Getting Started Investing In Real Estate – Part 1: Gaining Free Education

by Brandon · 10 comments

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Investing in Real Estate at a young age requires a different approach, style, and skillset than investing at an older age. However, the principles behind sound investing do not change whether you are twenty or eighty.  This article is part one of a four part series on how to begin investing in real estate at a young age. If you only read one article – let it be this one.

My brother recently received his tax rebate check of over $1000 and asked me, “I want to invest this money – how should I start?”.

He expected me to tell him the secret to buying a house with a minimal down payment or a hot new tip on investing in gold (which I am adamantly opposed to, but that is topic for another post). Instead, I told him to use that $1000 to gain education.  No, I don’t mean college or a cheesy seminar with a so-called “guru”.  In fact, I suggested he use his money to take a week off work and spend a week at the beach reading books.

Education is the first step to any investment dream and congratulations, by reading this blog you have already taken that first step.

There are numerous ways to learn how to invest, most which are free.  The technique you use to learn greatly depends on your learning style.  The following is a list of just a few. I encourage you to check out as many as you can to determine your favorite way to learn.

  • Books – This learning method goes without saying, but I would like to emphasize the power of public libraries in gaining free education.  This technique resonates most with my personal learning style. During the first year after I decided to get into real estate investing at twenty-one years old, I checked out every book in my library’s regional collection dealing with real estate investing – well over a hundred – and read each one cover to cover.
  • Blogs – These are an amazing source of information, written by people living in the trenches of real estate. Websites such as offer hundreds and hundreds of articles, forums, and blog posts teaching every conceivable aspect of real estate investing.
  • Mentors – If I were to go back and start over, I would have started earlier with this technique. People love to share what they know, and seasoned real estate investors are no difference.  Get to know who the major players in your town (ask any real estate agent or join your local real estate investment club) and offer to take them to coffee. It is amazing the number of pitfalls and regrets you will avoid by simply learning from those who have been there. In addition – these contacts you make will help you in more ways than one in developing you into a world class investor.
  • Podcasts – A recent innovation in the real estate investor world, there have been a number of great Podcasts that have emerged in the last few years. My current favorite is the Real Estate Guys Radio show. If you have an iPod or Iphone, you can listen to over a HUNDRED hour long shows covering a wide variety of real estate topics whenever you want – for free.

What are your favorite inexpensive or free ways to learn?

Leave me a comment below and then click here to read part two of “Getting Started Investing In Real Estate.”

About Brandon

has written 199 Awesome posts in this blog.

Brandon Turner (G+) is the Senior Editor and Community Director and owner of He is also an Active Real Estate Investor (Flips, Apartments, and Buy-and-Hold), Entrepreneur, World Traveler, Third-Person Speaker, and Husband. Come hang out with him on Twitter!

P.S. looking for hard money loans in California? Be sure to check out my friends over at They have very competitive rates, can fund within a week and specialize in fix and flip loans and other hard money loans.

P.S. Looking for more real estate investing knowledge? If you are interested in a top-notch course to help you understand the nuts and bolts of creative real estate investing, I would like to recommend Ben Leybovich's Cash Flow Freedom University. Ben is a close friend and has been my trusted adviser for years. He's a smart guy and CFFU is pretty awesome. The course is waitlisted, but while you wait for an opening Ben will send you tons of FREE content. Seriously. Click here to check it out.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Pat Tompkins October 4, 2012 at 9:17 pm

You forgot to list one resource under “Blogs”…this one!!! I’m also a huge fan of podcasts and thanks to your advice, I’m hunting for a mentor as I type this. Keep up the awesome work!


Brandon October 4, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Hey Thanks Pat! I appreciate it a ton! Let me know how it goes! Email me anytime! (there are a lot of jerks out there… be careful!) 🙂


Seth November 25, 2012 at 8:35 pm

Hey Brandon, great post – I couldn’t agree more. Education really is a HUGE asset in the world of real estate investing. It seems like it’s gotten more difficult to decipher the wheat from the chaff these days (seems like there are dozens of new “gurus” springing up every day), but there is no substitute for learning the basics before getting started.


Brandon November 25, 2012 at 11:20 pm

Thanks Seth! I agree, education is huge and finding the right info can be tough. I hope I can help a little in that space 🙂


Steve McPherson December 5, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Hi Brandon, with all the information out there that I have read on Real Estate Investing
this site seems to be the most truthful about what to expect, I’ve been trying to break out into investing for a couple of years now and still haven’t got anywhere with it, I will not give up though I am determined to make it in the game. to quote you ” I don’t like jobs, bosses, careers, or depending entirely on a business I can’t control to tell me how I should run my life.” this is so me, that’s exactly how I feel, could you give me some clues on what makes up a good mentor, there seems to be a ton of so called mentors out there that want to charge an arm and a leg just to teach you how to get started, I know I know this is suppose to be a comment not a book lol
Thanks for your time and information


Brandon December 5, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Hey Steve –

Thanks! I try to be as honest as possible and as helpful as I can be. I am pretty anti-guru when it comes to paying for mentors. I’m sure it works great – and for some people that’s what they need. The best mentor, however, is not the guru at the conference – it’s the guy who’s doing exactly what you want to do – four houses away. Those are the guys to connect with. Real investors who are doing it everyday.

As you may have heard – I’m now the Community Manager over at BiggerPockets -which means I get to start writing over there instead and hanging out on the forums. If you haven’t been to BiggerPockets – I highly recommend checking it out. It’s a community of over 100,000 real estate investors who exist to help each other, learn, and teach. It’s great (and I’m not just saying that cause I’m part of it now. I’ve been a member there for like 4 or 5 years!) Anyways – if you are on BP – come send me a “Colleague Request” and we’ll have to chat over in the forums!

**(This applies to anyone reading this! Come visit me over at BiggerPockets!)


Robert Perkins January 7, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Great Stuff here! Very similar to my experience. I decided to invest in real estate at 21 as well but it took me until 24 to pull the trigger. Also, I love the Real Estate Guys Radio Show it keeps my mind in the game on a regular basis.


Deon March 19, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Hey Brandon – refreshing website you created so I suppose congratulations is in order. Will follow your recommendations!


David April 19, 2013 at 5:32 am

Thanks Brandon for all the hard work you put into your blog and BP to help out others. It seems you truly do give back. I’m new to REI and hope to make my first purchase this year. I will use your blog and BP to guide me through the process. Thanks again! David


Brandon April 24, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Thanks David!


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