Author Topic: Books/Websites to learn more about real estate  (Read 6644 times)

COguy

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Books/Websites to learn more about real estate
« on: March 07, 2012, 10:58:15 AM »
Hi all,
  I am looking for some good books to learn about real estate.  I have a good grasp of economic and investing principles and I want to learn about this subcategory.   Both for buying a personal property and in the future looking into rentals.  Does anyone know any good resources that I can get at the library or find on the internet?

arebelspy

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Re: Books/Websites to learn more about real estate
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2012, 08:57:26 PM »
biggerpockets.com is the best online resource I've found - their forums have a ton of knowledge, will give you hours of reading, and the people there can help answer basically any question.

That's probably once you get a bit more advanced though, you'll want to start with some beginner books.

It really depends on what you plan to do in real estate (buy and hold landlording, flipping, realtor, wholesaler, note buyer, hard money lender, etc etc etc).

One book that does immediately spring to mind though, since it was the first book I read, and was mentioned by another MMM reader (in this thread: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/real-estate-and-landlording/llc/ ) is "Building Wealth One House at a Time".  It has some unrealistic appreciation assumptions, so ignore that, but it's a solid "starter" book that will give you some ideas.

It's light, and a quick read.  I've got some heavier recommendations as well (read a dozen or so RE books), but start there, IMO, post when you're ready for more.  ;)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
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icebiker76

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Re: Books/Websites to learn more about real estate
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2012, 06:38:37 PM »
This may be too basic for your situation, but I found  "What every real estate investor needs to know about cashflow...and 36 other financial measures", by Frank Gallinelli, to be useful.    Helped me understand the financial picture a bit more clearly. 

goiyala

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Re: Books/Websites to learn more about real estate
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2012, 08:54:23 PM »
I second icebiker's suggestion. That one book will give you a good understanding of how to crunch your numbers.

arebelspy

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Re: Books/Websites to learn more about real estate
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2012, 03:58:39 AM »
I agree, that's a good one, and is on my list for "intermediate" investors looking to move to "advanced".

I wouldn't recommend it to (most) beginners, though.  Too many formulas, not enough meat and potato ideas on actually purchasing, how to look for properties, how to make offers, etc. etc.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

HeidiO

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Re: Books/Websites to learn more about real estate
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2012, 01:49:10 PM »
  I am going to my community college this semester.  I am taking (online courses) RE Principles & Practice, RE Law, RE Finance, and RE Investing.  12 credits total.  Good solid, non-hyped info that is specific to my state and area.  It is costing me $2-300 for classes and books, but I think it is a good investment before I start putting in lots of money.   We are planning on buying our 2nd rental at the end of this year  Next semester I will take Property Management and Broker Basics.  Then if I want I can sit for the realtor exam (not sure if I want to.)  RE Finance, RE Investing and Property management are not required for the test, I just want the info.  I started the classes  on a lark - I was actually flipping through the course catalog thinking about doing the personal trainer program (for personal knowledge) and noticed the classes fit in my schedule!

arebelspy

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Re: Books/Websites to learn more about real estate
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2012, 01:59:55 PM »
That's awesome, good for you!
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Ben

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Re: Books/Websites to learn more about real estate
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2012, 06:29:50 AM »
Reviving an old thread...

I've finished John Schaub's book, and began the Galinelli book yesterday. Other suggestions on books I should read?

Thanks,
Ben

JJ

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Re: Books/Websites to learn more about real estate
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2012, 07:26:15 AM »
There's plenty of good books, but nothing beats real life experience to really understand how RE investing works.  The trick is to get that experience without having too many catastrophic accidents along the way - as they say, "experience is the best teacher but it sometimes kills the student".  My single biggest mistake in RE investing was not seeking out a mentor early on - and you need to find someone who is doing deals in the current environment as it is a different game from 10-15 years ago.  Many moderately successful investors are more than happy to share their knowledge if the other party is willing to put some work in.  You could track 2-3 down in your area and offer to help finding potential deals, crunching numbers or doing some other slog work type research (e.g. researching shifting demographics, proposed and approved industry investments, understanding where new schools and other infrastructure may be built etc).  Seeing a deal done first hand without your own money on the line is a great way to go.  You could probably get them to review your concepts before you commit too.

There are a range of skills to pick up and different books and resources are useful to cover them.  Here's a few ideas:
1) Negotiation - my work place sprang for a Karrass negotiation course - expensive but having done it I would consider it for personal use.  I also picked up an audio book from a guy called Robert Balanda over here in Australia which covers negotiation very well.  If you understand the negotiation process you can create a lot more opportunity for yourself.  Negotiation isn't some innate skill that you are born with - it is a very learnable process and you should definitely bone up on it if you are ever planning to buy or sell anything or ask for a pay rise at work.
2) Legal - I don't know the legal process for buying and selling in the US, and I'm sure it is different by state anyway.  However, you are still going to need to deal with contracts and need to gain basic legal knowledge to understand common terms and ensure you protect yourself.  While a good real estate attorney/lawyer should provide all the protection you need, to get the most out of them it is handy to understand what the heck they are saying to you.  I don't know the best place to get this - again, I bought another audio book from the Robert Balanda series called "clauses made simple".  Some of the content won't apply to the US, but there are enough legal terms in common that it would probably be of use.
3) Other suggestions are really dependent on your area of RE interest.

Hope that gives you a few more ideas...

arebelspy

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Re: Books/Websites to learn more about real estate
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2012, 05:14:20 PM »
JJ's right that experience is the best teacher, but might as well get as well versed as you can in the meantime (as long as you don't delay too long to do so).

Plus you can read a book in a few days or weeks.. A good real estate deal will (usually) take quite a bit longer.  So while you're getting on the job experience, book learnin' isn't half bad, IMO.

Reviving an old thread...

I've finished John Schaub's book, and began the Galinelli book yesterday. Other suggestions on books I should read?

First, to answer your question most specifically, we'd need more information.  There's real estate books for every topic under the sun.  So what are you looking to do?

I'd recommend different books for someone wanting to landlord versus rehab versus wholesale versus focus on SFRs versus commercial versus mobile homes versus mobile home parks versus storage units, etc. etc. etc.

Figure out what niche you want to focus on, and then target some good books in that area.

That being said, here's a few recommendations of some more "generic" books from my bookshelf.

Investing in Real Estate by McLean & Eldred is a good general knowledge book.

2 Years to a Million in Real Estate by Martinez and The Weekend Millionaire's Secrets to Investing in Real Estate by Summey and Dawson are both okay books (both fairly generic advice, but good to reinforce the concepts to make sure your head is fully wrapped around them).

Although you're already reading it, I'll add (for others reading this list) that What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Cash Flow... And 36 Other Key Financial Measures by Gallinelli is a good book with lots of formulas if you're into the math part of deal analysis.

And finally The Unofficial Guide to Managing Rental Properties by M. Prandi is great.  Lots of gems in it.  I actually had it in PDF and loved it so much I bought a copy for my bookshelf.

Many (all?) of those you should be able to find used (on Amazon, for example).

That should give you a few more to go with for now, and after that I have more as well.  ;)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Ben

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Re: Books/Websites to learn more about real estate
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2012, 12:48:49 PM »
JJ,

Great suggestions, I think I would benefit greatly from shadowing/apprenticing with a real estate investor.

Joe,

My goals are similar to the OP. Buying a personal home in the near future, intrigued by the idea of landlording and/or rehabbing residential real estate further down the road. I've got a good job that I enjoy and do not intend to leave, but want to learn about a new field and supplement my income. I'm in a knowledge job that does not yield anything physical that I can manipulate or touch, and I miss that and want to be able to do a little more 'hands-on' work.

I do not intend to take immediate action, but rather want some overall exposure to different business strategies to better understand the industry. I'm probably 2-3 years away from my first rental (unless I can find a duplex or other arrangement for my first home).