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Book Review

How to Profit by Buying Foreclosures

"Goldmining in Foreclosure Properties, Fourth Edition"; by George Achenbach; (John Wiley & Sons, New York), 1999; $19.95; 217 pages.


In the newest edition of this top-selling book, George Achenbach explains foreclosure opportunities, why real estate investors and home buyers should consider acquiring these residences, and how to earn large profits. The author shares his many foreclosure-buying experiences with dozens of examples to illustrate how to be successful.

Although foreclosure laws are different in each state, the author explains the general principles and the pros and cons of buying at each step in the foreclosure process.

Heavy emphasis is placed on negotiating with the defaulting homeowner. Achenbach's many examples add realism to his advice and explanations. He emphasizes situations foreclosure buyers are likely to encounter and how to handle them.

An especially valuable feature of the book is its many case studies, usually including photos of the foreclosed houses and condos that Achenbach acquired. Occasionally, after explaining the circumstances, the author says he walked away rather than continuing to deal with difficult or irrational homeowners.

Chapters include "Your Place in the Distress Property Cycle," "Where's the Gold?," "Some Commonly Asked Questions," "The Rules and the Players," "Overall Strategies and Procedures," "Between Two Houses," "Before Legal Action Begins," "After Legal Action Begins," "Negotiating With Troubled Owners," "Negotiating With Lenders," "Inspecting the Property," "Closing the Deal With Troubled Owners," "Auction Time," "REOs and Repos," "Selling for Maximum Profits," "Upgrading With Major Improvements" and "Being a Real Estate Investor."

This is a very good basic book about how to profit from foreclosures. Since it is written for a national audience, it is not state-specific. But it shows how the author profited, and how readers can profit, from acquiring foreclosure properties at various stages. On my scale of one to 10, this book rates a 10.

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