Estimating renovation work

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I'm starting the process of evaluating local multi-family homes for a first investment property purchase.

I'm sold on the idea of purchasing a place that needs renovation work.

I have no idea how to estimate said work when analyzing properties. What do you all recommend I do?

Should I find a contractor and bring them with me? Alternatively, are there good intro books, articles or videos that can help me ballpark estimate the work myself?

Thank you in advance for your help!

Of course I'm going to help someone from the Wick! 

See the bookstore tab at the top of the site here?  Select that, scroll down to The Book on Estimating Rehab Costs by J Scott, buy that, and read that.