BiggerPockets Presents : The Best Real Estate Books Ever

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There are literally thousands of real estate books on the market today, and trying to separate the best real estate books from those that can easily be passed on can be tough. To help, BiggerPockets has compiled a list of the top books in the real estate genre, based on popularity from our members throughout the BiggerPockets Forums, Blog, the BiggerPockets Facebook page, and other interactions on the site. Many of these books have changed lives (and many have changed mine) – and we hope they will do the same for you.

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As a disclaimer, each link below will take you Amazon and if you purchase one of the books, BiggerPockets will receive a small commission (seriously… it’s pennies… but we’ll take it!) If you choose to purchase through one of our links (at no extra charge to you) we want to thank you for supporting BiggerPockets!

Best General Real Estate Investing Books

FREE: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing by BiggerPockets.

Best real estate bookOf course, we had to begin with this book! The real estate investing niche is so huge, The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide was created to help new investors learn the best ways to get started and find their place. This FREE eBook includes eight chapters, each focusing on a different area of your investing strategy. From real estate investing education to creating your plan, choosing your niche, financing, and exit strategies – this guide will help break down the barriers and help you figure out exactly how to get into the game.  Click HERE to get it for FREE now!

Recommended For: Beginners and Intermediate Investors

The Book on Rental Property Investing by Brandon Turner

The Book on Rental Property Investing 3D Cover SMALLWhen writing The Book on Rental Property Investing, I had one goal in mind: to give you every strategy, tool, tip, and technique needed to become a millionaire rental property investor—while helping you avoid the junk that pulls down so many wannabes!

Written for both new and experienced investors, this book will impart years of experience through the informative and entertaining lessons contained within. You’ll find practical, up-to-date, exciting strategies that investors across the world are using to build wealth and significant cash flow through rental properties.

The Book on Rental Property Investing comes with almost ten hours of video bonus content, as well as numerous

Click here to order on BiggerPockets (with bonus videos)

Click here to get it on Amazon (without bonus videos)

Recommended For: Everyone who wants to buy rental properties

The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down

f8e37d4f-no-money-3d-book-cover-png_0aj0f60aj0f6000000Looking to get started without a lot of money? Or looking to take your business to a whole new level? Then don’t miss “The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down” written by… me! 🙂  Unlike nearly every “No money” book ever written, this book does not teach just one strategy for creative finance, but instead you’ll learn numerous strategies for using your creativity to invest – rather than cash.  You’ll learn:

  • How an owner-occupied investment property can get you investing for as little as $0
  • How to find and utilize partners to grow a thriving investment business
  • How and when to use hard money, private money, or bank money to fund your deals
  • How to get started finding great deals and wholesaling for quick (but not always easy) cash
  • And TONS more.

Honestly, we believe this book has the power not only to change your life, but to change the real estate industry as a whole. Investing with no money is NOT easy, it’s not stress-free, and it’s not quick. However, as this book will teach you, it’s not a myth either.

Click here to order it right now!

Recommended For: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Investors

Investing in Duplexes, Triplexes, and Quads: The Fastest and Safest Way to Real Estate Wealth by Larry B. Loftis

LoftisDuplexThis book was one of the first I ever read on the subject of real estate investing, and is largely responsible for my love of small multifamily properties. Loftis explains the process of buying small multifamilies on a part-time basis in order to build wealth quickly. While some of the details may have changed slightly over the years (as lending requirements have changed dramatically) the principles still apply today. This book definitely deserves a spot on your shelf – and is especially great for up-and-coming real estate investors, who may not have a lot of time or money to spend on their first investments.

Recommended For: Beginner and Intermediate Investors

The Unofficial Guide to Real Estate Investing by Spencer Strauss

UnofficialGuideA common theme across BiggerPockets is the belief in having a strong written plan for how you are going to use real estate investing to get you from where you are today to where you want to be. Nothing made this clearer to me than when I read The Unofficial Guide to Real Estate Investing when I first got started. By far one of my favorite books ever written on real estate, this book is full of great advice for beginners and helps explain the “big picture” of investing and how millionaires are made in this industry. For an in-depth book review I did several months ago on this book, please click here.

Recommended For: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Investors

What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Cash Flow… And 36 Other Key Financial Measures by Frank Gallinelli

GallinelliBefore Frank Gallinelli was a guest on the fourth episode of the BiggerPockets Podcast, he wrote a little book called, “What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Cash Flow… And 36 Other Key Financial Measures” which instantly became one of the most beloved real estate investing books of our generation. This book covers, as the title suggests, some of the most important financial considerations that an investor must understand if they are to succeed in real estate.

Recommended For: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Investors

The ABCs of Real Estate Investing: The Secrets of Finding Hidden Profits Most Investors Miss (Rich Dad Advisors) by Ken McElroy

McElroyABCSimply put – this book changed my career. Until I read this book, I had focused only on single family and small multifamily properties, but immediately after reading I set out to buy an apartment complex and within a year I bought my first and it was the best decision I’d ever made (besides marrying my college love, of course!) In this book, Ken talks about the basics of real estate while offering numerous real-world examples of how investing can – and does – work to build serious wealth. This book focuses more heavily on big projects, like apartment complexes, though the information could be helpful for an investor at any stage in their investing. The ABCs of Real Estate Investing is another of my all-time favorite books on real estate investing and I definitely recommend everyone check it out.

Also, don’t miss the sequel: Rich Dad’s Advisors: The Advanced Guide to Real Estate Investing: How to Identify the Hottest Markets and Secure the Best Deals by Ken McElroy

Recommended For: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Investors

How I Turned $1,000 into Five Million in Real Estate in My Spare Time by William Nickerson

NickersonOne of the most talked-about (and hard to find) books in the real estate investing niche, William Nickerson’s book on building wealth is a great example of how any investor can go from zero to millions following a basic “hybrid” investing model of buying low, renting, and “trading up” to larger properties. Although I didn’t read this book until later in my career, much of my investing theory (such as my article on “How to Make a Million Dollars in Real Estate” or “What is Hybrid Real Estate Investing?“) are lined up almost perfectly with Nickerson’s ideas. Being an older book, some of the specific methods he uses have changed (he does a lot of “trading” of property, which is not common anymore) but the math never changes. If you can get a copy of this book – definitely read through.

Recommended For: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Investors

Building Wealth One House at a Time: Making it Big on Little Deals by John Schaub

SchaubOne of the newest books on my shelf, this book by John Schaub is a great book for beginner’s who are looking for a good broad overview of the buy-and-hold strategy of investing and the power it can have in creating wealth. Schaub gives great advice on finding the best deals when buying real estate, tips for managing properly, and strategies for paying the homes off quickly and getting out of debt soon.

Recommended For: Beginner Investors

The Millionaire Real Estate Investor by Gary Keller and Dave Jenks

MillionaireOne of the most highly recommended books in the investing genre, this book from famed real estate agent Gary Keller has guided millions of investors into the real estate investing game. This book, however, offers maybe a little less “actionable advice” and focuses more heavily on the theory and motivation behind great real estate investments, but in a very easy-to-read manner.

Recommended For: Beginner and Intermediate Investors

Best “Specialty” Books on Real Estate Investing

Making Big Money Investing in Real Estate: Without Tenants, Banks, or Rehab Projects by David Finkel

FinkelThe obvious catchy title of this book doesn’t fail to deliver, making this book another one of my top choices – especially for those looking to get started without any money. The primary strategy discussed is the “lease option sandwich,” which allows investors to gain “control” of great properties in good locations and sub-let them to great tenant buyers – essentially becoming a paid “middle man.” Finkle does a great job of explaining the process in detail, offering the exact scripts you need to find deals. If you are looking into lease option investing, this is my go-to book on the subject. Additionally- there are some awesome tips on negotiation that I still use today which makes this book great even if you aren’t planning on being a lease option investor.

Recommended For: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Investors

Best Real Estate Flipping Books

The Book on Flipping Houses and The Book on Estimating Rehab Costs by J Scott

bookonflippingSometimes don’t you just want a step-by-step “textbook” on how to do something? The newest books on this list are exactly that. These books were written by Fix and Flipper J Scott (123Flip.com) and were published by BiggerPockets Publishing just several weeks ago and have been a HUGE success already. The best way I can describe these books? They are the books I wish I had read when I got started. I know I would have avoided SO many mistakes as a beginner house flipper and made a lot more money had I read these books.

In addition to the great books, J also includes some pretty awesome features with it as well, including

EstimatingBook

  • Scope of Work and Estimation Worksheet
  • Rehab Analysis Worksheet
  • Sample Flipping Chart of Accounts for Quickbooks
  • Form W-9
  • Independent Contractors Agreement
  • Appraisal Package
  • Inspection Checklist
  • Lien Waiver

I don’t need to go on and on about them here – cause there is a whole page dedicated to it here on BiggerPockets. However, just trust me: these books will teach you everything you ever need to know to successfully flip a property. (P.S. You can also get it on Amazon, though it’s the same price to get it from BiggerPockets and you can get the eBooks as well!: The Book on Flipping Houses and The Book on Estimating Rehab Costs)

Recommended For: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Investors

Best Books on Landlording

The Book on Managing Rental Properties by Brandon and Heather Turner

The Book on Managing Rental Properties 3D Cover SMALL No Background copyNo matter how great you are at finding good rental property deals, you could lose everything if you don’t manage your properties correctly! But being a landlord doesn’t have to mean middle-of-the-night phone calls, costly evictions, or daily frustrations with ungrateful tenants. Being a landlord can actually be fun IF you do it right. That’s why we (my wife and I) put together this comprehensive book that will change the way you think of being a landlord forever.

Written with both new and experienced landlords in mind, The Book on Managing Rental Properties takes you on an insider tour of our management business, so you can discover exactly how we’ve been able to maximize our profit, minimize our stress, and have a blast doing it!

The Book on Managing Rental Properties, when purchased on BiggerPockets, comes with almost ten hours of video content and over 30 landlord sample forms for your business.

Click here to order on BiggerPockets (with bonus videos and forms)

Click here to get it on Amazon (without bonus videos)

Recommended For: Anyone who owns rental properties, period.

Landlording on Auto-Pilot: A Simple, No-Brainer System for Higher Profits and Fewer Headaches by Mike Butler

AutopilotNo author has had a greater impact on my landlording skills than Mike Butler and his book, Landlording on Auto-Pilot. At the risk of sounding over-dramatic, the lessons I learned after reading it are the reason I spend as much time at home as I do – because Butler is all about creating systems to make the landlording process more automated … and they work. There are so many tips in this book that I re-read it every year, just to be sure I’m not missing anything! Whether you are brand new to landlording or you have been renting homes out for decades – buy this book and read it… twice.

Recommended For: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Investors

How to Manage Residential Property for Maximum Cash Flow and Resale Value by John T. Reed

CashflowPerhaps the most “entertaining” read on this list, How to Manage Residential Property for Maximum Cash Flow and Resale Value is like a text-book for investors or property managers who own multifamily property. While some people might be put-off by Reed’s blunt and opinionated way of writing (I think the word “idiot” is used more than any other word in this book!) I found it an invaluable resource when I bought my apartment complex. There is no fluff in this book at all, no motivation, and no wasted space. From the first page to the last, Reed delivers actionable tip after actionable tip for managing apartment communities. The only bad thing about this book is the fact that, unless you can find it used on Amazon, you have to buy directly from John’s website. However, it’s definitely worth the price.

Recommended For: Intermediate, and Advanced Investors

The Unofficial Guide to Managing Rental Property by Melissa Prandi MPM

Unofficial ManagingWhen we first got started renting our property, one of the first books my wife and I read was “The Unofficial Guide to Managing Rental Property” and it quickly became my wife’s favorite. A lot of our business is set up based on the recommendations of Prandi, and we keep a copy of this at arm’s reach near our desk for quick reference. This book is filled with a beginning to end plan for efficiently and legal managing your property and will make your landlording experience much easier.

Recommended For: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Investors

Essential Handbook for Landlords by Karen Rittenhouse

EssentialKarenKaren Rittenhouse was our second guest on the BiggerPockets Podcast and, as a property manager, has a ton of tips for being a successful landlord – which she shares in her book, “The Essential Handbook for Landlords.” Karen includes a ton of tips and ideas, as well as forms and other resources you might need to become a landlord.

Recommended For: Beginner and Intermediate Investors

Best Business Books for Real Estate Entrepreneurs

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

Richest Man BabylonHands down, this book has the most unique writing style of the books on this list (it’s reminiscent of reading a King James Bible) – but the fundamental truths taught about money and wealth are incredible. The book is essentially a collection of stories (parables) about life in Ancient Babylon – the richest city of it’s day – combined with lessons about saving, investing, and building businesses. The thing I loved most was the unique way the stories were presented, keeping my attention while learning some great fundamentals about wealth. I’d recommend giving a copy of this book to high school kids – I wish someone had given it to me back then!

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki

RichDadPoorDadRich Dad Poor Dad. It hardly seems I need to talk about this book, as it is probably the most famous of this entire list. Though people may criticize the marketing techniques and business platform of the “Rich Dad” company (rightfully so!) the fact is – nearly every investor I know has read Rich Dad Poor Dad and has been changed because of it. When I first read it, it put into words the rambling thoughts that had been banging around in my head for years. It wasn’t so much that the information was revolutionary or new – but the way Kiyosaki presented it flipped a switch in my brain and brought it all together for me. Whenever I find a copy of this book at a thrift store or garage sale – I always buy it, knowing I’ll give it to someone soon. Honestly, if you haven’t read Rich Dad Poor Dad yet … why are you still reading this blog post? Go over to Amazon right now and get a copy!

Now it’s your turn! What’s your favorite real estate book? Leave a comment below, and any books that get multiple nominations we’ll look into adding to the list!

About Author

Brandon Turner (G+ | Twitter) spends a lot of time on BiggerPockets.com. Like... seriously... a lot. Oh, and he is also an active real estate investor, entrepreneur, traveler, third-person speaker, husband, and author of "The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down", and "The Book on Rental Property Investing" which you should probably read if you want to do more deals.

100 Comments

  1. Karin DiMauro on

    Brandon, thank you for this post! I am going to print it out and work my way through the list.

    I just got J Scott’s books last week and they are AMAZING. They’re easy to read and will be an invaluable reference tool. I’m wrapping up the rehab on my first flip and am about to undertake my second, and I’m going to have J’s book in hand for every step of the next one. I had a decent idea of how to set up a scope of work, etc, on my first one, but I have no doubt J’s books will speed up my learning curve as I move forward and help me to more quickly iron out a lot of wrinkles. I wish I had it on this first one!

    As for other books, I just finished “The 4-Hour Work Week” and will add that to my permanent collection (I usually get them from the library first and then decide whether to purchase.). It’s not a real estate book per se but has a lot of great ideas on how to make your business – and your life – more efficient. I’m now brainstorming all the time about outsourcing, from tasks in my real estate business to my grocery shopping! Thanks to Ann Bellamy for mentioning it during her podcast.

    Personally, I consider “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” one of the top books out there as well. I’m always reminding myself to sharpen the saw. 🙂

    Keep up the great work, Brandon!

  2. This book saved us $42k in cash by suggesting alternatives to building vs. land value. Excellent book — Aggressive Tax Avoidance for Real Estate Investors by John T. Reed

    • Eric Eastep

      I agree with Tim about this book. I was going to add it, but he beat me to it. John T. Reed was talking/educating about all this real estate stuff in the late 1900’s (that sounds so long ago). I think he really paved the way for much of the deals that we all do. He is not a get rich quick guy. I like all his books that I have read even though there is a lot of overlap in many of them.

  3. Excellent list. I have read many of these and many others. I may have to go to the book store or Amazon for some good reads. Thanks for the list!

    Here is a list of the most influential business books I have read:
    EMyth Revisited – why most small businesses fail
    Rich Dad Poor Dad
    Cash Flow Quadrants
    Magic of Thinking Big
    4 Hour Work Week

  4. My favorite is Deals on Wheels by Lonnie Scruggs, You learn a lot about buying, financing and selling that can be applied to any real estate deal. Also Fixer-Uppers, nationally known real estate guru Jay DeCima, really neat guy.

  5. DEFINITELY add: David Lindahl’s real estate books to the mix. His books give you information on numerous topics, but he seems to focus more on how to find the deals, what goes on from the time you put in an offer to the time you close and property management. What you’ll learn is how to become a sophisticated investor. He also reinforces the OPM model, while still walking away with cash in YOUR pocket at the close. Dave’s prose and real life references make this an EASY read- get some concrete information while not having to keep yourself from nodding off.

  6. ErikMalinois on

    These books are all very pop- real estate books and nothing in the way of the plethora of truly rigorous and acedemia meets real life texts such as those by authors like Linneman, Bruggemain, Khar, Geltner, etc. (excuse spelling) these books impart real actionable skill sets and don’t spend half their pages telling you how rich you will be or how great the real estate asset class is in fear that you may lose your attention span midway through the book.

    • David Clay

      Hi ErikMalinois: I haven’t read all the books on the list and I haven’t read the authors you reference, but a quick perusal of a few titles you mentioned shows the heft that these books appear to have. I intend to pick up one or two from the local library and give them a once over before I purchase. These are impules buys, that’s for sure. Very good references – thanks. These appear to have quality similar to (maybe more so) Frank Gallinelli’s book which I have read and am reviewing again now.

  7. Brandon,

    Thanks for the list. Always looking to expand my knowledge. In reading, one book I have liked is “Nothing Down For Women.” I know, it’s suppose to be for women but I thought that good usable knowledge isn’t discriminatory. I like that it takes a lot of Robert Allen’s principles since Karen Bell was lucky enough to actually have him as a mentor of sorts, polishes & condenses them to be read by people who are extremely busy and only have the time to take information in via quick, easily understood segments, and then reviews the language used and defines the terms, plus throws in actionable tasks to make you start applying what you learned so as to “lock” into place what you’ve just read. It is geared more towards the beginning investor.

  8. Hey Brandon,

    Great list. I’ll be picking up several today.
    My list includes the following. Mostly business, but all great listens.
    “you already know how to be great” Alan Fine
    “Think and Grow Rich” Napoleon Hill
    “The dip” Seth Godin
    ‘The millionaire mind” Thomas Stanley
    “The way were working isn’t work” Tony Schwartz
    “The Go Giver” Bob Burg
    “Goals” Brian Tracy
    “secrets of closing the sale” Zig Zigler
    “Outwitting the Devil” Napoleon Hill, Sharon Lechtor

    Jason

      • I’m a little late to read this post but the great news is all of the recommended books are timeless and full of helpful insights. I just finished Nickerson’s book and its amazing how relevant all of the concepts still are. Thanks for compiling the list.

        Great adds to the list, Jason! It’s literally a running list of my favorites except you’re missing “The 4 Hour Work Week” by Ferris. It is life changing…

        Brandon, you should definitely pick up “Outwitting the Devil”. Whether taken at face value or if you get fully engulfed in the Q&A with the Devil, its a very interesting read and way ahead of its time. Great concepts.

        -Marshall

  9. Brandon,

    I think you have missed a couple of the greats.

    Real Estate Finance and Investments by Brueggeman and Fisher. My copy is very well used.

    Commercial Real Estate Analysis and Investments by Geltner, Miller, Clayton & Eichholtz. Norm Miller is one of the giants in the real estate industry.

    These are nuts and bolts books and are not a get rich quick scheme or how to make a $100k/month while working a 4 hr workweek. The other books are great motivational books but the two I mentioned really show you how the real estate industry works.

    Tom

  10. William Nickerson’s book “How I turned $1,000 into Five Million in Real Estate in My Spare Time” is easily found by searching Google for the title along with “free PDF”. I believe it’s out of copyright.

  11. Great list Brandon! I second Gallinelli’s Cash flow book and would add his 10 Commandments for Real Estate Investors (on Amazon http://amzn.to/15ikXL0 ) It’s a quick read and I reread it once a month.

    I also second E-Myth Revisited, it’s been my business bible for years and I’ve given it to many clients as well. Along those lines I highly recommend The Millionaire Next Door (on Amazon http://amzn.to/PJMmiR ) for how to keep the money you earn and make it grow.

    Rich Dad is a classic and Kiyosaki’s The Real Book of Real Estate (Amazon http://amzn.to/13bv4AO ) is a must read. Ken McElroy’s Rich Dad series books are all really good too.

    Poorvu’s Creating and Growing Real Estate Wealth: The 4 Stages to a Lifetime of Success ( http://amzn.to/13gOjFD ) is a great read on how to move up in your real estate investing.

    Jack Cummings’ Real Estate Finance and Investment Manual ( http://amzn.to/ZYaAnk ) will take your thinking about creative financing from 2-D to 3-D.

    For a deep dive into real estate finance and investment I found Linneman’s Real Estate Finance and Investments: Risks and Opportunities ( http://amzn.to/10Jo5xR ) very readable.

    A very good book on how to think about investing (and your thinking on investing) is James Montier’s Value Investing: Tools and Techniques for Intelligent Investment ( http://amzn.to/14tfvFz ) Buffet’s stuff is really good as his partner Charlie Munger’s but Montier brings in the behavioral finance aspect which is critical to avoid shooting ourselves in the foot.

    As you can tell I read a lot and have many more. One last author to mention is Michael Maubossin who writes about behavioral investing as well and presents some very different and compelling ideas.

  12. Chris Bounds on

    Great post Brandon – bookmarked!

    A few months back I scoured the BP forum for recommended RE books. This list (and the others books mentioned in the comments) is very helpful.

    Others have also suggested E-Myth Revisited and I second that suggestion. E-Myth (IMO) is the best, most practical business book I’ve ever read. Like Rich Dad,Poor Dad made sense of personal finance and investing, E-Myth made sense of how to start and operate a business the right way. A must read for those in it for the long haul.

  13. Brandon, great reference list here. One book i have been looking for, but have not found, is a book focusing specifically on the niche of vacation rental real estate. any suggestions here? Thanks!

    • Karin DiMauro on

      Hi Darian – Christine Karpinski’s “How to Rent Vacation Properties By Owner” is an excellent resource (it’s on Amazon). I read through it before we purchased a vacation rental property in NH and followed her instructions almost exactly, and she’s been spot on.

      Karpinski also contributes to the vacation rental site HomeAway.com, which has a community and blog area. I also found my lease and rental rules forms there. Best of luck!

  14. A Non-Real Estate book but a great read

    “The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business” by Charles Duhigg

    It’s a great book! It explains how habits are formed, how to break bad habits, and how to create good ones. This can be both beneficial to personal and business life.

    It also explains how multi billion dollar companies like Procter & Gamble, use the the study of habits to sell their products.

  15. Hi Karin. Good recommendation with Christine’s book. It was actually one of the first books i picked up a couple of years ago and it certainly has some worthwhile information. i was looking for something more in depth i suppose. there just seems to be so little on the topic that i thought there must be more authors covering the vacation rental niche. thanks again!

  16. Hi Brandon,

    3 books that are the best in their subject:

    1. IRA Wealth by Patrick Rice
    http://www.amazon.com/IRA-Wealth-Revolutionary-Strategies-Investment/dp/0757000940
    Best book on Private Money and Self Directed IRAs, Patrick used to work at Penco Truct, a custodian approved by the IRS.

    2. How To Finance any property, any area, any time
    http://www.amazon.com/Finance-Real-Estate-Place-Time/dp/0757001351/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1367259462&sr=1-1&keywords=How+to+Finance+Misko
    Jim Misko offers more than forty-five nontraditional ways to buy properties. These are not pie-in-the-sky theories, but proven strategies that will put the wraps on virtually any real estate purchase.
    If you want to win at the Cash Flow Game, buy this book!

    3. Retiring Right
    http://www.amazon.com/Retiring-Right-Third-Successful-Retirement/dp/0757001327/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1367259626&sr=1-1&keywords=Retiring+Right+Kaplan
    I like retirement planning and when talking to IRA Private Lenders, it helps to know the basics of retirement planning. A Powerful Book!

  17. Hey Brandon,

    I know you’re a fan of small multi, and after reading the post here, I have the feeling you may be even a bigger fan of mid size multi. Is that accurate? And if it is accurate, would you suggest “skipping” small multi and shooting for mid size multi right away, for a person like myself who is just starting out? Or do you think there is lots of value in learning some of the ropes through the small-multi purchase / landlord experience?

    Feedback from all is definitely welcome! Thanks.

    • Brandon Turner

      Hey Ken, thanks for the comment (sorry it’s taken me so long to see it!) I am a big fan of mid-size – BUT I do think it’s smart to start smaller, even if it’s only a property or two. Learning how to manage people and manage tenants is super important before dropping too much money.

  18. I love those books from those guys at Bigger Pockets for sure! Think and Grow Rich and The Secret are my two favorites. Rich Dad Poor Dad started me on the way for real estate investing. Looks like I have to get caught up on some reading based on this list!

  19. Chris Manganello on

    Thanks Brandon, this list is just what I was looking for, looking forward to some good reads, and this community is amazing!
    Thank You
    Chris Manganello

  20. #1 on my list is the Gary Keller book. I think it should be retitled: Think & Grow Rich for Real Estate Investors because that is essentially what it is.

    If you want to read the William Nickerson book, as this list states, make sure you get the copy with Five Million in the title. The original is so outdated (written pre-fair housing laws) that you could end up in jail or at least broke if you follow some of the advice in it. Although I haven’t read the updated version, I am sure it provides much more relevant information on pyramiding you way to a fortune.

  21. Brandon,

    Thanks soo much for this list. Im currently making my way through all of them. On Amazon I can download (for a price) the audio books and listen to them at work!

    I do want to say that I was a little dissapointed in The ABCs of Real Estate Investing: The Secrets of Finding Hidden Profits Most Investors Miss (Rich Dad Advisors) by Ken McElroy.

    While it had many tips for buying and selling these properties that I liked, he totally skipped over financing these deals! He mention the money comes when you have good deals, but it left me totally unfulfilled. I think he also mentioned commercial loans but that’s it! I want an apartment complex but I don’t have 20 or 30% of at least half a million.

  22. Bought and started reading Rich Dad Poor Dad and it’s pretty awesome. I understand why so many people read this book. Ordered two other books(Nickerson book and Schaub book) to read after this one. I avoided reading these books until now due to the negative comments about them on a few sites but they are completely wrong… Thanks for the recommendation!

  23. Hi Brandon,
    I was wondering if you can reccomend any good books on non-conventional financing for real estate? Many of the books on REI get into the basics or mention using seller financing and more but dont get into the details.

    Thanks,
    Ryan

  24. I saw a couple of books that I happened to find interesting,so that leaves me confused on which book is best for me as a wholesale beginner and an up coming real estate investor?

    #I like an answer,please help.

  25. Thanks so much for this list … I just ordered five of these! I’m in the Education Phase of my journey to becoming a real estate investor and I’m working on saving enough money for my down payment now. I’ll be looking to make my first property investment in about 12 months.

    I really love the BP site and I’ve been listening to a ton of the podcasts. Keep the good content coming!

  26. Brandon, my favorite business book so far was by a guy named frank Sanitate (think thats correct spelling) Don’t Go To Work Unless You Love It., it is amazing on how to increase productivity and really get satisfaction out of your job or profession. I think he is from San Diego. Have not read it in 15 or 20 years but a must read on nuts and bolts of freeing up time and doing your job better.

  27. Jeff Collins on

    Brandon, I agree on the importance of books. I have read several on this list already but see there are some I need to add to my library. Probably the best reference book is “What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Cash Flow”. The formulas are defined and explained which is helpful for math-challenged people like me.

  28. Thank you for the post! I would be remiss not to put a shout out to the best book I’ve come across to date — “2 Years to a Million in Real Estate” by Matthew Martinez. This book got me to my first million.. in 2 (and a half) years =) as you said for one of the books above — lending’s changed (much tighter), but the basic principals are the same. The book is organized well and breaks down the difference facets of being an investor, landlord, etc. Great for beginners and those wanting to leave Corporate America for property investing!

  29. gualter amarelo on

    Thanks for this list! I have read a few of these books and just ordered a couple more! This is exactly the sort of list I have been looking for!

    Thanks!

  30. Brandon – Thank you for the list. I’ve already learned a lot in Frank Gallinelli’s book on cash flow, potentially saving me a lot of money down the road! As a result, I also have a new, favorite quote:

    Rule of Thumb: Don’t make a decision to buy, hold, or sell based on emotional factors. In particular, don’t buy a building because you’ve fallen in love with it; and don’t hold because of a sentimental attachment when you really ought to sell. If need that warm and fuzzy feeling, get a puppy.

  31. Gregory Roman on

    I’ve been in Real Estate for over 50-years and even though I have many stories and experiences, I’m always willing to listen and learn. I don’t know how I ended up on your site but I’m glad I did. Your reading list and reader response is impressive. Here’s a quote from Winston Churchill when he was asked for the his definition of success: “Success is moving from failure to failure without losing any enthusiasm”. Your site will minimize failure for people who are just starting out in this business. Keep up the good work!

  32. Good list, but what about Buy and Hold by David Schumacher, Ph.D., Think Like a Tycoon by Bill Greene, Passion, Profit and Power by Marshall Sylver, Fixin’ Ugly Houses for Money by Jay P. DeCima, Invest in Debt by Jimmy Napier, and anything by Jack Miller?

  33. Thanks for this list. I will work my way through it. I thought the e-mythe revisited by Gerber was excellent. Though not a real estate book, it is a great business book. Basically you break down your business into parts then write a step by step manual for each part. In theory you should be able to give your manual to anyone and they will be able to carry out the task at hand. For example your tenant leaves. You would have a turnover “chapter” which says 1. New filters in the heating system. 2. Fresh paint on the walls 3. Clean all blinds etc. it keeps you super organized.

  34. Natajah Kekawa on

    Thanks so much for the email that helped me find this list! I am new to the site and still trying to figure out where everything is, but your emails are definitely helping me stay on track.

    I first found interest in real estate investing after reading Rich Dad Poor Dad, but was stumped as to where to go or what to do next. The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing by BiggerPockets has helped me focus my research and formulate a better business plan. That guide would be the first book I would recommend to anyone interested in real estate investing. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is also a great book. Sorry I can’t give any specifics about the book, it’s been a while since I’ve read it; I think it’s about time to dig it up from my bookshelf and read it through again.

    The comments on this post are extremely helpful as well, not only for more resources but also for the tips like checking the book out at the library first, and checking for free pdf versions or used books. I am so grateful I found this site and look forward to learning so much more.

  35. Hi Brandon,
    Awesome list, very helpful. Some I have read but I just made this my wish list and plan to read the rest of them, so thank you!

    In the last 2 weeks I read John Schaub’s buying wealth 1 house at a time, which I really enjoyed. But I also noticed that most of his strategy for building wealth (which he repeatedly States in the book) is to buy houses and wait 10 years for them to double in value because he says they double in value in approximately 10 years. I also noticed the book was written in 2004 and than came the big crash. What is you view on his strategy, is it still applicable? Do houses still double in value in about 10 years (add or take some), or did things change after the crash? I bought a house in 2008 and it still doesn’t show signs that it would be doubling in value :).
    Thanks.

  36. Daniel Burbol

    I really love all the book recommendations on the BP podcasts too. I made a list of all the books people recommended on the show. about 150 books have been recommended, but it’s cool to see the ones the guests agreed on most. here’s the top 5.

    Times Mentioned on BP Podcasts – Book Title
    39 – Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
    29 – The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
    25 – The E-Myth and/or The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber
    11 – Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
    11 – The Book on Flipping Houses by J Scott

    full list is on my site if you’re interested. http://www.dannyburbol.com/2015/01/top-investment-books-via-biggerpockets-com/

  37. Jeph Cangé

    Hey Brandon, How come Multi-Family Millions by Dave Lindahl is not on there? I’m curious because it’s the first book I’ve read on real estate and I just got done reading it yesterday. Is that not a good one?

  38. hello,
    when you start new business like real estate, so need clear idea of business. i suggested you need to read many many books of such similar business and internet search for new new idea gathered for implemented your business. post is very helpful. thanks

  39. Jon Kopp

    Another great read for the self-directed IRA investor is Growth Equity Group’s “The 4 Greatest Challenges facing Self-Directed IRA Real Estate Investors” or Equity IRA’s “Don’t Risk It”. Great post, thanks!

  40. Darnell Stokes

    Ok I know nothing about real estate.
    Yet I have a yearning to own commercial rental properties.
    i don’t know where to start.
    Can you give me the 1-5 books to read to learn how to start up my real estate investing company for commercial real estate. Please and thank you.

  41. Christopher Leon

    Hi All,

    As always, another great post by one of our fearless leaders: @BrandonTurner

    I just wanted to add another book I think that is great and filled with a lot of actionable advice, too.

    We Buy Houses, Sometimes! Own Your Life Through Real Estate Investing by Michele A Gorman, Ph D Marc Halpern

    The REIA we help organize used this book a couple years back as the foundation of that year’s education curriculum. It was a huge success, largely in part of this book and it’s advices.

    FYI: I only endorse the book because it helped me and other member’s. I do not get paid for advertising it, I do not know the authors, etc.

    Hope you check it out and it helps.

  42. Ryan Gittins

    First, thanks to the Bigger Pockets team for a great service to help real estate investors learn. In regards to the reading list, I have some qualms similar to others above. I don’t have a real estate background, but I do come from a real estate family, and by way of that have now been involved in multi-family properties and small hotels for a couple of years.

    Lately, I’ve been looking to move resources from trading stock options to real estate. To get prepared, I’ve read about a dozen books, many on this list. My concern is that, while many books on this list are inspiring, in terms of the potential wealth you can build through real estate, none of the one’s I’ve read really seem to give you a realistic grasp for the challenges involved but, especially, a system to apply and succeed.

    Most, in my opinion, are very surface level in that they tell you what you should be aware of but not a system for how to truly analyze those variables. This plays out on a lot of levels, but particularly location, valuation, financing, rehab, and management. Pretty big stuff.

    A lot of the financing examples these top sellers cite are just not there anymore. In the small time frame that I’ve been actively involved in real estate, my experience is that getting loans, even refis and even with a great cash flowing portfolio, can be incredibly difficult. In the post-2008 environment, I think it is fair to say that a lot of the financing options these books promote are a thing of the past.

    In terms of valuation, none really provide a systematic program, but really just basic common sense. I would think, but don’t now yet, that you want to something more than that to have an “edge”, as we say in options trading. Because of that, I am looking at appraisal courses.

    The same goes with location. Obviously we all know a good location, and most of them are prohibitively expensive for the adudience here. For me, having some tools to identify up, and potentially, coming locations is what is key, but there is little in that way of analysis.

    Finally, most of the examples in these books are in niche, and affordable markets, leaving most of us out of the equation, unless you live in Florida or parts of Texas, etc…While the returns are great, many of us will hesitate to invest hundreds of miles away. The types of returns they highlight are just not to be found in your typical single or multifamiliy homes in major metro areas, where most of the pop lives.

    So, it would be great to see more sophisticated/professional books on market analysis, financing etc…While those may not be necessary to get a start, they are something we can aspire too. I have started reading some of the more academic books cited in comments above, and while daunting, I think its well worth my while. You can find lot’s of books on stock investing in a similar genre, but its only when you really read the heavy stuff that you realize they are setting you up for trouble.

    So, in my newbie opinion, these are great books to inspire but are not really actionable, and taking action on the knowledge they impart alone could lead to some hurt. I’d love to see some more recommendations. Cheers, and excited to be part of this community and thanking the Bps who started it. Ryan

  43. Sajju Shah

    Great list! Can’t believe I’ve read 16 of these books.

    I like the inclusion of “Rich Dad Poor Dad” since it’s a great base to change your way of thinking financially, however, I think the “Cash Flow Quadrant” is much better and should be included on this list.

    Thanks for all that you do, BP!

  44. Garry C.

    I was reading Cashflow Quadrant again, wondering what to read next, and I found this list. I decided then that I needed to replenish my copies of The Wealthy Barber and The Richest Man in Babylon, as I always seem to give them away. I mainly wanted new copies so that my step-son could start planning on how to get out of the workforce he’s just joined.

    I was driving by the Goodwill store yesterday and decided to stop in and look at their selection of books. I figured there must be a lot of folks that have thought about investing, bought books, and never followed through so those books are ‘recycled’.

    Jackpot.

    Not only did I find copies of both of the books I was looking for, but I also added the following to my library:
    The Millionaire Real Estate Agent
    Goldmining in Forclosure Properties
    Real Estate – Sixth Edition
    Dictionary of Real Estate Terms
    Business Finance
    Finance and Accounting for Nonfinancial Managers
    The Fast Forward MBA in Business
    Business School Companion
    The Economist’s View of the World
    How to Think Like a Millionaire

    Obviously some of these are not completely REI related, and I have another list just as long that I also picked up on other unrelated but interesting topics, but it’s worth noting that I picked up all of these books for under $25!

    Again, jackpot.

    I’m think I’m all set for reading for the next few months.

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