WGN-TV Show Notes August 6, 2002.

Q: I recently purchased the Carleton Sheets ‘No-Money Down’ Home Study Course. I am about half-way through the course and so far it seems to be fine, but being an inexperienced, first-time potential real estate investor, I have nothing to compare it with. I recently found on the web, a site maintained by John Reed claiming that many of the No-Money Down Techniques advertised by Carleton Sheets are ineffective, and some are even illegal. Have I made a huge mistake in purchasing this course?

Please advise.

A: If you go online, and put Carleton Sheets name into Google.com, you’ll find a million responses. About half will pan the program. The other half swear by it.

I’ve never been that impressed by late-night infomercials. I’ve always felt that if you have to go on TV to “spread the word” and buy your advertising placements, you’re out for yourself, not the consumer.

I’ve read Carleton’s book and it mainly directs you to buy the program. I have never looked at the program, which I think costs several hundred dollars.

My feeling is that there are better ways to buy property with nothing down. The best way would be to find a house and buy it with a 100 percent loan. Move into it for a year, then try to rent it out and purchase another house with a 100 percent loan.

There are plenty of excellent books out there on buying the right property: My own, 100 Questions Every First-Time Buyer Should Ask, takes you through the right steps. Bob Irwin has written an excellent book called “Getting Started in Investment Real Estate” or something like that. There’s also the Millionaire Real Estate Investor. These books will set you back about $50. The rest of the money would have been better spent as a down payment, I’m afraid.

Aug. 6, 2002.