Questions from a Newbie

This is a great site. I’ve been reading in the forums for a few days now and there is just a huge amount of information here. So much so, that a lot of it confuses me, which brings me to my question.

I’m really interested in getting enough knowledge to be able to get into RE investing without falling on my butt because I didn’t know a detrimental part of the business. So I’m wondering what books the pro REI’ers out there would suggest for a newbie to read in order to get a good foundation to work off of?

I know that there is a ton of information out there about real estate investing so I’d like to find out the most helpfull information, and not waste time on scams or rip offs, which I’m sure are abundant.

If you need background info:

I live in Northwest Arkansas around the Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville area if anyone out there knows where that is. This area has had huge growth for the last 10 years or so and property prices skyrocketed. From around 2000 to 2006 anyone with a hammer and some nails were rolling in money. Thousands of houses were being built around here everyday. My parents, who had originally bought the house they lived in for $42,000 many years ago sold it for $1.5 million in 2003. During that time acreage that would have sold for $100 an acre 10 years ago was selling for $30000 an acre. Etc.

Dun dun dun…but now, there are pages and pages each week in the newspaper of people foreclosing and houses going up for auction. People that were instant overnight millionaires around here in the construction trade are suddenly filing for bankruptcy and the lawsuits are flying.

So, with regular property auctions going on a couple of times a week in each county I thought it might be a good time to start getting into REI. I might be wrong, if I am tell me.

If knowing my money position would help. It’s not great, I didn’t manage my money very well when I had it. My wife and I both have fairly decent jobs, which neither of us are very fond of. But they pay the bills. We live in a house that is worth about $250000, but we owe $209000. I probably wouldn’t be able to draw equity on that with all my other debt.

A couple of years ago, I was making a little bit more than I am right now, my fiance, now my wife, and I had vehicles that were paid off. After we got into the house we’re currently in, I used about $15000 I had saved up to furnish our new house. Then both our cars broke down within half a year of each other so we both bought newer cars. We had a wedding and went on a honeymoon on my credit card. All the while I was thinking I’d keep making good money and would be able to pay it off pretty quick, but then I got a pay cut because business slowed down.

Now between my wife and I, we have a $209000 mortgage at 6% interest, $28000 in credit card debt at around 7% interest, $40000 of car debt at about 8% interest, and $35000 in student loan debt at 4.5% interest. What we make leaves very little room for savings. Most of our money pays the bills.

All of that may be way too much info, I don’t know. But I just wanted to put it all out there so that the pro REI’ers would know what kind of housing area I’m in and what kind of money postion I’m in.

Thanks in advance.


       I'm assuming you have little or no experience in REI. A book I've found helpful was "The Millionare Real Estate Investor" by Gary Keller. It explains things very well. It also has proven models to follow. There are a lot books out there. This site is very useful as well. I would suggest that you read as much as you can, Join a local REI club or landlord assoc., and try to get control over your spending/saving. You'll also need a decent FICO score(above 700). This may take time, but its worth it. Good Luck! :beer

If I were you, I’d start out wholesaling because you’ll have to use very little cash to start. Just small amounts for marketing, advertising and lead generation. If done right, it can bring in some very nice amounts of cash.

REI Club is a great foundation to start from, I’ve learned a lot from the people on here a few years back.

As far as books that I could recommend, thats kind of hard to say. A lot of material thats out there is just not really good. A lot of filler but no real meat and potatoes kind of information.

However, if you wanted to go the wholesaling route, I think that Bill Bronchick has some good material to read up on to start and get a good general idea of what wholesaling is all about. Vena Jones has some good things on wholesaling also if you have that amount of money to spend on her course.

Also for marketing purposes, I’d look at all of Dan Kennedys books to get a good general idea about good marketing and classified advertising. Because thats what you’re going to have to be good at if you have limited money and limited credit.

It sounds like you’re in a buyers market so you’re advantage would be in building a very strong list of investors to wholesale flip good deals to.

After you do a few of those deals, you may be able to get some private money to do the deals yourself and and in the end, get a bigger check.

Just my thoughts