How to Get Started for the First Time Real Estate Investor

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It’s an exciting time to get into real estate, with prices at record lows and the rental market running hot. But it’s still tricky, with some markets not yet stable.


During our recent “Real Estate Tax Deductions You Can Still Take” webinar, we got a number of questions from people just getting started in real estate investing for the first time.

If you’d like to hear the webinar replay, please go to

Back in the crazy appreciation days of real estate, there wasn’t a lot of attention paid to fundamentals. There was this feeling that it didn’t matter how much you paid, someone else was going to pay more. That passive appreciation (appreciation you didn’t have to work for) was driving the market higher and higher.

Today you need the fundamentals. Learn what COCR and ROI are. You need to understand depreciation, tax breaks and business structures.

Q: What are the 5 best books in order of importance on RE (taxes, accounting, records, etc) that one should read?

If you’re new to real estate, my suggestion is that you go to CRE Online and just start reading through their forums and articles. It won’t cost you a dime and there is a lot of real-life experience to be found in those forums.


As far as reading books, I’ve got to say the next step is to start looking for properties. Dolf deRoos had the formula to look at 100 properties, Offer on 10, Hear back on 3 and buy 1. Start looking at those 100 properties and find someone to help you create a strategy for what you do when you do find a good property (including run numbers to determine what’s the best deal.)

Q: How do I start my real estate investing when I have not done one deal?

Learn the basics. You don’t have to enroll in an expensive coaching course or hire an expensive mentor. Learn from resources mentioned above and start looking at properties, calculating return and analysis on each.

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