Book Review: 'Rent vs. Own: A Real Estate Reality Check for Navigating Booms, Busts and Bad Advice'
3. Read the real estate news very, very carefully. There is a fire hose of real estate information out there for the consumer who wants to educate himself, but Hodges cautions that much is biased or susceptible to inaccurate interpretation.
She then translates many of the recurring headlines and messages in the national real estate news, surfacing their underlying realities and deactivating their power to drive irrational guilt or overoptimism in the mind of a consumer.
She goes on to offer a decoder for the now-ubiquitous real estate data stories, helping readers understand how to draw conclusions that matter to them from data points like inventory and vacancy levels and price-to-rent ratios.
Hodges closes "Rent vs. Own" out with a smart, comprehensive compendium of all sorts of real estate resources upon which readers can draw, depending on their angles of personal interest -- from real estate memoirs to calculators to listings. If you're wrestling with the decision whether to rent or own your home, "Rent vs. Own" is a strong recommend.
Unfortunately, no book can make the decision for you, but "Rent vs. Own" applies order and sequence to a decision process that can easily grow chaotic and confusing, and is strong when it comes to surfacing relevant stories of consumers you can relate to, and issues and questions that might not otherwise occur to you until you're knee-deep in a serious situation.
Tara-Nicholle Nelson is author of "The Savvy Woman's Homebuying Handbook" and "Trillion Dollar Women: Use Your Power to Make Buying and Remodeling Decisions." Tara is also the Consumer Ambassador and Educator for real estate listings search site Trulia.com. Ask her a real estate question online or visit her website, www.rethinkrealestate.com.
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