Real Estate Investing Basics

The Top 12 Business and Real Estate Books as Recommended By BiggerPockets Podcast Guests

Expertise: Landlording & Rental Properties, Business Management, Real Estate Investing Basics, Personal Development
34 Articles Written

I love reading and am always on the lookout for the next book to add to my library.  This is one of the reasons that I love the weekly BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast.  For those who have not listened to it, Josh and Brandon end every show with 4 questions, 2 of which are book recommendations.

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After listening to all 39 podcasts, here is the list of the top 10 business and real estate books according to the collective suggestions of the interviewees.

(The following Amazon links are affiliate links, which means BiggerPockets gets a small commission when you buy through these links! Thank you for supporting BiggerPockets!)

1. Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

Rich Dad Poor Dad
The granddaddy of them all!  This book is mentioned on nearly half of all podcasts and is personally one of my favorites.  Robert Kiyosaki describes the his 2 dads, his real father and his friend’s father, and how they look at money.  This book completely changed my outlook on money and investing and is the basis for my real estate business.

Click to get “Rich Dad Poor Dad” on Amazon.

 

2. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

E-Myth Revisited
Another one of my favorite books.  Michael Gerber explains why most small businesses fail.  He discussed how most “entrepreneurs” work in their business instead of on their business.  He describes how to create systems in your business so that you can remove yourself from the day-to-day activities.

Click to get “The E-Myth Revisited” on Amazon.

 

3. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

4-Hour Workweek
This book has been on my list for a while, but it wasn’t until Brandon kept bringing it up that I dedicated to move it up on my list.  Tim Ferris describes strategies for reducing your involvement in your life and allowing you to live the life you want.  He talks a lot about lifestyle design and how to live the life that you want now, not 45 years from now when you finally retire.

Click to get “The Four Hour Workweek” on Amazon.

 

4. The Book on Flipping Houses: How to Buy, Rehab, and Resell Residential Properties

The Book On Flipping Houses
This is the first book on the list that I have not read, but I am ordering this week.  A quick visit to J. Scott’s website 123flip.com will show you why the $49 investment in these real estate books are worth it.  Many books on flipping discuss it at a high level, and who knows if the authors have ever even done a flip.  J posts each of his deals on his website so you know he knows what he is talking about.  For anyone interesting in flipping, learning from an experienced flipper will save you thousands if not tens of thousands.

Click to get “The Book on Flipping Houses” on BiggerPockets.

5. Think and Grow Rich

Think and Grow Rich
Another one of my favorite books.  This book was originally published in 1937 and has withstood the test of time.  Napoleon Hill interviewed some of the richest and most successful people of the time to understand the core steps and principles of success.

Click to get “Think and Grow Rich” on Amazon.

6. The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

The Total Money Makeover
Many people unfortunately find themselves in a less than ideal financial situation at some point in their life, which is why many turn to real estate as a way out.  Although real estate is a great avenue to accumulate wealth, it won’t help if you don’t understand how to manage your personal finances.  David Ramsey offers practical advice for how to become financially fit.

Click to get “The Total Money Makeover” on Amazon.

7. How I Turned $1,000 into Three Million in Real Estate in My Spare Time

How I Turned $1,000 into Three Million in Real Estate in My Spare Time
Here is another one that I have yet to read.  When I searched for it on Amazon, the image of the book shown was obviously decades old, with the book jacket severely torn and tattered.  This is usually a sign of a fantastic book (my best books are worn, dog-eared, highlighted and flagged).  A quick look at Amazon reviews seems to confirm this.  Who doesn’t want to turn $1,000 into $3,000,000?  And that was in 1959 dollars!

Click to get “How I Turner $1000 into Three Million” on Amazon!

8. The Book on Estimating Rehab Costs: The Investor’s Guide to Defining Your Renovation Plan, Building Your Budget and Knowing Exactly How Much It All Costs

The Book on Estimating Rehab Costs
It’s pretty impressive to make the top 10 list of real estate books recommended by real people on BiggerPockets.  Even more impressive is making it twice.  Estimating rehab costs is arguably one of the most difficult aspects of real estate investing,  J Scott breaks the process down and provides advice on all aspects of the process.

Click to get “The Book on Estimating Rehab Costs” on BiggerPockets.

 

9. The Millionaire Real Estate Investor

The Millionaire Real Estate Investor
This is another one that I have heard about forever but have not yet read.  In a recent discussion with another local investor, he said this was the book that allowed him to understand the scale of real estate investing beyond just being a landlord.  I had to spend $500 (and eventually $15,000) to learn this.

Click to get “The Millionaire Real Estate Investor” on Amazon.

 

10. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
This book is one of the ones that I go back to reading every few years.  Truly becoming effective usually means making a paradigm shift from how we look at things.  Steven Covey describes the 7 habits to personal and interpersonal effectiveness.

Free Bonus! These last two books tied with #10, so we will expand the list to 12.

Click to “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” on Amazon.

 

11. Rich Dad’s CASHFLOW Quadrant: Rich Dad’s Guide to Financial Freedom

Rich Dad’s CASHFLOW Quadrant- Rich Dad’s Guide to Financial Freedom
A sequel to Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki expands on the concepts of the cashflow quadrants.  In many ideas that are similar to the E-Myth, he describes the employee, self-employed, business owner and investor roles and why you want to move from the left to the right.

Click to get “Cashflow Quadrant” on Amazon.

 

 

12. The ABCs of Real Estate Investing: The Secrets of Finding Hidden Profits Most Investors Miss

The ABCs of Real Estate Investing
I also have not read this book.  From checking out reviews on Amazon, it sounds like this book has some practical information, unlike many of the other Rich Dad books which are all just theory.

(Note from the Editor: If you have any interest in multifamily properties – do not miss this book. It’s my favorite on the subject! -Brandon)

Click to get “The ABCs of Real Estate Investing” on Amazon.

Have you read any of the these books?  What are your favorites?
Related: BiggerPockets Presents : The Best Real Estate Books Ever

Photo: Jody Sticca

Tom is a serial entrepreneur and real estate investor from Rochester, NY. His real estate investments primarily target multi-unit properties. Along with his wife Ariana, they run a blog called Entreprenewlyweds, which helps couples understand how to manage being real estate investors/entrepreneurs while also maintaining a great relationship and family life.

    Dawn Anastasi
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Here’s an idea: buy multiple copies of book #6 using the link from Bigger Pockets. Give each copy to one of your tenants as a gift (Thanksgiving, Christmas, whatever). Win – Bigger Pockets for the commission received. Win – you for giving a gift to your tenants which helps with tenant retention. Win – tenants, when they improve their financial future and have less issues paying you in the future. (We can only hope on the last one.)
    Tom Sylvester
    Replied about 6 years ago
    I might actually try that out for Christmas this year and I wholeheartedly wish that it would work. I love helping others, but in many cases people don’t want to help themselves.
    Al Williamson
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Dawn, I really like this idea. I can imagine my tenants finding this book on their doorstep, opening it, and thinking that I really care about them. The Law of Reprocity would have to kick in! I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks for the idea Sis!
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Great Post Tom! All great books!
    Tom Sylvester
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thanks Brandon and I agree. I was glad to see a few that I haven’t read yet.
    Nichole
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Awesome list!! I think I’ve got 6 out of the 12 under my belt, time to get cracking!! haha!
    Tom Sylvester
    Replied about 6 years ago
    I agree. I really like that there is a mix of topics, some include mindset (ex. Rich Dad Poor Dad, Think and Grow Rich), some include how to systematize your business (ex. E-Myth, 4 Hour Workweek), some are hands on real estate (ex. J. Scott’s books) and some are personal finance (The Total Money Makeover).
    Larry Littrell
    Replied about 6 years ago
    I have 8 out of the 12, actually I think my ninth (Millionaire RE investor) is in my mail box.
    Tom Sylvester
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Nice! Only a few left. Which one is your favorite so far?
    David Krulac
    Replied about 6 years ago
    #7 show the picture of the reprint of the $1million dollar book but the narrative talks about the $3 million book, but they are both wrong. My #2 favorite of all time is “How I Turned $1,000 into FIVE million”, by William Nickerson
    Tom Sylvester
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thanks for the info David. This one of the few books on the list that I had not yet read. Given that $5 million sounds better than $3 million which sounds better than $1 million, maybe I will jump ahead. Reply Report comment
    Tom Sylvester
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thanks for the info David. This one of the few books on the list that I had not yet read. Given that $5 million sounds better than $3 million which sounds better than $1 million, maybe I will jump ahead. Reply Report comment
    Tom Sylvester
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thanks for the info David. This one of the few books on the list that I had not yet read. Given that $5 million sounds better than $3 million which sounds better than $1 million, maybe I will jump ahead.
    Greg Jackson
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Great list Tom! I grew up in Rochester … is it snowing? 🙂
    Tom Sylvester
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Not yet, but who knows what tomorrow will bring. I wish I still got snow days… Reply Report comment
    Tom Sylvester
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Not yet, but who knows what tomorrow will bring. I wish I still got snow days…
    Robert Adams
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Rich Dad poor dad is great especially for younger investors just getting started.
    Tom Sylvester
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Agreed. As many of the podcast guest and other investors have stated, Rich Dad Poor Dad was the book that got my to adjust my thinking and really understand investing.
    Liz Petroff
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Great list! I think I’ll get #8 for my Father-in-law. Not that he needs it; but as he points out, he’s “always learning”.
    Tom Sylvester
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Love that mentality! And you can never learn enough about how to estimate rehab costs. Even if “always learning” was a cliche, I think it is 100% true in the area of estimating rehabs.
    Greg Jackson
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Tom, Whoops! I forgot to mention a couple I just read & recommend: 1.) “Choose Yourself” by James Altucher. Check out his, “Simple Daily Practice”. 2.) “The Book on Flipping Houses” by J Scott. Best Flipping book I’ve read. Published by and available on BiggerPockets! (Now starting to read his, “The Book on Estimating Rehab Costs”, also available on BP.) Good Investing, Greg
    Giovanni Isaksen
    Replied about 6 years ago
    +1 on Choose Yourself. It’s a great gift too. I given several copies to people who were struggling with their lives.
    Greg Jackson
    Replied almost 6 years ago
    Giovanni, Well done … Here’s Altucher being interviewed on Yahoo’s Daily Ticker last June (2013): http://yhoo.it/17zYLy8 Happy Holidays, Greg
    Giovanni
    Replied almost 6 years ago
    Thanks Greg, love Altucher’s stuff. Also if you want a quick intro to the science behind James’ practices watch Shawn Achor’s TED Talk here, it’s LOL too: http://bit.ly/JvVWPE Happy Holidays to you too!
    Giovanni
    Replied almost 6 years ago
    Thanks Greg, love Altucher’s stuff. Also if you want a quick intro to the science behind James’ practices watch Shawn Achor’s TED Talk here, it’s LOL too: http://bit.ly/JvVWPE Happy Holidays to you too!
    Aaron
    Replied about 6 years ago
    I didn’t see the “Simple Daily Practice” on Amazon. Where did you find it?
    Greg Jackson
    Replied almost 6 years ago
    Hi Aaron, My bad. “Simply Daily Practice” as Tom correctly mentions is w/in the book, “Choose Yourself”. Here’s a version of it from Altucher’s blog: http://bit.ly/19906NH Cheers, Greg
    Tom Sylvester
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thanks Greg, added that to my list as I have not read it. @Aaron – I think it is a concept within his book. When I searched Google I found a few pages that list it – Physical, Emotional, Mental and Spiritual.
    Jessica Swingle
    Replied about 6 years ago
    I also caught this one on a BP podcast (I believe it was recommended by Dave Van Horn): Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish. I ordered it that day. EXCELLENT book for entrepreneurs & business leaders.
    Tom Sylvester
    Replied about 6 years ago
    @Jessica – I just ordered that one (with about 5 others) from listening to the podcasts and writing this post. What is interesting is that there was a total of 66 different books that were mentioned by the podcast guests. Although some clearly stood out (the ones in this list), it was pretty awesome to see the wide array of books mentioned. Below are the rest of the books. Fixing and Flipping Real Estate: Strategies for the Post-Boom Era The Intelligent Investor – by Benjamin Graham The Snowball: Warrent Buffet and the Business of Life “Essential Handbook for Buying a Home” by Karen “Essential Handbook for Selling a Home” by Karen “Essential Handbook for Landlords” by Karen “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” by T. Harv Eker Real Leaders Don’t Do PowerPoint Art of the Deal – Donald Trump Art of the Comeback  The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine  Mastering Real Estate Investment: Examples, Metrics And Case Studies  What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Cash Flow… And 36 Other Key Financial Measures Insider Secrets to Financing Your Real Estate Investments: What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Finding and Financing Your Next Deal 10 Commandments for Real Estate Investors  Money Academy for Couples The BiggerPockets Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing How to Win at the Sport of Business  The 36 Hour Real Estate Investing Course Serious Creativity Real Estate Investments and How to Make Them The Complete Guide to Real Estate Finance for Investors  Getting Things Done Success Principles Investment Biker: Around the World with Jim Rogers The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom Inspecting a House (For Pros By Pros)  The Basic Steps in Real Estate Exchanging  Mastery Flipping Houses Exposed Shift  Atlas Shrugged  Winning  If You Give a Mouse a Cookie  First Things First How to Win Friends and Influence People Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. How to Be a Deed Grabber Make it Big Rework Missed Fortune 101  Mastering the Rockefeller Habits  The Section 8 Bible Investing in Real Estate On China Good to Great Trump Style Negotiation Real Estate Finance and Investment Manual Crush It From 0 to 130 Properties in 3.5 Years  Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got FLIP: How to Find, Fix, and Sell Houses for Profit  Necessary Endings
    Andre Coltrin
    Replied about 6 years ago
    I have and read 4 of the list. I would also highly recommend “Richest Man in Babylon”, “Own your own Corporation”, “Tax-Free wealth”, “ABC of Property Management”.
    Johnna F. from Scranton, PA
    Replied about 1 year ago
    “Richest Man in Babylon”.. a true classic! Timeless financial advice.
    Aaron
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Great list. Always love hearing about titles that have helped people and I wasn’t aware of. I found a few in your list for my Amazon wish list (which is currently standing at 85 books deep!). Too many good books and thoughts and not enough time to read them all. I was watching a show and the plot involved a guy who was framed and went to prison. The first thought that popped in my head was “Wow, what a great opportunity to catch up on all that reading!” LOL
    Tom Sylvester
    Replied about 6 years ago
    haha, that is what I have always thought as well! “All I need to do is go to prison for a few years and I can catch up on my reading”. My “Books to Read” list is currently at 190 on Amazon… I wrote a blog post a few months ago called “Why Books Are Better Than College”. It was interesting in the fact that I could buy 30 books a year for $750 as compared to a year of college tuition at $29,990 – $14,690 a year.
    Michele Fischer
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thanks so much for compiling this! Loved seeing the entire list and the top picks. I got the Section 8 Bible after Dawn’s podcast, and it is hilarious. And so wise. Some new tenants look at us funny when we say we don’t provide closet doors, but we learned that one early on.
    Frank O
    Replied about 6 years ago
    I’ve read #1, #4, #8, & #11. Rich Dad Poor Dad was the game changer for me.
    Matt Bassett from Sacramento, California
    Replied over 2 years ago
    I consider myself lucky. I have only read 2. Think and grow rich is next on my list as soon as I finish Brandon Turner’s “No money down” book.