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The 10 Best Real Estate Books For Beginners

woman reading real estate books for beginners

Are you wanting to invest in real estate but not sure where to start? I read a lot of real estate books for beginners before I made my first purchase but I could have saved a lot of time by just reading a few books and heading over to the Bigger Pockets website.

Over five 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 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, rental property, or what real estate books that a beginner should read. I didn’t have any money in savings and I had no idea how I was going to buy an investment property.

The Best Real Estate Books For Beginners

Now I wonder why it took me so long to take the first step toward buying real estate.

I own eight rental properties now. Living paycheck to paycheck is not a concern, and my savings account continues to grow. I’m no longer worried about how to pay for college or retirement.

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

You can’t go wrong with investing in yourself and your education and good investment books. If you want to improve your finances, 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 single post to cover the details that you would get from reading real estate books for beginners.

The purpose of this post is to tell you about the ten real estate books for beginners and the one podcast that I wish someone would have recommended to me in the beginning.

The following real estate books cover pretty much everything you need to know including buying, financing, and renting property.

If you commit to learning something each day about real estate investing, you can learn more than the majority of other 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.

The 10 Best Real Estate Books For Beginners

1. Building Wealth One House at a Time by John Schaub

There is a lot of great information in this book. However, I 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.

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.

Building Wealth One House At A Time covers the fundamentals. John lays out an overall strategy for achieving financial independence with residential real estate.

Main concepts of the book:

  • You can create wealth one house at a time
  • Single-family homes are the best investment
  • The right house attracts the right tenant
  • Obtain financing without a bank
  • Maximizing profit using lease options
  • A plan to free your property of debt
  • Appreciation can build wealth

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

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 uses.

The Book On Rental Property Investing 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 program that works for you.

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 a real estate investor and has written many books on the topic, and he hosts podcasts at BiggerPockets.com. He invests in different types of properties, including flips, and buy-and-hold properties.

The book that I refer to when I don’t know how to do something. Brandon covers everything; he guides you through things like interviewing your potential tenant,  and how to track your rental expenses.

I also listen to the podcasts and participate in the forums at BiggerPockets.com.

Main concepts of the book:

  • Finding financial freedom through real estate
  • Step by step rental property investing
  • “House hacking” for beginners
  • Changing your mindset 
  • How to get loan approval
  • What you can do if you live in an expensive area
  • Which places make the best rentals

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

I refer to this real estate book before I do anything with my rentals to make sure that I comply with all of my state laws. This book is a handy reference for any legal concerns about rental contracts, evictions, non-rent payments, or any other issue that you might face.

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

What’s covered in this book:

  • Legal information by state
  • Legal forms

 About the authors

Nolo is the publisher of self-help legal books. Free updates are available on their website. They have many articles that are written to be easy to understand.

Every Landlord’s Legal Guide is full of detailed references. It covers most of the legal issues that landlords face such as how to reject applications, evictions, deposits, and potential liability concerns. The book also has downloadable forms.

Main concepts of the book:

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

4. 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

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.

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 owns an investment company that focuses on real estate.

While Brandon primarily focuses on acquiring properties, Heather’s primary focus is property management. They own a mixture of single-family homes as well as apartment buildings.

The Turner’s provide a lot of excellent property management systems in The Book On Managing Rental Properties. There are landlord resources for all 50 states available at 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 requirements.

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

5. The Millionaire Real Estate Investor

Sometimes, if you surround yourself with those that are successful, you too will be successful. This can indeed be said about the 100 millionaire investors that are discussed in this book.

If you want the best information from the best investors in the world, this book, The Millionaire Real Estate Investor, will have it for you. 

What’s Covered In This Book

  • Making money
  • Investing
  • Real estate investing 

About The Author: Gary Keller

Gary Keller is an impressive person. Certainly, you have seen a home for sale by the Keller Williams company. Gary Keller is the founder of Keller Williams.

This is one of the fastest-growing real estate companies in the country. In addition to this book Keller also has another book geared towards the real estate agent. 

Main Concepts 

  • Strategies that the best real estate investors use
  • How to understand real estate transactions and benefit from them 
  • Making great deals 
  • How to know which real estate investments are good ones 

6. The Book On Flipping Houses

Not all real estate investors are interested in flips. However, if you are, this is the book you will want to own. The Book On Flipping Houses has strategies that all real estate investors can benefit from.

Whether you are investing in your first flip or you already have a few under your belt, the information in The Book On Flipping Houses will help your business grow. 

What’s Covered In This Book

  • Financing
  • Real Estate Flips
  • Investment Properties
  • Real Estate Law 

About The Author: J. Scott

J. Scott was not originally a real estate investor. His career in Silicon Valley had him looking for more, and he chose to literally get his hands dirty.

With over sixty million in property transactions in the last decade, it is safe to say J. Scott knows a thing or two about real estate flipping. If you find this book helpful, he has quite a few others for sale as well. 

Main Concepts 

  • How to implement effective financing strategies
  • Determine if a deal is going to be profitable 
  • Calculating accurate budgets 
  • Learning how to track down the right contractors at the right price 
  • Types of properties that are worth investing in 

7. What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Cash Flow

If you don’t understand business and cash flow, it is hard to get involved in real estate. Cash flow in real estate is much different than in other industries.

If you are not good at managing it, be prepared to see your real estate investment business go south. 

What’s Covered In This Book

  • Financial advice
  • Cash Flow Management 
  • Profitability Index 

About The Author: Frank Galinelli 

Frank Galinelli started a company called RealData Inc. His company is a large software company that deals solely in Real Estate. He knows everything there is to know about calculating whether or not a real estate transaction makes sense.

In this book, What Every Real Estate Investor Needs To Know About Cash Flow, he shares insight that should be considered before any transactions are completed. 

Main Concepts 

  • How to track the stability of your investments
  • Profitability calculators 
  • Understanding capitalization rate
  • What is a return on equity? 
  • Measure and estimate critical real estate stats and aspects 

8. Financial Freedom with Real Estate Investing: The Blueprint To Quitting Your Job With Real Estate – Even Without Experience Or Cash

With the title of this book, it’s hard to find a reason not to read it. Quitting your job and making money in real estate sounds like a dream plan.

However, after reading Financial Freedom With Real Estate Investing, you will have actual steps that could turn your dream into a reality. 

What’s Covered In This Book

  • Investing
  • Cash management 
  • Formulas for creating income 

About The Author: Michael Blank

Michael Blank knows a thing or two about real estate investing, especially in apartment buildings. He has an extensive real estate portfolio, a popular podcast, and lots of really great information to share.

Blank has plans that will help even the newest investors understand what it takes to become profitable. 

Main Concepts 

  • Raising money for real estate projects
  • How to get started even when you have no experience behind you 
  • Analyzing deals and their profitability 
  • How to find a great deal 
  • Financial freedom formulas and concepts 

9. Real Estate Investing QuickStart Guide: The Simplified Beginner’s Guide to Successfully Securing Financing, Closing Your First Deal, and Building Wealth Through Real Estate (QuickStart Guides)

If you are new to real estate investing, this is the place to start. Sometimes having a plan to follow is all that it takes to get your real estate business up off the ground.

This Real Estate Investing QuickStart Guide gives you a way to get entirely through your first real estate investment. Following the guide can lead to many more sound transactions. 

What’s Covered In This Book

  • Information for new investors 
  • Building real estate deals
  • Completing real estate deals 
  • Financial advice and management 

About The Author: Symon He

It’s often easier to listen to advice from a person that has been through the same steps that you have. With Symon He, you will know that the information is real and comes from firsthand experience.

He knows how to make outstanding real estate transactions, both residential and commercial. The same method he teaches in his books is the one that has made him as successful as he is. 

Main Concepts

  • How to get started creating passive income 
  • How to flip properties
  • Creating an income-producing portfolio
  • Commercial, residential, and land real estate markets are covered 
  • Hands off income streams  

10. The Book on Investing In Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down: Creative Strategies for Investing in Real Estate Using Other People’s Money

The concept of you need money to make money will be overturned in this book by Brandon Turner. Turner teaches readers how to start a successful business from nothing.

He shows what is possible in real estate when you get creative about the deal you make. This is a book that is great for beginners, but some experienced real estate investors will enjoy the concepts in this book as well. 

What’s Covered In This Book

  • Financing
  • Wholesaling
  • Flipping
  • Rental income 

About The Author: Brandon Turner 

Brandon Turner owns more than 500 rental units and several flips at any given time. He knows quite a bit about making money, even when you don’t have much to start with.

The best thing about Brandon Turner’s success is that he is happy to share it. His book is a real book, written with solid advice that anyone can use in the real estate investing field. 

Main Concepts 

  • How to invest with little to no money down 
  • Get yourself started in real estate investing
  • Creative investing strategies you won’t get in other books 
  • Where to get money for real estate transactions 

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

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