The mountain of get-rich real estate books on my desk reached an unwieldy pinnacle back at end of 2005 — so much so that I had to dodge the occasional avalanche.
I was the real estate reporter for The (Bergen) Record newspaper in New Jersey and had recently finished a series of stories called “Boom or Bubble: How Long Can The Boom Last.”
Of course, I didn’t buy these books and could steal only enough time to skim a few of them. Publishers sent me complimentary copies, hoping for a mention or the possibility that I’d interview the author. The books rarely made it into my stories but they kept rolling in.
A few layers from the top, there were three copies of the pre-bust classic from National Association of Realtors’ Chief Economist David Lereah: “Are You Missing the Real Estate Boom — The Boom Will Not Bust and Why Property Values Will Continue to Climb Through the End of the Decade - And How to Profit From Them.” A family is pictured on the cover, gazing up in amazement at a levitating house.
Lereah, who was later dubbed by critics as the Baghdad Bob of real estate, updated the book and rereleased it in February 2006 with the new title: “Why the Real Estate Boom Will Not Bust and How You Can Profit From it.”
The bust began a few months later. The Dallas Morning News’ Steve Brown has an interesting column today on the slump in get-rich real estate books.