Evaluating A Property & Accurately Estimating Costs

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Hello Everyone,

I am learning how to evaluate potential deals but I am questioning whether the estimates in my calculations are (1) conservative enough and (2) somewhat accurate (I understand nothing can be 100% accurate). Any suggestions are much appreciated! These are the assumptions that I am questioning:

1. Purchase Closing Costs (I use 5% of the purchase price)

2. Any good websites for accurately predicting rent ranges in a particular area (found a bunch, but would like to know which is most accurate/useful)?

3. How to estimate homeowners insurance cost (usually just go by redfin's estimate, but I would like to use something more accurate)?

4. Vacancy Rate and Repairs Rate (I use 5% of monthly rent for each one)

5. How to estimate utility costs in a particular area? And where can I find out if certain services such as trash are "free" if you live within city limits. .

6. Cap-Ex Monthly estimate calculation?

Additional Information: Looking for single family houses and condos within the city of Philadelphia. I am sure some of these estimates can be calculated the same way no matter the location. Any additional resources are helpful as well!


1. Ask your lender what the closing costs are and call a few title companies to see what their fees are, this is more accurate than guessing.

2. rentometer and MLS are probably best

3. Once you've found a quote for one others will be similar there are tons of free insurance quotes on the internet

4. Harder to estimate so you probably are fairly close

5. Ask the city or the utility a tenant's usage of a given utility will vary

6. This is to replace a roof or an HVAC in X years it is essentially working backward from the cost