The Complete Guide to Investing in Undervalued Properties

The Complete Guide to Investing in Undervalued Properties
Steve Berges
Paperback - McGraw-Hill
256 pages
December 2004

List Price $19.95; Our Price $14.96; You Save $4.99 (25%)




Everything the savvy investor needs to turn huge profits at very low risk in undervalued properties

Steve Berges's "Complete Guides" are among the most recognized brands in real estate investment--always one of the hottest topics on the business bookshelf. In The Complete Guide to Investing in Undervalued Properties, Berges shows yous how to beat rising real-estate prices by identifying sought-after undervalued properties ahead of the pack. Then, he demonstrates how to take control of these properties at very low risk to turn very high profits. You will learn how to:

  • Mine traditional and nontraditional sources for undervalued properties
  • Conduct the all-important property valuation
  • Gain control of undervalued properties using purchase option investing
  • Increase property value instantly
  • Offer the property to a new buyer at a huge profit

Robert Bruss: New book reveals how to buy real estate below market value

By ROBERT J. BRUSS, Inman News Features
March 6, 2005

"...on my scale of one to 10, this outstanding book rates a solid 10!"

Copyright © 2005, Naples Daily News, Naples, FL

Whether you want to buy your next home at a bargain price or you want to acquire investment realty below market value, "The Complete Guide to Investing in Undervalued Properties" by Steve Berges shows the secrets of buying at wholesale prices. But don't be misled. It takes work to locate these under-priced bargains. The author is a successful home builder who well-understands the real estate market whether he is acquiring land for his home construction firm, buying investment property or purchasing a personal residence. Berges reveals virtually all the potential sources and techniques for buying below market value.

But don't get discouraged by the slow start of this superior book. By the third chapter, the pace picks up. However, the publisher's antiquated format makes the reader almost fall asleep. Thankfully, the author's excellent material keeps the reader awake, despite the sometimes page-long, poorly edited paragraphs. A top-quality graphics editor could do wonders for this book.

Throughout the book, Berges uses lots of personal examples from his many years of investing in real estate. Although his Michigan examples have far-below-market prices for most of the nation, typically $50,000 to $100,000 home purchase prices, readers in higher-priced areas should be prepared for this shock. But the principles explained are sound.

Especially valuable is the chapter about foreclosures titled "How You Can Help Distressed Lenders." As a buyer of real estate owned by foreclosing lenders, I never quite viewed my purchases like that. But I like the author's viewpoint. He explains how to negotiate with foreclosing lenders who acquired title to properties and are usually very motivated to sell them at under market value.

Berges recommends repeatedly contacting at least 8 to 10 local lenders to establish a pool of potential foreclosed property purchases. "Another very effective method of locating post-foreclosure properties is through the network of real estate agents the lenders use to dispose of their properties," the author suggests. The principle of understanding subjective value is heavily emphasized. Berges explains why relying on realty agents to determine market value of a property considered for purchase is not always wise unless several agents are consulted to compare their value estimates.

A special technique the author recommends is to hire "scouts" to help find bargain-priced properties. He recommends paying them a finder's fee, although he isn't specific on how much that fee should be. Purchasing bargain-priced properties for little or no cash from the buyer's pocket is emphasized in the "High Leverage Techniques" chapter.

Aimed at buyers who want to quickly "flip" a property, such as by purchasing at a bargain-price, adding some fix-up work, and then selling for a quick profit, Berges explains the methods to use. Although the author is a big advocate of options and lease-options, he doesn't get into much detail other than explaining the generalities.

Personally, as a heavy user of lease-options, I found his lease-option explanation a bit light on important techniques. Although this book contains many generalities rather than specifics and the publisher's boring format makes for sometimes-difficult reading, the basic content is superior and well worth reading. The author's many examples add to the usefulness. Despite the drawbacks, on my scale of one to 10, this outstanding book rates a solid 10!

The Complete Guide to Investing in Undervalued Properties
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