Learning About Real Estate Investing

I’ve recently gotten interested in real estate investing, especially with regard to rental properties. Unfortunately, I know hardly anything about it. Thus, I’m really in need of a good education. So before going any further, I thought I’d start by reading up on the subject to see if it really sounds like something I’d like to pursue. There’s a lot of info on the web, but much of what I’ve run across is pretty short and fluffy. (I’ve compiled a list of a few such articles below.) What I really need is a good book or two (or a few). The problem is that there’s about a million books on real estate investing. Okay, that’s a bit of an overstatement… But a quick search on Amazon reveals that there’s more than 800 books on the topic.

While I’ve heard that Landlording is a particularly good book, I thought I’d also go out on a limb and ask y’all for some suggestions… So if you’ve read any books on the topic (good or bad), I’d greatly appreciate it if you’d leave a comment or drop me an e-mail with the pertinent info. In addition to the title and author, it would be great to hear what you especially liked/disliked about the book. If there’s enough of a response, I’ll compile a summary and post it in a week or so.

And now, as promised, here’s a handful of links to articles related to rental properties as investments. Again, these are all pretty fluffy and big picture, with very little attention paid to the nuts and bolts. There are, however, some interesting tidbits buried here and there:

Do you have what it takes to be a landlord?
Are you cut out to be a landlord?
Getting rich with rental property
Getting real about real estate investing
How to find good investment property
10 tips for new landlords

And About.com has a nice little collection of links to rental property information here.

11 Responses to “Learning About Real Estate Investing”

  1. Anonymous

    Good cash flow, peace of mind and return on investment â?? these are two of the most important things for anyone owning a property investment. I can only speak from experience regarding property management for residential property investments. Iâ??ve managed residential rentals for over 10 years now and this is my recipe for a successful investment: Pay close attention and give these 8 key areas undivided attention: tenant selection, lease negotiation, communication, marketing, rent arrears, cash flow, inspection and maintenance, and financial report.

  2. Anonymous

    This is very helpful for first time property owners. Landlording is not that easy but one can always hire a great property manager to market, screen prospective tenants, deal with tenants, do all the paperwork, inspect the property and more!

  3. Anonymous

    Residential property investments is a good means to build and accumulate wealth id one right. It’s not enough that investors know how to choose the right property. Investors should also take into consideration its management which means taking care of all the aspects (marketing, tenant management, maintenance and inspection, etc.).

  4. Anonymous

    Spot on with this write-up, I actually believe this website needs a lot more attention.
    I’ll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the advice!

  5. Anonymous

    Though it’s not a book, I can most definitely can say that the Rich Dad/Tigrent Learning online Real Estate investment webinar was not worththe $80. There was some interesting stuff taught, so I can’t say I didn’t learn anything, but a large portion of the webinars were spent upselling attendees to a 40 grand mentoring course. I’m sure you could learn a lot more buying $80 worth of books, because most of the questions from the students were told to ‘hold off til the end’, and then our instructor cut the class off because time was up.

  6. Anonymous

    There are a number of great resources and techniques out there to get the most out of real estate. The tradition method of buying, holding, renting and selling actually is not the most lucrative. Conversly, the buy to flip market is currently taking a dive. Short sales and subject to purchases to invest in real estate may currently be your best opportunity.


  7. Anonymous

    Some suggestions for real estate books, these are all for rental, not flipping:

    Rental Houses for the Successful Small Investor by Suzanne P. Thomas

    -Great beginner book, no pie-in-the-sky get rich talk. Just nuts ‘n bolts info from a experienced woman investor. Best if you are gonna go the single family route.

    What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Cash Flow
    by Frank Gallinelli, Frank Gallinelli

    -Have not finished this book, but this is the part that most new investors neglect, cash flow analysis of the property before they buy it.

    Make Money with Small Income Properties
    by Gary W. Eldred

    -tons of great tips on getting the most out your property, avoiding pitfalls. Easy to read and packed with info.

    Every Landlord’s Legal Guide (Every Landlords Legal Guide) — by Marcia Stewart

    – must have book if you do get investment property, includes a disc with 20 forms including rental/leases. Landlords are the most sued people in real estate; keep your bee-hind out of hot water with this book.

    Avoid all books by supposed “gurus” like Robert Kiyosaki (Rich dad, poor dad) & carlton sheets (Mr. No-cash down infomercial). Here is a link rating all the gurus:


    Also, go to a local landlords/REI club, its $15 at the door for non-members. Lots of info there.
    Look up the RE classes at your local community college, there should be some for REI; I am taking a class on property management now, it great, only $65.00. Thirdly, go to the Creative Investor website and join the forums (http://www.thecreativeinvestor.com) it’s one of the best on the WWW for REI. Good luck.

  8. Anonymous

    I can, unfortunately, speak from experience on the topic of rental property. It is very much a business, not an investment, and it is also very much a life style. Of course, the majority of renters are upstanding, honest and all around good people. Unfortunately, it seems to be a general rule that these people will always rent from someone else and not from you! In practice, a lease is worthless. If a tenant signs an iron-clad lease for one year and wants out after 2 months – they’re out of luck, right? Wrong! They will just call you every other day at all hours with small complaints until it becomes clear you are better off letting them out of the lease. I own and live in a 3-unit house and that has worked out pretty well. We rented out our old house and it was a disaster and is now on the market to be sold. Being right there seems to make it a lot easier, but living in a multi-family property isn’t for everyone, either.

    Long story short (oops, too late) – being a landlord can be a time consuming, frustrating and difficult job. And make no mistake that is very much a second job – not just an investment. It would be very difficult to turn a profit with a management company. Not only do you pay them their monthly fee, but of course you also pay every time they send in a repairman or what ever else they do.

    If you have the time, personality and inclination, there is certainly money to be made in rental property. Unfortunate, if it does not work out, it can be a very long and expensive lesson.

  9. Nickel

    I agree that there might be a pretty major p.i.t.a. factor involved with managing rental properties. Ideally, I’d like to get into a situation where I could have the property managed. However, it seems unlikely that you’d be able to pull that off (at least not profitably) unless you’ve owned the property for awhile… After all, mortgage payments stay the same over time, whereas rent generally increases. After a few years, the rent that you’re generating should support the outsourcing of the grunt work. In many ways, it seems like the ideal situation for getting your feet wet would be to rent out your old house after you move. Assuming that there’s a decent rental market in your area, and assuming that you’ve been in the house for at least a few years, local rental prices should have appreciated relative to your mortgage payment, perhaps allowing you to put the property under management right away without having the management fees kill you.

  10. Anonymous

    I’m interested in this topic as well, though there seems to be a lot of pain (time, dealing with tenants, etc.) associated with being a landlord. I think buying cheap, fixing up a place, and then selling it quickly may be the way to go.

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