There are many books on real estate investment out there, and it can be difficult to choose the right ones to start your real estate education. This review looks at one of the most recognizable entries in the genre – Real Estate Investing for Dummies. Covering the book’s strengths and weaknesses, it will help you decide whether this resource will be helpful to you.
Real Estate Investing for Dummies Overview
Real Estate Investing for Dummies is part of the … for Dummies series of books, which targets people with little previous experience in the topic. As such, it covers the full spectrum of real estate investing topics, from purchasing and financing to renovations, legal considerations, and so on. Because it addresses a beginner audience, it is very easy to read. The authors mostly avoid industry jargon and take time to define terms that may not be familiar to people outside the real estate world.
What We Learned
Real Estate Investing for Dummies is filled with lessons and advice that both new and experienced investors can find useful. Here are just some of the choice nuggets of knowledge we’ve gathered from reading this book:
- That buying a house as an investment is very different from buying a house to live in. What a good deal is can look very different when you are trying to maximize the return on your investment as opposed to getting the best house for the lowest cost.
- There are many different ways to build value. Many of us enter the real estate investment field with preconceived notions of what works and what doesn’t, which means missing a lot of great ways to maximize your property’s income. Creative advertising, refinancing, or switching between residential and commercial renting can all improve your property’s value.
- Real estate investing is a holistic enterprise. The different aspects of the business interconnect in often unexpected ways, allowing you to maximize the return on your work. Renovating a property may help in securing more and higher-paying tenants, for example, but it may also allow you to refinance it at a more favorable rate as well.
- You always have to inspect a property you’re interested in buying and make sure the records and books are all in order. According to purchase contracts, you can cancel the sale without losing money if the physical inspection is not satisfactory enough. That way, you will never be unpleasantly surprised.
- The way to make money in real estate is to buy properties that are available as foreclosures or when the market conditions are appropriate for buying, then add value to those properties, and keep those that provide you with stable growth from rental rates in the long run.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Real Estate Investing for Dummies is a great book for getting into the real estate investing business, but it has a few drawbacks as well.
What We Liked
The book is accessible and easy to read, with clear explanations for almost every aspect of investing in real estate. It covers a full range of topics, making it easy to use as a go-to reference for any questions that you have during your real estate journey. It also goes out of its way to address many misconceptions and common pitfalls that beginners make when getting started. Not the least, it is also very realistic about the real estate market. There are no secret tricks to getting rich quickly and success requires a lot of hard work.
Another thing we liked about Real Estate Investing for Dummies is that, even if it is an introductory book, it does a great job of pointing you to other resources that might help you learn more about real estate investing. Moreover, it strikes a perfect balance between technical facts and common sense examples and practicalities. Even if it is targeted at beginners, the tone of the book isn’t superior or condescending.
What Could Have Been Done Better
As all … for Dummies books, it is aimed primarily at beginners. While it can serve as a solid reference for experienced real estate investors, there is little new here. It is also relatively small-scale in its focus. Most of the advice targets part-time investors working with a few properties at a time. The information it offers is not as useful when it comes to running a real estate business. Similarly, it mostly focuses on long-term rental properties. Development, flipping, and other real estate investment strategies are generally not covered by this book.
That said, the book contains a lot of information on real estate investing, which can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming. At times, you might feel the need to re-read a section a few times in order to remember all the information.
If you are considering investing in real estate, Real Estate Investing for Dummies is a good book to pick up before you get going. It offers everything you need to get started, as well as giving you a realistic sense of what you are getting into. You are likely to eventually outgrow it, but it will still remain a very useful resource. Have you read it yet? Let us know what you thought about the book!
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