The Lazy Man’s Guide To Investing

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Do you want to get rich quick?

Are you sick of hearing all the stories about people snapping up real estate, and becoming rich, while you’re laboring away working a job, supporting your family, and struggling through life? Do YOU want a piece of the real estate investment pie? Well, you’re in luck. I’m going to tell you how to get it!

All of us see the programs on television of somebody with their team, rolling up to a dilapidated house that they’ve purchased, and their team comes in; and transforms the house before your eyes, puts up a sign and viola, it’s sold, and they’re banking the money! Maybe you’ve gone to one of the zillions of seminars being offered across the country from some authority that is going to tell you their secret forumula for becoming wealthy through real estate.

Here’s the truth.

NONE of those things, by themselves, is the way to get you to your goal. I’m sorry, but the only way to make money in real estate, or anything else, is to do the work necessary to get it done. No television program, course, book, etc. can impart the knowledge to you, and you know that.

The 20 Best Books for Aspiring Real Estate Investors!

Here at BiggerPockets, we believe that self-education is one of the most critical parts of long-term success, in business and in life, of course. This list, compiled by the real estate experts at BiggerPockets, contains 20 of the best books to help you jumpstart your real estate career.

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The Truth About Real Estate Investing

Real estate investing takes time, and work. I’m not saying there aren’t good sources for real information that will help you. Finding someone that knows the business, and can help guide you through the process is invaluable.

To me, BiggerPockets is hands down, one of the best sources I’ve ever seen. On BP we have people from every conceivable background, from fast food workers to rocket scientists. We have newbies to extremely seasoned investors, contractors, and developers, all ready to answer any questions, or offer encouragement to fellow investors. Note: I am not paid by BP to write this blog or push this site. However; as an agent/developer/contractor with close to 30 years experience, I still get stumped, or curious about a new niche, process, etc., and I am constantly amazed at the knowledge, and generosity offered on this site. Take advantage of it! Research, read, and post your questions.

There is No Substitute for Getting Out There

However; even with all the information on BP, and other places, there’s no substitute for getting out and learning the business. For instance, get to KNOW your local market, or the market you wish to invest in. There’s a saying “all real estate is local” and it’s true. Local economies, school systems, political policies, building regulations, etc. all play into the local real estate market. Get familiar with it. There are many people that think it’s all numbers, and base everything on that. However; I believe the local market is important to understand in order to decide if you want to put your money in an area.

What is selling in your area? What are the prices? Go to Open Houses and get familiar with what is being offered, what does the price get you (finishes used in the house, etc.) How big is the lot? What school district? Size of homes? Once you know what is selling and prices, you will be better prepared when a home comes on the market, and you want to make an offer.

Financing. How will you finance your purchase? Do you have cash? Equity in other property? Know what you can and can’t do. If you have credit issues, be honest with yourself about that, and look for private lenders. If you get turned down for loans, figure out exactly what you have to do in order to get your house in order to be able to get financing, and start doing it.

Learn the process of purchasing a home. From the offer through closing. Insurance. Title. If you want to do flips, will you be doing the physical work or hiring a contractor? If you are doing them, are you qualified? What are your skills? Do you know the permit process, etc.?

It all boils down to preparation. While you are reading books, blogs, taking courses, etc., get the practical aspects of the business in order.

Photo: ?eagan

About Author

Karen Margrave

Karen is a partner in a family owned real estate development company, in Orange County CA. The company specializes the building spec projects (SFR, MFR, Medical Office, and other types of properties), designed to meet the needs of both investors and owner/users. Licensed in both real estate and construction.


  1. Karen,

    You made the perfect point, I can not agree you more. I am a newbie, and just smelt the value to start my REI, so I go around and figure out BP is the very site I can enjoy forever, I am totally loved with the invaluable forum and blogs.


  2. Great article Karen!

    I really like how you stressed how important it is to learn the process of purchasing a home. I feel newer investors would have an easier time getting started if they developed a solid understanding of all the steps from analysis to signing a lease. There’s no way to get that except for putting in hard work in ahead of time to learn and then getting some real life experience.

  3. Agree 100%. I got my first investment by talking to a banker, and he said he was born just few blocks away from my property. Told me all history of area, and bought 8 units!!!
    Spent many hours at realtor office, talking, reading, and learning trick of trade, was time well spent.

    • Great article. There is no easy in anything! Hard work, perseverance, and learning REI through the right people/means can yield “riches” in a variety of ways that can eventually include the money one seeks to attain as a direct result of her/his efforts.

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