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Field Guide to Investing in Real Estate

(Updated May 2013)

Is now the right time to be investing in real estate? Some say yes, some say no, and some say it depends. In a declining market, there are bargains, but don't look for a quick flip. If you're thinking long term, you can find some great deals. So if you're ready to take the plunge or want to be ready for brighter days ahead, find out how to get started, invest with IRAs, use real estate as a retirement tool, get information on rental homes, buying tax liens, real estate partnerships and much more in these books and articles. (D. Shumaker, Senior Library Information Specialist)

Why Invest in Real Estate?

Real estate investing attracting younger crowd (Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Apr. 25, 2013). One of the biggest challenges in today’s market is finding homes to buy.

Snapping up Real Estate (Wall Street Journal, Apr. 19, 2013). Investing directly in property can be an attractive alternative to low-yielding bonds but isn't for everyone.

Passively Investing in Real Estate is Critical for Retirement (realtor.com, Nov. 16, 2011).

Real Estate Investing: How Will it End? (Realty Times, Feb. 24, 2010).  Curveballs and unexpected complications can throw anyone’s investment plans out of whack. Plan for the future before things get out of hand.

Adding Real Estate to Your Portfolio

Roof, 4 Walls…& Income (Financial Planning, May 2013). Real estate investing is not for everyone – but for interested clients, a good planner can make all the difference. Q

How to strike it rich: Investing in real estate (Kiplinger, May 2013). Expert tips on high- and low-risk ways to cash-in on investing in real estate.

First-time real estate investment strategy (Realty Times, Oct. 30, 2012). With home ownership more tenuous now than in previous years, more and more Americans are living in rental properties, and that means investing in a rental property can be a lucrative venture.

Stress-Free Real Estate (Forbes, Nov. 16, 2011). By packaging sale-leasebacks together, triple-net lease REITs offer solid ¬income with maximum safety and minimum hassles.

What it Takes to Be a Landlord (Kiplinger, June 2011). A couple of pros share their hard-nosed approach to buying low and renting high.

Roth IRAs and Real Estate Investments (Real Estate Taxation, Fourth Quarter 2010)—The "Roth IRA" is a form of long-term, tax-free investment that may be well-suited to those who believe that real estate assets are now priced for future appreciation. Q

Options for Investing in Real Estate

More US investors spanning the globe for real estate (MSN Money, Apr. 26, 2013). U.S. investors are rediscovering their appetite for foreign real estate. Attracted by potentially higher returns, they are putting more money into overseas funds that invest in offices, malls and apartment complexes than they have in six years.

Paydirt (MoneySense, Dec. 2011/Jan. 2012). Investing in land isn't always a walk in the park. As anyone who's been tempted by swampland in Florida can tell you, for every legitimate potential investment, there are dozens of unwise gambles and outright scams. Q

REITS Beat Private Real Estate Funds: Study (Institutional Investor, Nov. 2011).Over the past 30 years, REITs outperformed private funds by an average of 487 basis points per year.  Q

The Challenge of Investing in Foreclosures (U.S. News & World Report, May 24, 2011). Bank-owned bargains have become increasingly lucrative for real estate investors, but obstacles remain.

Top Ten Things to Know When Investing in Real Estate Notes in Your IRA (Realty Times, Aug. 4, 2010)—Guidelines for lending your IRA (and non-IRA) money out secured by liens on real estate.

The Investors Guide to REITs (National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, 2011)—An introduction to investing in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).

Real Estate Investment Analysis & Tools

A list of investment analysis software (The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University)—Looking for the right software to help with your analysis? Texas A&M's Real Estate Center has compiled an extensive list of available programs.

Investing in Real Estate (The Practical Accountant, Apr. 2006). Q

The Investment Value of Home Ownership (Journal of Financial Service Professionals, Jan. 2006)—This article presents an overview of some of the tax savings opportunities available to homeowners and analyzes the investment value of home ownership. Q

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks (among many others—search 'investing' and you will find over 80 titles) are available to NAR members:

40 Days to Success in Real Estate Investing (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

The ABC's of Real Estate Investing (Overdrive Audiobook)

After the Fall, (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

All About Investing (Adobe eReader)

All About Real Estate Investing (Adobe eReader)

The All-New Real Estate Foreclosure, Short-Selling, Underwater, Property Auction, Positive Cash Flow Book (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

The Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing (Adobe eReader)

Buy, Rent, and Sell: How to Profit by Investing in Residential Real Estate (Adobe eReader)

The Complete Guide to Real Estate Finance for Investment Properties (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

The CompleteLandlord.com Ultimate Real Estate Investing Handbook (Adobe eReader)

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Real Estate Investing Basics (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

The Everything Real Estate Investing Book (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Getting Started in Real Estate Investing (Adobe eReader)

How a Second Home Can Be Your Best Investment (Adobe eReader)

The Insider's Guide to Tax-Free Real Estate Investments (Adobe eReader)

Insider Secrets to Financing Your Real Estate Investments (Adobe eReader)

Investing in Real Estate (Adobe EPUB)

Make Money in Short-Sale Foreclosures (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Real Estate Investing for Dummies® (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Real Estate Investing for the Utterly Confused (Adobe eReader)

Trump University Real Estate 101: Building Wealth with Real Estate Investments (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

The Wall Street Journal Complete Real-Estate Investing Guidebook (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Central. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Central at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Commercial real estate investing: a creative guide to successfully making money (Chicago: John Wiley & Sons, 2008). HG 4521 D34

Trump University real estate 101: building wealth with real estate investments (Chicago: John Wiley & Sons, 2006). HG 4521 El2t

Commercial real estate investing: 12 easy steps to getting started (Chicago: John Wiley & Sons, 2005). HG 4521 C91c

Real Estate Investing Made Simple: A Commonsense Approach to Building Wealth (New York: American Management Association, 2005). HG 4521 C23

Successful real estate investing (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing, 2004). HG 4521 Sh3s

Goldmining in foreclosed properties (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2003). HG 4521 Ac4

Investing in real estate (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2003). HG 4521 M22i

Investment analysis for real estate decisions (Chicago: Dearborn Financial, 2003). HG 4521 G81 Ed. 5

IRA wealth: revolutionary IRA strategies for real estate investment (Garden City, NY: Square One Publishers, 2003). HG 4521 R36

Real estate investing from A to Z (New York: McGraw Hill, 2003). HG 4521 P68

Real estate investment trusts: Structure, performance, and investment opportunities (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003). HG 5095 C48

Real estate investor's deskbook (Boston: West Group, 2002). HG 4521 Ar6re Ed. 3

Essentials of real estate investment (Chicago: Real Estate Education Company, 2001). HG 4521 Si7 Ed. 6

Real wealth by investing in real estate (Paramus, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2001). HG 4521 R59

Rental houses for the successful small investor (Boulder, CO: Gemstone House Publishing, 1999). HD 1394 T36

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to 1031 Exchanges

Field Guide to REALTOR® Income

Field Guide to Vacation Homes

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