Saturday, October 30, 2010

Foreclosure Moratorium

I have been reading with great interest about all the foreclosure moratoriums, Robodoc signings, missing paperwork, and all the rest being discussed with such melodrama in the mainstream media.

I haven't commented on any of it because none of it is worth discussing.

Politicians will make calls for a foreclosure moratorium in an election year much like they kiss babies and shake hands.  No news here, especially when the foreclosure rate is continuing to grow in 133 of 206 U.S. metropolitan areas.  Vice-President Biden's "Recovery Summer" hasn't exactly worked out like he planned.

People facing foreclosure are desperate and searching for options, any options.  Claiming paperwork errors is a common delaying tactic in all legal proceedings.  It works in foreclosures too.

But in the end there will no national foreclosure moratorium.  Notice how quickly even Mr. Obama ran away from the subject.  The major lenders will tighten up their paperwork filings and continue to process them.  People might gain a month here or a week there by arguing faulty signatures or missing note originals but none of this works in the long-term.

If you agreed to make a monthly mortgage payment and didn't, you can't keep your home because your lender during the foreclosure proceeding failed to sign the proper affidavit in the correct way.

This entire debate has been a snooze.  I'm going back to sleep.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pike Place Market Murder

Yesterday, one block from Pike Place Market and the image to the left, a man was shot to death in the middle of the afternoon, 4:40PM, just as tens of thousands of office workers were headed home.

The sidewalks at the time of the murder yesterday were crowded, filled with people waiting for buses, walking, shopping.

One man just one single block from the largest tourist site in Seattle walked up to another man after an altercation and shot him in the head three times.  The killer then walked one block to restaurant where he, strangely, ordered a plate of French fries and was arrested.

The murderer was under court ordered supervision yesterday, out of prison for little over a year on multiple felony charges including burglary and assault.  So far the media has not asked the simple question "Why was this supervised felon carrying a handgun?"

The victim was a career criminal too who had been arrested THIRTY-NINE times since 1997.  He had just been released from jail on drug charges in August after his rape convictions had been overturned on appeal.

This murder was the second killing with a handgun of the week.  On Saturday another man was shot to death by another career criminal with a long history of felony convictions who, ironically, actually been arrested at the very same intersection of the murder earlier this year with a stolen handgun.

When will Seattle wake up to its growing problem of violence?  And who is causing it?  And why are these career criminals, psychotics, and drug addicts roaming the streets with illegal guns?

It is just a matter of time until a tourist is murdered near Pike Place Market or the Space Needle.  It is only sheer luck that someone was not shot or killed yesterday by a stray bullet.  Then the hotels and the restaurants and the businesses that live off the tourist trade can suffer because the city is playing nice with rapists, drug dealers, convicted murderers, and other assorted sociopaths.

By the way, the murder yesterday took place at the intersection of Second Avenue and Pike Street in downtown Seattle.  I have mentioned that location before in this blog.

It is where the retail chain Target is going to build its first urban store, a decision announced with great fanfare earlier this summer.  I predicted the placement was going to be a disaster for the company then and I'm standing by that assessment with even more confidence after the grisly events of yesterday.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Seattle Homeless Encampment

The City of Seattle has made it known it wants to build a PERMANENT encampment for homeless men and women on city property and open up city parks and other public buildings for use as shelters.

Would you like to live next to such a place or have a business across the street from a tent city of homeless men and women?  Ask the residents who have lived near "Nickelsville", Seattle's roaming tent city for the homeless named after the former mayor who attempted to actually enforce trespassing laws on city property.

The decision to find a PERMANENT site for the homeless camp is called "controversial" by government leaders.  REALLY?  I urge any person to visit any city park in Seattle today and see what conditions are like.  Take in the sights of drunks and drug addicts passed out in the middle of the day, sleeping on the grass.  Enjoy the smells of people who defecate on themselves and do not bathe for days and weeks at a time.  Be sure to do all this during daylight hours because at night you risk your life just walking down the street near the park.

What will be the end result if this madness becomes reality and a permanent site is found for homeless men and women to pitch tents, cook meals, and otherwise build a community?

Angry residents.  LOTS OF ANGRY RESIDENTS.

A tent city built for 100 people will soon have 300 and calls will be made for a larger space on more city land.

Property values for the legitimate residents of the area that actually bought homes there will decline.

Crime will increase in the area.

There will be more vagrants, drug addicts, unregistered sex offenders, prostitutes, unmedicated mental patients, and other "homeless" people flocking to Seattle since the word on the street, like Groucho's secret word, is "permissive."

The problem is this situation is not homelessness.  There are many people who literally have fallen on hard times and need help.  However, these are NOT the residents of Nickelsville.  The professional homeless political class that resides there take pride in their homelessness, rather than taking positive steps to end it.

If the City of Seattle really wants to tackle the problem of homelessness and all the lawlessness it causes on its streets, it needs to do two things:

1.  Enforce vagrancy and trespassing laws that will discourage runaways, transients, drunks, addicts, and others from flocking to Seattle in the first place;

2.  Target the available public services to those people who actually need real help, who want to change their lives and get off the streets, not feed and house petty street criminals who have decided to live as permanent parasites on society.

The urban problem of homelessness is insatiable.  You could devote the entire GDP of the United States to the problem and in the end you would have more homeless than ever before.

As Ronald Reagan so accurately put it years ago:

"We fought a war on poverty in the 1960s.  Poverty won."

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Fires by Joe Flood

The Fires: How a Computer Formula, Big Ideas, and the Best of Intentions Burned Down New York City-and Determined the Future of Cities by author Joe Flood is another MUST READ book for all real estate investors.

This exciting and exhaustively researched book tells the story of how much of New York City literally burned to the ground in the late 1960s and early 1970s because of policy making decisions made by then New York Mayor John Lindsay and the New York Fire Department.  While their intentions were good, they turned over much of their manpower assessment decisions to a computer system designed by the RAND Corporation, at the time one of the world's most respected think tanks.

The result, as author Joe Flood makes perfectly clear, was a disaster.

More than 2,000 people in New York City were killed.

Hundreds of thousands lost their homes.

Whole sections of New York, from the South Bronx, the Lower East Side, Harlem, and Brooklyn, went up in flames not because there were too few firefighters but because a computer system had them put in the wrong locations.

Real estate investors all across America need to read this book.  In an era of municipal budget cuts that will chop away at not just the fiscal fat but into real muscle as well, it is easy to see this same process replicated again in cities all across the United States as governments attempt to save money by using private consultants and their computer wizardry to create economic efficiencies.

There are no real villains in The Fires.  There are two mayors, an ambitious fire commissioner, and an assorted cast of consultants who have nothing but the best of intentions at the start but end with an epic catastrophe on their hands.

As a real estate investor you had better know who is assigning municipal protections to your neighborhoods and how they are doing it.  If you assume your local government is doing this correctly, you are naive.

The Fires by Joe Flood is a strong lesson as to what happens when government looks to technology for answers and only creates far worse problems for ordinary citizens.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

FTC v. John Stefanchik

For those who don't remember him, John Stefanchik was an 1990s-era get rich quick in real estate guru who pitched a book and home study course telling people they could make a fortune in real estate paper.

His Wealth Without Boundaries program promised you could "make $10,000 every thirty days---guaranteed."

Well, as you guessed, buyers of his course soon learned that there were no magic pots of cash available to be harvested monthly.  Stefanchik got rich selling his course.  His students got poorer.

Ultimately, the FTC got a $17 million judgement against Stefanchik and his operation has been shut down.  The Stefanchik Method: Earn $10,000 a Month for the Rest of Your Life-In Your Spare Time is now being sold on Amazon for just 32 cents.

What is important these days is not the name or the lesson of John Stefanchik.  There are a legion of get-rich-quick real estate gurus who make John look like a petty amateur when it comes to making phony claims about their products.  And of course the get-rich-quick schemers go far beyond just real estate offerings.  Check out the doozy in the ad above.  Make almost $1,000 per day working at home on Twitter????

What really is important these days is the case of Federal Trade Commission v. John Stefanchik, 559 F. 3rd. 924 (2009) where the FTC's methods used to evaluate guru course promises was called into question by Stefanchik on appeal.

He lost, and multiple official sources within the FTC tell me there is a host of new enforcement cases coming through the pipeline based on the FTC's methodology in that case.

This is excellent news because the FTC's approach in Stefanchik was dead on perfect.  The claims made during the last real estate bubble by flipping property "experts" alone would fill an encyclopedia of the absurd and ridiculous.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Government Owned Real Estate Selloff

Want to make a quick killing in real estate?  Here's a trick that actually does work.  But you will need a lot of cash and some good government connections to pull it off.  Both are doable, but tough.

The government at all levels is broke.  The Feds, the states, and even your local city and county needs cash to pay usually absurd levels of fixed operating expenses like salaries and pensions.

So now there is a huge selloff in government owned real estate.  Everything from parking garages to baseball fields to prisons to rivers and lakes.  If the government owns it, it is likely for sale.  The government is also picking up many properties through forced sales, foreclosures, tax sales, and other creditor proceedings.

Today some real estate investors just bought the Orange County (California) fairgrounds.  Check out the sweet deal they got.  Even some of the local pols realize how sweet it was and objected.  Read this excellent article from the O.C. on who these local investors are and how they put this deal together.  Fascinating stuff.  This is a truly spectacular piece of real estate.  Impossible to recreate at any price.  The map above shows how large this parcel is and how many separate cash flows it has all on a rather undeveloped piece of land.

Wherever you are, some government is likely selling or attempting to sell a piece of your neighborhood.

The deals will be excellent for shrewd investors.  The government is motivated, very very motivated, and needs cash fast.  The properties they hold are often local gems, irreplaceable.  And the financing offered including tax abatements, low interest loans, and other incentives are unique to dealing with a government entity.  No private party can waive taxes, for example.

There are many ways to play this trend, a subject I will address further in future articles.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bernanke Wants Inflation

Here is what the Washington Post says about Helicopter Ben Bernanke's new scheme to inject inflation into the moribund U.S. economy.

Of course his new plan is madness, but who is going to stop him?

When you have a Fed Chairman acting like a desperate teenage girl trying to find a last minute date to the prom, you have a national economy in crisis.

Which, of course, we do.

His new $1 trillion scheme will have profound implications for the U.S. dollar, oil prices, and the world economy as a whole.  Forget what I say Bernanke's latest dunderhead program.  Here is what The Wall Street Journal says and they are right.

I have been calling for this fool to be fired for more than three years now in this blog.

It's only a matter of time before the mainstream press starts to agree with me.  Even they are starting to get it, and that's not a good thing.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Robert Abalos Saves Homebuyer $350,000

Here is an email received from Phoenix, Arizona.  It is unedited and published with the consent of the writer.

Mr. Abalos:


My husband and I wanted to thank you for your advice on our recent house purchase and remodel.  According to the estimates we have now you saved us about $350,000.  We would have borrowed much more to buy our home and dip into our savings to do it.


We can't thank you enough.  God bless you.


Pablo and Maria Espinoza

And what was my advice to this lovely couple?

1.  Don't buy more home than you can afford.
2.  A home is not an investment.  It is a place to live, not an asset that puts money in your pocket every month.
3.  Don't put high end amenities in a low end, bread-and-butter home.

Simple advice.  Very effective.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Seattle Crime Wave Continues

Just some updates on how life is REALLY in the Emerald City, or what has happened since the Friday and Saturday night rain of gunfire three days ago in downtown Seattle

Accused rapist charged in sexual assault

A serial rapist under suspicion and arrest for two serious and violent rapes attacks yet another woman in a great neighborhood, Ballard.  Very upscale and trendy.  Great nightlife.  Why is this guy walking the streets of the city?

Woman runner attacked with knife in city park

A 55-year old woman jogging in one of the most beautiful parks in Seattle was assaulted by a 18-year old unknown male with a knife and thrown to the ground.  Luckily she fought back.

Man sprays bar bouncer with Bear mace

Some angry man attacks the bouncers at one of Seattle's most popular nightclubs with a can of Bear mace after he is ejected from the club.

The Monday Morning Burglary Report

A wonderful interactive map where you can track where criminals targeted people's homes and businesses.  The map only represents 48-hours over a weekend and only burglaries that were reported.

I could go on but what's the point?

Seattle residents are fleeing the downtown core for other urban locations like Georgetown and Northgate, and also making suburban cities like Kent and Bothell very happy.

The effect on rents and property values downtown is obvious.

Crime affects property values.  If this is the problem, then the solution is also obvious.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Green Roofs in Sustainable Landscape Design

I don't often read a real estate book that is just about perfect.  I read pretty much everything new that comes out or reaches my neighborhood library and bookstores.  Most of what I read is really just rehashes of what has been said ten million times before, putting old wine into new bottles.  It takes a real punch to knock me out on a new real estate book.

I just bought and read a simply incredible one by author Steven L. Cantor titled Green Roofs in Sustainable Landscape Design.  This book just blew me away.

It's beautiful, almost a coffee table book, filled with gorgeous color photography pressed on glossy paper.  The subject matter is covered in microscopic detail with hundreds of examples.  This book is the definitive treatment any person who wants to use green roofs as part of a landscape MUST MUST MUST have.

I cannot recommend this book enough.  It's just inspirational to read.  You want to go out and build green roofs.  And why not?  They are functional, beautiful, environmentally friendly, and people love them.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Yet Another Downtown Seattle Shooting

For months now I have been writing about the increasing violence and crime in the downtown core of Seattle which is where I live.  It is also the same neighborhood where the fictional Frasier Crane lived, and where all the tourist places that define Seattle are, such as the Space Needle and Pike Place Market.

This is also the same part of town where all the major hotels are located, that houses the Washington State Convention Center, the city's theater district, the city's music and nightclub district, and where 90% of the tourists who visit Seattle on business or pleasure stay and/or party.

The fact that a popular tavern betting game now jokes about the number of shootings, murders, and other mayhem that will occur each weekend, with the winner guessing the closest without going over, sort of like on The Price is Right, illustrates how shocking it all can be for residents.

This weekend, last night in fact, there was an ambush of a car at one of the most important street intersections of the city, First Avenue and Denny Way, where a car was sprayed with a hail of bullets just when the numerous bars and nightclubs in the area where getting ready to close.

Eight shots fired.

Two men hospitalized.

One critical.

There are a dozen condo and apartment buildings around this building.  Would you want the job of selling or leasing real estate in any of them tomorrow morning?  Read what RESIDENTS of the area, people who have already had the (mis)fortune to live near 1st and Denny say about the shooting and what they feel about the sheer number of them.  The website where these comments are posted, by the way, is SeattleCrime.com which chronicles all the deterioration one assault and battery at a time.

It is a disgrace such a website is even necessary.

Oh I forgot to mention.  The night before there was yet another shooting, just about seven blocks away, and four blocks from Pike Place Market.  Again, this gunfire was in no isolated area but in the center of the city's nightclub district where lots of tourists and residents spend their money and weekends.

This time two men were arrested when police responded to reports of gunfire at the intersection of First Avenue (again) and Bell.

Real estate is LOCAL, and it is mostly about LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION, so it would make sense that people do not want to live or pay top dollar to live near urban battlefields filled with psychos and drug addicts who have firefights in the streets.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Bad Condo Development



Residents of downtown Seattle know the familiar site of the half demolished ruin of the Alfaretta Apartments at the corner of Seneca and 8th Avenue.  I walked by the other day and shot this video.

A former 60-unit apartment building, the site was being cleared for a 294-unit, two tower condo development called Seneca Towers to be constructed by Levin Menzies and his company Laconia Development LLC, a well known builder in Seattle and on the west coast of the United States.  In other words, he's no slouch.

But the eyesore ruin of the Alfaretta has been standing, sort of, for more than three years now at the corner of one of the city's premier development locations.  The remains of the Alfaretta is a magnet for drug dealers, vagrants looking for a place to camp out for the night, and other criminal elements that aren't going to be deterred by a chain link fence that does not even circle the entire site.

I've been around construction and demolition sites for thirty years and I've never seen anything like this before.  The building was being torn down and then...POOF...all worked seemed to stop, as if the five o'clock whistle blew and the workers never returned to the site.

Plus, why demolish a building until you actually need to clear the site?  The condo market in Seattle stalled in 2007, like it did everywhere in America, so Menzies can't be blamed for delaying his project.

But one of the most basic rules of real estate development is you DON'T CLEAR A SITE UNTIL YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED TO CLEAR IT.

This example proves the point why you don't clear sites prematurely, Menzies has lost three years of rent from an apartment building that was fully leased up (despite many tenant problems, read this) and has had to carry the costs of this prime land himself and also deal with the ridicule of producing one of the ugliest urban ruins in the United States.  Plus it is a stain on his otherwise decent reputation.  Who wants to own such a mess and have everyone publicly discuss it?

The Alfaretta Apartments, an old Seattle building from pre-World War II, had outlived its days and its meeting with the wrecking ball was inevitable.

But there it still stands today, mostly anyway, and residents and visitors consistently ask themselves the obvious question when seeing this near Roman relic in downtown Seattle---

WTF?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Downtown Seattle Serial Rapist Sentenced

Home sales in King County, Washington (where Seattle is) are DOWN for the third straight month, a whopping 28% drop in September 2010 over the same dismal month in the previous year.

Why do you ask?  King County has a lower than national average unemployment rate of 8.6% and a solid and diverse economy.  If money isn't a large factor (it sure is a small one) than why the dramatic drop in home sales and the stagnation in the market?

To paraphrase James Carville, it's the livability stupid.  People are SICK of the street crime, vagrancy, drug dealing, prostitution, and assorted indignities of life in Seattle.  Our public parks in Seattle have become campgrounds and toilets for alcoholics and drug addicts, and the alleys of our streets are bathrooms and bedrooms for junkies and prostitutes.  Your car is not safe to park on the street, and you can't walk two blocks without being intercepted by a panhandler.  The center of prostitution for all of Washington State is a strip of streets called "The Track" that is literally at the base of Seattle's Space Needle where you can see 15-year old girls turning tricks to feed drug habits.

Want to pay $500,000 for a condo to live here?  Or $800,000 for a four bedroom house?

There are so many homeless men and women living in downtown Seattle that a serial rapist ONLY TARGETING HOMELESS WOMEN was sentenced today.  He was raping women in the Soda neighborhood of Seattle which is exactly where the Seattle Mariners and Seattle Seahawks have their stadiums.  He is known to have attacked four women but probably many more.

The City of Seattle needs to WAKE UP and start addressing REAL citizen concerns and not politically correct nonsense like bike boxes and green energy initiatives.

What makes infill development and gentrification work are low crime rates.

What you have in Seattle and the surrounding communities is growing crime and urban decay.

People are increasingly sick of it and just don't want to buy homes in such a place.  It's that simple.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Obama Vetoes Foreclosure Bill

President Obama (pocket) vetoed a bill today that would have speeded up the foreclosure process for banks and law firms struggling under the weight of hundreds of thousands of forced sale proceedings.  The bill itself is rather simple, allowing for the out-of-state recognition of notarized documents, but the veto sure wasn't.

Of course, it is a political election year act.

Yes, there have been "improper acts" by lenders who rush through proceedings without dotting every I and crossing every T.  Some of the sales themselves have been fraudulent, of this I am very sure.

But the act is NECESSARY.  No one believes that the foreclosure process is without economic pain, especially for the homeowner losing their place to live.  But the act is NECESSARY to get properties out of the hands of people that cannot afford them or made extremely bad choices in the first place buying them.

It's hard not to be sympathetic towards mortgagors in foreclosure.  But keeping them in homes they cannot afford is tantamount to giving many irresponsible buyers a free pass at home ownership at the expense of those who played by the rules, bought reasonable properties at decent prices, and sacrificed to make large down payments.  The issue isn't the property itself, it is the people who wanted it without being reasonable or prudent.

The bill Mr. Obama vetoed was NECESSARY.  All the political grandstanding and electioneering just means the U.S. residential real estate crisis will linger, lasting longer and digging deeper than it should have in the first place.  Freezing foreclosures will simply freeze the problem in place instead of letting the system play out, however cruel that sometimes can be.

What Mr. Obama's pocket veto today really demonstrates is not how his administration cares about homeowners in foreclosure but how inept the U.S. Congress has become. The world's most distinguished deliberative body is passing bills without even knowing the consequences of their actions---and then leaving town to campaign for reelection which, of course, most do not deserve.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Redfin: Great Idea, Not-So-Great Execution

I'm a huge fan of Redfin, the Seattle-based online brokerage company, not so much because they are local to my home city but because their business model is unique and necessary.

Anything that shakes up the competition so strongly that competitors threaten "to break their (Redfin's) kneecaps" is a good for the real estate sales industry which has not caught up with the times.  The basic brokerage business model is caught in the 1950s.  Fixed sales commissions?  That idea went out the window with respect to stock sales in the 1970s but it lingers in the real estate markets putting a major damper on sales and inventory turnover.

So Redfin is fresh and what they are trying to do great.

Then what's the problem?

Simply put, they have a lot of IDIOTS working within the company.

There have been many layoffs at Redfin as you can imagine given the real estate recession.  Unfortunately I feel that the company has been cutting muscle and not fat.  While Redfin is filled with great representatives and executives, I have met more than a few that are arrogant and just plain dumb.  I had a confrontation with one moron in their marketing department this morning who was so obnoxious and ignorant that I'm taking my complaints to senior management, including one of Redfin's major investors, Vulcan Ventures, the capital arm of Microsoft's Paul Allen.

This RETARD, who does not even know the company's own policies or how they are enforced, needs to be severely reprimanded or fired.  Either would suit me as a start to cleaning house on a superb company that needs some quick changes.

I want Redfin to succeed.  I'm a fan.  They have a great concept, a necessary one.  But the company has far too many bad apples who don't properly represent the firm, its core message, or even know the company's own business practices.  Some minor tinkering would make a great company even greater.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bernanke Warns U.S. Deficit is Unsustainable But No One is Listening

Fed Chairman Helicopter Ben Bernanke is now publicly warning that the U.S. budget deficit is "unsustainable" and that there is no reason to expect the U.S. economy to grow out of its fiscal mess anytime soon.

This is wonderful news.  Except that no one, not even his own Fed members, are listening to him.

For example, President of the Chicago Fed Charles Evans is now arguing for, and I quote, "much more easing" and "much more accommodation than we currently have in place."

Does anyone, ANYONE, really believe more bond repurchases are going to spur U.S. economic growth when TRILLIONS of dollars of fiscal stimulus has already failed?

The financial markets ignore Bernanke because he has NO credibility left on the subject of monetary policy.  Congress ignores him on the deficit because he merely accommodates their spending.  Why reform the budget or make unpopular spending cuts when Bernanke and his Fed will just create new money on demand?

It's nice to hear Mr. Bernanke finally agreeing with me on the deficit.  I have only been arguing against excessive Federal spending for, um, like THIRTY YEARS now.  I'm happy he has found religion, better late than never I guess.

But Helicopter Ben reminds me in many ways of former U.S. Senator William Alden Smith, who was one of the Congressional investigators looking into the sinking of the Titanic.  Senator Smith (that's him in the picture above) will forever be remembered for the many truly dumb questions he asked during this inquiry.  A well intentioned and educated man, he was just out of his depth when trying to investigate the sinking of an ocean liner in the middle of the Atlantic.

This is typical of the questions he asked during the investigation:

"If the Titanic had watertight compartments, why didn't the passengers of the ship take shelter there and await rescue?"

See the parallels?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Whatever Happened to Mike and Irene Milin?

UPDATED:  Readers of this blog post flooded me with information about the Milins.  Click here to read the updated article about the Milins.

Mike and Irene Milin, the "dynamic duo" of get-rich-quick real estate gurus, were familiar faces on late night infomercial TV for years.  Starting in the late 1980s and until about three years ago I saw them pitching home study courses and other products pretty much everywhere.  While their usual real estate offerings were what you would expect (find distressed buyers, improve the property, etc.) their last sales pitches dealt with making money through government auctions.  (Another dead-end business if every there was one.  Read this article that discusses the Milins and their government auction course.)

But today, I can't find any new information on either Mike or Irene Milin.  Their last website, www.nationalgrants.com is off the Internet.  No one I know has news on either of them.  Google searches for the couple are a dry hole yielding nothing.

I never had a high regard for their books or home study offerings.  Their best book, which is not saying much, is How to Buy and Manage Rental Properties: The Milin Method of Real Estate Management for the Small Investor, and contains all the same advice you can read in about 25,000 other books on rental property management.  This does not make this book bad.  It just means it is nothing special and not unique or memorable in any way.

What really soured me on the Milins was their constant hype about their lifestyle, their airplanes, boats, trips, and luxury everything.  Here is a website describing their home.  All this silence and quiet from the couple makes me wonder what happened to them---and why.

If anyone has any information about Mike or Irene Milin please contact me at robertjabalos@gmail.com. I am very curious about what happened to this very very very very very public couple and so are a number of people I know.