Multi Family Potential: 3 Guidelines for Quickly Evaluating a Deal

You want to invest in multi family properties, but with all the apartment buildings in your city, you could spend all your time looking at them, analyzing them, and comparing them without ever getting anywhere. You need a simple, effective way to analyze multi family buildings to save you time and help you make judicious decisions. The following three guidelines are all you need to rule out unprofitable deals and narrow in on the best.

1. Cap Rate. Cap Rate is an abbreviation for capitalization rate. It’s the return on investment on a percentage basis if you paid all cash. The formula for Cap Rate is NOI (Net Operating Income, which is simply your revenue minus your expenses) divided by the purchase price. Here’s an example: You have a multi family property with a NOI of $50,000 per year. You paid $500,000 for the property, so the property has a Cap Rate of 10%. It’s wise to look for properties that have a Cap Rate of at least 10%.

2. Price Per Door. The price per door is simple to calculate. Just divide the price of the property by the number of units. As a general rule, if the price per door is less than $25,000, it will probably have an acceptable Cap Rate and cash flow. The price per door also tells you the class of property you’re dealing with and whether or not it’s a deal for you. However, it isn’t wise to look only at the price per door without analyzing the other two guidelines. You may miss out on some key information that could help you make a good decision about that multi family property.

3. Unit Mix. The unit mix is the percentage of units that are one bedroom, two bedroom, and three bedroom. A property that has more two bedrooms than one bedrooms will have higher rent or higher revenue per door. Between a property that is 80% one bedrooms and another that is 80% two bedrooms, the multi family property with more two-bedroom units will have higher revenues and most likely a higher Cap Rate. Some people say they like to have more two-bedroom units than three-bedroom units because the three-bedrooms attract children. One bedroom units bring single people or couples. Two bedrooms are typically for roommates and small families.

Once you have collected the above information, you’ll be able to cut to the heart of the deal and weed out multi family properties that don’t meet your needs.