edition of perhaps the one indispensable book on the subject for non-professionals--and maybe even for professionals, considering what messes all too many of them have gotten into! The book is updated to take into account the changes wrought last fall by the so-called tax reform law. There is a good index and several appendixes. If you're considering getting a new loan or refinancing an existing one or borrowing money for home improvements, read this book first.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages by Jack P. Friedman and Jack C. Harris (Barron's Educational Series, Woodbury, N.Y. 11797, 288 pages, $4.95 paperback) includes financial tables showing monthly mortgage payments, payment adjustments, worst-case monthly payments and interest rates and annual loan balance reduction, among others. A 40-page introduction discusses adjustable rate mortgages and includes a glossary of terms.

The Deeds Book by Mary Randolph (Nolo Press, 950 Parker St., Berkeley, Calif. 94710, 224 pages, $15.95 large-format paperback) contains just about anything a non-lawyer would want to know about transferring real property in California. The indexed book contains tear-out grant, quitclaim and trust deed forms, along with instructions on how to record them. Like all the books from Nolo, this book avoids unnecessary legalisms and attorneyese. This makes it a delight to read.

Competing for Capital by Mark H. Long (Mark Long & Co., 4350 La Jolla Village Drive Suite 860, San Diego, Calif. 92122; 184 pages, $35.50) bills itself as the "marketing manual for the new syndication leaders." It's highly technical, so it appeals primarily to professional syndicators, broker-dealers, and others in the syndication business. The book provides useful information about structuring and marketing real estate syndications in the new tax environment. While the content is solid, the book itself is not; the binding is poor and the illustrations are scrawled by hand, much like the plays scribbled out on paper by football coaches. Readers who plunk down $35.50 deserve a higher-quality book.

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