A comprehensive, commendably cautionary guide--by a Boston-based attorney who edits a journal of real-estate investment. Nessen warns repeatedly and persuasively, for example, against buying a home or other property to cash in on the price spiral (inflation being ""an unstable source of return"" and beyond individual control). He confesses to a fondness, though, for shopping centers and other mixed-use properties, particularly those anchored by creditworthy corporate tenants (like K Mart) that lease for long periods and take care of all upkeep. Other opportunities appraised are: single-family dwellings (including condominiums, cooperatives, and vacation homes); apartments of all sizes; raw land; and commercial rental properties (office buildings, warehouses, factories, stores, et al.). Caveats extend from the reminder that urban landlords may be hamstrung by rent-control ordinances through the intelligence that the IRS limits what owners of vacant land--not scheduled for development--can deduct in annual interest expense. Nessen is good, too, at clarifying the intricacies of real-estate finance--accelerated depreciation, limited partnerships, points, graduated-payment mortgages, recapture, tax preferences, etc. But as an opponent of leverage, he details exactly why prospective investors should calculate the real risks as well as the possible rewards of any commitment. With a handy format, with checklists, illustrative tables, and a glossary, an altogether careful, thoughtful, adult advisory.