Pre-Investing: Essential Real Estate Investing Concepts
4.5 (865 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
15,942 students enrolled

Pre-Investing: Essential Real Estate Investing Concepts

What Future Real Estate Investors MUST Know Before Making Their 1st Investment
4.5 (865 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
15,942 students enrolled
Created by Symon He
Last updated 6/2020
English [Auto], Spanish [Auto]
Current price: $125.99 Original price: $179.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 6.5 hours on-demand video
  • 4 articles
  • 23 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Assignments
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Gain a broad foundational knowledge base for real estate investing
  • Understand the different phases of the real estate market cycle
  • Understand how to determine the right investment strategy for your goals
  • Understand the many ways to invest in real estate
  • Be able to use the Cost Method to value a property
  • Be able to use the Comparable Sales Method to value a property
  • Be able to use the Income Method to value a property
  • Understand how leverage affects investments
  • Predict the likely timing of the next real estate market peak and crash
  • Microsoft Excel 2013+

Theodore Papadopoulos - 5 Stars

This course is an excellent primer on real estate investing. I would highly recommend this course to anyone interested in learning some real world core concepts. Symon starts off basic and builds on concepts learned in previous lectures. In summation, this course will teach you some basic mechanics in how to evaluate a real estate deal.”

Susan Corry - 5 Stars

Symon did a great job of explaining the fundamentals of real estate investing. It was the perfect introduction for me and gave me the confidence to continue with more complex course subjects!


Jacob Nelson - 5 Stars

Great course! Symon is obviously 1) very knowledgeable on real estate investing 2) skilled at training others. The combination makes for a great course. Thanks for creating this!!! Can't wait to check out his other stuff


Do you have absolutely ZERO knowledge or experience in real estate investing but want to get started? 


Do you have the drive and ambition but you're just not sure where to start?  


Do you feel overwhelmed with the seemingly endless choices and options available to new investors?


Should you start with fix & flips, rentals, wholesaling, lease options, or something else entirely?  


What is the smartest way for a new investor to start? 


In other words, what should you know before making your first investment?


If you want to learn the most important real estate invest concepts and develop a solid foundation as a first step towards your real estate investing education, this is your course.


If you’re still unsure, here are some of the questions I get asked many by prospective students:




I don't live in the US, is this course still relevant to me?


Yes! While the examples I use are USA properties (because the vast majority of my students are from the USA) ALL of the concepts taught and tools provided are just as useful for any market around the world.  In fact, I have students from over 190 countries who are learning and using the tools provided in the course to help them invest wherever they are located.


How is this different from your other courses?

My other real estate courses here are all focused primarily on investment analysis--one focusing on analyzing fix & flips and rental income properties, another that focuses only on multifamily, and a third, more comprehensive, course that covers residential as well as a host of other commercial real estate scenarios. The other courses all go deeper on the analysis side but do not touch on many of the topics I cover here.

You can think of those courses as getting down to the ground level in terms of detail and this course is at the 30,000 ft. level, just getting the overall scope of things without getting you bogged down in numbers and details.  


What if I already have some real estate background?

This course is NOT for you.  This is meant for beginners and those who little to no existing knowledge.  Although, I will say that some students with experience found this to be a nice refresher, especially the section on real estate cycles.  If you are an experienced investor, you may find some valuable insights in here, just please be aware that this course is designed for brand-new investors.


Why is there so much math and numbers?

Math is a necessary evil to understanding real estate investing.  If you can't do the math, it'll be difficult for you to really get a firm grasp on the concepts.  If/when you're confused, just leave a message in the forums--I usually respond within 48 hours.  For what it’s worth, there is WAY more math in my other, more advanced courses.  I've put the bare minimum here.  Every serious investor needs to be able to do these investment calculations. If your math is rusty, now is the time to get a handle on it.


Why do you use Excel so much?

Good question.  Analyzing real estate investments involves looking at the numbers and it's easiest to do that with spreadsheets, which is why I use Excel extensively.  The good news is you don't have to build any of the models yourself. I’ve done all the hard work for you.  You just need to be able to follow along and use the models I’ve created for you.  


Can you make me rich by taking your course?


No way! Not just from taking the course, at least. Anyone who promises you that is selling snake oil. If you take my course AND apply what you’ve learned to make smarter investments in the future, then you have a chance at creating some major profits.


What I can guarantee is that you will leave with some serious real estate investing knowledge and techniques.


What else does this course cover besides real estate investing?


This course is ALL about and ONLY the foundational real estate investing concepts. 


What will I be able to do after I take your course?


After taking my course, you will be:

            •           Able to confidently use professional real estate investment techniques.

            •           Able to evaluate both residential and commercial real estate opportunities.

            •           Able to structure investments with business partners in a smart and equitable way via the waterfall framework

            •           Know how to identify and mitigate investment risks.


Sunil Ramsumair - 5 Stars

“Very informative, great instructor and course material, I am very happy with the content of the course.”


Ethan Wong - 5 Stars

“Yet another successful course from Symon. Even though I have some experience as an investor, I found this class to be quite valuable. Although I was already quite familiar & comfortable with the course material and topics, the experiences gained from completing the exercises showed me where I have a couple weaknesses in my network. That alone made the class worth my investment…”


What WON'T I get from this course?

            •           You won’t get any kind of real estate license from taking this course. You can only get licensed by taking the appropriate test with the testing agency of your state and country. But what I teach in this course has nothing to with getting a license, which focuses on how to legally facilitate transactions in real estate between buyers and sellers. This course is about the investor's prospective.

            •           I will not be evaluating your personal investment deals for you for this course. This is about you learning how to do it on your own using the lessons and the tools here. If you really want me to consult with you privately, you can reach out to me. My hourly rate is $350/hr.

            •           This course does not cover any of the wide range of OTHER real estate topics, which deserve their own courses, including but not limited to: contract negotiations, real estate legalities, real estate marketing, REITs, etc...  I try to cover the most important concepts as they relate to evaluating investment opportunities.  

What’s holding you back?


Are you afraid this course won’t work?  I promise you it will.


Are you afraid this course will work and you’ll actually have to start investing? I think that’s a pretty good problem to have.


Are you afraid it will take time and effort? It will. Real estate isn’t an easy business, if it was everyone would do it. But if you put in the work I promise you’ll see results.


Best of all, there is absolutely ZERO risk. Udemy gives you a 30-day money back guarantee to ensure you get what you pay for.


So go ahead, sign up and let’s get to work right away!



Who this course is for:
  • Anyone who wants to learn core real estate investing concepts
  • Anyone who wants to understand the real estate cycles & market phases
  • Anyone who wants to understand the best options for 1st time investors
  • Anyone who wants to understand the different ways to invest in real estate
  • Anyone who wants to understand the pros & cons of different types of investment strategies
  • Anyone who wants to understand how to evaluate markets
Course content
Expand all 56 lectures 06:21:47
+ Start Here
2 lectures 02:32


If this is your FIRST time taking a Udemy course, please review the New to Udemy section at the end of the curriculum first--the lectures there will help you understand the features of the Udemy platform and how you can get the most out of your learning experience.



A few reminders before we begin
+ Case Study: Joe's First Investment
8 lectures 54:51

Why invest in real estate when historically speaking, stocks have consistently out performed real estate over the long term?

Why invest in real estate?

We take a quick moment to meet Joe and get an understanding of his situation and what he's looking to do.

Meet Joe

We follow Joe as he considers four cities but ultimately narrows it down to one to make his first investment.  

Which market will Joe choose to invest in?

With the market chosen, Joe now again must choose from among several choices.  Which property will he ultimately go with?  What are is reasons?

Preview 13:34
Zillow Alternatives

Joe is presented with the choice to put a low downpayment on his investment or a much higher downpayment.  Which option should he go with?

How much financing will Joe choose?

Here, we take a look at Joe's financial analysis for his investment.  This back of the envelope model will come back later. 

A look at Joe's financial model for his investment.
Check out my latest articles
+ The Many Ways to Invest in Real Estate
4 lectures 36:46

A quick overview of the many different ways an investor could invest in real estate.

There is more than one way to invest in real estate!

A brief overview of the many different asset types in both residential and commercial real estate.

Real estate asset types 101

A brief overview of the three primary investment strategies for real estate investing and a look at their relative risk/reward trade off.

Investment strategies 101

Answer two questions to determine which is the best strategy for you to start with.

Popular investment strategies for first time investors

Quiz to test your knowledge from this section

Quiz #1
4 questions
+ Real Estate Cycles
6 lectures 34:24

What are the phases of the real estate cycle?

Intro to Real Estate Cycles

The US real estate market began its recovery from the 2008 housing crash in approximately 2011-2012.  What characterizes the recovery phase?

Recovery Phase

With most markets having recovered significantly from their lows in 2011-12, many of the markets are now well into their expansion phase, with significant growth in building activity.

Expansion Phase

Chasing what seem like endless growth, developers go into a phase of hypersupply and create the supply that will depress prices and rents well into the recession phase. 

Hypersupply Phase

As home prices and rents fall, the real estate market tends to take 3-5 years to hit bottom due to the continued influx of oversupply that are created during the hypersupply phase.

Recession Phase

Barring a major world conflict, a major trade war, or an aggressive Federal Reserve, when can we expect the housing market to peak and ultimately crash again?

The Next Bust?
+ How to value a property
4 lectures 21:12

What is the difference between price and value? And why does the ability to value a property matter for investing?

To buy profitably, you must value accurately

We run through an example of using the Cost Approach to valuation.

Cost approach to valuation

We run through an example of using the Comparable Sales Approach to valuation.

Preview 08:21

We run through an example of using the Income Approach to valuation.

Income approach to valuation
Run a cost analysis for a property in a market you're interested in. Use the file provided as a template to follow.
Do your own valuation!
1 question
+ Understanding your market
4 lectures 47:47

Some popular resources to obtaining data for your market research

Where do you get the data?

How to conduct a regional analysis and what factors to consider.

Regional analysis

How to conduct a neighborhood analysis and what factors to consider.

Neighborhood analysis

How to conduct a competitive analysis using a rental comparison worksheet.

Scoping out the competition

Quiz to test your knowledge from this section.

Quiz #2
3 questions
+ What makes a good investment?
12 lectures 59:05

What are measures of returns?

What are measures of returns?

A very important concept--the time value of money--is introduced here.  This is the foundation of all financial analysis in real estate.  Pay close attention!

Discounting cash flow and the NPV

How to think of the discount rate when using the NPV metric.

Discount rate

In this lecture, we walk through an example to show how different investments generate different NPVs. 

NPV Exercise

One important part of evaluating an investment is determining how efficient the investment generates returns for the investor.  We do this through the use of the internal rate of return metric.

Measuring efficiency - internal rate of return

Here we look at an exercise to show you how different investments generate different levels of IRR and how it can be misleading.

Internal rate of return exercise

The other part of evaluating an investment is determining how bit the magnitude of return the investment generates for the investor.  We do this through the use of the cash multiple metric.

Measuring magnitude - cash multiple

So how and when do you use the different measures?  Just toss a coin and randomly pick one?  Nope!

How to use the measures

A detailed look at why investors must use MULTIPLE measures (at least 2!) in their analysis.

NPV and IRR exercise

For investors who wish hold onto a rental income property indefinitely, the analysis requires the use of the terminal value formula.

Holding on to a rental indefinitely - terminal value

Two very important metrics for income producing investments, especial for multifamily/multi-unit properties.  

Investment yields and capitalization rates

Wrapping up and reviewing the many topics discussed in this section.

Section summary
+ Using leverage
5 lectures 19:27

What is leverage and why do we care?

What is leveraging?

A comparison of interest only versus amortized loans.

Interest only vs amortized loans

A detailed look at the amortization calculator.  

The amortization calculator

A look at how leverage affects investment returns.

How leverage affects investment returns

Summary review of all the topics discussed in this section.

Impact of Debt Summary
+ Case Study: Rental Income Property Analysis
5 lectures 34:46
Case Study Overview

What information do you need to gather in order to conduct a property analysis?

Market Research Part 1

Continuation...gathering more information needed for the analysis.

Market Research Part 2

With all the data gathered, we're not ready to run the actual analysis using the model.  

Back of envelope analysis
Updated BOE Model (Up to 50 Years)
Using the Back of the Envelope investment model, you'll conduct your very first investment analysis.
Run your first rental income investment analysis
1 question
+ Well Done!
1 lecture 02:16

Wow! You've gone through quite a bit of material...well done!  So what's next?

Congrats! What's next?