You know what makes books great?
They can take you places. Anywhere you want. All it takes is a little imagination….
But what if you want to become something?
If you want to become a bodybuilder, an engineer, a mathematician, well guess what, there are books for that.
Personally, I want to be an investor.
But this wasn’t always the case. At first, I didn’t even read books. I just spent my time playing video games which isn’t bad, but it didn’t align with my goals.
I knew, if i didn’t have the money, connections, or knowledge, I would have to start somewhere. And the starting point was books.
As I kept reading more books on business, investing, and whatever interested me at the time, I felt more confident discussing those topics. And as I felt more confident, I became more enthusiastic about business and investing. This is what got me reading so many real estate books.
The power of books not only comes from the knowledge you can gain, but it also puts you in the mindset of the author. You get to see how their thought process is and implement it into your life.
But honestly, it doesn’t have to be books. You can learn from PDF’s online or podcasts. All you have to have is a willingness to learn. And my preferred method of learning is through books.
The reason I created this post was to hopefully inspire other potential investors to read these same books and hopefully learn what I did. These books, I can honestly say, changed the way I think about life, and I
hope it has an impact on yours.
Without further ado, here are the best 10 books for real estate beginners:
1. Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!
- Assets > Income
- Don’t use your time to earn money
- Understand accounting, investing, markets, and regulation
- Learn the power of corporations and taxes
- Become a business owner and investor
Rich Dad had to be number one because this is the book that started it all for me. It’s funny because when I watch a Biggerpockets podcast and the interviewee gets asked what their favorite real estate
book is, a majority of the guests’ answers are “Rich Dad Poor Dad.” This is no coincidence, because when you read this book, it changes your mindset.
It’s like entering “the matrix” in a sense.
Growing up I was always taught to do good at school and get a good job. But why do people who do work hard get taxed the hardest? They put in their 9-5 just to get 75%-80% of what they earned.
On top of all that, the worker still has to pay living expenses. Rent, food, utilities, all add up. Then what’s left over? How much is left over for the worker to enjoy? What about retirement savings? How much are you putting into your 401k to one day retire.
What’s worst is pension funds can go belly up if the company your working in goes out of business. All these questions I just presented weren’t on my radar before. Reading this book made me realize what more life can be.
- Learn fundamental metrics for real estate
- Learn how to do research
- Understand the main tenets of real estate investing
Think of this book as a follow up to “Rich Dad Poor Dad.” But the difference is this book gets more in-depth on real estate investing. “Rich Dad Poor Dad” was more about the “big picture” and why investing is important.
“The ABC’s of Real Estate Investing” focuses on multifamily investing. So apartments and commercial real estate are the objects of discussion in this book. Even if you’re not interested in this book for the commercial real estate, reading this book will help you understand what it takes to
start investing. Whether it’s knowing how to conduct research, or understanding which metrics to go by, there is something for any type of investor. It doesn’t matter whether you have experience or not. And this is exactly what the author states in the book.
What’s more enticing is Ken McElroy (author) works with Robert Kiyosaki so he comes from the same mindset as Rich Dad Poor Dad does.
To help you understand everything the book has to offer, Ken tells his experience and what he’s learned through stories. This makes it more entertaining and easier to learn everything inside the book. It’s one of the most informative real estate books for beginners.
The 4-Hour Workweek is another “big picture” book which changed my mindset. Tim Ferris, the author, is a person who looks for innovative ways of thinking. This type of thinking is displayed in his podcasts/blog on his website, or YouTube channel.
In this book he describes how any of us can be a “digital nomad” if we put into action what he describes in the book. There are also templates and clear examples Ferris displays to help you get through.
In the book, he advocates for outsourcing. He explains outsourcing is necessary to get the mundane tasks out of the way which allows you to focus on the bigger picture. Not only does this save time, but it also allows you to expand the business.
Tim also talks about the Pareto principle. Talking about the 80/20 rule was another game-changer for me because it allows me to focus in on what really matters when trying to accomplish objectives. If a specific task takes up 20% of the work but produces 80% of the result, I can decide
whether I want to keep responsibility of the task, or outsource it. This is a great principle to live by because it saves time and energy allowing you to determine which jobs are really important.
Another important concept that I learned from this book is having “mini-retirements.” Let’s face it…eventually, no matter how much we love our job, we can get burnt out. That’s why I believe in “mini-retirements.” Not having to wait for weekends or PTO can be a huge stress reliever.
Having “mini-reitrements” mean the work revolves around you. Not you having to revolve around your work.
I would much rather work hard for a year straight and take the next year off then give half effort into something I don’t really enjoy. Having “mini-retirements” instead of delaying what you’ve always wanted to do is what this book can show you.
- Learn successful investors’ strategies
- Learn key terms of any transaction
- Know what is a great opportunity
This book is different from the other books because it’s a “big picture” book but it focuses only on real estate. It contains hundreds of successful real estate investors’ experiences and the different methods investors use.
An example of the different methods investors use is walking the block to get a feel for the surrounding area of the property. It’s a type of strategy investors do to get a feel for the neighborhood. This helps with determining a price for the property and tells investors if the neighborhood is safe or not.
Another great method I learned from the book is streamlining your process of finding deals. There’s a whole lot that goes into finding the one deal that makes sense. Add the fact that it takes a lot of time from crunching numbers to looking around, it can take looking at hundreds of properties
before you settle on the right one. This book comes with great advice on how to filter out deals so the process can be faster. Spending your time trying to find the right property can force you to miss out on other opportunities.
Knowing what it takes to get into real estate investing turns people away. Reading this book will motivate you to do the opposite. A lot of the book is motivational sprinkled with some practical advice which makes it easy to read. That’s why it’s one of my top real estate books for beginning investors.
- Learn how to scale
- Know when to hire
Landlording is a big fear for first time investors and it can be a deal breaker. Imagine getting some good sleep when all of a sudden your phone rings at 3 a.m. for a clogged toilet. I would rather get a nightmare then have to deal with toilet issues that early. But this is the kind of problems
landlords will face. “Landlording On AutoPilot” can be your resource for implementing a system to manage your properties so you can manage these situations better.
Mike Butler (author) started investing to earn extra money versus working more night shifts. As he grew his business he owned 75 properties at one point and still worked full-time. That’s when he hired somebody part-time to start working for him.
When you read this book, you’ll learn from somebody who has managed a large scale of properties simultaneously. Keep in mind that most, if not all his investments are in residential properties.
What makes this book great for beginners is it’s packed with funny anecdotes and experiences that make the lessons easy to remember. Mike also adds practical advice so you don’t have to make the same mistakes he does.
If you want to learn about property management, systems, and automation, this book will do it. If I were to start off with a book on managing properties, this book is definitely on top.
- Financing is also about relationships
- Networking is critical
- Financing takes creativity
Another roadblock when it comes to investing is getting money to start. Whether it’s hard money or private money, capital raising can be a stressful process. But Susan (author) shows potential investors how to get started.
She provides a framework to raise private capital. She shows you the different type of investors and how to approach each one. Financing is not just about calculating the numbers, it’s about the connections you’ve made. Some potential investors you know could be family members.
But investors have a hard time borrowing money because they don’t want to lose it which is understandable. But if you have no options and you badly need to start investing, consider it as an option, and tell your close ones the risks of investing. Inform them how you might lose the
money and also tell them how you can make a return on their investment so they know what to expect.
Financing comes down to two things. Numbers and people. If there are no people to give you the money, then meet more people. If the numbers don’t work out, find a deal where it works out. Combine the two and you have a property in place.
There will be times during the financing process where the deal could be done, but it takes some creativity. This is where this book can help. Most people think of financing as a 25% down I’ll mortgage the rest type of deal, but the truth is financing should be seen as a toolbox.
Different financing methods can be used at different times, or they can be used together to make more deals happen. Although this book is focused on private money, I just wanted to point out financing is not limited to asking people you know for money.
In addition, Susan lays out a step-by-step to help you get comfortable with the process. It’s great for beginners because it’s another easy-to-read book which gives practical advice.
7. What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Cash Flow… And 36 Other Key Financial Measures, Updated Edition
- Use metrics to screen properties
- Remember there are qualitative factors to consider in an investment
All the metrics you need to know for real estate investing is in this book. If you need to find out if an investment makes money right when you buy it, this is the book. Some of these metrics aren’t used all the time, but it doesn’t hurt to know them.
Frank Gallinelli (author) is a seasoned investor who has been in the real estate game for a long time. He has dealt with all types of properties including commercial properties.
His writing contains humor and case studies to help readers learn from real world examples. His financial metrics teach you discounted cash flow, net present value, internal rate of return, profitability index, and more.
This book will give you a quick rule of thumb when evaluating a property. Think of the metrics as part of your screening process for real deals. Having the formulas will make your screening process faster.
To help you with the formulas, the author adds spreadsheets and problems throughout the book for the reader to practice problems. What’s more appealing about the book is these metrics apply to general business. You can use these formulas to see if an investment is worth it.
You can also use these formulas to see if a business is doing good. That’ll help you down the line when deciding to invest in a business.
If all of this doesn’t entice you to get the book, understand the author even dives in on the impact accounting rules have on taxable income.
Whether you’re a seasoned investor or beginner, acquiring this book will make you a better investor in the long-run.
8. Real Estate Investing Gone Bad: 21 true stories of what NOT to do when investing in real estate and flipping houses
- Talk to other investors to learn
You know the easiest way to remember what you learned?
By making your own mistakes.
You know what’s the next best way to remember what you’ve learned?
Learning from other people’s mistakes.
Phil Pustejovsky’s book is amazing in that regard. You get to learn from 21 real failures of real estate investment deals in anecdotal form. Combining stories and other people’s mistakes make it convenient for new real estate investors to absorb information.
It lets new investors realize the actual risks that can happen when you’re investing in real estate. Facing the reality of potential downfalls helps investors become more wary with their time and money.
Combining this book with the other books I’ve mentioned is preferred for new investors because you get to learn through practice and others’ experiences.
9. The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down: Real Life Strategies for Investing in Real Estate Using Other People’s Money
- Think of financing as a toolbox
- There is no such thing as “no money down”
I’ve mentioned earlier that financing is more than crunching numbers. It’s about getting creative. Think of financing as a toolbox where you have different tools to use. Some methods work better for other deals while another method works better for other deals.
The same can be said for tools. Sure you can hammer a screw into a hole, but is it more effective or efficient? No it’s not. You would rather use a screwdriver to get the job done.
A practical example is using the conventional mortgage method. You can put 25% down on a property, but what if you’re planning to buy more properties in the near future? Putting all your cash down on one property isn’t the best move. Knowing the other methods will let you work out a
financing deal where you can acquire a new property and put down money on another right after.
Obviously there are more questions that need to be addressed but this is one reason why learning multiple financing methods is important if you’re trying to become a real estate investor.
With this book you get to learn those methods. You also get to learn how to attract private lenders. Brandon Turner (author) says it’s all about mindset. And that mindset is knowing what you have at your disposal and mixing and matching financing techniques.
To help your mindset, Brandon gives practical examples which are helpful for beginners to get a sense of what works. Another great part about this book is it gives you practical examples. Just like the other books, the examples make it easier for learning real estate investing easier.
The whole book is based around putting as little money as possible down for a property. But there are consequences to creative financing and Brandon goes over that just so your perception on “low money down” isn’t skewed.
What makes this book great is it’s practical. It goes over real life examples and talks about the consequences of financing. But another reason why this book is great is because it talks about different types of investments in real estate.
From flipping, to wholesale deals, and long-term holds, this book talks about a variety of subjects. It’s a worthwhile read.
Here is a cool video to give you a taste of what the book can go in-depth on:
- Vet the people you hire properly
- Know how much you’re going to put into the property before you start
This book provides the holy grail for fixing up houses. It’s literally a step-by-step which makes it ideal as a real estate book for beginners. It also helps you understand what is a great deal, and what isn’t. But you really get the bang for your buck when you get this book wanting to learn how
to fix up houses. J. Scott is a serious flipper and he has major experience. If you want to know more about him, check out his Biggerpockets podcast. He talks about his mistakes, exit strategies, why you should get your real estate license, and more.
As for the book, he talks about everything related to flipping houses. From financing to finding the right contractors, he goes in-depth on each topic through different chapters.