Essential Formulas, Websites, Etc.

3 Replies

Hello BiggerPockets, happy Sunday!

So I joined last week and made my introduction. I was warmly welcomed into the community with positive and encouraging responses, which I thought was awesome.

Many recommendations were given, and I'm building a solid foundation by educating myself. Right now I am really digging the small multifamily, buy and hold idea. I've spoken with my aunt, who is an experienced real estate investor, and she recommended starting out with a small condo once I get out of the military and return home. She also offered to partner up with me! 

Anyway, now that I'm becoming more knowledgeable in the world of real estate, I have a couple questions: First, what are the formulas that you need to apply when looking to buy a property? More specifically, how do I determine whether a property will be profitable? 

Secondly, what websites can I use to look up multifamily properties for investing? Right now I'm using and I like realtor because it's free and interactive, but it rarely shows factors like rent price, cap rate, etc. You can hardly see any properties using LoopNet unless you pay an arm and a leg a month. Is there a site that is free and effective for investors? 

Lastly, is partnering with someone for your first deal a good idea? I like the idea of having a mentor/partner who is experienced helping me make the right decisions and make money more efficiently. 

I'd like to thank the community for taking time out of your day to help people like me who are eager to learn. God bless.



@Jacob DeGraaf  congrats on getting going. 

Re: analysis, I assume you're referring to single family homes. If so, then find a good spreadsheet you like to use. There are many on BP that be found in the Resources section. 

Re: webistes for multifamily properties, here are some more: 

-Sperry Van Ness Commercial Real Estate:

-CB Richard Ellis:

-Hendricks and Partners:

-Commercial Investment Multiple Listings Service:

-Property Line:


Re: partnering question, perhaps it is right for you - perhaps it isn't. I think that's a question for later after you build your foundation on how to underwrite properties and get the fundamentals mastered. Then, I'd take a look at your goals and determine if you need to partner in order to get the type of deal done that fits your goals. 

Great job getting started! 

Secondly, what websites can I use to look up multifamily properties for investing?

@Jacob DeGraaf My guess is that most truly small multi-family deals are not going to show up on the major commercial sites Loopnet and costar. That leaves the MLS and your marketing and networking.

First, what are the formulas that you need to apply when looking to buy a property?

You need to do a cash flow analysis. This will determine the Net Operating income NOI and is the first step in evaluating a property. This is done on an APOD for (Annual property operating data)

Evaluating commercial properties is not a forum post answer. It is a book.  Literally  .  .  .   member here @Frank Gallinelli wrote a book called

"What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Cash Flow... And 36 Other Key Financial Measures"

Search around the site. You will find various posts on evaluating deals. keep in mind evaluating a multi-family is much more complex than SFHs

@Jacob DeGraaf  

Onthaal aan BP!

When you say multifamily properties, do you mean non-detached residential properties (2-4 units) or multifamily properties (5+ units)?

If you are looking for apartment buildings of 5 or more units, most of the good deals never make it to a listing site like LoopNet of MLS. The larger the property, the less likely it will ever see a listing. Commercial brokers are generally well connected and will be able to connect a buyer to a good deal easily.

Most of the time, the ones you see on LoopNet are the problem children: bad neighbourhood; functionally obsolete, etc.  Every once and a while you will see a reasonable deal posted on a listing site ... when it happens around here it is typically a residential real estate agent who had an apartment building fall in her/his lap and did not have the network to source a buyer, so they listed it as they would a house.

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