Escape the Rat Race, Barry Davies

Escape the Rat Race: With Property Lease OptionsAuthor interview with Barry Davies.

Escape the Rat Race with Property Lease Options by Barry Davies is the featured review in the April 2013 issue of Your Property Network magazine.

Kindle edition now available!

Lease Options – At Last!

I have been keeping my eye open for a decent book about lease options for a while, so when Ant said that Barry had sent him a copy of his book and would I like to read it, I jumped at the chance.

Let me be upfront here: I was not entirely sure what to expect. Barry and his business partner Ben were on the Simon Zutshi Mastermind course at the same time as David (The Other Half) did the home study version. We had met the dynamic duo a few times on joint meet-up days and events; to say that they kept us all entertained with their property escapades might be understating matters somewhat.

They were, however, enormously successful during the course. They worked hard and tirelessly. Having known them at the beginning, I am even more delighted that their efforts turned out well.

A Book in Three Parts

Escape the Rat Race is divided into three sections: Barry’s story, Mindset and Lease Options. Initially I was disappointed that the lease options section seemed short, but after reading through the whole book, the first part forms an introduction to an extent. The book probably contains enough on lease options and how to go about sourcing properties using this strategy, for an investor with experience to be able to take action immediately.

The first and last sections have a clear purpose. “My story” is inspirational; “Securing Lease Options and Running Your Own Property Business” is informational. For these reasons the book could slot into either property business or wealth development categories.

“Developing a Winning Mindset” is too short to fit into a category. It contains bite-sized information on principles that the author has found relevant and inspirational in his own journey. This could perhaps have been woven in to his story rather than standing alone in its own section. That said, there are useful insights that act as pointers for further reading.

The book is light, easy and quick to read. It is not a self-congratulatory preach-y tome as many wealth development books have become. Barry has an entertaining narrative style and what I loved about his story was that for the first time, I understood the amount of frustration, sheer hard work and guts behind the laughter that he and Ben presented in person. For this reason, more perhaps than the level of income and assets he has achieved, I found the book inspirational. This was no drift into financial freedom – it was determination, dedication and slog.

The Strategy

Barry and Ben focussed on multi-letting. Initially, they started with rent-to-rent before progressing to lease options. Because of their experience over the past few years, Barry is now able to pass on helpful tips in chapters on “Sourcing Properties” and “Managing Your Property Portfolio”. The chapters I really like, though, are the ones specifically about lease options: “An Introduction to Lease Options” and “The Top 12 Legal Questions”. I was still left with a few technical questions, but this is a good place to start.

Who Is It For?

There is something here for investors at every level. New investors will benefit from Barry’s story in the first section, from the perspective of the realities of the journey, motivation and also as an introduction to the lease option strategy. A word of caution though: if you are completely new to property investing, you will need more information or guidance before throwing yourself into this. I would recommend having a mentor or network of people you can call on to help you with the tricky bits, as many investors who have chosen this strategy have done. It is not too complex when you get the hang of it, but it is not straightforward either and there is potential for disaster if handled incorrectly or carelessly.

Existing investors who have not used this strategy before will get an overview of how it works. There are plenty of case studies, both of Barry’s own properties and those of people he has mentored. You are likely to know quite a lot of the basics that Barry covers, have enough experience and the necessary network of professionals to get started. Put it this way, it has been enough to get me back out there again after a period of inactivity.

If you already use lease options as part of your toolkit, there is little that will be new to you, but you may still find Barry’s story interesting. Every investor has a different approach and perspective.

In Summary

We can all learn something from each other and the refreshing honesty in this book, together with a successful outcome, will be an inspiration or catalyst for many. There is enough information about lease options to start you off, but it does confirm that you ideally need to work with a legal team who are experienced in options.

For this review, I worked with an early publication copy. The book is about to go to print again with cover updates and minor changes to content, so I cannot comment on presentation as it will change.

There is another good reason to buy this book: 50% of the profits go to the NSPCC, and I finish with Barry’s objective in his own words: “Please support my goal to raise £1,000,000 for the NSPCC by 2019”.

In stock at Property Bookshop!

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