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The 15 MUST Read Real Estate Books for New Investors

Investing in Real Estate for the first time can be intimidating.

When you’re just starting out, it’s easy to feel as though you’ll never know enough. Your money is at stake so you want to feel good and ready before taking the dive on whatever property you buy. The dive from investment as an idea to being handed the keys to your first property is the biggest step to take. 

Trust me, we’ve all felt that way. I know there is endless information to sift through.  So much information, in fact, that you feel like giving up before you’ve started.

That’s why I put this guide together—the 15 MUST read books on real estate investing for any new investor.

It’s time to stop stressing about your money and start making it work for you. Let’s get started.

Investing is the best way to build REAL wealth

So you’ve decided to invest in Real Estate, but do you know the principles behind investing? Real Estate is inherently a lifelong pursuit so it’s important to first understand the principles of money. They are as real and unchangeable as gravity, after all. 

My best recommendation to keep you grounded through the ups and downs of your financial life is a timeless book called The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason. One of my favorite takeaways from the book is if you want to learn how to buy real estate, don’t search for advice from anyone who hasn’t found success IN real estate. 

Let’s take that last point a little bit further with this: avoid the guru that overpromises and under-delivers. 

Another classic investing book all newbie investors should read answers one simple question: What separates the successful from the wannabe investor? Mindset.

Robert Kiyosaki wrote Rich Dad Poor Dad to prove that anyone can attain wealth with the right mindset.  He teaches priceless lessons like the real definition of assets and liabilities, the importance of cash flow, and how to use your money to build wealth. 

Once you have a good financial base and an answer to why you’re investing it’s time to take the dive into real estate.  You can learn just as much, if not more, by treating a good booklist like a bachelor’s program. And the best part is you won’t have to drop thousands to learn, just pick up a few books to get you started. Take the time to build your real estate knowledge the right way.

Your bank account will love you for it. 

Table of Contents

The right way to learn about Real Estate

Well,  it’s never been easier to start learning about real estate investing. The internet is filled with ebooks, podcasts, and blogs (like this one). There are tons of successful investors that have shared their knowledge to help the next generation. I created this booklist with one goal in mind, to save you the trouble of sifting through the bad apples. These are tried and true books written by true experts of the field. They have helped thousands, if not hundreds, of thousands of rookie investors like you. 

Remember what I said above about a good booklist? Treat it like a bachelor’s program, like a degree you need to do and be willing to put in the work to succeed. The more time you’re willing to invest in yourself, the bigger the future dividends. 

Create a plan and stick with it

We all have busy lives with work, family, and fun, so setting aside the time to study up can be quite the task. I couldn’t tell you how many books have been bought but never read. I can help with the clarity of what to study, but only you can read and implement what you learn. 

The first secret to success is to create a plan and stick with it. 

This is especially the case with learning—if you don’t have a plan for how you are going to better yourself as a real estate investor, you’ll never succeed. This way before you start, ask yourself,  “how much time can I reasonably set aside for learning?”. If you want to buy a property sooner rather than later, you’ll need to set aside more time than less. My suggestion is  30 minutes each day should be the goal, if not a whole hour.

In need of a process to accelerate your learning? Try this one out:

  • Read new material Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday
  • While reading, write key points, formulas, and anything else that pops out. Each book gets its own notebook.
  • Use Tuesday and Friday for review. Read through your notes on these days to make sure you actually understand what you’ve read. 
  • Saturdays you can use as days to teach your wife or a friend what you learned that week to help you retain even more. You also can listen to podcasts like Best Ever Show with Joe Fairless, Bigger Pockets Real Estate Podcast, or The Evernest Real Estate Investor Podcast.
  • Sundays are rest days. Personally, I enjoy getting on the river and throwing out a line. Don’t let yourself burn out—use your Sundays as your time to recharge. Get some rest!

Remember, the process I laid out above is only one of many ways you can approach your learning. What’s important is you find what works for you, and of course, stick with it. But enough with the chit-chat. Let’s get to the booklist.

For the Newbie Investor

Time to get your toes wet with some basics. Everyone has to start somewhere and what better place for newbie investors to start than the clear-cut fundamentals of rental property investing. 

These books will build the foundational knowledge you’ll need to start investing, but they are designed to be beginner’s books. They’re enough to get you going. As you progress, you’ll find yourself referencing them less and less. 

For beginner books, a great place to start is…

How to Invest in Real Estate: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started by Brandon Turner

He bought his first single-family home when he was 21 and now after a decade in the business Brandon is a true expert in the field. Read this if you want a good basis without all the motivational fluff that other books have. You’ll gain an understanding of the basics. More importantly, you’ll know what else you need to learn. The next steps in your investing career will become clear. 

Next up…

Building Wealth One House at a Time, Updated and Expanded, Second Edition by John Schaub

John Schaub knows what he’s talking about. His writing is clear and to the point. No fluff. No gimmicks. It’s an excellent intro to the world of Real Estate with a focus on single-family rental homes. You can use this book as your own investment bible to build wealth like thousands of others. 

For those that like easy-to-follow systems…

Real Estate Investing QuickStart Guide: The Simplified Beginner’s Guide to Successfully Securing Financing, Closing Your First Deal, and Building Wealth Through Real Estate by Simon He

It’s a beginner’s book that ages well. It’s filled with useful metrics and visuals to help lessons land. Follow the system and use the resources to become a great investor. There’s plenty to fall back on as you gain experience. It’s accompanied by some great digital resources and score sheets as a bonus!

Trust me you’ll want to go BRRRR after reading this book…

Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat by David Greene

David explains the difference between the traditional strategy and the BRRRR method including why it’s faster. The best part is it doesn’t require a pile of cash to get started. The newbie investor can take the lessons of this book and get their start faster than the traditional way.

For those that prefer commercial real estate…

Mastering the Art of Commercial Real Estate Investing: How to Successfully Build Wealth and Grow Passive Income from Your Rental Properties by Doug Marshall

Doug shares a lot of hard-learned lessons from his 35-year career in commercial real estate. He lays out instructions to follow to start investing fast. He backs up his knowledge with real-world experiences giving you insight into how he solved problems you’ll face as well. 

Suggested Reading: How Do I Build a Portfolio of Rental Homes?

Landlording doesn’t have to feel overwhelming

For some, the thought of being a landlord can seem like too much of a burden to get started. But with a proper plan, the right systems in place, and a solid team, anyone can succeed at this game. Why figure it out all alone when you don’t have to? 

The perfect map to start your landlord career…

The Book on Managing Rental Properties: A Proven System for Finding, Screening, and Managing Tenants with Fewer Headaches and Maximum Profits by Brandon Turner and Heather Turner

This book isn’t meant to sell you on being a landlord over going with a property manager. No sales pitches here. It’s a guide designed for action. Learn from someone ahead of you. Inside, you’ll find the common pitfalls new landlords find themselves in and how to avoid them. 

For those who want to be more hands-off…

Landlording on AutoPilot: A Simple, No-Brainer System for Higher Profits, Less Work and More Fun (Do It All from Your Smartphone or Tablet!) by Mike Butler

If you’ve ever wanted to laugh while learning how to be the most efficient landlord, this is the book for you. Through years of experience, Mike built an easy-to-follow system that gives you back your time. Learn how to use technology in your favor to make more money and stress less. 

Don’t get caught in the legal trap…

Every Landlord’s Legal Guide by Marcia Stewart, Ralph Warner, Janet Portman

This book is written by attorneys who know the ins and outs of landlord legalese. Whether you’re a first-time landlord or long-time investor, this book will guide you through any legal issues for your business. Although it won’t replace a good lawyer, it’s important to understand the framework of rental laws.

Suggested Reading: Do You Want To Be a Landlord? 

Let’s talk about the money

Keep your finances close to your chest. After all, that is why you got into rental property investing in the first place! The good news is it’s never been easier to learn the financial concepts needed to be successful…

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

Frank is not a salesman. He’s a graduate professor. There are no links to buy expensive training, just a bunch of FREE resources for you to use to your heart’s content. He takes the complicated and simplifies it in a way that’s easy to understand. Math is an important skill to have when learning how to invest, and no one teaches the formulas better than Frank. 

Speaking of money, here’s how to keep more of it…

The Book on Tax Strategies for the Savvy Real Estate Investor: Powerful techniques anyone can use to deduct more, invest smarter and pay far less to the IRS! by Amanda Han and Matthew MacFarland

Veteran investors wish they read this early in their career. It’s filled with tips on how how to save a ton of money when tax season comes around. The best part, it’s not boring. Amanda and Matthew teach with stories instead of just numbers and equations.

House Flipping and Wholesaling

Let’s be honest, some of the best Real Estate shows on the air are all about House Flipping. There’s something romantic about finding a beat-up fixer-upper, giving it a little bit of love and elbow grease, then selling it for a quick profit. Well, here are some books if you’re looking to flip houses or get into the matchmaking world of wholesaling. 

When talking about House Flipping, we have to recognize the best…

The Book on Flipping Houses: How to Buy, Rehab, and Resell Residential Properties by J Scott

AND the companion book…

The Book on Estimating Rehab Costs: The Investor’s Guide to Defining Your Renovation Plan, Building Your Budget, and Knowing Exactly How Much It All Costs by J Scott

What sets J Scott apart from the rest? He’s a real house flipper. He doesn’t talk about the possibilities. No, he’s all about action. He leaves nothing out. He covers everything from beginning to end and all the problems in between. So if you want to build a successful House Flipping business, get both of these gems and keep them close. You’ll find yourself going back for more and more. 

The next title is a little on the nose…

If You Can’t Wholesale After This: I’ve Got Nothing For You… by Todd M Fleming

It couldn’t be more true. He gives you a step-by-step guide to follow to go from know-nothing to closing your first deal. While most wholesaling books are filled to the brim with motivational woo-woo, Todd delivers on the title’s promise. 

Suggested Reading: The Five Most Expensive Rental House Repairs

Just the beginning

This certainly isn’t everything you’ll need to learn for your whole career but it’s the best start you can give yourself. These books aren’t meant to be read once then placed on the shelf to collect dust. Read them and then re-read them. 

Do the work now to ensure your future success. Follow the steps these books will give you. Buy your first property. Whether it’s rentals, house flipping, or wholesaling, the skills and knowledge to get it done can be found on the pages above. All you have to do is commit. 

If you’re ready to take the next step, here are 3 ways you can do that:

  1. Check out our podcastThe Evernest Real Estate Investor Podcast—for all things real estate investing, being a landlord, growing your portfolio, and more. 
  2. Looking to buy a property? Make sure you sign up for our Pocket Listings and get notified of all the deals that come across our desk daily. 
  3. Need an investor-friendly agent? Let’s chat—we would love to help you buy your next rental property investment.

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