Friday, May 12, 2006

Mini-Review: "The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner" by David Bach

Author: Nick
Category: Money
Topics: ,

this is a book, not a house

I was lucky enough to win one of Free Money Finance‘s book giveaways a couple of months ago, and I finally had a chance to finish reading the book last night. The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner by David Bach promised an enjoyable read that would show me how to stop being an idiot renter and start making my automatic millions of dollars through real estate. The book certainly delivered on its promise, but I was a little disappointed with the execution of the delivery.

The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner starts out strong–maybe a little too strong. Bach recounts a tale about an ordinary couple who, over the course of a few decades, turned a dreary economic outlook into a far brighter one thanks to some wise real estate transactions. These early chapters come off a little too much like an infomercial trying to sell me the book (and maybe some of Bach’s other books), but it wasn’t enough to turn me off from continuing.

The remainder of The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner details a pretty straightforward process of buying a home, living in it for a while, then using the built-up equity to buy another home while renting out the previous. Bach goes into some of the finer details of finding the best deal on a mortgage, hunting for the right house, and transitioning from being a simple homeowner to a landlord.

Bach’s writing style is easy to read and kept things interesting throughout, but I still found myself wanting more in the end. The book glazed over what most people will say is the hardest part of the home-buying process: closing on the purchase. But in Bach’s defense, it would probably take two more books to treat that subject with the detail it really needs.

I can say that The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner certainly gave me the extra push I needed toward pursuing homeownership. While my wife (who also read the book) and I previously considered waiting two or three years to stop renting and start owning, reading Bach’s book motivated us to push that timetable up by a year or more. In fact, we’ve already gone to a couple of house showings, so we may own a house far sooner than we thought.

If you have a friend who absolutely refuses to stop renting, you can offer a copy of The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner to help him or her see the opposite side of the coin. I can’t promise this book will change everyone’s mind toward owning a home, but it can at least help inform people about the benefits of doing so.

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