It’s great to read about our passions, and what better way to broaden our understanding of the property industry than with books about property!
Of course, the best real estate books don’t have to be limited to emotionless explainers about the ROI of your rental yield, or the power of a proper tenancy agreement. Inspiration in property books can go far deeper than that.
We want to take a novel approach (sorry, not sorry) to real estate books, exploring 5 amazing works of fiction that offer up important lessons for your own property journey.
1) 'Last Man in Tower' by Aravind Adiga
In Aravind Adiga’s celebrated Last Man in Tower, readers are transported to the vibrant real estate industry of Mumbai, India, for a dazzling exploration of what a home can mean to an individual.
This fascinating book tells the story of conflict between ambitious real estate developers, and a local resident committed to staying in the home that he loves.
While the developers are keen to invest and transform an apartment block for profit, our protagonist holds out, and holds on to the place he calls home.
Last Man in Tower offers a wonderful insight into the need to balance new developments against the wishes of locals, and recognising that profit isn’t the only fundamental motivator of a truly inclusive real estate industry.
Don’t get caught out on your property investment journey! Read our handy guide to understand the landscape and process. Just don’t expect the guy who loves his home to sell if he doesn't want to!
2) 'High-Rise' by JG Ballard
In British writer JG Ballard’s gripping novel High-Rise, readers are offered a powerful exploration of the importance of community, and how our residential landscape can ultimately influence the society around us.
In the novel, residents of a luxury residential development on the outskirts of London slowly descend into anarchy, in this sometimes bleak but fascinating look at the need for community cooperation.
Greed turns to conflict, different floors turn into tribal groups, and the society of the high-rise development falls apart.
While in many ways a dark look at the worst-case of social conflict, what High-Rise ultimately explores is the real importance of maintaining good relationships and community, and how the places we live thrive on this flourishing ecosystem of shared lives.
There’s no need to panic. You’re unlikely to get caught in a nightmare apartment block in Malaysia, thanks to the Strata Management Act 2013. So put down the frying pan and stop trying to occupy the infinity pool.
3) 'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austen
Jane Austen’s remarkable and much-reproduced masterpiece of the romantic journey of the Bennet sisters in the 19th century might not seem much to do with property, but in truth it remains a fundamental driver of the characters within the book.
Through all the toil, the heartbreak, and hilarity, a critical concern for the sisters remains the inheritance of their beloved Longbourn Estate.
With only five Bennet daughters, the conditions of ownership will see the family estate in the book passed on to a distant male family heir. Pride and Prejudice is a book about inheritance, and working to maintain that legacy.
The Bennet sisters' misfortunes in love were part of a journey to ensure they retained their rightful inheritance, and that their beloved family property would stay within the family.
You don’t need your own Mr Darcy to keep your family estate safe in Malaysia. Sorry fans, no wealthy and dashing gentleman is going to save you. Explore our guide to inheriting property to understand how things sit for your family.
4) 'Cloudstreet' by Tim Winton
Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet is fundamentally a novel about family and community, set in the turbulent 1940s to 1960s in Perth, Australia.
The novel follows two families forced by circumstances outside their control to move into a large house in Cloudstreet, showing the trials and triumphs as they struggle their way through their now-shared lives.
This is a book with overlapping themes of community, family, and also in many ways of rural residents coming to terms with the rhythm of urban life.
The Lambs and the Pickles – the surnames of the families in the group – are very different types of people, but their shared community gradually reveals how living together can actually build strong bonds between us.
It’s a celebrated novel of how we build our homes, and how they’re defined by the people we share them with.
Moving house can be a challenge no matter how turbulent the times. Don’t get stuck in a rut, get moving and succeeding instead! Here are some top tips on moving house we’ve put together to help smoothen the process.
5) 'The Lake House' by Kate Morton
Memory and history are fundamental themes of Kate Morton’s twisting thriller The Lake House, exploring the deep connections between property and the memories that families build around them.
In this gripping novel, detective Sadie Sparrow becomes fascinated by the stories of ‘The Lake House’, a historical building set in the stunning Cornwall countryside in England.
The novel dives into the history of families intertwined with the mysterious house, exploring the confusing fog of memory, and the link between the places we live and the events that happen there.
It’s a fascinating and gripping story about how our experiences blend into the places we call home, and how important it is to not keep secrets from your loved ones!
Don’t worry if you’ve got a historical property in sight, they don’t all come with gripping mystery stories behind them! If you want to give it a refresh, check out our guide on how to remodel, restore, or renovate your house.