Academic journal article Journal of Real Estate Literature

Core Concepts of Real Estate Principles and Practices

Academic journal article Journal of Real Estate Literature

Core Concepts of Real Estate Principles and Practices

Article excerpt

Core Concepts of Real Estate Principles and Practices. James E. Larsen, 441 pages, John Wiley and Sons, 2003.

Several real estate principles textbooks have left the market over the past decade and others have changed their market niche. Real Estate Principles and Practices, by James E. Larsen, has also gone through a change. It went off market in the 1990s but is now reborn under a new publisher, (John Wiley and Sons Inc.), as Core Concepts of Real Estate Principles and Practices. So it is again classified as a first edition, even though is more seasoned. This difference is apparent-much thought and effort has now been given to the format and presentation. The material, including all exhibits and extras, has also been updated, while maintaining the core content that instructors and students expect from a course in real estate principles.

Real estate principles texts are written on one of three levels. The highest level textbooks are intended for real estate and finance majors, along with graduate students. These textbooks are typically characterized by greater level of depth across a more diverse range of topics. The intermediate level textbook is best suited for undergraduate students who are majoring in an area related to real estate and taking the course as an elective. These textbooks tend to have more law-related material with less overall depth and detail than the higher level textbooks, but still adequately cover the quantitative topics that are slighted in lower level texts. The lower tier real estate principles textbook tends to be less rigorous and seems more appropriate for community colleges and broker education. A book review by Roulac and Distad, which recently appeared this Journal, compares many real estate principles textbooks. Their article basically divides the list into the same three difficulty groups described here. The textbooks that I include in the intermediate category include those written for both academic and brokerage audiences, whereas the higher category primarily addresses academics and the lower category emphasizes brokerage.

Larsen's Core Concepts of Real Estate Principles and Practices comfortably fits into the intermediate category. The text is sufficiently rigorous to warrant inclusion in an upper division real estate curriculum, but not so detailed and advanced that it dampens the demand for undergraduate elective enrollments. Overall, the writing style is "userfriendly" and the author has done an excellent job incorporating examples into the text. Moreover, the text makes generous use of sidebars and inserts, which serve to break up the chapters and keep them interesting to the student. Many chapters include features such as: "From the Wire," "Doing Business," "Consumer Checklist" and "Practitioner Profiles." These present personalized examples, contemporary issues, business practices, professional perspectives, ethical issues and other curiosities that serve to pique and maintain the student's interest. In addition, the "Decision Point" feature offers open-ended questions designed to help the student process the material and to promote discussions. The end of the chapter material contains the obligatory review questions as well as "Real Estate on the Web" exercises. Overall, the text is designed to keep the student motivated.


Core Concepts of Real Estate Principles and Practices is organized into five sections. The Introduction is composed of three chapters. Chapter 1 discusses real estate markets and the determinants of value. Chapter 2 presents real estate services and serves to familiarize the reader with an overview of real estate careers. The third chapter discusses homeownership and brings in a personal finance perspective.

Part II of the text provides coverage of real estate ownership and real estate law. Chapter 4 covers the various interests in real estate, including ownership, water rights and the transfer of rights. …

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