1% Rule In Real Estate Explained - LBC Capital
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1% Rule In Real Estate Explained: A Comprehensive Guide for Investors

the one precent rule

Investing in real estate has become a popular strategy over the last few decades. To find successful deals and generate more income while buying rental properties, real estate investors stick to various tools and calculation methods. The 1% rule has been widely used in real estate investment to evaluate the profitability of a rental property. So, read the article to understand how the one percent rule works in real estate and its benefits and drawbacks for investors.

What Is the one percent rule?

The 1% rule states that the monthly rental income of a property should be equal to or greater than 1% of the property’s purchase price. What does it mean? 

It means that if you buy a property for $100,000, you should expect to earn a minimum of $1,000 per month in rental income.

What are the 1% Rule benefits for Investors?

The 1% rule provides several benefits for real estate investors:

  • Cash flow estimation

The 1% rule is a quick and easy way to estimate the potential cash flow of a rental property. By using it, investors can determine whether a property is likely to generate enough income to cover expenses and still produce a positive cash flow.

  • Risk assessment

The evaluation method helps investors determine the risk associated with a particular property. If a property is estimated to generate a positive cash flow, it may be relatively low-risk. On the other hand, if the property fails to meet the 1% Rule threshold, it may be a riskier investment, and investors will have to consider other factors when making a decision.

  • Purchase price negotiation 

Investors can use the 1% rule as a basis for negotiation when purchasing a property. If a property is expected to generate a positive cash flow, the investor may negotiate a lower purchase price.

  • A quick assessment of investment potential

The 1% rule allows investors to assess the potential of a property without having to perform a detailed financial analysis. It can be beneficial for new investors or anyone who invests in multiple properties.

  • Simplicity

As you can see, this evaluation method is easy to understand. So, if you are just starting your investment journey and have no extensive financial expertise, the 1% is just for you.

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Are there any drawbacks to using the 1% rule?

While the 1% rule can be a useful guideline for real estate investors, it’s essential to understand its limitations and to use it as just one of many tools in a comprehensive investment strategy.

Here are several drawbacks that investors should be aware of:

  • Reliance on rental income

The 1% rule assumes that rental income will cover all the expenses of a property, including the mortgage payment. This assumption can be misleading if rental income is lower than expected, and the property doesn’t generate enough income to cover expenses.

  • Ignores other expenses 

The rule is based on the mortgage payment and doesn’t consider other expenses, such as property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and repairs, which can have a significant impact on profitability.

  • Doesn’t count market conditions

The market is constantly changing, and such conditions as supply and demand, economic trends, and interest rate changes should be considered. These factors can affect the rental income and overall profitability of a property.

  • Not for all types of properties

The 1% rule works best for single-family homes and multi-unit residential properties, but it may not be so effective for commercial properties, vacation homes, or other types of real estate investments.

How the 1% Rule Works in Real Estate Investing

The one percent rule is a popular evaluation tool, but it’s just a rough estimate and may not accurately reflect the potential cash flow of a property in every situation. Such factors as property location, local market conditions, and the overall real estate market can also impact the potential rental income of a property. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional financial advisor before making an investment.

To calculate the 1% Rule, simply multiply the purchase price of the property by 1%. This gives you an estimate of the minimum monthly rental income that you should aim to receive.

For example, if you purchase a property for $100,000, the monthly rental income should be at least $1,000 ($100,000 x 1%).

What are the alternatives to the 1% rule?

Besides the 1% rule, there are several other methods used to determine whether an investment property is worth pursuing. Here are some of the most common alternatives:

Gross Rent Multiplier (GRM)

The Gross Rent Multiplier (GRM) is a simple calculation that determines the value of a rental property by dividing the sale price by the gross annual rental income. A lower GRM indicates that the property is a good value, while a higher GRM means that it may be overpriced.

Cap Rate

The Capitalization Rate, or “Cap Rate,” measures the return on investment for a rental property. It is calculated by dividing the property’s net operating income by the current market value. A higher cap rate means that the property is a good investment, while a lower cap rate means the return on investment may be lower.

Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR)

The Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) is a calculation that measures the ability of a property to cover its debt payments. It is calculated by dividing the property’s net operating income by its debt service payments. A higher DSCR means that the property is a better investment, while a lower DSCR implies that it may be a riskier investment.

Cash on Cash Return

Cash on Cash Return measures the return on investment of a rental property. You can calculate it by dividing the annual pre-tax cash flow of the property by the total amount of cash invested in. A higher cash-on-cash return means the property is a better investment, while a lower cash-on-cash return may be a riskier investment.

Each of the methods has its strengths and weaknesses and is suited to different types of real estate investments. Investors should carefully consider their goals and risk tolerance when choosing which method to use to evaluate potential investment properties.

Sum Up

The one percent rule is a quick and easy way to evaluate the potential rental income of a property but it’s essential to consider other factors impacting its profitability. Whether you’re a seasoned real estate investor or just starting, it’s crucial to understand how the one percent rule works and what other calculation methods for evaluating rental properties exist.

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