7 Tips For How to Evaluate a Rental Real Estate Investment…

Owning and operating rental property is a time-honored strategy for building generational wealth. But investors need to evaluate rental property opportunities thoroughly to see if they will provide value over time. There are many factors to consider when evaluating a prospective rental property. While it largely comes down to a numbers game, there are other important factors that math can’t highlight. In this article, we will learn about a few ways to quickly evaluate properties at scale, how to scrutinize a prospective property in greater detail, and list other important factors that are crucial to building a successful buy-and-hold rental portfolio.

Do Research

Before acquiring a property that you hope to rent out and/or flip, you will need to do a lot of background research so as to make a wise decision. Are you familiar with real estate terminology? You will also want to get a feel for the area of your purchase.

Spend Time Getting To Know The Neighborhood

If you’re going to rent out a residential property, know it’s true rent potential before you buy. Your realtor can help with this and provide comparable sales data. Neighborhoods are often a source of local identity and pride. Learn about the local market by researching on your own. If you know a property manager, use their expertise on where to invest in your area.

What Is Your Budget?

Add up all costs of ownership. In addition to the property taxes, ask your realtor if he/she can obtain data on the current expenses of the property, such as utilities and insurance. The idea of what you can afford is a personal decision. Only you know how much you are willing to go into debt or risk spending your cash.

What Type Of Property Is Best To Invest In?

The best investment property for beginners is generally a single-family dwelling or a condominium. Condos are low maintenance because the condo association takes care of external repairs, leaving you to worry about the interior. but you may want to look at multifamily or commercial property. Beyond the type of investment, there are other decisions to consider. Do you want a long-term lease from your renter, will the property be a vacation rental agreement, or will you just be flipping the house for a profit in about 1 year? Before ever shopping for a piece of the rental property, know what type of property is best for your situation.

How Do You Compare Rental Properties

Comparing rental properties across various housing markets is the key to securing a profitable real estate investment. In fact, rental property comparison should be the top priority for any investor who is looking to get into the real estate market. But what exactly is the best way to compare property? How do you best compare rental properties across the US? Investing in rental property is only profitable if you manage to identify top investments. As a result, you need to take a multifaceted approach when you compare rental properties. Everything from location to projected income should be factored in when looking. Throughout the process, keep in mind that every real estate market is unique. Are any new jobs coming to the town? Are companies moving out of the location? Is there an adequate town center, accessible public transportation, good shopping, or other factors important to your potential renter? Finding the right property for you can be exhausting on your own. Many investors work with property managers who can offer expert insight into local and even distant markets.

How Much To Spend On An Investment Property Vs. Potential Rental Income

There are two distinct ways to approach your real estate investment: the income approach and the cost approach. The Gross Rent or Income Multiplier is the simplest measure of a property’s value relative to its income. To calculate the GRM, you simply divide the property’s price by its annual rental income. For example, a $1 million apartment that generates $150,000 in rent has a GRM of 6.67. You can then compare that GRM to other sales in the market to see how it stacks up. If other properties in the market sell at GRMs of 5.5, the building would be expensive, but if the market GRM was an 8, the building would be a great deal. So, if you are going for the income approach, your question would be how much money can I make from this real estate investment? If you are interested in the cost to approach, your question would be how much money do I need out of pocket? Successful real estate investors do not land fully on either side. Instead, they take both into consideration and answer the question of how much house can I afford by calculating the risks they can manage with the rent they can receive.

Capitalization Rate

Another way to test whether an investment is sound is by calculating the capitalization rate known as the cap rate. Capitalization rates look at both a property’s rental income and its operating expenses. To calculate a cap rate, you divide its annual net operating income by its price. If the building has $65,000 in expenses, it would have an $85,000 NOI (net operating income) and carry an 8.5 percent cap rate. As with GRMs, (gross rent multiplier) you can compare a building’s cap rate to other sales in the market to gauge the pricing. Keep in mind that cap rates are the reverse of GRMs, though. A lower CAP rate means that the building is relatively more expensive.

Especially for those starting out, partnering with a property manager, provides massive value. With minimal effort on your part, you will gain expertise, efficient management, and streamlined maintenance. Always remember success comes down to a bit of patience, doing your research, and choosing the right partners along the way.


Contact us (866-500-6200) for more information today!

About Real Property Management Midwest

We are local property management experts serving Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, & Louisville. We manage Single-Family Homes, Apartment Buildings, and Condos. With years of experience, Real Property Management is Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Louisville and Northern Kentucky’s #1 Property Management and Leasing Company.