Media Watch

Deliver Us From Evil

If you think that investing in rental property is a way to get rich quick, publisher Andrew Waite has a whole different message for you--you won't get rich overnight, and you won't get rich at all if you do things wrong.

Waite is the publisher of Personal Real Estate Investor, a Phoenix-based magazine that made its Tucson debut earlier this month. The magazine, launched in Phoenix in December 2003, is laid out menu-style so that investors--and homeowners, in some cases--can tap into the topic they need help with. The magazine's "departments" include investor strategies, where to invest, getting started, acquisition, improvement, management, trading and sales.

"We have one mission, and that is to help our readers make money," said Waite, a native New Zealander who knows both personal investing and publishing. "We are the antidote to the get-rich-quick people."

By that, he means the folks who put on high-priced seminars. "They usually play their cards very close to their chests and charge a lot of money for their secrets. When you pay up, it usually turns out that they don't have very much."

The May-June issue looks at Tucson and at investment opportunities in downtown's Armory Park, which, along with the magazine's feature on the Greater Coronado neighborhood in Phoenix, is a shameless plug for Waite's great personal bias--reviving older, in-town neighborhoods.

Part of that bias, he says, comes from the pleasure of making old, character-laden properties come alive again. And part of it is a practical concern for value--the idea that what Waite calls the "OPEC-driven lifestyle" will make posh suburban living less desirable economically and draw people back toward the city's core.

The magazine's target is people who are thinking about getting into the landlord game for themselves, and may not know where to start.

He points out that "real estate investor" isn't necessarily something that people set out to do. In some cases, it happens to people by accident. For example, a man and a woman, each owning a house, marry, which raises the question about whether to simply sell a house or use it as income property.


Just as in the movies, newspapers struggle to some degree with continuity--making sure, for example, that when the jump line says a story is continued to page A-8, the rest of the story really IS on page A-8.

So what's been up with the Tucson Citizen on Wednesdays in recent weeks, on A-1 with its promo of Jeff Smith's column? The teaser includes a somewhat somber-looking, somewhat hirsute fellow. The mug that accompanies his stuff is the rascal we've seen here and there in Tucson journalism (including in the Weekly for a while) for these many years--a clean-shaven fella with a smile that bespeaks confidence and mischief afoot.

So, which is it, Jeff? Beard or Burma Shave?

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