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Reader comments on the book Aggressive Tax Avoidance for Real Estate Investors 19th edition by John T. Reed

Thanks again for what you do, John. Thanks for helping me to see deeper.

Regards, Bryan Rush

Recently had an IRS audit....Hundreds of 1000's of $$ were at stake.....Been reading your books for years.... all items held up just as [explained] by your writings & reading your real estate book many times over the years.--I…can easily state that by using the information in your Real Estate Book (The orginal, & the updates) we have been able to save $100,000's of dollars (no doubt over $500,000) and all held up in a IRS audit as we had followed your advice on rental property deduction for years.


Mike Prevot

Hi John,

I just finished your book. It was terrific! Your work always has high quality content. I really appreciate it. I came across your work when I saw you in the NY Times a few years ago. Kudos and take care,

Sanjay Dipchand

I have been completely satisfied by all the books I've ordered previously from John Reed and am looking forward eagerly to reading his latest on protecting oneself from the coming financial crisis.

John Whiteheart

I first encountered your books about 15 years ago when we first got started buying rental real estate. Yours has been amongst the finest advice we've received. Your words ring in my ears to this day and I'm looking forward to reading more. THANKS!!!

Jan Webb

You've made me lots of money over the years. Aggressive tax avoidance was a beautiful read. How to Manage Real Estate For Maximum Profit wound it's way into my mind. I've used it consciously at first & increased income & the value of my property. The style of analysis you apply to real estate helps me get in that groove and make better decisions. I'd have to sit down and think of specifics, but you're books have helped me make tens of thousands of extra dollars over the years. I'm a smart guy, you are too. I would have made money. But I've found little ideas and broad themes where I said aha! For a $20 book (at the time), I increased the income from, as well as the value of, my property by $15,000 using the idea of converting underutilized space into an extra bedroom. Didn't make two tiny bedrooms. The guys that built this duplex, made one giant weird looking bedroom. $50 worth of sheet rock, $100 of lumber, a door, and voila-more or less, and I have converted a two bedroom that rented for $425 into a three bedroom that rents for $500. Just have completed splitting the water service to this duplex as well, which will allow me to let the tenants pay for their own water. That's another $5000 in added value + less hassle time paying the bill. If they ever get pissed off and flood my duplex, they'll do it on their nickel. Thanks So Much!

Thanks So Much!
All The Best,
Gary Scarborough

All The Best, Gary S.

Thanks John!  Your books and newsletter are the best in the industry. Keep up the great work. I have quite a few of your books, and a lot of books by many others. Yet I only ever reread and refer back to your books. Your books have substance, specifics and details where others are general and wanting.

Best Regards,


--- On Tue, 9/1/09, John T Reed <> wrote:

> From: John T Reed <>
> Subject: Order comments
> To:
> Date: Tuesday, September 1, 2009, 12:34 AM
> Thanks for your kind comments. (
> May I quote you?
> Jack Reed

I started with Leigh Robinson's "Landlording" [book], a duplex, and my first tenants, two brothers who had done prison time in Texas for murder. Amazingly they turned out to be great tenants. In the first couple of years I ran onto one of your books & ended up reading, I believe, everything you had written up to that point, except for your football coaching books.
Robinson gave me the rule of 72 if I attribute that correctly. Robinson was a nice "undergraduate"  education so to speak. However I did "grad school" with your books! [Reed note: Leigh is a friend of mine. I am sure he has customer emails that compare his books to mine wit his getting the preference. I recommend all of Leigh’s books inculding in my books that compete with his.] You gave me analytical thinking, intense curiosity and the value of thinking inside and outside the box applied to real estate. Things I value, but also tempered by your years and years of study, thought, networking and picking the brains of others with various areas of expertise.
One way to make money is to follow straightforward guidelines that work. One guideline is what the multipliers are. You have to look for situations where there is going to be enough money coming in to cover all the unexpected things you come to expect in this business. Sometimes real estate comes up that is structurally and mechanically sound, you have a very good idea what it will rent for, the multipliers are amazingly favorable, and you just pull the trigger. Not a lot of those come through.
On the other hand, you usually make the most money when you buy things where you can see the value and others don't. There is something there that scares people, looks yucky, or they just can't put it together in their mind. The critical part is, you have to be pretty selective. On the numbers and what you're thinking outside the box. You have to have that feel, and when you do, you structure a deal and pull the trigger. A good thing about deals like that, is there is not a lot of hurry on it. Other people don't see what you see. The property has often been sitting there for quite a while. Sometimes I have let them sit. Either through pursuing something else, or just getting "time on my side". Then when you offer you can often take a chunk off the asking price. That puts money in your pocket, and runs the rent multiplier much favorably lower. Time gives you the grace of investigating thoroughly everything you can about a property.
Making money for me is a very good thing. However I don't measure things by a fistfull of dollars. What keeps me going in real estate is just the many different ways there are to make money, add value, see the ahas!, and often turn something that looks like Jed Clampett's backyard into a decent livable profitable desirable piece of real estate that can be 1031 exchanged for the next challenge/opportunity.
Where people get in trouble is trying to buy things at way too high a price and rent them out. I know of at least 2 investors that are underwater right now because they are too leveraged and have too high a [gross rent] multiplier. [Reed note: A gross rent multiplier is the purchase price divided by the gross annual rents. A five or six would usually be a good GRM.]
Now the above you can print if you wish without attribution. I live in a very small, very rural town. I don't want to be out trying to buy something with folks knowing, although there is 5 feet of salmonella infested pig shit, that I have said in print that I like to wait and knock dollars off. Wouldn't be a good application of game strategy or negotiating strategy.
I've often meant to write you and thank you. I doubt if I will ever meet you in person. But if you ever are coming through state redacted give me a call. I'll take you to lunch or dinner. There's a lot of bullshit, manipulation, just not good stuff in real estate transactions. I've had my license for a couple of years, not doing a lot with it. But it really has opened my eyes to some of the things that happen. You have made me money. Thousands of dollars over the years. I'm sure I'll apply things I've learned, or glean other ideas as I go forward in life as a real esate that will make even more. For a $20 book, at the time, or $30 book, you usually don't have that kind of payback. The payback you get from your books is is like an advanced university degree in terms of increasing your income.

I've been using your Aggressive Tax book for several years, long meaning to write you a note of appreciation.  

There aren't many folks today that offer the quality content that you do.  So much of what I find if fluff written by and for the less literate.  

For twenty five years I've managed my handful of multi-family properties here on the beach and I've read all I can find on the subject.  Your material is tops, as are the essays on your site.

A few short excerpts from some of your work on your site would also tell people like me that your books are vastly different from the fluff out there.  The detail and passion you put into your writings is so refreshing.  Keep writing.

Thanks again,

Name withheld by request


Just wanted to say thanks.  

Best regards,

Long Beach NY

Hello Sir! I have  been a subscriber to your news letter for 10+ years, and have purchased many  of your books.

I have found your writings to be marvelously helpful and entertaining reading. You are a real straight shooter.
Based on what I learned from you, I did 1031 exchanges [in]  Haddonfield[, NJ] into [an apartment] complex in Burlington, VT.
I have also developed two commercial facilities in  Vermont, and used your arguments and court cases to support component depreciation of 15 years rather than [39] years for landscaping depreciable life on these. Since one of these properties was built on enormous landfill, this was a huge  difference in tax deferral. Any one of the things I did above would have paid for your newsletter subscription and books many, many times  over.
Sincerely, Larry Kruse

Dear John,

A few decades ago, I picked up your "Aggressive Tax Avoidance for Real Estate Investors" at a bookstore and bought it. Not because I was a real estate investor or seriously wanted to be (though I toyed with the idea after reading the book). But, because, I started reading it at the bookstore and couldn't put it down. I just loved your straight-forward, easy to understand style. And, though I never became a real estate investor (I used stocks to build my wealth as I just found it more to my personal style), I was able to use your advice to lower my takes over the years by thousands of dollars. I have long considered it the best $20 I ever spent.

To my memory, your advice was simple and sound: never do tax fraud - don't cross the line to the clearly illegal - but go up to the very edge (the gray areas) as it is both ethical and smart. Don't limit your tax strategies for fear of an audit - but do your homework and be prepared for the audit (which, chances are strong, will never come). If that wasn't one of the core messages in the book, my apology! I continued to buy your books until they disappeared from the bookstore as I just love your style. And, while I have never needed to use them for real estate, I have ended up passing them to friends who have.

I had loaned your Aggressive Tax Avoidance book on more than one occasion and never got it back many years ago. A few minutes ago I reordered it. (I also ordered your self-publishing book because I have recently retired and have a few that I would like to write).

Robin McDuff
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Mr. Reed,

I want to thank you for all the books I've purchased from you. Your material is by far the best out there. Thank you so much.

Gary Dueboay

Your books are proving one of the highlights of my day. I occasionally read some of the Succeeding book to my teens – easier for them to get it from you than from dad. The book on writing is generating confidence in me every time I read it. The real estate books can be intimidating at times because I’m as green as they come at this but even though I don’t get it all, I wouldn’t dare do this without having read your stuff. I read a few pages and I feel I’ve just eaten a 12 ounce steak – have to pause and digest! Anyhow, thanks for your work.

Dave Hagni

Very informative even for me with with 34 yrs. commercial real estate experience as a developer, investor and broker in New York City. Well-written, graphically easy to read and understand. Should be required reading for everyone involved in real estate be they owner, broker, developer, attorney and, yes, even accountant. Think of the cost of this book as an investment: Your return on investment (ROI)will undoubtedly be greater than any real estate deal you will ever make.

John Belo, NYC

Dear Mr.. Reed, I received your book "Aggressive Tax Avoidance for Real Estate Investors" and have been reading it non-stop.

The material really hits the bulls eye.

Thanks for putting your money where your mouth is.


Jay Good
Memphis, TN

“Back in '95 when I started in RE investing, I bought your 14th edition. It has been instrumental in my success in the business (approaching 20 properties). Excellent Book. Thank You. -Jim Piwowarczyk

“Your book "Aggressive Tax Avoidance For Real Estate Investors" has already saved me money. We lived in our last fixer only 22 months due to a job transfer which sent us 2 time zones away. I discovered in your book that we probably will not have to pay tax on all of the (35K) profit. Someone on the web told me I would have to pay the tax on all the profit because the exemption was "all or nothing." Thanks for the quality work you do!” Matt Fletcher

“I bought your aggressive tax avoidance book about 10 years ago. I have used it, and used it, and used it. It is great.” Robert P. Krause, Chairman, Event Capital Management Corp.

“Thank you so much for writing your excellent book Aggressive Tax Avoidance For Real Estate.” Chris Cobb

“I just wanted to drop you a note to tell you how much I appreciate your books. I bought "How to Manage Residential Property For Maximum Cash Flow and Resale Value" in 1995 and "Agressive Tax Avoidance ..." in, I think, 1997.
They have been cornerstones of my investment and management strategies as I have grown from 17 houses that I had in 1995 to the 159 units that I now own. I suppose I could say a lot more. I do recommend your books to anybody that asks me about real estate. Bottom line -- thanks a lot for all your help.”
Regards, Ricky Dabbs

“Every real estate investor would profit from reading your books and newsletter. You challenge a lot of commonly held investment and management assumptions and business practices. You are the most practical, down-to-earth, no nonsense, humble real estate investment advisor in the country, a unique voice of reason in an industry filled with both accidental and deliberate mis-information.

Your primary weapons are a heavy dose of common sense, creative problem-solving, logic, a unique ability to share both your personal successes and errors. I doubt many investors manage to do everything you recommend, but when I look at the successful investors I have known over the past 25 years, it's clear their business plans follow much of the same advice you give readers every month.

I have enjoyed reading your articles for the past twenty or more years, and although I prefer to give myself credit for my successes, I am sure your reasoning, month after month, has shaped my own investment strategy. Thank you.” Mike Scott Dupre + Scott Apartment Advisors

"This book is excellent. I have read and reread this book and review chapters as well as certain paragraphs many times to refresh my memory." Michael A. Donnelly, Sierra Vista, AZ

"I just wanted to compliment you on your great book" Bob Sveska, Escondido, CA

"I only wish I would have read your books before I bought my first property." Neil H. Jones, Littleton, CO

"Excellent book" Chuck Myers, Indianapolis, IN

"The single source I always check first." Dale Pritchett, Investor-Realtor, Cherry Hill, NJ

"This is the best book of its kind I have ever read. He writes simply-he backs up his facts with case sources-he's intelligently aggressive but totally honest. It's superbly done." Rolly Charest, Realtor-Associate, East Hartford, CT

"The present value of the $20 I spent on this book is $1,000." Roy Reinarz, Jr., Omaha, NE

"Within my experience in reading dozens of books relative to real estate investment, your book has been the most enlightening to me as an investor!" Patrick J. Tunney, Concord, CA

"Full of good, solid, sound ideas." John C. Harwood, Financial Consultant, Fort Myers, FL

"Your book has already enabled me to reduce my taxes by hundreds of dollars by providing me with a more rational basis for handling depreciation." Ralph Singleton, Foreign Service, Washington, DC

"Outstanding! The best written real estate book I have read.Easy to follow yet detailed. The knowledge gained will be extremely valuable as I continue my investing career." Rich Alexander, Marrietta, GA

"Your book has been a great aid in explaining to my clients just what a tax shelter is." D.E. Babcock, Virginia Beach, VA

"Your book Aggressive Tax Avoidance for Real Estate Investors came the day I had an appointment with my tax adviser. I left it with him and I had a heck of a time getting it back. He said all his associates wanted to read it.." Don Flory, Indianapolis, IN

"Most useful book I've ever read on the subject." Whitney S. Wilson, Rancho Palos Verde, CA

"Your direct approach is most refreshing. Your aggressive but fair attitude to real estate problems, most encouraging. I'll look for future publications of yours." J. Poppe, Austin, TX

"The first 'to the point I want to see made' book I've seen. Exactly in line with my philosophy and gives me data in the form which is most useful. Very rewarding." Ray Day, Palos Verdes, CA

"Whatever John Reed writes, include me in. This is the best book of its kind I have ever read. He writes simply---he backs up his facts with case sources---he's intelligently aggressive but totally honest." Rolly Charest, East Hartford, CT

"I commend you for a truly fine work." Will Heinemyer, President, Hallmark Appraisal, Hackensack, NJ

"My compliments- Best book I've ever read on the subject of taxes and investment philosophy." Lee McEuen, El Cajon, CA

"Jack, everybody loves your book. Please advise me of your future books." Bob Hirmanpour , Newport Beach, CA

"Great Book!" Roger F. Walsh, El Cajon, CA

"John Reed presents what can be very detailed and complicated information in a readable and understandable format." Ron Minekime, Financial Consultant, Downey, CA

"Your book is a great reference tool- always on my desk to pick up and check out the proper way about investing or handling real estate problems." Dr. Alan Stoff, Podiatrist-(retired)- Real Estate Investor, Hillsbrough, CA

"I find your books extraordinarily clean, to the point, and very pleasant to read." Dr. Paul M. Kirwin, San Francisco, CA

"The book is great!" Alan A. Hamilton, St. Louis, MO

"I am enjoying your book Aggressive Tax Avoidance for Real Estate Investors very much, and I am also recommending it to other investor friends and associates." Phil Hoy, Portland, CT

"I think your Aggressive book on tax avoidance is the best damned book I have ever read on the subject of taxation, real estate or otherwise." Robert Harden, San Rafael, CA

"The book decreased my ignorance 100%." Charlie Breidinger, Real estate investor and engineer, San Francisco, CA

"Absolutely great book!" Joe Casey, Readlands, CA

"As a newcomer to R.E. investing, I'm glad that I had the opportunity to read this excellent book prior to making many of the mistakes I will now attempt to avoid." Eric Fishman, Surgeon, Canilow, MT

"The most informative book I have ever read on real estate. Most real estate books are hype. Reading... Great for the imagination but not very practical!" S.Niimi, computer programed, Manhattan Beach, CA

"Terrific work, Jack!" John B. Allen, Newport Beach, CA

"A most enlightening book with an excellent straight forward presentation." Todd H. Smitt

"Keep up the good work! Ira Serkes, Berkely, CA

"Your style of writing is very clear, concise, and easy to follow. Excellent!" William B. Shamblin, Rancho Mirage, CA

"VERY, very satisfied customer!" Thomas J. Pettin, Alexandria, VA

"I found it extremely well written and thought provoking." Pat Bosalyh, Moraga, CA

"The only "how to invest" book I've ever read in one evening. Written so well I didn't want to put it down!" Tom Collins, real estate broker, Burlingame, CA

"Best book on investment strategy I've ever read." Jim Camp, Minister, Fayetteville, NC

"A must for all real estate investors and licensers." Don Wurst, Realtor-educator, Tampa, FL

"It really furthered my education and will enable me to provide better council to my investors." Richard Ferdierilk, R.E. broker and developer, Orlando, FL

"Your book is terrific!" Mary Van Meer, Pres. Van Meer Pubns, Inc., Clearwater, FL

"I have found your book to be useful, easy reading and even entertaining." Peter Gasoline, El Granada, CA

"Your book is better than all others combined!" Dr. D. L. Biergans, psychologist, Apo, NY

"Fabulous reading!" Linda K. Smith, Beaumont, TX

"Loved it!" Paul A. Aloi, Wethersfield, CT

"Anyone connected with real estate in any way should read this book!" Ray Dan, R.E. broker, Vero Beach, FL

"Your book and attitude totally delight me." Robert Peters, St Pete, FL

"Your work is a breath of fresh air in a field suffering from much atmospheric pollution." Edwin Budge, Medford, OR

"A wonderful piece of legal help; Wish I had it years ago!" Margaret B. Day, Englewood, FL

"Enjoyed your book immense. You did a great job!" Joseph Kane, Naples-on-the-Gulf, FL

" This is by far the best book I've ever read on real estate taxation." Ron Inversion, Naval Officer, Sunnyvale, CA

" Let me praise your book!" Vincent Micelli, New York, NY

"Great book!" Richard Wood, Palo Alto, CA

"Your book is the best one I've read on the subject -Every Real Estate Investor and his accountant." Jay P. Decima, investor, Redding, CA

"This is an excellent book." John Smith, realtor, Honolulu, HI

"I have found your book easy to read and understand." Luis Hernandez, San Antonio, TX

"This book will save me $100 this year in taxes, allow me to prepare my books properly for my CPA's, And exchange my ability to invest in real estate." Roy Reinarz, real estate investor, Omaha, NE

"You did a terrific job on your book Jack." R. Patterson, N. Canton, OH

"Your book is the most complete and comprehensive book I've ever read containing financial, economic, and tax aspects of real estate investing. Robert Baldassari, CPA tax manager, Silver Spring, MD

"Full of good, solid, sound ideas." John Harwood, financial consultant, Ft Myers, FL

"I commend you on truly fine work." Wilburg Heinemeyer, pres. Halllmark Appraisal and Realty Co., Hackensen, NJ

"Outstanding! The best real estate book I've ever read." Rich Alexander, President- AAA properties, Marietta, GA

"Your book has been a great aid in explaining to my clients just what tax shelter is." D.E. Babcock, R.E. broker, Virginia Beach, VA

"Most useful book on the subject I've read." Whitney Wilson, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

"Your book is simply great!" Sue Goeth, Realtor, Jacksonville Beach, FL

"Your direct approach is most refreshing and your aggressive attitude to R.E. is most encouraging." Ray Day, manager, Palos Verdes, CA

"I love your book and will refer to it for years to come." Rolly Charset, Rolly Charset Associates, East Hartford, CT

"This is the best book of its kind that I've ever read." Ron Cleary, realtor, Tulsa, OA

"Excellent book." Chuck Myers, Indianapolis, IN

"I only wish I would have read this before I bought my first property." Neil Jones, Littleton, CO

"I cannot tell you how helpful your books have been to me in my real estate decision making." Steve Lauterbach, San Francisco, CA

" An eye opening exposure to the best ways to maximise your return on investment for the small time investor." Rick Osborne, business planning consultant, Charlotte, NC

"I was greatly enamored by your aggressive tax avoidance strategies." Jan E. Jones, North Huntington, PA

"I have enjoyed your book Aggressive Tax Avoidance for Real Estate Investors (but only have the 10th edition). I am a Realtor® in San Antonio. It is very useful for me to have good information for clients who ask. Thanks for the work put into getting the information out for others to use." Graham Pat, San Antonio, TX

The following comments were made by attendees at my seminar which later became this book:

"Finally, tax free exchanges are no longer a mysterious area reserved only for the extremely sophisticated investor." Denny Kuppenbender, Builder-Developer, Clackamas, OR
"I was astounded at what I did not know." Linda Chandler, Real Estate Broker, Monroeville, AL

"This was one of the best seminars I've attended. I believe I will save the cost in future purchases and tax savings." Name withheld by request, Manager, IRS

"Provided an immediate tax savings for [this year]-more than the cost of the seminar by far." George Burr, Steel sales, Newport Beach, CA

"Benefits and knowledge received exceeded my highest expectations." Steven Richter, Real Estate Developer, Englewood, CO

"...will pay for [itself] numerous times." B.E. Taylor, M.D., Winston-Salem, NC

"Outstanding-will save thousands on taxes to be filed immediately as a result of seminar." H.W. Kramer, Jr., Atlanta, GA

"...far exceeded my expectations. What former attendees have said is certainly true." James Henderson, Real Estate Broker, Boston, MA

"Your tax planning methods are correct for any type of business." W.F. Hoffman, Lumber and Hardware Retailer, Vancouver, WA

"...good nuggets of knowledge worth thousands of dollars. Literally worth its weight in gold." Bill McFadden, Property Manager, Cardiff, CA

"No-nonsense, no hype seminar on how to be a more intelligent and aggressive investor. Definitely the best real estate and tax seminar I have attended." Joe Wharton, Apartment Broker, Dallas, TX

"...just one of several ideas offered...will make us 500 times the cost...this year." Kerry Bodily, Tax practitioner, Murray, UT

"The best quality seminar I have attended without question." W. Dean LeGras, General Sales Manager, CBS Radio, Los Angeles, CA

"Excellent...paid for my expenses many times over." Jack Gibson, Investor, Lake Jackson, TX

"I came into the course expecting to exercise my money-back guarantee...figuring I knew it all. I leave having learned quite a bit." Neil Murphy, Washington, DC

"Made me realize I was not maximizing my real estate investment performance." James H. Barre, Little Rock, AR

"Very eye-opening! Informative!" Clinton Chapman, Attorney, Washington, DC

"Excellent and was worth far more than the cost." H.H. Breaux, Attorney and real estate investor, Lafayette, LA

"Solid, usable information for all investors." Linda Rose, Rose Properties, Grand Junction, CO

"I have just finished the new edition of your tax book, enjoyed it and have found it very useful." Dave Young

"About 12 years ago I read my first book by you (Aggressive Tax Avoidance ) and realized I had finally found a real estate 'expert' that actually had something practical and legal to say on this broad topic. Three years ago I left my high-power executive job to go into real estate investment full time. I hated my lifestyle before this move. Now every day is an adventure and I earn more income to boot. I have you to thank in very large part for my confidence to make this rather large leap. Thanks again for the great information you produce and the honestly with which you deliver it." Tom Johns, Salinas, CA

"There is not a better book for the small investor. I recommend it to all my clients." Rich McHugh, Real Estate Broker, Newport Beach,CA

"You will recall that I ordered [the latest edition of Aggressive Tax Avoidance for Real Estate Investors] from you this morning. Unequivocally, it is the best tax planning reference both my daughter and I know of in preparing our income tax returns, which we diligently did during the past couple of weeks. It provides details and examples applicable to our rental properties and enables us to know what we are doing instead of wondering what we are doing. Thank you for your dedication and your sincere efforts. Philip A. Barker, Davis, CA