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best free real estate books pdf
Books, Real Estate,

The best free Real Estate Investing books (update)

As I promised before, this blog will talk more about Real Estate investing than any other type of investment. This post brings you free real estate books that you can download and read right away. These free real estate investing books are the best real estate books I personally know for free. If you have suggestions of more free real estate books or real estate investing books that one can download in PDF or to the Kindle app, please send me an e-mail with them. Note that the real estate books I report on this page may at some point become paid books, so always check if the final price is $0. Even if they are not, I will keep them here, because there is always the chance of them becoming free again. I will update this page as time often, with more books. Last update: April 14th, 2017

As a real estate investor, I understand that some basic questions for experienced landlords may be a true hustle for beginners in real estate investing. For example, when I bought my very first home, I didn’t know where I could dump a couch or where to get rid of an old mattress. Fortunately, I read a free book explaining where to haul stuff, from couches to mattresses. This may sound like real basic knowledge to you, but believe me, it can be a pain in the ass if it is the first time you do that.

The good news is that there is a ton of free information and real estate books online these days, so there is no need to be scammed anymore. Plus, most real estate books focus on the underlying principles of Real Estate Investing, so you can learn from them regardless where you invest. I have compiled great FREE real estate investing books. You may need a Kindle app to read them, which you can download from here. You can also download these books in PDF and read them on your reader. With the Kindle app, you can read books on your desktop or smartphone.

While my own book also revolves around Real Estate, it is not free. I decided to compile these real estate books and real estate investing books so you can start learning for free. Download the PDFs and start learning!

In the following, I compile a few FREE amazon real estate books and real estate investing books you should get your hands on…

 

  • free real estate book cover 1How to be a Real Estate Investor, by Phil Pustejovsky (Affiliate link). Phil was really one of inspiration sources when I started to invest in Real Estate. I probably watched every single video on his Youtube channel. You can check him out here. In this book, Phil provides a general overview of real estate investing, and excellent guidelines to start investing in Real Estate. It also covers the pros and cons of real estate investing, according to Phil’s personal experience. This book costs $9.97 on Amazon (as of March 2017), but Phil is giving it away for free through a website of his, Freedom Mentor. Just request your copy on this web page.

    free real estate book cover 2

  • Hip Hop 2 Homeowners, by Jay Morrison (Affiliate link). Jay is another of my references when it comes to Real Estate Investing. In this book, Jay reports a fantastic journey, from a criminal career to a Real Estate mogul. He also comments on fixing credit and legal ways to increase your credit score super fast. Throughout the book, Jay reports on his rise, fall and rebirth into the expert he became. His book sells for $12.95 on Amazon (as of March 2017) but Jay is or has offered his book for free from his website. Jay Morrison also has a (very inspiring) YouTube channel, which I also recommend for anyone interested in pursuing a career in real estate.

  • The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing, by Joshua Dorkin and Brandon Turnerfree real estate book cover 3 from BiggerPockets (Affiliate link). This book provides a few rules of thumb to follow when investing in Real Estate. Although it is a pitch for you to get on the Bigger Pockets forum – in my opinion the best forum on REI out there – it does a great job of introducing you to REI. It touches on several different topics of REI, although it is based on high level (not in-depth) topics. There are a lot of references to BiggerPockets, the authors’ site, which complement the information provided by the book. For me, it was too focused on single family homes, as I like to invest in multi-units, which is the core of my real estate investment strategy.

    free real estate book cover 4

  • Realty Riches for Cowards (Affiliate link). I like this book because it offers a very concise way to start investing in real estate. Ryan Scott actually comes from a very poor upbringing and supported his college costs by investing and managing real estate. Ryan has over fifty years of experience in owning and managing real estate, so this book can be great for you if you follow this very same route. He walks you through the entire process, from selecting the area to invest in and manage the property. This is all presented under a philosophy of investing and making money with real estate.

  • free real estate book cover 5Instant Experience For Real Estate Agents (Affiliate link). I chose this book because of two reasons. First, it is one of the longest books you can find for free (since it has over 70k words!). Secondly, it has more to do with Real Estate agents, which are, in my view, actually a crucial part of Real Estate investing; you gotta be good friends with agents to get good deals, that’s my experience. I learned a lot from the great lessons and the true stories of this book, which I immediately used to my favor to close deals.

 



  • Real Estate Investing: How to Find Cash Buyers and Motivated Sellersfree book find cash buyers and motivated sellers (Affiliate link).
    Speaking of how to find motivated sellers, there you go: a book on that. It also does a good job defining ideal cash buyers, which may be good if you’re looking to flip and sell. I also liked the fact that it goes over the section 8 landlord topic and goes heavy into marketing, which I liked a lot. It is not a book for experienced in investors, in my opinion, but I must say that I learned a lot of different buying and selling scenarios that I didn’t know prior to reading this book.


  • No BS Real Estate Investing, by Preston Ely (Affiliate link). This book revolves around how to wholesale, as the author explains the methods he uses himself to wholesale. I like books that go through strategies that the author uses himself, like this one. As these are a little but unconventional approaches, in my option, it is certainly read also because of that.

  • free real estate book simple secrets happy investor50 Simple Secrets To Be A Happy Real Estate Investor, by John Fedro (Affiliate
    link). Very digestible book that is valuable for any person who wants to start investing in Real Estate. I would call this a mindset book, because it teaches more about how to fame your mind that actually the technical details of real estate investing. I think that Fedro has done a nice wrap up, in the sense that you can thumb through the book and still get the main points and ideas. Took me less than an hour to read this one.

  • The Ultimate Real Estate Investing Blueprint: How to Quit Your Job in 19 Weeks or Less, by eBookIt (Affiliate link).quit your job Short read on the “Blueprint” to REI, as defined by the author. While certainly enough for you to get started with REI, it is another book that you should read, given that it is free. There are a few terms that you should be used to, so I won’t recommend this to be your first REI book, but rather one of the latest free books you read. It does a great job explaining how one can connect and profit from connecting buyers and sellers together. You should expect to learn a few methods including investing in real estate with no money down. I won’t say it is a great book, but if you’re looking for free options you may indeed learn something from it, and therefore it is worth a try.

  • Real Estate Investing Made Easy by Brian Haskins (Affiliate link). real estate investing made easy free bookThis book is a great read for people looking to start wholesaling on the side. It does a good job providing info on wholesaling as general tips to become a better investor. I have followed Brian’s podcasts and I’ve learned a great deal from them, so I decided to read the book. I think that there are many interesting actionable tips for everyone trying to start in REI.

 

I am a classic, aggressive buy and hold real estate investor. To this day, I have read about a myriad of strategies of and information about real estate investing. I understand that, for the majority of people out there, it is very difficult to get started. In my opinion, if you are serious about investing in Real Estate, your best option is to read a lot. Just read as much as you can about investing in real estate. My absolute first recommendation is free real estate books and real estate investing books.

When I started with real estate investing (REI), I felt for some “guru courses” which cost me a lot of money and didn’t really helped me much. What I think its important is to understand the principles behind real estate and real estate investing, other than the specifics of a given market. I invest in Portugal, and having learned the specifics of mortgages and taxes didn’t really help me much when investing in Portugal. Real estate investing books can be great for you to read regardless where you invest, but be cautious to filter out the information depending where and how you invest.

Let me know what you think of these real estate books if you ever read them. I am also eager to know more free real estate books and real estate investing books, to add to this list (other than these, which I already know), or other types of investing. If you shoot me a message with such books (please let me know, for any books you send, whether they are available for free in PDF), I can publish new lists just like this one. In fact, I am looking for free books on stock investing right now. You may also want to check out the section of paid books, which I remodeled this month, and my own book, which I published this month.

 

how to evaluate a rental property
Real Estate,

How to evaluate an investment rental property with the (simple) 7 year rule

Looking for rental properties can be a very stressful and frustrating thing, especially when investors try to evaluate a rental property. Most investors I know, tend to over-complicate or look for the unicorn that never happens. Most successful RE investors look at rental properties in a very simple way and look for very simple attributes. I have also learned to do that, and I consider that it was the key to finding great deals.

evaluate a rental property how to evaluate a rental property

Before you proceed, let me tell you that you can have very different strategies in real estate investing. In my opinion, the most determining factors for choosing the most appropriate methods for evaluating a rental property include:

  • The bank lending you money to buy vs buying and renovating a property;
  • Aiming at a cash flow vs an appreciation portfolio;

In the following, I will tell you how I evaluate a rental property. I assume I can only borrow money to buy a property (and not renovate). In addition, I assume I am looking for high cash flow deals (and discard appreciation all along).

The main numbers to evaluate a rental property – it’s actually simple math!

I’ve seen lots of investors doing crazy when it came to evaluating a rental property. I actually read someone’s comment on MMM forum which referred to a book called “how to evaluate real estate investments”. This guy spent hours and hours reading a book that supposedly helps to evaluate a rental property. I was shocked… I’ve got 10 units with awesome ROIs and I’ve never spent any money reading books on evaluating real properties…

My general thumb rule is: if you’re spending more than 5 minutes determining whether a rental property is a good deal, you’re doing it wrong. I personally look at two or three numbers and that is it. Below you will find my entire rationale when assessing a deal.

Really important stuff you can’t drop the ball on

In my opinion, the most important things when evaluating a rental property include: 1) knowing exactly all the expenses that the previous owner had with the property, 2) knowing exactly how much money you’ll spend, should you need to renovate it, and add 15% to that just in case and 3) knowing that the current rents are not overvalued.

Where I spent my time when I want to evaluate a rental property

First things first. If I am to buy a property, I first try to find a few properties (say 3-5) that look interesting before going further.

Assuming I already found 5 properties that look like good deals, I move on to the next phase and ask a few questions:

  1. Is the current owner a motivated seller? (I need to be truthful with you – you won’t know this every time)
  2. How much money would I have to spend to build this property, and how does it compare to the listing price?
  3. Assuming there are already some tenants, would they stay if raised the rent by 10%? Do they have any personal relationship with the current owner?
  4. Assuming there are no tenants, at what price point (in terms of rent) would I need to go to rent the unit in 1 day?
  5. Because of hidden costs, the renovation of the property will be 50% higher than the quote I’ve got. Is it still a good deal?

OK, now, let us start filtering the properties

  1. I only work with very motivated sellers. If the properties are on the market for less than 6 months, I won’t even inquire the real estate agent.
  2. I only look at properties that would cost me about 5-10 times more to build than the listing price. This is why I look at multi-unit properties. Single unit properties almost never follow this.
  3. I would try everything to get to talk to the current tenants – you need to check whether this is legal in your country and you definitely need the approval of the current owner and the real estate agent. Do not do try to talk to the tenants without letting them know!
  4. I would go to a different real estate company, say that I may have that property in the next months and ask for an honest opinion regarding how much the property could rent for!
  5. I always get two to three quotes on the renovation of the property.

OK, now I am down to 1 or 2 properties. It’s negotiation time…

But wait… what defines a good deal?

This makes me get back to the original question of whether you are aiming at finding a cash flow or an appreciation property. I follow a free cash flow investment model, so I always look at cash flow deals. That is what the following rules pertain to.

It must be paid in up to 7 years

As a cash flow guy, I look forward to getting my capital back as soon as possible, and that is what I think of when investing. How much time will it take for me to get my capital back?

The math is actually quite simple. I (under) estimate the gross monthly income of the property. If 4 or fewer years of similar income pay off the property, I assume it is a good deal. The rest of the time (until 7 years) would pay for property expenses and taxes.

The beauty of this rule is that I use it regardless I borrow money from the bank (in which case I ignore the interest and assume the initial cost and the full price) or not. Of course that, in the case you borrow money, if you buy a property for 100k and 7 * 12 * rental income = 100k, you won’t have it paid in 7 years because you gotta pay interest. However, the rule will still indicate you whether the deal is a good one!

Let us look at my real estate properties and apply the same rationale:

RP#1: Bought all cash, from a very motivated seller. I knew I would never be able to get my investment back in 7 years with this property, but this investment was a slightly different one. Being a 1-unit property, I knew it was very liquid. I bought it so much underprice that my initial idea was to flip it, sell it off and move onto the next property. I ended up renting it out. As tenants are leaving this property next month, I may sell it for a nice profit and acquire another multi-unit.

RP#2: Borrowed money. Paid €41000 (closing costs included) to buy it. Currently, the gross yearly rent income is €6060. It passes the 7-year rule.

RP#3: Borrowed money. Paid €36500 (closing costs included) and spent about €30000 renovating it. Currently, the gross yearly rent income is €5700 but I project it to be €11200 without renovating it further (as I have free units which I will rent out in the next months). It passes well the 7-year rule and in fact is better than 6 years.

Summary

I keep things when evaluating rental properties and real estate investments. Of course that you can even take expensive courses that explain how to evaluate a rental property, but in my opinion, the math should stay simple.

I use the 7-year rule, regardless I borrow money to buy the property or not. This rule basically means that a good deal generates the full paid price in 7 years or less. It has worked very well for me since I started to using it and it definitely keeps things simple and efficient. Focus your time on other things that matter, such as finding motivated sellers (who will sell off their properties at huge discounts) and determining whether the current rents are sustainable. Have a few contractors look at the property and tell you whether there is something you missed. Keep the math simple.

Happy hunting!

Real Estate,

The best Real Estate investments in Portugal

I am often asked what are the best Real Estate investments in Portugal (and my markets in particular), and how exactly I can reach almost 20% net ROI. This post will give you a good idea of what I do.

The most important question, for me, is buying multi unit properties. In Portugal, there are plenty of them. Let me show you an example:

algarve real estate portugal real estate

(retrieved from Google Maps)

Real Estate,

Most important Real Estate lessons

real estate lessons tricks and tips what makes a good realtor

Having invested heavily into Real Estate in the past 2 years, I have learned a few lessons which I would like to share with you. Of course that in this article, I will be talking primarily about real estate in Portugal. Note that the lessons I will be sharing apply to the the Portuguese market only. You may think “Algarve Portugal real estate”, because that is very sexy and trendy, but I will actually be talking about real estate in Portugal as a whole. Note that the markets in Algarve and Lisbon are especially regulated, given that the majority of the leases are short-term leases.

Real Estate,

Real Estate: Are you leveraging right?

leverage leveraging real estate bank OPM interest rates

Hey guys,

The concept of leveraging is very well known among investors; We prefer to use Other People’s Money (OPM) rather than our own money. The idea is simple: we can use our money to make more money and we use OPM to make more money too; the gains on our own money must be higher than the interest we pay on OPM.

Daily life, Planning, Real Estate,

A big mistake: the danger of underestimating…

danger underestimating mistake money miscalculation misestimate

Holding a PhD on Applied Mathematics, being type A personality and a little OCD, I typically estimate things very accurately and thoroughly (sometimes too much!). Turns out that I messed up big this time.

I am very proud of RP#3 – it will generate a 50% Cash on Cash return and I will add 6 units to my portfolio. This would not be very surprising if we weren’t talking about a <50k property…

When I bought it, I knew right away that I would have to spend serious dollars towards renovating it. However, I did underestimate what I was going to spend…

Real Estate,

#RP3 started!

My dear dudes,

new rental property

How it will look inside, soon…

I am sorry this heads up took a while more… I’ve been busy… if you follow my blog you’re aware that I bought rental property 3 (RP#3) and I was waiting for the official purchase to be confirmed, as the process when back and forth a few times. Well, I finally transferred it into my name. 🙂 This is sort of a game changer, so I need to explain this deal in detail.

This is a 6-unit rental property (yes I more than doubled my unit count)! Although extremely cheap, I will have to throw a LOT of dollars into it. I payed about €33k for it and I will have to throw another about $15k so it is ready to rent out. Total, I expect to invest about €48k in the purchase, renovation and furniture.

My contractor hasn’t picked up a hammer yet, and I’ve already thrown over €5k into it, distributed among requests to federal and local taxes and bank fees. 🙁

Either way, I added another 6 units to my portfolio and I am finally at 10 units! Shit, the dream is happening… with this rental property, I now have 10 units! I will probably be the landlord of about 25 people, assuming an average of 2,5 people per unit. And you know what? I like this game so much I just submitted another offer (more to come later on…).