Score: 93/100 (9.3 out of 10)
Harvard Can't Teach You What You Learn from the Streets by Sam Liebman is one of the best real-estate books we've ever read!
That's right, it's a real-estate book. We were actually surprised by that because that's not what we inferred from the title, although the subtitle was more explicit. Anyway, the most amazing thing about this book is just how straight-forward, dry, and practical it is! This is a no-frills, no-BS book. In that sense, the title is very fitting because it has a very street smarts kind of approach to the subject matter. This is stuff that the author has learned from years of experiences, successes and failures (but mostly successes).
One of the most interesting concepts in this book comes in chapter six when the author prompts us (the potential real-estate buyers) to consider the following questions about our prospective property: What is it? What was it? What can it be?
These are questions that often go ignored by people who are just excited to buy a property. They go at it with rose-tinted glasses and don't consider what they're actually buying—is it something that's actually valuable and could increase in value or is it a liability/accident waiting to happen. The author encourages the buyer to do their due diligence in having the property inspected by third-party experts for things like rust, mold, water/gas leaks, and pests.
Similar to the business safety book we read earlier this year, this book emphasizes doing your own due diligence and prioritizing safety and security over short-term wealth or gain. What good are your assets today if they're on fire, get flooded, are eaten by termites, or explode tomorrow?
Also, you need to be aware that different areas have different laws and regulations about what information needs to be revealed to the potential buyer. The author provides an excellent example of this. He recounts a story of when he was just about ready to buy a house based on a report, however, he talked to an elderly man who'd been in the neighborhood for a while who brought up that the house had burned down over 18 years prior. It turns out that the local laws stated that events that took place on a property more than 18 years prior didn't have to be revealed to buyers because they were consider irrelevant. The author had to do his own little side research to find that out. Because of that, he dodged a bullet.
This insightful book inspired us to consider real-estate!
Check it out on Amazon!