Winning no prizes for the snappiest book title is The Complete Guide to Property Development for the Small Investor: How to Identify the Best Opportunities in a Volatile Property Market by Catherine Dawson. The third edition, published in 2009, importantly takes into account changes in the property development market, post credit-crunch. Pre-crunch, any fool could ‘develop’ for profit–as John F. Kennedy said “a rising tide lifts all boats”–but nowadays the landscape is very different indeed and you really need to know what you’re doing to avoid catching a cold.It’s a user friendly book, assuming little or no development knowledge, covering:
- How to choose a development.
- Finding and arranging your finances.
- How to comply with planning applications and building regulations.
- Working with contractors.
- Presenting your property to let or sell.
It’s a great book in providing an overview of the management of a development process–actually to some good detail–although if you’re looking for a guide to understand how to be a builder (i.e. to understand what a cavity wall, gable or footing is and how they’re built) then you’ll likely be better off with the exceptional, albeit weighty, Housebuilder’s Bible.