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The Best Books on Rental Property Investing


Aug 06, 2020 by Aly J. Yale

Rental property investing can be lucrative. According to our recent research, rental investors can make up to $121,000 per year if they play their cards right. Of course, these earnings aren't a given. Rental property investing takes a lot of work -- not to mention skill -- if you want to see success.

Are you thinking about getting in on the rental investing game? Want to make sure you're poised for financial success? These books on rental property investing can help.

Build a Rental Property Empire: The No-nonsense Book on Finding Deals, Financing the Right Way, and Managing Wisely by Mark Ferguson

Written by long-term investor and real estate agent Mark Ferguson, Build a Rental Property Empire is a practical guidebook for beginning investors. With advice on finding, managing, and financing rentals, it covers just about every inch of the investment process. One Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) reviewer noted its "very conversational tone and very, very useful information," so if you want to avoid confusing jargon, this real estate investing book might be your answer.

Investing in Rental Properties for Beginners: Buy Low, Rent High by Lisa Phillips

Lisa Phillips is all about buying low -- like really, really low -- and renting high. In Investing in Rental Properties for Beginners, Phillips focuses on sub-$30,000 properties, walking readers through finding, buying, and ultimately making a profit off these low-cost homes. She even shares tips picked up as an active real estate investor -- things like avoiding bad contractors, buying properties out of state, and market analysis. "Her techniques, including one she calls CPR, are lifesaving," one reviewer wrote. "Some of this stuff may seem like common sense... but some of it is so brilliant that I am kind of in awe."

The Book on Managing Rental Properties: A Proven System for Finding, Screening, and Managing Tenants With Fewer Headaches and Maximum Profit by Brandon and Heather Turner

This one focuses on actually managing your rental property investment once you have it. Written by husband-and-wife team Brandon and Heather Turner, it delves into life as a landlord. You'll learn about finding great tenants, creating an iron-clad lease, bookkeeping, and more. The book currently has 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon, so it's clearly a good one.

Every Landlord's Tax Deduction Guide by Stephen Fishman

Want to reduce those tax liabilities once you've found that investment property? This book can help. Penned by tax attorney Stephen Fishman, it reveals various credits, deductions, and write-offs you might qualify for in your rental business. There are also tips on filing your returns, calculating depreciation, record keeping, and a whole lot more.

Multi-family Millions: How Anyone Can Reposition Apartments for Big Profits by David Lindahl

If a multifamily property is on your radar, then pick up this one, written by David Lindahl, a longtime real estate investor and founder of RE Mentor. The tome offers tips on finding high-potential multifamily properties, renovating them, and turning them into massive profits. You'll also learn about common mistakes, how to finance rentals, and more. One reviewer dubbed it his "favorite book on multi-family."

Every Landlord's Guide to Managing Property: Best Practices, From Move-in to Move-out by Michael Boyer

If you're just starting your rental journey (or still have that day job), then this one's for you. It breaks down every inch of the rental management process, from marketing and maintaining your property down to expense tracking, dealing with problem tenants, and working with contractors. Consider it an encyclopedia for those just starting out.

Buy It, Rent It, Profit! Make Money As a Landlord in Any Real Estate Market by Bryan Chavis

Written by Bryan Chavis, experienced investor and founder of the Landlord Property Management Academy, this one "demystifies the process of evaluating, acquiring, and managing rental property." Designed specifically for those interested in multifamily investing, it'll teach you about finding the right property, working with tenants, managing your business, and more. There are even lease templates and other documents included in the book.

The Book on Rental Property Investing: How to Create Wealth With Intelligent Buy and Hold Real Estate Investing by Brandon Turner

Another by successful investor Brandon Turner, The Book on Rental Property Investing offers deal-making tips, financing and tax guidance, and even property maintenance advice. A reviewer on Amazon dubbed the tome "great for new investors willing to really learn." Another said, "This is the real estate book you are looking for. It isn't some get rich quick scam. It isn't some 'I will reveal the secret on the next page' book. It isn't a self-help book. It is a how-to book."

The Real Estate Game: The Intelligent Guide to Decisionmaking and Investment by William Poorvu

This one's a bit different than the others on the list. Instead of detailing specific strategies or tips, Harvard professor William Poorvu's book goes into real estate success as a whole -- "how variables come together to influence the shape and outcome of a real estate deal." Armed with Poorvu's guidance, investors can better analyze a transaction's potential as well as guide their careers toward greater success. If you're unclear on your current investment strategy, this is the one to read.

Every Landlord's Legal Guide by Marcia Stewart

Make sure your rental business is in full legal compliance with this guidebook. It covers tips for screening tenants (without facing potential discrimination charges), preparing a solid lease, dealing with bad renters, and just all in all minimizing liability. There's even a chart that breaks down state-by-state laws you'll need to abide by as well as more than 30 forms you can customize and implement.

Landlording on Autopilot: A Simple, No-brainer System for Higher Profits and Fewer Headaches by Mike Butler

Worried that landlording is going to be a hassle? Pick up this light reading material. In it, detective turned successful real estate investor Mike Butler shares his secrets to managing 75 rental properties solo -- all while working full time for the Louisville Police Department. The book includes a number of customizable forms as well as details on Butler's foolproof "autopilot" system he still uses to this day.

The bottom line

Whether you're just getting started as a rental property investor or you want to up your game a bit, the right real estate investment book can help. Want more guidance? Check out this exhaustive guide to learning more about real estate. If you're thinking about flipping houses, try these books, and if commercial real estate investing is on your radar, these resources can help, too.

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John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Aly Yale has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon and recommends the following options: long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon and short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.