Best Real Estate Investing Books for 2021: 7 Books to Read Before You Invest

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If you’re interested in getting started in real estate, there are countless resources you can leverage to get started. You can begin with a resource like Bigger Pockets, which offers forums, blog posts, and more. Or perhaps you are more of the podcast type and want to learn by listening to others’ experiences. While these are great resources, they are more likely to provide you “nuggets” of information. Instead, you’re looking for a straightforward, step-by-step approach to meeting your real estate goals. That’s where my favorite resource – books – comes into play. In this guide, I will share with you the best real estate investing books to help you get started.

Before we get started, I want to mention the types of books I will cover. If you’re looking to invest in real estate through flips, wholesaling, or acquiring commercial property, this is not the right list for you. I pursue real estate from the perspective of someone looking to build passive income through rental property. That is where I will focus for the sake of this list.

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What Do You Need to Learn?

Now, when looking for books on investing in real estate, there are lots of skills you’re trying to learn. First, you probably aren’t sure where to start. So, you’ll want to find a book to give you a handle on the basics. But after that, some specific skills you’ll want to gain include:

  • How to Build a Team (real estate agent, property manager, lender, and contractor)
  • How to Find Deals
  • How to Analyze Deals (i.e., running the numbers)
  • How to Finance Deals (both traditionally and creatively)
  • How to Rehab Properties (depending on your strategy)

Each of the books I am about to share will help you learn the above skills and much more. So, let’s get started with our list of the best real estate investing books!

1. Best for Beginners:  The Book on Rental Property Investing

If you’re just starting out, maybe you’ve listened to a few podcasts or read a few blog posts, but you’re not sure where to go next. If you’re interested in buying your first rental property, which is how most folks seek to build passive income in real estate, start with what I consider the best real estate investing book for beginners:  The Book on Rental Property Investing.

This book will cover everything you need to get started. It’ll share why invest in real estate, who you need on your team, what types of properties you can consider, how to close on your first deal, and more.

There is not a better place to start than this book.

2. Best for Investing Out-of-State:  Long-Distance Real Estate Investing

You may find it a bit peculiar that the second book on this list is about investing out-of-state. I assure you; this isn’t an accident. There are two reasons this book is number two on the list.

First, if you live on a coast, as 40% of the U.S. population does, the chances are that finding profitable rental property investments near where you live is going to prove challenging. The truth is, there are much better places to buy rental properties, and many of them happen to be in the middle of the country. This book walks you through how to invest out-of-state step-by-step, removing geographical barriers from your search.

Second, even if you plan to invest in your backyard, I want you to read this book for a different reason. Why? It is the best resource I have found to date on how to build your team. Your team is what will help you find deals, finance them, and make sure they’re going to be profitable. Even if you plan to invest locally, this book enables you to ask the right questions of real estate agents, lenders, and property managers so that you build the “A-team” to help you with your property investments.

Finally, even if you plan to invest locally, this book is a tremendous resource for hiring contractors to help you rehab your properties without all the typical headaches. 

3. Best for Creatively Funding Deals:  The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down

If you’ve read the first two books on this list, you now know more than 95% of people about investing in real estate. However, you probably want to start to learn some more unique strategies that can help you along the way.

When I started in real estate, I was convinced that the biggest hurdle was how much I could afford to invest. However, I quickly realized that finding the money to fund deals is one of the easier elements of real estate investing.

There are many different ways to fund deals, some of which require very little money out of your pocket. Once you read this book, you’ll quickly realize that if you find a great deal, there are ways to fund it. 

This book will cover strategies like hard money, private money, using your existing home equity, and more.

4. Best for Scaling Your Investments:  Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat

When buying a single-family rental, it’s not uncommon for a solid deal to cash flow a couple hundred dollars per month. So, if you’re trying to build, say $4,000 per month in income, that might mean you need 20 properties.

While you may think this could take decades (especially if you have to save 20-25% down for each house), there are some alternatives to accelerate the process. One of these alternatives is called the BRRRR method, which allows you to buy houses with little to no money down.

Here’s how it works. You buy properties that are in deteriorated condition or offered significantly below the market value similar type houses. You then rehab them to bring them up to the state of comparable properties, rent them out to a tenant, and then refinance. When you refinance, because you have added so much equity to the property (by buying below market value and rehabbing), you can typically pull nearly all of your equity out. And then you repeat the process, using your same money to buy the next property and the one after that.

While this sounds a little complicated, it’s actually relatively simple, and it allows you to buy more properties without having more money! 

5. Best for Learning the Nuts and Bolts:  Building Wealth One House at a Time

This next recommendation is a bit less of the “how-to” and a bit more of the nuts and bolts that you’ll want to know when finding and managing your investments. 

It helps you understand what good opportunities look like as well as how to avoid potential pitfalls. 

While this isn’t necessarily the best book for beginners, once you’ve read a few of the above recommendations, this is a great one to go to next. 

6. Best for Multi-Family Investing:  ABCs of Real Estate Investing

This next book is for those of you looking to expand beyond single-family houses. If you’re looking to move up to a duplex or something even bigger, you’ll want to know how to crunch the numbers on multi-family properties. 

Multi-family properties are similar to single-family properties, but there are some additional expenses to consider, and you often have a chance to see how well the property has performed before you buy it. This includes identifying opportunities to make a multi-family property more profitable. 

This book will help guide you through the process of evaluating multi-family properties and scaling your investments. 

7. Best on Investing Mindset:  Rich Dad Poor Dad

This list of the best real estate investing books would be incomplete without this book. While this book does not teach real estate, it will share principles you need to be a successful investor.

Of all the brilliant lessons in this book, one important one is the tax treatment of different types of income. Wage income is taxed at the highest rate, followed by income from investments like stocks (capital gains), and finally, real estate, which often carries one of the lowest effective tax burdens.

Governments want to incentivize people to create affordable housing. Because of this, they offer very favorable tax treatment for real estate investors. That’s why you’ll learn, all else being equal, investing in real estate is a winner. This is just one motivating lesson in the book, but you’ll also learn many more about how people who build wealth do things differently. 

If you haven’t read Rich Dad Poor Dad already, don’t start to invest in real estate until you do. 

The 7 Best Real Estate Investing Books:  A Summary

Many people view real estate investors as a bit of an enigma. They think investing in real estate is only for the wealthy and highly risky and complex. Truth is, though, being a real estate investor is more about discipline and creating effective processes than anything else. And the more you educate yourself, the less risky it becomes.

To recap, here are the seven best real estate investing books you need to read to start in real estate:

1. Best for Beginners:  The Book on Rental Property Investing

2. Best for Investing Out-of-State:  Long-Distance Real Estate Investing

3. Best for Creatively Funding Deals:  The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down

4. Best for Scaling Your Investments:  Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat

5. Best for Learning the Nuts and Bolts:  Building Wealth One House at a Time

6. Best for Multi-Family Investing:  ABCs of Real Estate Investing

7. Best on Investing Mindset:  Rich Dad Poor Dad

So, what are you waiting for? Get started with one of these books today and start your real estate investing journey!

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