I just renewed my subscription last month to the Canadian Real Estate Magazine and was given a book for renewing, Everyday Real Estate Millionaires: How Average People Really Do It by Paul M. Hecht. This is a book I probably would've bought anyways due to the title and my interest in real estate so getting it included in my subscription was a bonus.
The book itself is written from the first person perspective of 4 different people each writing their own story with Paul being the 4th and last story. Each persons story is unique and offers a different strategy to become a real estate millionaire. Starting with Cam the Accounting Controller who made a decent wage and took the slow and steady, live well below your means and invest the rest, route to Paul who went from bankruptcy to millionaire in 24 months.
I found that the book was a fairly light read probably around 160 pages of actual material (not including the introductory 15 pages and the end 20 pages which were all advertising for Paul's website and his services such as mentoring, DVD training kits etc.)... big font. I ran through it in a weekend. There are some little investment tips that are highlighted in each story such as positive cashflow being very important in case you lose your job and the property has to support itself (I'm paraphrasing)... or buying the worst property in the best area is better than buying the best property in the worst area (again just paraphrasing). Most of them I've already read about in other books, but if this is your first book on Real Estate they are good little tips to know.
It was interesting reading the different ways each family made it to financial independence and Paul does highlight a very large range of methods to make money in real estate outside of the traditional Buy and Hold strategy. I learned about Sandwich leases from this book which is when you sign a lease option with a seller and then turn around and create another lease option with another buyer for a profit... in a sense making money from being the middle man with no real upfront capital for yourself. Of course there is a the flip the house strategy which worked well prior to the financial crisis (and which may still work in certain regions) but which is probably not AS lucrative with 110% returns in a year like some of the stories in this book. Lease Options, Seller Financing and I believe even MICs or Mortgage Investment Corporations were also talked about.
All in all it was a pretty good read. Broad and not detailed so you won't necessarily be able to just put these stories into practice. Probably more of a motivational read and an eye opener into the many ways that you CAN actually make money in real estate, but you would require other resources to become adept in your chosen strategy or strategies. If you are actually serious about investing in real estate in Canada I would recommend buying the Real Estate Investing in Canada: Creating Wealth with the ACRE System book by Don Campbell. It mainly deals with the buy and hold strategy, but is a lot more in depth in what you need to find the right property, gather the right team, finance and run the property.