Francis E. Ward

The West Side Young Men's Christian Association is doing an important service to realty interests throughout the United States, by collecting in a carefully edited volume the remarkable series of real estate lectures and discussions delivered in its special real estate classes during the past five years. To have allowed these thoughtful discussions of practical real estate problems, carefully prepared by acknowledged experts of the Metropolitan District, to perish after a single utterance would have limited their usefulness to the few hundred men who have found the courses of great value. It would mean that the expression of the concentrated knowledge and experience of twoscore of real estate specialists, probably the best informed real estate forum ever assembled, had been lost to the thousands of real estate men, owners and investors, who, in these lectures, may now find answers to many daily problems.

Had these lectures been of the ordinary run of public addresses, dealing in glittering generalities and avoiding concrete problems, this statement would not be made. But throughout the courses their trend has been eminently practical, dealing with existing real estate perplexities and solving problems connected with buying, appraising, selling, mortgaging, financing, building and managing property, and the solutions have been based on the actual experiences, the successes and failures of men whose word in their special lines is of highest value.

Therefore, this book, which possibly is a forerunner of a series of useful and timely volumes of vocational literature to be written and prepared by practical masters of leading vocations, is recommended to all who have to do with its subject matter or who wish to gain an exhaustive knowledge of realty customs and practices. To the real estate man and his employees it will unquestionably prove a most valuable book of reference, as the actual lectures proved to be of very great assistance to many active dealers in the New York real estate market.

For the young man or woman wishing to enter the realty field, this volume is probably the best textbook relating thereto and the best guide to its practice ever collated. While making no extreme claim, its editors have no delusions that its perusal will make the reader a full-fledged real estate expert. Such is not its purpose. A book cannot replace actual practical experience, but as a short cut to the acquirement of much useful knowledge and as a repository of the experience and honest opinion of men of exceptional success in the particular lines they discuss, this book should prove immediately helpful to those with limited experience.

The owner or private investor and the prospective builder for investment or speculation should find more than one of its chapters worth in actual cash returns many times the cost of the entire book. Every private investor should read carefully the chapters on appraising, the series on building and the summary on closing contracts - all being the work of accepted specialists who have given freely from their vast store of knowledge.

Moreover, because of the way in which it deals with essential principles of realty trading, the value of this volume is by no means confined to those in and around New York. The principles defined, the problems solved, are applicable to real estate conditions in any city, and are of direct usefulness to those interested in the development of urban or suburban property, irrespective of its geographical location. Herein are treated the principles used by men who are active dealers, buyers and sellers of real estate; men who would have become great financial powers and land operators even if the field of their endeavors had been other than trafficking in New York realty, and the building and management of New York skyscrapers or tenements. Theirs would have been the anticipation of the effect of transportation in and about Manhattan Island, and the financing of great suburban developments, or the development of real estate interests in any community of the United States. For these lecturers have revealed to us, in addition to their long and varied practical experience, that subtle something which may be defined as the "real estate instinct." The successful possess it. May the readers of this book acquire it!

Foreword 1

A Word Of Thanks

The West Side Young Men's Christian Association acknowledges its deep indebtedness to each of the authors of the thirty chapters, and also to many other real estate experts in New York, who have assisted materially as advisers to the editors. We feel peculiarly under obligation to these men for the direct way in which they have responded to our request for articles that should be practically helpful to men. In offering this volume to the public, we feel that we are but extending the directly helpful results of our educational work to a broader constituency.