My all Time Favorite Books on Real Estate Investing
I’m the kind of guy who is constantly being asked questions like:
How did you get started in real estate investing?
How can I get started in real estate investing?
How did you become so successful…what’s the secret to real estate investing?
So many people have asked me these questions that I finally decided to write a blog post to give them the skinny! I am largely self-taught. About 8 years ago when I first started investing in real estate, I got on amazon.com and searched for all the books I could find that had the words “real estate investing” in their title. I bought 34 books and when I stacked them next to my desk, they reached over 2 feet high. After pouring through these books on real estate investing, I finally reached 2 conclusions–Conclusion 1: most books on real estate investing are trash, Conclusion 2–there are a few specific books that can save you money and make you thousands of dollars. Here are the books on real estate investing that have made me thousands of dollars and that I recommend strongly. They are indispensable for any investor. Knowledge is power and no where does this prove more correct that in real estate investing.
#1 Best Book on Real Estate Investing–Creating Wealth, Robert Allen
I can’t emphasize enough how much this book is worth its weight in gold. This book has been my bible for the years I have been investing in real estate. Perhaps the best thing I learned from this book was to Invest in the part of the market that has the most demand, what Robert Allen calls the “Bread and Butter Homes.” Not only is this market segment very low risk; it is also the cheapest, easiest, and most profitable (from a cash flow standpoint) segment to get into.
This diagram from Creating Wealth explains this concept better than I can do in words:
#2 Best Book on Real Estate Investing–Real Estate Advantages, Robert Kiyosaki
Real Estate Advantages is a comprehensive book on all sorts of tax saving strategies, specific ways to hedge liability from tenants, and different procedures for investing in real estate for maximum returns. My 2 favorite parts of this book are the discussions on: 1) tax strategies, and 2) tenant horror stories and how to limit liability through umbrella policies, estate planning through setting up unique legal structures that are impenetrable to lawyers. What’s unique about this book is that it gives real examples from people’s actual experience. These real examples are very easy to understand. The author explains in clear cut terms and examples what they could have done to avoid catastrophe. Real Estate Advantages is an indispensable resource for any real estate investor.
#3 Best Book on Real Estate Investing–After the Fall, Steve Bergsman
Author Steve Bergsman provides penetrating insight on what real estate investing and what the market will look like in the forseeable future. Drawing on his insights from over 20 years of experience in real estate and over 100 publications he’s authored, Bergsman hits the nail right in the head. Wouldn’t you like to know what the next few decades hold for real estate Investment types, geographical regions in the United States, and market volatility. This quote by Christopher Macke, Vice President, GE Real Estate, sums up After The Fall best:
“Steve Bergsman provides his readers with one of the most comprehensive, yet concise overviews of real estate and all its property types.”
#4 Best Book on Real Estate Investing–Emerging Real Estate Markets, David Lindahl
This book is the most insightful and practical book for analyzing markets and determining if they will go up, down, sideways, etc. David Lindahl’s gives a very concise and predictable explanation for the real estate market cycle. But just explaining the market cycle isn’t why Lindalh is so insightful. What makes him insightful is that he gives very specific instruction on how to keep on top of market indicators and determine exactly where a given market is in the cycle. This allows real estate investors to determine the bottom of the market and the future of the market in a particular region and it allows them to capitalize on future appreciation and growth.
#5 Best Book on Real Estate Investing–The Great Depression Ahead, Harry S. Dent
Harry S. Dent gives tons of demographic information in this book. What’s so insightful about The Great Depression Ahead, is that some real estate markets will boom while others will contract. Dent’s basic thesis is that population growth will taper off and if you are in a market with a promising demographic trend, you’ll do well. Otherwise, it will be pretty miserable. An excellent and entertaining read. Again, this book is worth its weight in gold.