The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner: Book Review

David Bach has sold a lot of books under his “Finish Rich” and “Automatic” titles. Most of his books seem to be heavy on the inspirational talk and light on the specifics, but I think that’s actually what has helped them sell so well – they are targeted for beginners.

Case in point, I wasn’t very impressed his earlier book The Automatic Millionaire (review), but as a home-buying neophyte I found a lot of useful information in The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner. Sure, he recycles a lot of his “make it automatic” mantra when talking about saving up for a house down payment (set up automatic transfers to a online savings account) or setting up a bi-weekly mortgage repayment plan (set up automatic transfers with your lender), but you can pretty much just skip over those parts.

Besides all the automatic-talk, what this really provides is a brief overview of the home-buying process. Think of it as “Home Buying For Dummies”, but even shorter. From finding a real estate agent, to finding the right loan, to finding the right home. The writing is clear and well-organized. It promotes long-term homeownership, and is not at all about flipping properties. However, if you’ve already gone through the process once, the book will probably bore you to death.

The main weakness in the book is that it focuses on the upsides of homeownership without fairly discussing all the potential downsides. It’s very “rah-rah”, you can almost imagine David Bach wearing a cheerleader’s outfit complete with pom-poms:

original image credits: DavidBach.com, Party411.com

“I say BUY, you say HOUSE!” “GO REALTORS GO!”

(I added the Wells Fargo logo as he is sponsored by them.)

Conclusion
I would recommend this book for first-time home buyers, as it provides some helpful information. But, I would not recommend it as the only book to read, as it is doesn’t address the pros and cons as fairly as possible.

Overall Rating: 3 Stars [ratings explained]

Comments

  1. That’s a hot looking cheerleader. One of the best photoshop performances of the century.

  2. I read the book a few months ago. The book was an easy read. I do think his books need more depth.

  3. JippAlbert says:

    This book will cause prolonged and excessive vomiting and will deplete the body of water (dehydration).

    What a nasty picture.

  4. I just don’t understand why people keep writing same things over and over and over? It’s like college calculus textbooks. They keep changing covers and re-arrange content orders so that you will have to buy them new again and again. C’mon, those are knowledges from Newton’s time…

  5. He’s like rich dad poor dad, filled with made up characters and information as you said that’s not specific, but just pushing his point.
    If you need inspiration you could read his or Robert’s book. Rich dad poor dad admitted his character was made up, but what about David? They are friends and seem to be pushing the same things, real estate and nothing specific

  6. Hilarious! I have read his “smart couples finish rich” book and was pleased with it. Definitely inspirational, but it also had a number of specifics that we took away.

  7. Exactly, I agree with bigmouth! I believe all his books are the same he just rearrange some words

    Most authors just make more books because they can, ( more money and exposure for them) Smart Couples Finish Rich, Start Late Finish Rich, I’m sure these books are all the same just a different titles.

  8. I read Automatic Millionare and was inspired. It mostly told me I was on the right track, but strengthened my resolve on a few points and did give me a few ideas.
    Definitely good to read, but the sort of books you want to take out from the local library instead of buying a copy. There’s a saving tip I didn’t read in the Automatic Millionaire – go and get yourself a library card, and use the heck out of it. I’ll write three books about it! And that will be my plan for becoming an Automatic Millionaire!
    ;-)

  9. PUSPASARI DADARATA says:

    FANTASTIC BOOK !

  10. Just knowing he is sponsored by that bank I don’t think I would want to read his book. Had a lot of problems with them and so have many others, as I was soon to find out when I started to file complaints against them. Just an FYI for all.

  11. Joseph Sangl says:

    It is good to know that if you fail at your day job that you have a career option in graphics!

  12. I read his Smart Women Finish Rich book. I was pleased with it only because I thought about giving it to my sister who has the idea that she’ll marry some day and her husband will take care of her. He’s really heavy on the “you need to take care of yourself” which is something some women need to hear.

  13. Shantanu Kulkarni says:

    This book was awesome! I have had ZERO financial education in my 27yrs of life. But this book gave me the exact information I needed to make the right decisions when it came to the retirement and savings etc. I don’t plan on buying a house in the next 5yrs atleast so just skimmed over that part. But very simple, straightforward, no nonsense book.

  14. OMG! in my age of 22, seems like I really wanna jump right away to 4o years ahead of my entire life…!!! your book is really AMAZING!
    I changed a lot, not just the way I handle my bucks but also my personality and values, and I owe you a part of my life, Thanks. :)

  15. John Adams says:

    The book is good, but I do have some questions and doubts.
    My questions :
    1. With the effect of inflation, I doubt that $1 million in 30 years would be worth much.
    2. If you live terribly frugal for 30 years of your life and retire somewhat rich, wouldn’t you be too old to enjoy that? I’m 25 and I wouldn’t trade the enjoyment of youth with $10 million dollars.
    3. Buying a home and leveraging other people’s money is great, but what about the lending rate that banks charge?
    4. The reason people rent is because they are not planning to stay in the rented property for very long. If the person bought the home and then decided to move to another city, wouldn’t that turn out to be a big financial loss?

  16. This book was great for the beginner. “Paying Yourself First” and “Making It Automatic” can turn around your finances and make life so much easier.

  17. John Adams (or anyone else with the same questions),

    1) It will be a lot more than not $1M. Also, who said you have to settle on 1M? Why not do the calculations and strive for more?

    Do you really want to trade $100 drunken-night bar tabs in your 20′s for early retirement in your 50′s and not having to worry about money for the rest of your life?

    2) I believe “terribly frugal” implies eating PB&J and drinking Campbell’s soup every meal, along with going to sleep with all of your clothes on instead of turning on the heat. You can live perfectly comfortable and healthy with real meals if you have a good salary.

    And what does “Too old” mean? Life expectancy will be 90+ by the time you get there. If you retire at 55 or 60 (assuming you don’t throw all of your money away now), that’s 30+ MORE years of spending after all that saving. Man, I’d hate it if I had to act like I was a kid with no fiscal responsibility for 30 years.

    3) Do you mean the interest rate? Your interest payments on a mortgage can be written off on your federal taxes, which reduces your adjusted gross income, thereby reducing the amount of taxes you pay. There are pros and cons of home ownership, but I wouldn’t worry about interest payments as one of the cons. Also, google how to pay your mortgage off early.

    4) This is one of the reasons to carefully consider what your current job will entail. Will you decide to leave soon? Will they decide to relocate you soon? Are you going to settle down and have a family?

    The financial loss comes when you have to sell the house for less than your total investment in it. As long as the current housing market recovers (which it will, or America will undergo huge fundamental changes) and you stay in your house for a few years, you shouldn’t have to worry about taking a loss on a home.

    Even if you do take a loss, it might not be a big loss. It is an investment, and it may lose value, but if you’re approaching all investments with the “it’s so dangerous, you could lose money!” attitude, you might as well keep your savings under your mattress.

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