Right from wrong? Entry questions

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Hello, I am new to the bigger pockets forums after being turned onto it from the podcasts.

I am currently about to start schooling to obtain my RE license and would like to get familiar with all the avenues of real estate and investing. I understand that it takes a lot to get your feet wet and I feel as if I am retaining so much information and learning so much on a daily basis between the multiple podcasts, chapters in books and other sources that some important stuff may be left behind and useless info brought with. 

My Biggest questions I guess would be how do you decipher all the key points? And I have started on episode 1 and have listened to over 30 of the podcasts now in order and I'm wondering if thats the best way to go about it? Or could some be  outdated or an "older" way of doing stuff? 

As cliché as it is and sounds I would like to do a few Wholesales while Im getting my license so any sort of information or lesions learned along the way would be super helpful. 

I plan on doing a house hack as a first time buyer as well. Is it better to play it safe and just get a duplex and have one side occupied to learn the landlord process or spend the money and go for the four-plex? 

Thanks in advance for any help! I appreciate you taking the time out of your day. 
Aaron Gieg 

@Aaron Gieg Welcome to the community! It's exciting to hear you are ready to jump into real estate.

You are doing the right thing to get yourself education and establishing a foundation of knowledge. 

In deciding on what the invest in, that will really depend on your why in investing in real estate. What goals do you need to accomplish your why? Are you interested in cash flow or appreciation? Do you want cash flow now? What is your appetite for rehab? 

Having these questions answered before you start will give you a direction to move in. Then, when you start considering whether you should wholesale or buy a duplex or quad, you can ask yourself if it advances you toward your goals.

Start practicing analyzing deals now, even if you don't plan to buy right now. This is an invaluable skill every investor needs to have. This will help you avoid blindly accepting the numbers painted by a seller or wholesaler, you will have the skillset to analyze the deal yourself to know if it is worth your time. Trust but verify.

Through deal analysis, you will be able to establish your own buying criteria and recognize the bad, good, and great deals.

Education is a lifelong pursuit. No matter if you've done 1 or 1,000 deals, there is always something to learn. Some of the best education happens when you actually do. Don't recklessly jump in, but do the above and have a criteria, and you will go in educated.

Good luck!

Education is key. Keep listening to the podcasts, alot of the older episodes have more of the basic information which I found helpful at first. Newer episodes are good to listen to for recent events or new laws, etc.

Like AJ said, have goals which will help dictate decision making. Understanding your 'why' is often hard but do this work up front to put the best foot forward. Evebtually by doing you'll start to get what you want/ don't want as well. There's a unique balance in there for everyone which none of us can answer better than yourself. 

House hacking is a great method that many people do! Be open to other types of properties (ie single family / roommates) and even different types of investing.

@Aaron Gieg that's honestly why I don't listen to podcasts. There is tons of fluff.  If you want something a little more succint a book or a YouTube video thats cheaper/free.  Then buy a course could be a couple of hundred bucks but usually has more succinct information!

@Aaron Gieg I would suggest start by reading a book to obtain a base level of real estate knowledge. Brandon Turner's "How to Invest in Real Estate" is a good intro book. With a base level of knowledge the podcasts will begin to have more value to you. You'll be able to recognize concepts that others have applied. It certainly can't hurt to listen to all of the podcasts, but they aren't designed to be listened to them in order... Pick and choose the topics that interest you most. There are roughly 999,999 different ways to make money in real estate. Pick 1 or 2 and become an expert. 

@AJ H. Thank you for the useful information, I appreciate it more than you know!

I have been definitely focusing on the education the most.

On a side note just sitting down and asking myself and answering the questions you’ve suggested definitely cleared up the path a little and helped dig a little deeper into all that go along with each type of investing.

One question I do have though is when doing deal analysis since I am learning about the market Area.

Do you want to focus on the area as a whole or say 10% of houses in that block have been remodeled and 3% of those are on market do you want to do focus on that 10%?

Any good books or particular podcasts on the subject you would suggest?