Books listed in this column are not...

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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.


The Landlord’s Law Book, Vols. 1 & 2 (Nolo Press, 950 Parker St., Berkeley, Calif. 94710, $19.95 each) are the latest California editions of a popular series by David Brown (Vol. 2: Evictions) and Brown and Ralph Warner (Vol. 1: Rights and Responsibilities). The language of both large-format paperbacks is good old American English; the authors are attorneys, but they keep the legalese to a minimum. Both books are indexed and both contain sample forms that every rental property owner needs. As the subtitles indicate, Vol. 1 concentrates on the basics of rental property ownership, including screening tenants, rental agreements and day-to-day relationships, while Vol. 2 is devoted solely to evicting a problem tenant. Vol. 1 contains a very useful guide to the rent control cities of the Golden State, from Berkeley to West Hollywood, with Los Angeles, San Francisco, Palm Springs, Oakland, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica in between.

How to Increase the Value of Real Estate by John T. Reed (Reed Publishing, 342 Bryan Drive, Danville, Calif. 94526, $19.95, 184 pages, indexed) outlines strategies for increasing the value of residential and non-residential investment property. Reed covers everything from cosmetic changes to changing the name of the building, improving the zoning to moving the building to a better location. Reed has been investing in real estate and writing about it--in a very readable manner--for almost two decades.

California Construction Law by Sam K. Abdulaziz (Western Regional Master Builders Assn., 6404 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, $19.95) summarizes and discusses the legal aspects of construction from the point of view of a contractor. Avoiding legalese, Abdulaziz writes about disputes, small claims courts, lawsuits, mechanic’s liens and stop notices, contractors license law and indemnity and hold harmless. This 32-page booklet--although aimed at contractors--would be useful for anyone contemplating building a new house or remodeling an existing one.

The Future of Housing Markets by Leland S. Burns and Leo Grebler (Plenum, 233 Spring St., N.Y. 10013, $29.50 including postage and handling). Forecasts future housing demand, based on data collected by the government and the authors’ own research.

Corporate Real Estate Handbook: Strategies for Improving Bottom Line Performance edited by Robert A. Silverman (McGraw-Hill, 224 pages, $24.95) offers advice on evaluating and managing corporate real estate.