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Posted on Jun 5, 2017 in Making Money | 21 comments

4 Absolute Must-Read Real Estate Books for Beginning Investors

4 Absolute Must-Read Real Estate Books for Beginning Investors

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

Four years ago I bought my first rental property. I had just recovered financially from a divorce and decided it was time to venture into the world of real estate.

Over the years I had struggled with making ends meet, and living paycheck to paycheck with no savings. But after my divorce I decided it was time for a change, I knew I had to get serious about my finances.

When I began I had no experience with real estate at all. I had just recently moved out of an apartment after living with my parents for a year to save money.

Perhaps you’ve been in a bad financial situation in the past, things didn’t work out the way you had hoped. Now, you just feel like it’s not possible to get ahead and that you’ll always be stuck.

Trust me; I know how you feel. When I started out, I knew NOTHING about investing or rental property. I didn’t have any money in savings and I had no idea how I was going to buy investment property.

4 Absolute Must Read Real Estate Books For Begining Investors

Looking back, I wonder why it took me so long to take the first step. Buying real estate has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

I’m now in the process of buying my fifth house and already looking for the sixth one. Living paycheck to paycheck is not a concern and my savings account continues to grow. I’m not worried about how to pay for the kid’s college or being able to retire.

Obviously, self-education has been a priority for me while I’ve been buying rental properties. I spent a year reading all the real estate books I could get my hands on, and listening to podcasts before I bought my first property.

You can’t go wrong with investing in your education. If you want to improve your financial situation, then you need to make learning a priority. Most of the free stuff that you find will only take you so far. There isn’t enough room in a website article to cover the details that you would get from a book.

So, the purpose of this article is to tell you the four books and the one podcast that I wish someone would have recommended to me in the beginning. The following books cover pretty much everything you need to know including buying, financing, and renting property.

If you commit to learning a little bit each day about real estate investing, you can learn more than the majority of investors within just a few months.

To be a successful investor you need to learn how to finance your properties, manage your properties, do your bookkeeping and understand the legal side of dealing with tenants.

Your education is going to come from the books you read, the podcasts you listen to, the forums you participate in, and the mistakes you make.

 

So, if you’re on board, let’s start with the books that I recommend for a beginner real estate investor.

 

Building Wealth One House At A Time

 

Building Wealth One House at a Time by John Schaub

 

What’s covered in this book:

  • Financing
  • How to find, analyze and negotiate a deal
  • Basic property management
  • Basic lease and contract information


About the author

John Schaub has been in the real estate business for over four decades. He is in the business of renting and flipping houses. John also writes a newsletter and teaches classes about real estate. His main philosophy is that you can build a fortune and have everything you want by investing in real estate.

This book covers the fundamentals. He lays out an overall strategy for achieving financial independence with residential real estate.

 

Main concepts of the book:

  • You can build wealth by buying one house at a time
  • Single family houses are the best investment
  • The right house attracts the right tenant
  • Obtain financing without going through a bank
  • Maximizing profit using lease options to sell houses
  • A plan to free your property of debt
  • Appreciation can make you rich

There is a lot of great information in this book, however, I personally don’t rely on appreciation when deciding what property to buy. I know from living in the same town my whole life that the price of housing here doesn’t change much. So make sure your deal works without appreciation.

Also, I have used bank financing to purchase all of my properties, this method just works best for me.

 

The Book On Rental Property Investing


The Book on Rental Property Investing: How to Create Wealth and Passive Income Through Intelligent Buy & Hold Real Estate Investing! by Brandon Turner


What’s covered in this book:

  • Financing
  • How to find, analyze and negotiate a deal
  • Basic property management
  • Basic lease and contract information
  • Setting up a legal entity for your business

About the author

Brandon Turner is an active real estate investor and he has written several books on the topic, he also hosts various webinars and podcasts at BiggerPockets.com. He invests in all types of properties, including flips, and buy-and-hold properties.

This is the book that I still refer back to when I am unsure about how to do something. Brandon covers everything in detail, he guides you through everything from interviewing your potential tenant on the phone, to the kind of software you can use to keep track of your rental expenses. I also listen to the podcasts and participate in the forums at BiggerPockets.com for additional information.

Main concepts of the book:

  • Strategies for achieving financial freedom through real estate
  • Detailed, step by step rental property investing
  • “House hacking” for beginners (living in the property that you’re renting)
  • Changing your mindset for success
  • How to get a loan approved
  • What to do if you live in an expensive location
  • Which properties make the best rentals

I like that Brandon covers each step of the investing process thoroughly. Whether you are a newbie or you own hundreds of units, this book has tips to help you earn more income and own more units.The techniques that he discusses are the ones that he himself uses.

This book will guide you through the big picture concepts of analysis of rental property as well as the nitty-gritty details of financing. It covers in great detail, along with four sample plans, ways of reaching your destination. Unlike the gurus who want you to do it their way, Brandon inspires you to create a plan that works for you.

Related: How To Buy A House With Low Or No Money Down

 

Every Landlord's Legal Guide

 

Every Landlord’s Legal Guide, Marcia Stewart, Ralph Warner, & Janet Portman


What’s covered in this book:

  • State specific legal information
  • Legal forms

 About the authors

Nolo is a prominent publisher of self-help legal aids. Free updates are available on their website. They have thousands of articles written in plain English and easy to understand.

This book is a detailed reference manual. It covers the legal issues that most landlords face such as how to reject an applicant, evictions, security deposits, and potential liability issues. The book also has forms that you can download.

Main concepts of the book:

  • Screening tenants legally
  • Preparing leases and rental agreements
  • Basic rules regarding rent
  • Getting tenants moved in
  • Landlord’s duty to repair and maintain property
  • Landlord’s rights of entry to a property
  • Ending a tenancy
  • Resolving tenant problems without a lawyer
  • State-by-state landlord-tenant law charts

I refer to this book before I do anything with my rentals to make sure that I am in compliance with all of my state laws. This book is a handy reference for any legal questions about rental leases, contracts, evictions, non-rent payment, or any other issue that you might face.

Of course, this book can’t replace a good attorney, but it’s a good place to start for any legal issues.It can also give you a basic understanding of an issue before you speak to an attorney.

 

The Book On Managing Rental Properties

The Book on Managing Rental Properties: A Proven System for Finding, Screening, and Managing Tenants with Fewer Headaches and Maximum Profits by Brandon Turner and Heather Turner

 

What’s covered in this book:

  • Property and tenant management
  • Contracts and forms

About the authors

Brandon and Heather Turner are a husband & wife team that own an investment company that focuses on real estate. While Brandon primarily focuses on acquiring properties, Heather’s  main focus is property management. They own a mixture of single family homes as well as apartment buildings.

The Turner’s provide a lot of great property management systems in this book. There are landlord resources for all 50 states available in the back of the book. These resources give you a quick overview of the laws in your state as well as a link to a complete list of laws.

This easy to follow guide will teach you how to effectively manage the tenants in your rental properties with samples of all the forms that they use in their business.

Main concepts of the book:

  • Treating your business as a business and not a hobby
  • Preparing your property to rent
  • Fair housing laws
  • Marketing your property
  • The application process
  • How to find a good lease
  • Collecting rent
  • Removing bad tenants
  • Dealing with contractors
  • Organization and bookkeeping

Chapter 14 gives you a list of things that you need to organize your bookkeeping, many of which I don’t think are necessary for just one rental. When I started out I opened up a separate checking and savings account for the rental properties and bought a file folder, that was good enough to get me started. So don’t feel overwhelmed with setting up a whole new home office for just one property.

However, after acquiring more properties, I did follow their advice and set up a more efficient office space that included a separate business phone number and accounting software.

Those are my recommendations to start investing in rental property. Which investment books do you recommend?

I’m taking part in the Money Making Madness Linky hosted by Charlotte Burns from Lotty Earns, Emma Bradley from Mum’s Savvy Savings, Emma Drew from EmmaDrew.Info and Lynn from Mrs Mummy Penny. Check out their posts for more money tips.

 

 

 

 

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

21 Comments

  1. This is fab! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Me and my partner have been considering for a while buying investment property. This is certainly a helpful article, with great book recommendations. Thanks for sharing your suggestions.

  3. This is great for any newbie in real estate! Which one is your favorite?

  4. I used to be in real estate but gave it up. It was just too much to keep up with. I think honestly it wasn’t for me. So many people though have lots of success with it maybe because their heart is in it.

    • Sorry to hear that Shauna. If your heart wasn’t in it then it was probably for the best.

  5. My husband and I have actually considered investing in some properties in the past. I’m going to have to take a look at these books before we make any big decisions.

    • Good idea Emily. Learn all you can before you get started.

  6. Great post! This is super informative.

  7. Thanks for the recommendations and giving an overview of what each can offer! Definitely going look at the legal side of real estate.

  8. I would LOVE to learn more about real estate. It is one investment that has interested me for a long time, but I haven’t made the jump yet. Maybe I’ll start with some books to get going! Thanks for the recommendations!

  9. I agree that getting proper financial education is important so that we can make sound investments….thanks for these recommendations!

  10. I come from a family that invests in real estate. Two years ago my daughter at age 23 began investing in real estate as well, purchasing a condo and then her 4-bedroom home. I will be sharing your post with her later this week! Thanks so much for sharing these helpful resources.

    • That’s awesome Denay. Sounds like your daughter is off to a great start. I wish I had started investing in my 20’s.

  11. I come from a family that invests in real estate. Two years ago my daughter at age 23 began investing in real estate as well, purchasing a condo and then her 4-bedroom home. I will be sharing your post with her later this week! Thanks so much for sharing these helpful resources.

  12. Great article! So well put together! I love how you just went for it and made a living out of your dream!
    Here in Austria it is sooo hard to get into real estate, because everything is even more expensive and it is really hard to get a loan.
    But I am determined to make it happen!
    All the best,
    Theresa

    • Thanks, Theresa. It sounds like real estate is challenging in Austria, but I believe if you want something bad enough you will find a way. Best of luck to you.

  13. This is extremely interesting as my husband and I have been thinking of investing in real estate for the last couple of years but don’t feel ready to do so yet. I might give these books a try, thanks!

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