Rental Property Calculator

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Hello- I am new to the real estate game and I have been practicing with analyzing deals using the rental property calculator here on Bigger Pockets. I watched a video which helped explain some of the numbers, but I still do not feel confident in what I am doing yet. I have the following questions, any help is appreciated:

1. How can I estimate the monthly insurance? What is it based on?

2. What is the best website to use to find the vacancy rate in the city?

3. How can I estimate the closing costs?

4. How can I estimate the initial repair costs?

5. How can I estimate or know the PMI?

6. How do you estimate the percentage to put for the monthly repairs?

7. I read that 8% for CAPEX is good, any thoughts?

8. How do I estimate the future assumptions? 

Hi Sara. I'll do my best to try to answer some of your questions, with my limited knowledge. I'll preface this by saying I own a 6 unit building, and I will only speak from experience, and knowledge I've gained.

1. Unfortunately insurance tends to vary a bit (in my experience), and if you need accurate numbers, I would suggest calling for a quote or two. It's based on so many variables that it's difficult to estimate, but insurance agencies will quote you for free, and it usually takes about a 5 minute phone call.

2. I haven't found any great websites to estimate vacancy, but with my rentals I usually find it varies based on market and pricing. You could have 0% vacancy if you rent a place for $5 a month, or 100% vacancy if you list it for $100,000/month! (extreme examples but you get the picture). When analyzing, I typically use 5-10% (depending on the 'class' of neighborhood, normally you'll experience fewer vacancies in a nice neighborhood)

3. This one is too area specific. I would expect a local realtor would be helpful there. The calculator does suggest a number though.

4. I think there's a good book on this :) 

5. PMI is tricky... typically it's a percentage of the principle, divided by 12. I usually use ( (purchase price - down payment) * 0.0085/12 ) to get a monthly figure, but PMI rates (that 0.85%) vary based on your lender. Ask them what their chart shows for you.

6. For me, I estimate 5% if the property looks to be in good shape, maybe closer to 10% if it looks a bit rough. It's all just guestimation though.

7. 8% is probably okay as a baseline, but I would say alter it based on condition, as above ^, also you can go WAY in depth on this (if you want):

8. I don't have enough data to give you good info here, but I typically just put 3% across the board, and estimate 8% for selling costs. I typed those in once from a webinar and have copied them ever since.

I hope some of this was helpful! Let me know if you have other questions I can try to help answer.