Please Recommend a Beginners Book

12 Replies

Wife and I are going to start reading to each other each night on how to get started as a landlord.   Wanted to see if there was a good beginner's book to help us, something that would answer the following questions:

1. Financial strategies, i.e. avoiding taxes, 1% rule, 20 vs 25% down, whatever, what are the different viable financial options for purchasing a house and making profit, and what are the "definitely don't do X" things

2.  How do I determine if the market is too competitive for a particular neighborhood?  I.e. when I look at a neighborhood on zillow that has 200 houses in it, and 20 for rent right now, should I avoid that neighborhood?  

3. Buying strategies:  High income vs. Low income areas, what to look for, schools, amenities, what are the pros and cons.

4. What is a good game plan from now to handing the keys to someone?

5. Ethical strategies and thinking behind buying from a Realtor without a Realtor.  I.E.  i want them to make their money, but not bringing a Realtor I would like a better deal.

I did a search and saw this:  

http://www.biggerpockets.com/real-estate-investing

Maybe that is all I need?

I also saw this article which I was going to review this evening.

http://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/2013/04/14...

Anyway, we are total beginners but want to do this,  Our current strategy is to find a house in a lower cost but well kept neighborhood with good schools, 25% down (don't know why) 15 year loan, rent to a family.

Thought maybe someone might have a personal suggestion.  

K, sorry I could not figure out how to edit my post.  One really important thing is something that is brief, or fast to read, 100 pages of good solid advice is better than 100 pages of that advice with 200 pages of fluff to thicken the book.  I hope that does not offend anyone... oh, got to go, microwave just went off. 

Reading that is fast or brief? You are best off focusing on learning and not the amount of pages.

I'm reading the millionaire real estate investor right now and enjoying the knowledge as well as their interesting take on building a business model. Also what about just getting your real estate license and doing it all yourself?

Hold.  I highly recommend it.  Best beginning book for a buy and holder that I've found.  There was also very little fluff - some motivational stuff in the beginning, and some nuances (advanced strategies) in the end, but 90% of the book is a how-to guide for new RE investors.  That 90% is stuff that really is a needed if you want to be successful.

http://www.amazon.com/HOLD-Find-Rent-Houses-Wealth...

It's also available on audio-book.  In fact, I did the audio-book and was very impressed with it.  That's about 7 hours long.

@Jeff Howard  Have you been to the "Millionaire Possibilities" meetings in OKC. A lot of good info can be gleaned from meeting with other investors, and to network. A great group.

 @Matt Cramer :

Thanks, the ToC looks pretty detailed on that one.  I think the size of it might scare my wife away, however, it does not look like much fluff.   :)  thanks.

Originally posted by @Arlan Potter :

@Jeff Howard Have you been to the "Millionaire Possibilities" meetings in OKC. A lot of good info can be gleaned from meeting with other investors, and to network. A great group.

Where and when?  Thank you...

@Jeff Howard  

second Thursday of each month. They are easy to find online. Last Thursday was their first meeting at a new location. I have been to their meetings before and really enjoyed them. you can also go to OKCREI which has monthly meetings.

Very informative.

Most books have a lot of fluff.

I do book reviews on my BP blog, might be interested in reading to see which books sound closer to the mark.   http://www.biggerpockets.com/blogs/4445-collecting...

I would recommend Buy & Hold Forever: How to Build Wealthy for the 21st century by David Schumaker and From 0 to 130 Properties in 3.5 Years by Steve McKnight to get a frame of reference on what/where to buy.

@Jeff Howard welcome to BP! When I first got started, I took a few months and read probably 15 of the 21 books that Brandon Turner put together in his article that you linked to above. Honestly, they were all very information so it's hard for me to choose just one. Try "Building Wealth One House at a Time" and "What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Cash Flow." 

I think those two together will give you a pretty solid foundation. Best of luck!

I am really amazed, it's beyond me to understand people thinking they can go into real estate and get the "basics" of financing, market analysis, strategies, turning keys over (whatever that means) and then say it has to be a quick read! Totally unbelievable!

Has anyone just considered selling apples on a street corner? Panhandlers make more than those (claiming to be) in real estate that put that much effort into entering an industry.

It's not 100 pages, it is not a quick read, but "Mastering Real Estate Principles" by Gerald R. Cortesi is a REAL real estate book that has the basics that addresses ALL the concerns and topics mentioned.

Read and understand the contents of that book and you will be leap years ahead of 75% of the members on this site including many of those you're buying books from thinking you're getting some education in real estate!!!!

I suppose what makes such inquiries so insulting to those of us that have actually gotten an education and succeeded in areas of the industry is the assumption and implication that investing in real estate is just common sense, any idiot can do it, only takes a 100 page book or buy some crap off the internet from anyone who can spin and fluff ideas.

The look on my face is similar to the look on your attorney's face when you ask him for a good quick read instruction book so you can do your own estate planning.

While this may sound like it's just addressing the OP, it's not really, it's addressed to the multitudes of newbies on BP who aren't even prepared to sell apples on a street corner, much less real estate. Attitudes cause people to be a danger to the public and themselves!

Read the book mentioned, or a text book similar to it by a real educator and then begin in RE. :)

Originally posted by @Matt Cramer :

Reading that is fast or brief? You are best off focusing on learning and not the amount of pages.

I'm reading the millionaire real estate investor right now and enjoying the knowledge as well as their interesting take on building a business model. Also what about just getting your real estate license and doing it all yourself?

 That is one of my favorites. I just recommended it to a few friends that want to start investing. Another excellent book is "HOLD". I don't recall the subtitle. As far as buying the right book, an investor need to pick one area of interest and then pursue that. As time progresses they may change their mind and move into a different investing strategy. If you want to get your RE license, the education can be terrific. Did you know that in Florida, if you want to become a nail tech, you need over 200 hours of education? Did you know, that to become a licensed sales agent, you only need 63 hours of education? Did you know, that once you pass your exam, the state says you are "minimally qualified"? YUP! Once you get your license, the school of real life experience will be your best teacher...along with continued self education.

John Thedford, Real Estate Agent in FL (#BK3098153)
239-200-5600

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