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best books on real estate investingIf you’re interested in investing in real estate, you should start by doing as much research as possible. This first and foremost means studying the market, figuring out how you want to invest and learning as much as you can about what investing in the real estate market really means. One of the best ways to do that is to read a book on the subject. This guide will take you though the best books on real estate investing. We’ll tell you what you’ll be able to glean from each of them.

“Building Wealth One House at a Time”

This book, written by real estate investor John W. Schaub, is all about how you can use real estate investing to pad your pocketbook. It has tips for finding the real estate investment opportunities that other people are going to miss. The book also covers how to find the houses to purchase that are going to give you the best return, as well as how to survive the ebbs and flows of the real estate market, from bubbles to crashes. It also takes you through the nuts and bolts of being a real estate investor, including chapters on how to make an offer, how to negotiate and how to deal with professional real estate agents when you buy a house.

The book was revised and released as a second edition in 2016, so the information is up-to-date and includes lessons learned and new laws enacted after the 2008 financial crisis.

“The Book on Flipping Houses”

best books on real estate investing

Maybe you’ve watched one too many television show about flipping houses and you want to do it, but you’re not quite sure where to start. This book by J. Scott, fully titled “The Book on Flipping Houses: How to Buy, Rehab, and Resell Residential Properties,” is a good starting point.

As its title suggests, it will take you through the sometimes difficult world of buying a home, transforming it and then reselling it at a higher price point. It gives you the steps you’ll need to take for your rehab effort, and it starts off very simply by explaining exactly what house flipping is and what it entails. From there, it walks you through financing, finding an agent, picking where you want to buy, doing the actual rehab and selling the house again after all the work is done.

“Every Landlord’s Legal Guide”

House flipping isn’t the only way to make money in the real estate market, though. You can also buy property and rent it out to earn money. Being a landlord, though, comes with a lot of laws and regulations that you’ll need to know about. “Every Landlord’s Legal Guide” by Marcia Stewart, Ralph Warner and Janet Portman walks you through all of the legalities governing being a landlord. Nolo, a legal publisher with a history of providing quality guides and forms, published this book. It takes you through how to screen tenants, how to draw up contracts, how to find a property manager and how to avoid discrimination suits.

“How to Be a Real Estate Investor”

Experienced real estate investor Phil Pustejovsky shares his tips and tricks in this volume, letting everyone in on how property investing can help you increase your wealth. He breaks the book up into various techniques, including:

  • Wholesaling
  • Pre-foreclosures
  • Short sales
  • Creative financing
  • Traditional purchases

The book also explains how real estate investing can be used both to create a quick infusion of cash or to build long-term wealth.

“Real Estate Investing Gone Bad”

best books on real estate investing

While tips and tricks on real estate investing are certainly valuable, potential real estate investors can also learn from others’ mistakes. “Real Estate Investing Gone Bad,” also written by Phil Pustejovsky, tells 21 true stories of real estate investors massively messing up and creating real problems for themselves. By reading these cautionary tales, hopefully you can avoid making the same mistakes.

The book isn’t by any means a dry lecture though. Chapter titles include:

  • “The Grass is Not Always Greener”
  • “Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You the Shirt Off His Back”
  • “When It Rains, It Pours”
  • “The Wrong Way to Lend Money on Real Estate”
  • “The FBI is Investigating You”

Besides offering some likely humorous tales of woe, this book can serve as your handbook for what not to do as you enter the real estate market.

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

If you want to get into real estate investing but don’t have the cash reserves to make huge down payments, this is the book for you. In “The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down: Real Life Strategies for Investing in Real Estate Using Other People’s Money,” author Brandon Turner explains how to use financing to make investments in properties without having to put much — if any — of your cash at risk.

Turner stresses that the book is not about getting rich quick. Rather, he frames it as just another way to get into the market. The book explains owner-occupied investment properties, partnerships, raising private money and real estate wholesaling as ways to invest in real estate without spending much money. If you’re getting started in real estate investing and don’t have a ton of cash to purchase a big house that needs gut renovation, this book can help you get started.

The Bottom Line

Real estate investing can be a very lucrative game. However, you have to know what you’re getting into. Like investing in stocks or bonds, you have to go in with some knowledge of the market and investment opportunities. All of the books listed above will help you get there. Each attacks a different area of real estate investing, but all of them offer you the expertise of their writers. These books can help you make sure you don’t make any major mistakes in your real estate investing adventures.

Investing Tips

  • No matter what investments you’re making, finding a financial advisor may be a good idea. SmartAsset can help you find an advisor who meets your needs with our free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions about your financial situation and goals. Then, we match you with up to three advisors in your area. We fully vet all advisors on our platform, and they are free of disclosures. You’ll then have a chance to interview your matches to see if you want to work with one of them.
  • If you’ll be taking out a mortgage as part of your real estate investments, it can be helpful to know how much you’ll pay. Calculate your monthly payment with our mortgage calculator.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/Katja Rovinowicz, ©iStock.com/iuramado, ©iStock.com/Lisa5201

Ben Geier, CEPF® Ben Geier is an experienced financial writer currently serving as a retirement and investing expert at SmartAsset. His work has appeared on Fortune, Mic.com and CNNMoney. Ben is a graduate of Northwestern University and a part-time student at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He is a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. When he isn’t helping people understand their finances, Ben likes watching hockey, listening to music and experimenting in the kitchen. Originally from Alexandria, VA, he now lives in Brooklyn with his wife.
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