Real estate is an exciting area of focus for many investors — after all, everyone needs a place to live. Whether you’re just getting started with real estate investing or have been in the game for a while, there are many great reads out there that can help guide you as you look to maximize your returns. Here are a few of our favorites.

1. The Richest Man in Babylon

The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason isn’t focused on real estate investing specifically; rather, it covers enduring financial principles that can change the way you approach money, savings and wealth.

The book champions the concept of paying yourself first, with stories about how you can manage to do that regardless of where you are financially. The message, in short: Each time you get a paycheck, put some money aside for your future and invest it.

At 142 pages, the book is a quick read, but can put beginners on a strong path to start investing, whether you’re planning to invest in real estate or other areas.

2. The Book on Rental Property Investing

The Book on Rental Property Investing: How to Create Wealth With Intelligent Buy and Hold Real Estate Investing,” by BiggerPockets real estate podcaster and investor Brandon Turner, outlines essential strategies for those who want to build a portfolio of rental properties that produce enough cash flow to live on.

Rental properties are popular among real estate investors because they can be both appreciating assets and assets that generate income. “The Book on Rental Property Investing” outlines four strategies investors can use to find opportunities and turn them into successful ventures, including tactics that don’t involve the DIY work that some real estate investment projects can turn into.

The book also dives into the nuts and bolts of real estate investing, like financing an investment property and navigating taxes, which can make or break even great investments. At around 400 pages brimming with Turner’s insider tips, this is a must-read for both burgeoning and seasoned investors.

3. Mastering the Art of Commercial Real Estate 

If you’ve thought about investing in real estate, you might have pictured buying a single-family home as a rental property. Commercial real estate is a completely different type of investment, but one that can be just as lucrative.

Mastering the Art of Commercial Real Estate: How to Successfully Build Wealth and Grow Passive Income From Your Rental Properties,” by Doug Marshall, covers what you need to know about investing in commercial real estate, with an emphasis on multi-family rental properties. Marshall breaks the subject down into six simple rules, with insight on when to buy, when not to buy, and how to effectively build passive income.

The book’s step-by-step advice makes it a worthwhile guide for experienced investors looking to expand into the commercial space, as well as those who are just getting their feet wet in real estate investing.

4. The Book on Flipping Houses

If your goal isn’t to create a portfolio of rental properties, “The Book on Flipping Houses: How to Buy, Rehab, and Resell Residential Properties” by real estate investor J Scott might be the book for you.

Flipping a house involves buying a property that could use some work, making improvements to it to increase its value and then selling it for a profit. House-flipping can be difficult and stressful, and often requires some DIY skills, but can also be a money-maker when done right. This book discusses everything you need to know to get started, including securing financing; evaluating deals and their potential profit; how to do your due diligence on a property; where to look for potential flips; and how to find good contractors to help you fix up the properties you buy.

If you’re handy and want to trade your day job for a more hands-on approach to real estate investing, this book is a great starting point to learn the ins and outs of being a successful flipper.

5. The Millionaire Real Estate Investor

The Millionaire Real Estate Investor” by Gary Keller, founder of Keller Williams, is a valuable book for both beginners to real estate investing and those who already own a property or two. It presents guidance from more than 100 successful investors, including insight on how to: build the right mindset for real estate investing; identify good investment opportunities; make the key points of real estate transactions work in your favor; and build a strong team you can rely on.

The book also explores some generally useful financial topics, like how to track and manage your finances and build a strong network you can leverage to find new opportunities. Overall, it’s an essential read for anyone interested in building wealth through real estate.

6. Long-Distance Real Estate Investing

If you’re a rental property investor, it can be challenging to manage your portfolio if you don’t live near those assets. “Long-Distance Real Estate Investing: How to Buy, Rehab, and Manage Out-of-State Rental,” by real estate agent and investor David Greene, delves into how to successfully buy and manage properties from anywhere — a strategy that can greatly expand your opportunities to make money.

The book includes information on building a strong network in any state in the U.S., regardless of where you live; how to manage construction and rehab work from thousands of miles away; and how to vet and choose property managers, among other areas. While investing out-of-state isn’t for everyone, this book can help you set your sights higher (and farther!) and turn those goals into an actionable strategy.

Getting started

Real estate investing is a popular path for those who want to generate passive income, or even those seeking an alternative full-time career. These real estate books can serve as a resource for those just starting out or veteran investors, and are ideal for anyone wanting to learn more techniques to grow their real estate portfolio.

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