When IrvineRenter approached us to write a review about his book I almost said no. Although I still follow the local housing market closely I really didn’t have the time nor energy to keep up with all the housing blogs. A week or so passed and the book came in the mail and just sat on my desk. And on my desk it sat for some time until I finally picked it up last weekend. I haven’t picked it up since because I finished the whole thing in one sitting.
In this time of economic hardship every financial decision becomes critical in one way or another. Sure oil is no longer $5/gallon, but many folks don’t have jobs to drive to either. I can’t seem to go through a day without hearing of this bailout or that rescue on the news. Because no one really knows when the economy will pick up again, I find it more important than ever to understand the real estate market and not make any bad moves that can put you and your family’s way of life in jeopardy.
Enter IR’s book – The Great Housing Bubble. You can buy it here, here or here. Lawrence Roberts is best known for his posts documenting the real estate crash on the IrvineHousingBlog as IrvineRenter. I have been an IHB reader since late 2006 and I encourage you to visit it if you don’t already. The author does a great job of presenting multiple aspects of the real estate market by taking the reader through the fundamentals and broad concepts of real estate economics, the structural and psychological factors of the bubble and finally how to deal with and prevent another one from forming.
As I read the book I found myself both amused and amazed at the clarity it brings to the current RE situation. Amused because I have yet to empty my personal reservoir of schadenfreude and amazed at how clearly the components of the bubble equation were spelled out. What factors contributed to the bubble and how did they affect the market? How can you protect yourself from making a bad financial decision in the next bubble? The analysis are well thought out and clearly communicated to the reader. I recommend this book whether you are a renter waiting on the sidelines with cash, a home debtor stuck underwater or even a hopeful real estate agent looking for business.
I should have prefaced this earlier in the post, but I do not have any incentive, financial nor personal, to promote this book. What we bubble blog authors write will not change the course of events that have and will unfold in the coming years. My goal is to get the word out to help people understand the real estate market so history does not repeat itself over and over again.