I'll have to admit, as a longtime investor in a multitude of different markets—including stocks, junk bonds, commodities, and even, to a lesser extent, cryptocurrency—I've largely ignored one of the biggest investment stages there is: Real estate. Although I had aspirations to purchase some investment property back in the mid 2000s, I was ultimately turned off by the real estate bubble and the financial crisis that took place during the 2007-08 fiscal year.
Ironically enough though, I was also pretty ticked off that I failed to take action when prices were so low. I wasn't sure when prices would bottom out, let alone when, or if, they'd ever rise.
However, I'm not going to let prior mistakes deter me from investing in today's housing market. I've read plenty of different books to further my knowledge on the subject matter, some which were good, while others... not so much. I've decided to curate my own list of the top books about real estate investing, so if you're like me and want give it a go, but don't really have any sort of base knowledge in this realm, this can certainly serve as a precursor of sorts.
This was actually a book I read a few years back, but had to give it a re-read, given my renewed interest in the real estate business. This particular book, which you've probably heard of, gets into the mindset of the rich, juxtaposed by that of the poor. The author, Robert Kiyosaki, refers to his own dad as "Poor Dad" and his best friend's dad as "Rich Dad," the latter of which becomes his mentor. Again, this book deals more on the psychological side of things, but it is definitely a valuable read for those looking to start making real estate deals.
If you're someone with literally no knowledge of the real estate market, then you should start out with a book like Building Wealth One House at a Time by John Schaub. This focuses mostly on rudimentary principles of real estate investment such as deal analysis, as well as the fundamentals of leases, options, and purchase contracts—all things necessary to start investing. Overall, it's a bit of a dry read, but incredibly helpful, nonetheless.
Real estate tycoon Frank Gallinelli's book What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Cash Flow... And 36 Other Key Financial Measures deals mostly with the numbers aspect of investing, but after just one read through, you'll soon learn it is the hard data, and corresponding analysis of said data, that truly separates the good investors from the great ones. This book will certainly help you start investing in real estate sooner, rather than later. From a number crunching standpoint, this is definitely a must-have.
Gary Keller's book, The Millionaire Real Estate Investor (with features from Dave Jenks and Jay Papasan), gave me some pretty insightful and very practical advice when it comes to diving head first into the real estate space. What I personally liked about it was how it broke down the fundamentals, as well as what inherently drives the market to begin with. It's a super easy, linear read, complete with a few stories and anecdotes of investors that were able to obtain financial freedom by simply buying properties and selling them. It is certainly one of the more inspirational reads I've come across, to say the least.
Managing rental properties is far from an easy task—especially with the negative reputation landlords have gotten over the years. If you're looking for a book on rental property investing that ultimately alines with your own vision for owning and renting out space, as opposed to just flipping property, then you'll probably want to opt for Landlording on Autopilot by Mike Butler. The author managed and rented out 75 properties while still working full time in law enforcement, which exemplifies just how lucrative the real estate business is, even just as a side hustle. You can learn the tricks of the trade—while avoiding a plethora of unnecessary headaches—by taking heed of Butler's wide array of advice.
Phil Pustejovsky's How to be a Real Estate Investor isn't quite as simple as the title suggests, but it's still a great place to learn, nonetheless. Pustejovsky does a masterful job of articulating the ins and outs of the real estate business in a linear, comprehensive fashion, making it one of the easier-to-read books on real estate and property management out there for prospective investors.
While the first book about rental property investing pertained more to some of the tricks of the trade, Every Landlord's Legal Guide; by the legal trio of Marcia Stewart, Ralph Warner, and Janet Portman; serves as more of a, well, legal guide. I can't really articulate it much better than the title itself.
Keep in mind, however, the book certainly isn't meant to be a fun. It's simply a collection of the vast array of legal forms and state rules every landlord/property manager must adhere to. Still, it remains an inherently crucial read for anyone trying to get their foot in the door of real estate investing.
For someone like me, who (obviously) doesn't necessarily have the same capital as some of these huge investment firms, reading a book that talks about smaller scale investment ventures is certainly a worthwhile read. What's particularly intriguing about Crushing It in Apartments and Commercial Real Estate: How a Small Investor Can Make It Big was the fact that it pertained more to someone like me—a smaller investor trying to make it big in a vast, somewhat oversaturated market. I might not ever make it as big as Brian Murray did, but it still gives me hope, nonetheless. After all, it is all about maintaining a positive mindset.
There are some that prefer commercial real estate, others who enjoy the process of managing rental properties, and, of course, those just in it to wheel and deal. If you want to know how to invest in real estate without being a landlord, then you're definitely going to want to check out The Book on Flipping Houses by J Scott. While it might seem pretty cut-and-dry to simply purchase property and sell it at a profit, it's not necessarily a strategy for investing that automatically rakes in cash. There are several different factors that go into the process, most of which are outlined by Scott in the book. If you do take Scott's advice at face value, chances are that you can make a pretty penny off of flipping houses. With that being said though, you will quickly realize there's more to it than meets the eye.
To round out this list, we have The Book on Rental Property Investing by Brandon Turner. After reading this book—actually one of the first on this list that I delved into—I could instantly understand why it's the number one book in Amazon's real estate book section. Turner serves as a great tutor, and his step-by-step guidance served as a great precursor to some of the more advanced reads I mentioned.
It's a little more rudimentary in nature, at least in terms of breaking down some of the basics of the real estate business, but it's certainly one of the top books about real estate investing out there nonetheless. There are several tips for real estate investing success in 2018, and this book does a great job of covering most, if not all, of them.
If you're still unsure of your own personal strategy, you may also want to check out the 10 best online courses for real estate investing. Either way, you can't go wrong.