If you have some extra cash (or don’t) and have started thinking about investing in real estate, you must do a lot of research before you decide that real estate investing is the right thing for you. To help you in this process, below we offer you a list of the best real estate investing resources without which no real estate investor can succeed.
Maybe in the world of high tech, this one comes as a surprise, but books remain one of the must-use real estate investing resources. Hundreds and hundreds of books have been written on all imaginable topics related to rental properties by various experts (and non-experts). Depending on which aspect of real estate investing you are interested in, you will need a different book. Still, here are a few books highly recommended by many real estate experts:
- The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down by Brandon Turner: This book is particularly important for beginners who haven’t accumulated much financial resources yet.
- Landlording on Autopilot by Mike Butler: Real estate investing resources like this one are excellent for anyone – a beginner or not – as the book provides a lot of general principles and strategies, property and business management ideas, and discussions on legal issues and contracts.
- Every Landlord’s Legal Guide by Marcia Stewart, Ralph Warner, and Janet Portman: This book is a comprehensive guide to property management with focus on legal issues.
Of course, there are many, many more books worth your time and effort. Don’t forget – you can never read too much about real estate investing.
Naturally, another of the must-have real estate investing resources is real estate websites. Even though mobile apps keep going up in popularity, websites remain a trustworthy source of general real estate knowledge as well as of data on specific properties. There are so many ways in which you can use websites as a real estate investing resource:
- General Knowledge: If you are looking for any sort of knowledge on real estate or you need to check up a term, Investopedia is the world’s leading source of financial – including real estate investing – content on the web.
- Listings: Websites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor have millions of property listings which you can search through from the comfort of your home or office. Visiting such websites will provide you with invaluable information about properties which would otherwise take months to accumulate. In addition, Zillow, for example, offers visuals of neighboring properties and statistics on them, which gives you a full picture of what property values are in your target areas.
- Assessors: Other websites such as Vision Government Solutions and Patriot Properties are excellent real estate investing resources for evaluating the condition of a particular property, the taxes that you can expect to pay on it, and the prices for which comparable properties in the area have been sold.
- Legal Forms: Nolo is an amazing resource for online legal forms including leases and rental applications as well as a wealth of legal articles.
- Credit Checks: If you want to run a credit check on your possible tenant, you can use Landlord Station, which will allow you to check the check (and even criminal) history of anyone without their Social Security number.
Related: 8 Things That Make a Good Tenant
- Trends and Design: If you are looking for sources of inspiration when remodeling or fixing up your rental property, you should turn to Houzz, which hosts llions of photos with design ideas, lists of local home professionals, and even the possibility to shop products from their curated collection.
Related: 6 Rental Renovation Tips to Know Before Spending Any Money
- Predictive Analytics: Last but not least in our list of websites among the must-use real estate investing resources is Mashvisor for its rental property analytics, which include analysis of future outcomes and trends based on historical data. Investors are able to obtain many analytics divided by traditional renting and Airbnb.
These are the most important websites which any real estate investor should keep in mind, but there are hundreds more that you could check out.
3. Mobile Apps
When talking about must-use real estate investing resources, we simply cannot skip mobile apps. Not only because we have to be up to date with the world of technology but simply because they can be really useful. Mobile application real estate investing resources give you the extra benefit that you can easily use them on the go. And if you want to be making good investments, you have to spend a lot of time outside looking for good properties and finding the right people.
- Zillow mobile app is very similar to the Zillow website but gives you the freedom of being able to use it on your smartphone to pull up an enormous amount of real estate data anywhere anytime.
- Trulia mobile app, similar to Zillow app, is a mobile extension of the original website. It offers numerous properties for sale.
- LoopNet mobile app is based on the LoopNet website. However, the website only gives you a restricted number of listings, while you have to pay for premium membership to obtain access to all listings. To the contrary, the mobile app gives you automatic access to all available listings, including many which are not listed for free on the Internet. It is very useful for finding commercial properties available in any area.
- Homesnap is another favorite mobile app which was originally built for real estate agents but has gained lots of popularity among real estate investors too. You can just take a picture of any property, and the app will provide you with the sale price or the current value estimate.
- Property Evaluator is one of the greatest real estate investing resources for financials. Just put in the property info including the address, price, expected rent, expenses, etc., and the app will calculate any imaginable metric that you might need or require.
- Property Fixer is another example of the most beneficial real estate investing resources, specifically targeted at flippers. You input the address, photo, size of the property, expenses, improvement expenses, etc., and it provides you with your profit margin and return on investment.
Regardless of how many books on real estate investing you read, how many websites you visit, and how many apps you download, talking to other people in the field remains one of the most – if not the single most – important real estate investing resources. You can learn from other investors and experts everything you can read in a book or on a website. However, actually meeting those people in person and chatting with them gives you the extra benefit of making connections and building potential partnerships. So, don’t get too focused on reading and calculating; leave yourself plenty of time to network.
Related: How to Start Learning About Real Estate Investing