Something to read while I wait.

Hey Everyone,

I’m closing on my cash-out loan, and I’ll have a decent amount of money to play with as soon as I get it, in 2 weeks or so. I’ve been reading this site for about a month now, and have learned alot.

Other than my current home, I’ve never bought another property. I’ve refi’ed this one twice, so I’m starting to understand terms and definitions, but other than that I’m a REI virgin.

Until I get the money and find a deal, is there a good book I should pick up? One that is both a beginners level yet advances rather quickly?



I do a lot of reading both in book form and on the internet. So I will take a stab at this one and tell you how I started. I won’t waste your time with all the useless paths I have followed, I’ll just get down to the method that I think worked well.

If you go to the REAL ESTATE ARTICLES portion of this site you will see the different categories of articles (ie. negotiating, wholesaling, etc.)

Start with “Getting Started” and move along through the different categories as you learn more or become interested in them. Personally, I printed out each article I was interest in (pretty much all of them) so I could read and highlight and make notations or questions on the paper.

As I read, I started learning more about what each category was about and could decide if I wanted to pursue it more in depth at that time or save it for later - you will find your own interests as you go along.

The other thing that happened was I started noticing which of the contributors I personally favored. I liked their style of writing or I felt they were giving me the kind of information I was looking for. I also learned that certain writers were more “expert” in certain fields.

When I found the authors whose work I felt would be useful to me I purchased any books they had published (if they had books). I don’t want to endorse any products personally on this site at the risk of offending anyone. A lot of the material is redundant - each one has to cover the basics first. The difference is in the style of the writer, their personal experiences and their focus.

I would also recommend joining your local REIA. Different speakers come and talk, if you find the information useful, you can purchase their material at a deep discount if you buy it at the meetings. I have purchased a few programs - I’m pretty careful with my choices but I think I chose well.

You should think of finding out information like the act of prospecting for gold - you are going to have to sift through a lot of rock to find those few nuggets of gold buried inside - but they are in there. Every author will give you nuggets for free - you just have to sift through a lot of rocks to find them. Or - you can take a shortcut and buy the expensive stuff - and you will get a whole lot of nuggets at one time.

Just remember this is just like many other things in life . . . you either put in your time or you put in your money.

Hope this helps.

Well put PP. Your exactully right now that I think about it. I’m in the Server Administration field, and I remember when I started I asked about the same question. People told me specific books and I bought them, but hated the style they were written.

As for the Real Estate Articles! By George I never noticed that. Frankly I’ve been mostly busy in the forums. Thanks for the eye openers.

You’re welcome.

Spend some time learning, but don’t get stuck there. There are a lot of people interested in investing that aren’t able to move past the research stage.

Good Hunting,


While we’re on the subject, how long did you spend in the research stage before you began? (I understand that every learns at a different rate, but I’m curious)


Hello jbi

You are right - everyone does learn at a different rate - based on many factors.

I became interested in REI only three months ago. The only part of real estate I knew about was how to fix it (and I know that well). I was a contractor for twelve years. I had a lot to learn about the other aspects of REI.

I work on my “research and development” as a serious second job - putting in approximately 20-30 hours per week (7 days a week) on different aspects such as reading (books, articles, and the newspaper) interviewing and networking to develop my team of professionals, developing my marketing material and sources, and going out looking at properties. I intend to do this full time as soon as possible

If you were taking college courses to learn a new trade you would probably be putting in that same kind of time. This is the same thing - you are learning a new trade. It’s just that you are self-taught instead of following a program of studies.

I have not bought a property yet (it has only been three months after all) I have put in many offers but have not found the right deal with the profit I am looking for yet. I’m am excited but not desperate to buy my first property. I have a (somewhat) specific set of criteria as a new investor. The advice from many experts tells you to find a “niche” and get good at it (to start).

Some advice on the topic of reading:

While you are reading you will start noticing patterns and repeating information and advice. If you start hearing the same advice from different sources . . . pay attention . . . this is “common law” and if you are smart you will follow it. Have a specific goal when you are reading - know what you are looking to get from the material.

Keep your material organized so you can find it if you need to refer back to it. Let me give you an example. I read, on one of the posts, a suggestion for a specific type of fastener to use when putting up bandit signs on wooden posts that would make them harder to remove. I wasn’t ready to use that advice at the time I read it but when I was ready I knew where to find it. I write the category on the top right corner of the print out (ex. marketing, lawyers, etc.) then put it into a file folder. You aren’t going to remember most of what you read when you need it - but if you have kept organized, you will be able to locate information you need faster when you do need it.

I also want to say that you aren’t going to be able to learn real estate without spending some money. It just isn’t realistic and it will ultimately take you a lot longer to get where you want to go. Spend the money on the book instead of going out to eat one night or buying a few lottery tickets. It takes some sacrificing to change your life and put it on a different path.

Once you have purchased any type of learning material - - - - read it. It won’t do you any good just sitting around. You won’t get the material through osmosis.

On the subject of how long to take in your reasearch stage, I guess the answer is - - - as long as it takes. Just don’t use it as a crutch to keep you from moving along. Saying you haven’t learned enough to be comfortable to start can be true . . . for awhile . . . then it becomes an excuse not to start. You will hear the tern “analysis paralysis” often in your reading. It’s a real and true condition. Work on not letting this happen to you.

I’m afraid I’m a little long winded. Hope this helps.

— Debra

PP, well put. Like I mentioned, I should be recieving money to work with in about 2-3 weeks, but I’m not going to just jump the gun quite yet. I’ve read Mentor To Lunch, and although it’s a great book, including great ideas, it’s a little advanced for me at the moment. I haven’t even decided what I want to do specifically, as you said ‘Niche’ whether it’s Flipping, Wholesaleing, Short Sales etc… I guess I’ll determine that when as I learn and research.

This week, I plan on going to Barnes and Noble to look for a good book. I just don’t want to get sucked into a bad book because it has good marketing. (Go figure)

Mintee -

The most basic of all books I would recommend starting with would be author “Robert Irwin”.

He is a very prolific writer. His style is basic and very readable. I would compare it to “middle or high school” reading. I have 8 of his books that I purchased on as used books between 2.50 and 11.00 a piece. A great deal. I started with his books before I did anything else because I found the first one at the library.

Here is a list of the ones I got:

How to Find Hidden Real Estate Bargains
Tips and Traps When Buying a Home
Tips and Traps When Mortgage Hunting
Tips and Traps When Selling a Home
Power Tips for Selling a House for More
Seller Beware
Home Seller’s Checklist
Home Buyer’s Checklist

I really love William Bronchick’s material. I have all of his books. His “Flipping Properties” is great.

This should get you started without spending a great deal of money. Make sure you read the articles on this site though and download any free e-books available to you. They really have been great resources for me.

Hey Mintee,

Plum has given you some great advice. Too many people think rei is something you can get into overnight and become wealthy. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It takes education and that takes time. One could make rei a 4 year college degree and still not cover all the aspects of investing.

One piece of advice…Learn to invest like you don’t have any of your own money to use first. It will force you to find the best deals, think creatively, and keep you and your money from being seperated prematurely.

Good luck with your rei.

Mark :smiley:

That is a good idea. My arguement is… I don’t really want to be a BirdDog, but as I’ve read today in some of the “Real Estate Articles” that it’s probally the best and fastest way to learn.

I AM NOT going to become one of the researchers that never comes to the table, that would just be a waste of my time, so… Thanks again for all the advise.