A recommended beach read for landlords

A recommended beach read for landlords
book cover, Kiyosaki The Real Book of Real Estate

Attention all you mom and pop landlords: if you can actually make it to the beach this summer in between the clogged toilets and ambushing tenants to collect late rents, why not check out this great “bible” of a real estate book?

This past week I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Robert Kiyosaki’s The Real Book of Real Estate: Real Experts. Real Stories. Real Life.” Real estate guru Kiyosaki brings together over twenty professionals who specialize in various aspects of real estate to talk about their experiences and offer valuable advice including attorneys, accountants, land developers, etc.  Written in 2009, this book is old enough to qualify as a classic but too new to be dated.

Understand that when I say “landlord,” I use it interchangeably with “investor.”  For me the term “landlord” has three definitions:

  • a person who gets stuck with an extra piece of property through a reluctant inheritance,
  • a person who gets stuck in a loveless marriage to their own personal home because they can’t sell it,  or
  • a person who voluntarily buys a rental property and plans to buy more and more once they get the hang of it.


I would wager that a majority of owners fall into that last category.  If a landlord is not pulling their hair out and cursing the day they signed on the dotted line at the closing table, it’s likely that they occasionally entertain the thought of, shall we say, expanding their portfolio.  Some of us might experience both feelings in the same day.

When I first started this book I almost put it down because my knee-jerk reaction was that it was too advanced for me.  I thought it was geared toward land developers and other people with fancy titles.  It just felt like applying some of the concepts was only for investors who were in the big leagues.  Things like hiring a lawyer to review a contract before you sign it (I’m a DIY-er. I can review that legally binding contract myself and save a couple of dollars).  And attempting to get a piece of land re-zoned to increase its value (yes, I could get this residential corner lot near a busy intersection re-zoned for retail use and double its value–but who needs all that paperwork??).

But I found the writing to be clear and easy to understand.  It has good anecdotes and examples.  And it’s engaging.  Then I thought about it: “Don’t I want to be in the big leagues???  Well, I guess it’s about time I start to develop and sharpen my thinking.

I’m so glad I stuck with it because it offers golden nugget advice to ALL real estate investors from newbies to vets. One of the best parts so far is where it gives solid, logical examples of how cutting corners on getting quality legal advice BEFORE you get involved in a deal can be one of the worst mistakes you can make.

There’s a cool story about how a developer took a soil sample from a piece of land he wanted to buy and build on.  The location and all of the terms and conditions were great, except the soil sample tested positive for oil.  This would indicate a costly cleanup and possibly kill the whole project.  Instead of blindly deferring to science, a careful common sense inspection of the site revealed that one of the construction vehicles had an oil leak and was tainting the soil sample.  Oh yeah–this book is a real page turner!! (jokes aside, I do like it)

This book is divided into easily digestible chapters on a variety of subjects so you can even read it on the go.  Check out these reviews: Goodreads, Amazon (#1) and Amazon (#2).  If you want to take your level of expertise to the next level, give a look or listen and let me know what you think.


This is the second week of my four-week blogging challenge .  I’m enjoying this process to get back into a blogging routine.  As they say, progress builds momentum.   Thank you to everyone for your encouragement.

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