Complete newbie here looking to learn

16 Replies

Hello everyone, As the title said, I’m completely new to investing in real estate. I’ve been reading the forum and the responses and I have to say, you guys are very knowledgeable and very helpful. Please, as a complete newbie, what can you intelligent folks recommend as far as where to begin. Books, websites or anything to help me learn and get started. I want to be able to buy a property in ONE year. I’ve been reading up on it but when I found BiggerPockets, I feel like there’s so much that I don’t know. I live in Philadelphia and would greatly appreciate any advice. Thank you in advance to everyone that’s taking the time out of their busy schedule to help me.

Hello Hai and welcome aboard.  The best place to begin is to purchase a course in how to invest in real estate, for the very reason you asked; "Where do I begin?'"  After reading all the post and articles in this great resource called Bigger Pockets I also asked myself when I started out "where do I begin?"

A real estate course will help you do more learning than searching, which will save you a tremendous amount of time.  Than I would use Bigger Pockets to confirm what you learn in a real estate course by posting and asking questions as you learn.  Use Bigger Pockets as a validation of what you are learning to make sure it is accurate and true by asking questions in the Forums like you did now.

I hope this helps you.  

@Hai Nguyen , I would check out the Bigger pockets Ultimate Beginners Guide under education- guides. This will help you understand the basics of real estate investing. A couple books that can help you get are in the proper mindset are rich dad poor dad and richest man in Babylon. There are some advantages of being an owner occupant. Here's a good BP post about it (How to "hack" your housing and get paid to live for free) I think house hacking is a great way to get started investing and you could probably get started sooner than you think with some of the low down payment programs available today. 

@Hai Nguyen welcome to the BiggerPockets community!

This is what I would recommend:

All the best!

Well the first question is what aspect of Real Estate do you want to get involved in??

There are so many facets to real estate it's important to do your research and make a decision on which path is best for you. It will vary based on your goals & your resources. Time, money, location, & network.

Since this is on the multifamily forum I will assume you're talking about being an investor in apartment buildings. How much time do you have to dedicate? Do you have the capital & networth rqmts to buy a building on your own? Do you live in a good market to find deals in? Or maybe you have a lot of high networth connections?  The more info we have on where you're starting from the better advice this community will be able to offer. 

Once you have decided which path to take, I recommend "Seek to serve" or "Pay to play", if you are committed to accelerating your growth. By this I mean either find a way to add value to someone in the space (not asking them what you can do for them but providing actual value by presenting a way you can help, even if that means going to work for free) OR find a reputable investor that you can invest in mentorship from - the key is the really do your research here and not throw money at the first program that jumps in front of you- make sure they are doing it at a high level and have the results you want. Maybe investing alongside sponsors who provide value to their passive investors is a good way to gain experience & learn until you do your own deal. Again, which of these directions you take depends on how much time & money you have. 

You will learn lots here on BiggerPockets, podcasts, & from other free resources but that will only take you so far. I recommend finding a mentor who can teach you to see through their lens in ways that books/blogs won't be able to. After a certain point you should be prepared to go without mentors and most learning will come through experience, but if you want to cut down the learning curve and accelerate your path to your goals find someone who has been there before and learn as much as possible.


First of all, since you posted the question in the Multi-family and Apartments forum, I will assume that that's what you want to learn about and get started investing on.

You have gotten some great advise up there from other investors so I will just leave you one book recommendation.

The ABC's of Real Estate Investing is a great book written by a very well known apartment investor and property manager, Ken McElroy.

Also, once you get started educating yourself, ask yourself WHY you want to invest in real estate? What is your end goal? This will determine not only how passive or active you want to be, but it will also will help you to determine what type of strategy you should implement to achieve your goal. (Flippling, Wholesale, Buy and hold, Syndications, Private Lending, etc)

Good luck!

The BEST teacher is to find someone who is doing what you want to do, and shadow them. Books and webinars can only take you so far. It's like getting a degree in something and then going into the real world to do it. Great foundation, but will not compare to real world experience.

@Dylan Marma I’m truly grateful that you took the time to give me your advice. Yes, I’m interested in buying an apartment building like triplex or a 4 plex. After reading the article that was recommended above, I feel that this is something I can serious take action in sooner that I thought. However, I live in Philadelphia and don’t know much about the market. I’m thinking that I can try to get a fha loan and start there. I don’t have much savings at the moment but I am working on that. You are right about researching a mentor. I feel that it’s a bit hard to find a good that’s not trying to sell me a “system” to make money in real estate. I have learned a lot reading on BP and I feel that with some more research and savings I can take action soon. Please feel free to respond with anything you feel that would help. I really appreciate everyone that’s responding. You guys are truly great people. The best forum/group I’ve ever join by far.
@Lennon Lee Thank you for the recommendation. I’m grateful that you took the time to help me. Yes, I am interested in buying a multi family building. After some reading, I felt that it’s the best way for me to get started in real estate. My goal is to gain some experience and invest bigger apartments. I love the idea of passive income and flipping. I do understand that there’s a lot of work I would have to put in and I’m willing and able. I want to be able to quit my job at some point and completely dive in to this business. Again, thank you for the recommendation on the book. I will check it out ASAP.
@Ray Harrell Thanks for tip! I completely agree with you. I’d. like to get out there and get my feet wet as soon as I possibly can. After reading some of the stories on here just gets me so motivated and excited. But I do feel that there’s more for me to learn before I can get out there. I’m learning more each day on this forum. Thanks again!

@Hai Nguyen - the first question is a strategy one: fix and flip? buy and hold? wholesale?

Then, decide on the product: SFHs, small MF, large MF, office, retail, etc? 

I think that the best way to learn is to TEAM UP with an experienced investor. You can read all the books and articles in the world but one real-life experience can teach you much more. Find how you can add value to an experienced investor (find a deal, raise money, help w/marketing, etc).

Good luck!