BP calculator help...

2 Replies

I have been following Brandon Turner’s advice to analyze at least one property a day but also trying to be realistic and stay in the higher end of all of my estimates. A few questions I keep coming across: 1. I live in NY so everything is more expensive but also looking to invest in the Northeast. Every personal home I have bought the closing costs are always much higher than the $1500-2500 the calculator suggests, what are your typical closing costs on rentals or flips and how do you manage them? Seller pays, etc.? 2. What is realistic for vacancy, repairs/maintenance, CapEx and management? I have been keeping them relatively “high” at 10% (I see some saying 5-8% depending) to build in a cushion for anything below but at 10% the cash flow on most properties is gone. Does that just mean it’s not a good investment? Should I build that in to a lower offer price? I know not to adjust my numbers to make them less realistic to “find” cash flow but what is typical and does it change in a higher cost part of the country?

@Matt B. You want to tailor your numbers to your region, the age of the property and price point. As an example maintenance on a high end home with custom features and fixtures can cost more to repair. Think high end stainless steel appliances where you spend $2,000 on a fridge vs a standard $400 white or black fridge. You will spend $600 to repair the high end fridge but when something goes wrong on the standard fridge, it is somethings cheaper to just buy a new one. Also think capex, its cheaper to update a unit that has laminate or quartz counters and LVP flooring versus a unit that marble counter tops and custom hardwoods, so you need to budget more. Also capex will be really low for the first 10 years on a new build versus buying a property that is 30 years old. 

Just keep in mind its better to underwrite conservative. And its tougher today find those easy deals. You can still find good deals, but you have to look at a lot more properties. 

@Matt B.

1. Closing costs will depend on the purchase price of the home and the escrow company you're using. High home prices will drive up things like title insurance, so there isn't much you can do for that. You can try shopping around for an escrow company instead of using the first one you find - often you can find some that do things cheaper.

2. I think @Andrew Kerr was spot on here - all of these numbers are highly dependent on the city/neighborhood (A/B/C/D) and the hose (size, age, etc.). It's very hard to give general estimates that would work in every situation and I would discourage anyone from doing that, in fact.

I'm not surprised that you're finding it difficult to find properties with strong cash flows in the Northeast. For the most part, those coastal markets are expensive, with low cash flows.

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