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Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could live off your real estate investments?
Wouldn’t it be even better if you could do it using only minimal amounts of your personal savings?
It probably doesn’t surprise you to know that both are possible. But, like any other investment, real estate investing also has the potential to lose your investment.
Fortunately, there is a key to real estate investing success. That key is…
Knowledge is power, after all. The more you know about real estate investing before you get started, the greater success you will have.
That is where this collection of the best real estate investment books comes into play. There are hundreds of books on how to buy investment properties. Some are good, some are of dubious quality, and some give downright bad advice.
Real estate is a big investment.
Don’t rely on just one source of information. Read these books, listen to podcasts, and gather all the information available.
Before buying my first real estate investment property, I did months of research. I read quite a few blog posts and podcasts, but mainly I searched for the best books on real estate investing.
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I bought about 30 books on the subject and read them all. I don’t slam the books that were not worth reading. I just don’t include them on my list.
The 16 books remaining on this list make up the “must-read” books of real estate investing. Start with these and then move on from there.
There is a ton of info out there, but these books are a great place to start. Let’s get to it…
What You Will Learn
- 1. The Millionaire Real Estate Investor by Gary Keller
- 2. The Book on Rental Property Investing: How to Create Wealth and Passive Income Through Smart Buy & Hold Real Estate Investing by Brandon Turner
- 3. Getting the Money: The Simple System for Getting Private Money for Your Real Estate Deals by Susan Lassiter-Lyons
- 4. The Sale of a Lifetime: How the Great Bubble Burst of 2017-2019 Can Make You Rich by Harry S. Dent Jr.
- 5. The Complete Guide to Real Estate Finance for Investment Properties: How to Analyze Any Single-Family, Multifamily, or Commercial Property by Steve Berges
- 6. What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Cash Flow…and 36 Other Key Financial Measures, Updated Edition by Frank Gallinelli
- 7. Building Wealth One House at a Time: Making It Big on Little Deals by John Schaub
- 8. Tax-Free Wealth: How to Build Massive Wealth by Permanently Lowering Your Taxes (Rich Dad Advisors) by Tom Wheelright
- 9. 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 by Brandon Turner
- 10. Profit First: A Simple System to Transform Any Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz
- 11. Entrusted: Building A Legacy That Lasts by Andrew Howell and David York
- 12. Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money—That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert Kiyosaki
- 13. Retire Rich from Real Estate: A Low-Risk Approach to Buying Rental Property for the Long-Term Investor by Marc Andersen PhD
- 14. The ABCs of Real Estate Investing: The Secrets of Finding Hidden Profits Most Investors Miss (Rich Dad's Advisors) by Ken McElroy
- 15. Real Estate Investing Gone Bad: 21 True Stories of What NOT to Do When Investing in Real Estate and Flipping Houses by Phil Pustejovsky
- 16. The Book on Managing Rental Properties: A Proven System for Finding, Screening, and Managing Tenants with Fewer Headaches and Maximum Profits by Brandon and Heather Turner
1. The Millionaire Real Estate Investor by Gary Keller
This practical book emphasizes that the first step to building wealth is to learn and understand the foundational truths and models that drive financial wealth.
Using a collection of wisdom and experience from over 100 millionaire investors who achieved financial wealth through various methods of investing, The Millionaire Real Estate Investor delivers a straightforward and easy-to-read guide that reveals successful strategies.
This real estate investment book is very motivational. It gets you hyped on the possibilities of investing and gets you to want to rush out and get started. It covers all the basic information for people who are just starting on their financial journeys.
This book will help save you time if you are new to the industry and is an easy read for people who can take the ideas from the book and apply them to their own situations.
The beginning of the book guides the reader in working past some common myths that tend to prevent people from starting investments in real estate. It then works to correct common misunderstandings and promote habits that will help lead to success. The book finishes by describing the overall structure of complete real estate business. After working through the four stages of real estate investing, the reader is able to clearly envision their own success.
The only thing this book lacks is some of the advanced tips that you can find in others. All in all, it’s a great read, especially for anyone new to real estate investing.
2. The Book on Rental Property Investing: How to Create Wealth and Passive Income Through Smart Buy & Hold Real Estate Investing by Brandon Turner
The Book on Rental Property Investing is written by a real estate investor and provides detailed advice and strategies that he learned from years of experience accruing wealth through rental properties.
This book teaches a realistic plan to help you find profitable deals and finance your rentals.
This book provides solid real-world advice on real estate investing. The author gives good details on various rental property investment topics.
When I was looking to pull the trigger on my own property purchase, I found myself using this rental property investing book as a reference more than once.
The Book on Rental Property Investing is more of a comprehensive guide for people who are interested in learning more about finding rental properties, tenants, and screening practices, and how to get the most out of rental property investment.
The book lacks some of the motivational “rah-rah” inspiration of the previous book, but more than makes up for it by being a very thorough guide through the entire process of managing a rental property, including required maintenance.
I found this real estate investment book to be very informative and helpful. It is a “must-read” for anyone looking for specific advice on some of the possible trouble spots involved in property rental
3. Getting the Money: The Simple System for Getting Private Money for Your Real Estate Deals by Susan Lassiter-Lyons
I am sure you have heard the saying “It takes money to make money.” The same thing is true in real estate: It takes money to make real estate purchases. This book is to helps you get money for your real estate deals.
Real estate investing has been proven to build wealth when done right. But it is hard to get the money to get started on your own. Not many people have enough spare money to buy a second property without borrowing some or all of it.
I know I needed to borrow for my first property. And this book was essential in getting that money at the best rate possible.
Getting the Money provides the reader with a clear framework needed to raise the private capital needed for real estate. This inspiring property financing book talks about the author's first-hand experience in using creativity and a genuine personality to raise millions of dollars for investing in real estate.
This book has useful tips and tactical information to use for closing a deal. If you need to raise any private money for your investments, you are going to want to have read this book before you try to negotiate for your money.
4. The Sale of a Lifetime: How the Great Bubble Burst of 2017-2019 Can Make You Rich by Harry S. Dent Jr.
Harry S. Dent Jr. has created another guide to financial cycles in The Sale of a Lifetime: How the Great Bubble Burst of 2017-2019 Can Make You Rich.
With his urgent warning about the upcoming financial crisis, he uncovers the bright side that provides financial investors a rare opportunity to accrue wealth.
It is a historic fact that times of trouble are also the times of greatest economic opportunity.
Dent’s opinion (and many other economists) is that a collapse is imminent.
Given this supposition, Dent walks us through how to identify the cycles that drive financial booms and falls. Dent conveys information that is both historical and current as this page-turner recaps historical cycles and uses them to project the state of future financial markets.
This is a very interesting read. If Dent is wrong about the coming bubble bursting, it still lays out a solid case and teaches us about historic economic cycles. However, if Dent proves to be correct, this book could be worth its weight in gold (x 1000).
Learning how to not only prepare for economic downturns, but also position yourself to take full advantage of these downturns can leave you scooping up loose cash with a shovel while others are jumping out of buildings.
That may be a bit of hyperbole…but let’s just say it is a good thing to be a step ahead of any market correction, whether up or down.
5. The Complete Guide to Real Estate Finance for Investment Properties: How to Analyze Any Single-Family, Multifamily, or Commercial Property by Steve Berges
This practical guide provides investors with the necessary tools to make educated decisions to gauge the potential worth of investment properties. This is a great read for both seasoned real estate investors and those who are just getting into the business.
Written as a straightforward guide, Berges carefully walks readers through each stage of analyzing properties for their potential value.
No matter what your long-term goals are in real estate finance, this book includes:
(If you need more resources, check out our post on SMART goals examples for real estate agents to help you excel.)
This book is a bit complex, with case studies that are meant to be useful for seasoned investors. But if you also read some of the more “basic” guides, you will be ready and understand all the real estate lingo.
However, this real estate investment book covers all of the important points when it comes to real estate financing. It clearly shows readers many important considerations they need to be aware of prior to making investment decisions.
After all, the starry-eyed dream of living off of real estate investments is a wonderful one—but there are potential financial risks involved. Berges does a great job of helping us navigate around those risks.
6. What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Cash Flow…and 36 Other Key Financial Measures, Updated Edition by Frank Gallinelli
This book focuses on mastering numbers to succeed in real estate investments. As a revised and updated edition of the original book, this is relevant to the present market. This new edition provides updated and current discussions of how to gain capital as well as an internal rate of return.
With the explanation of basic formulas, readers learn to measure principal aspects of their real estate investments, such as cash-on-cash return, return on equity, net present value, discounted cash flow, and net operating income.
Written in an entertaining and exciting manner, readers are able to find many innovative and useful ideas in this book to help make worthwhile real estate investments. With over three dozen key concepts presented, readers learn rules of thumb that can be used as points of reference to evaluate potential investment properties.
The spreadsheet models that are provided in the book are useful to help demonstrate how to read a property’s potential, and how to apply financial concepts to be a successful tool. Also, the methods that the author uses and explains are consistent with general business practices, while also providing insight into the impact of accounting rules on taxable income and industry-specific financial ratios.
The author also provides examples of relevant math, including calculations within each chapter. The reader is given a problem to solve, which can then be checked against the solution provided by the author to help test the reader's knowledge.
This is a quick and easy read, with humor sprinkled throughout to keep the reader engaged. There is not much fluff in this book. It gets straight to the point, quickly and painlessly. It is a very helpful guide to financial cash flow.
7. Building Wealth One House at a Time: Making It Big on Little Deals by John Schaub
Math has never been my strong suit. While I did take a class in accounting in college, I would say I am about as far from being an accountant as is humanly possible.
One of the things I loved about this book was that it was about the finances of accumulating multiple homes, but did not make me feel mathematically inept.
It is a great read for people of any financial background, as it talks about how just about anyone can accumulate multiple houses debt-free while earning a steady income indefinitely.
This real estate book is different from others, as it focuses on making housing investments in high-caliber neighborhoods with a nine-step program for success.
Some highlighted tips include renting to long-term tenants, providing them with financial incentives to pay rent on time, avoiding falling for deals that are “too good to be true,” and a 10-year plan to be debt-free.
This property investment book offers traditional investment principles that have made people successful for years. It does give its main focus to single-family homes, as they are typically easier to buy and resell than commercial properties. For the small number of new investors interested in other forms of property, this book lacks strong advice. But that is fine since 95% of first-time investors buy single-family homes. John is really just spending his time wisely by teaching the best advice to most people.
8. Tax-Free Wealth: How to Build Massive Wealth by Permanently Lowering Your Taxes (Rich Dad Advisors) by Tom Wheelright
Come April 15th (or 18th this year), you will be glad you had this book in your real estate tool bag. This book's main focus is on tax planning. With complicated tax laws, people often miss out on opportunities to reduce their taxes and gain wealth.
Wheelright aims to help readers understand the basic principle of taxes so they are not intimidated by the process. The long-term goal of this book is to have readers be able to have the ability to legally eliminate all income taxes, thereby living a life of “tax-free wealth.”
When you read the common reviews on this book, you will see a fair amount of complaints about the authors using some “hype-style” filler material designed to fill the reader with a sense of anticipation.
I agree that this is true, but that is an issue of style, not substance. When Wheelright does get to his points, they are all great ones, and they will certainly be useful in helping you keep more of your money—which is the whole point of this book!
Tax-Free Wealth will pay for itself many times overcome tax day. It not only gave me ideas for my real estate investing, but also some ideas for my book business. It has plenty of good information on how to protect your business and pay lower taxes.
9. 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 by Brandon Turner
This real estate investment book is designed to help people who are interested in getting involved in the property business, but who don't have much money to put up front. It touches on subjects such as:
The book is rich with hypothetical examples that get right to the point of explaining various scenarios the author cooks up. With a lot of solid ideas, this is a useful read for beginners who have yet to learn about various strategies.
Some of the hypothetical examples are a bit repetitive, which is why readers who aren’t familiar with the topic might miss some of the intricate differences in the scenarios. This is not a book for those looking for super subtle nuance or advanced tips that will help them get more out of borrowing from lenders.
It is perfect for what it is, however—a basic guide to teach anyone new to the concept of borrowing for real estate investing how to completely understand all the related intricacies. After reading this book, you will know how to get your loan approved and get the best deal humanly possible. What more could you ask for?
10. Profit First: A Simple System to Transform Any Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz
This another book that I include because it has important points for running a real estate business—but the fact of the matter is that it also provides knowledge that is a lot broader.
This book is great for entrepreneurs who are having trouble taking their profits to the next level.
It offers a reasonably simple plan to manage and grow your company's finances.
Readers are given a new perspective to change the financial focus of their businesses. This provides business owners with valuable insight when doing taxes or looking for more financially efficient ways to run their businesses.
The logic behind the concepts explained in this book are simple, with explanatory graphs and charts to drive home the author's points. This book is especially great for people who are new to running their own businesses or who are having trouble keeping their businesses afloat. The author's tone is conversational and easy to read, but also firm about serious topics.
11. Entrusted: Building A Legacy That Lasts by Andrew Howell and David York
With my first child being born not long before I purchased my first property, this book had a certain importance to me. I want my wife and child to be able to painlessly take over my various businesses should something unfortunate and unexpected happen to me.
And I didn’t want the government getting their paws on a massive portion of my tiny estate.
This book clearly lays out the fundamentals of effectively transferring estates and wealth. The authors' goals in this book are to prepare beneficiaries for inherited wealth by looking at the person who is being entrusted as the organizer of the estate, rather than just the sole recipient. They focus on the transfer of opportunities that have the potential to last over multiple generations.
Unlike other books that work with the benefactor to effectively plan his estate, this book focuses on preparing the beneficiaries who are receiving the wealth. While the advice is practical, it is also meaningful because the approach looks past the immediate future. It also goes beyond talking only about wealth and assets and teaches lessons about family values, long-term visions, and goals.
Having read this book, I feel like my family will be better able to handle any small amount I am able to leave them, and hopefully make it into something even greater.
12. Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money—That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert Kiyosaki
This is the quintessential book on the power of investing.
This biography of sorts tells Robert Kiyosaki‘s personal story of two father figures in his life, both of whom had an influence on his adult concepts of money and investing.
The book largely focuses on working for money versus investing your money in order to have it work for you.
This book does not get down into too many of the dirty details on how to invest but is more about explaining in clear terms why investing is so important. The most powerful points Kiyosaki makes are about investing and managing money. Some of these points include:
Overall, this book is not one of the most beneficial books to read about the specifics of investments and finances. However, the author's candid and insightful writing makes it highly influential and inspirational.
This is an important book to read because it will clearly show the important potential of investing. It will give you the inspiration to continue your investment education and set you on the path to getting real-world knowledge.
13. Retire Rich from Real Estate: A Low-Risk Approach to Buying Rental Property for the Long-Term Investor by Marc Andersen PhD
One aspect of real estate investing is flipping. This is what you often see on TV, where people get in and out fast, making a profit and moving on to the next investment.
This book is not about that. If anything, this book is the opposite.
This book’s real estate investing is more akin to Warren Buffet than hedge fund traders.
This real estate investing book shows how to buy properties that you will keep for decades—properties that will help support you through retirement.
This is a great read for people who have little to no money in retirement and are considering investing in a rental property to bring in additional income. It touches on matters such as how to choose the best investors based on their demographics, how to choose properties that will be worth a long-term investment, evaluating expenses, and managing properties.
Unlike some other books of this nature that make promises of getting rich quickly, this book provides a more realistic timeline for making money from rental properties. The author provides practical advice with verified statistics so as to not create a dream reality for the reader.
I love this book because this is how I plan to invest in my current (and any future) investments. Real estate may see slumps and climbs in home values, but people always need to rent, and rent prices always rise.
14. The ABCs of Real Estate Investing: The Secrets of Finding Hidden Profits Most Investors Miss (Rich Dad's Advisors) by Ken McElroy
This is another useful book for people who are looking to invest in real estate for the long term.
McElroy gives a helpful overview of the entire process of investing in real estate from beginning to end.
The book helps readers know what to expect in the industry and learn more about what they are getting into.
One of the best things about this book is that it is direct and full of valuable information. There is no need to read through the fluff to get to the meat of the subject. McElroy also works to dispel myths about real estate investments that often keep people from getting themselves started.
One of the most valuable parts of this property investment book is the author's explanation of formulas that can be used to analyze the potential outcome of an investment from a cash flow perspective.
15. Real Estate Investing Gone Bad: 21 True Stories of What NOT to Do When Investing in Real Estate and Flipping Houses by Phil Pustejovsky
Many real estate investment books showcase all the positive possibilities. They might mention that “results vary” or that there is always an element of risk, but they do not dwell on the bad. They dwell on the good.
What I love about this book is that it teaches through analyzing real mistakes made in the world of real estate investing.
An entertaining and informative read, this book contains 21 true failures of real estate investment deals, and what to learn from these mistakes.
This book is great for people who are looking to flip houses, as well as those who are investing in long-term real estate.
Unlike the other real estate investment books that paint property as something that gives you complete control over your investment, this book faces the reality of the mistakes people often make that end up costing them a lot of time and money.
This is an ideal read for people who are just getting into real estate, as it is important to realize there are dangers to go with the potential profits.
16. The Book on Managing Rental Properties: A Proven System for Finding, Screening, and Managing Tenants with Fewer Headaches and Maximum Profits by Brandon and Heather Turner
This book is great for people who are already in the business of investing in real estate. It concentrates on being an effective landlord to maximize your profits and decrease the stress that comes along with managing and owning rental properties.
The great thing about this book is that it has something for everyone. It covers the basics of effective property management while also giving helpful hints for people who are seasoned in the industry.
This is one of the more thorough real estate investing books. It offers both a new perspective and practical advice. One of the best characteristics of this book is that the authors emphasize how important it is to take real estate seriously, but don't take themselves too seriously, leaving room for humor.
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