Corinne Joséphine October 28, 2020 Spreadsheet
Designing a strong real estate spreadsheet requires some forethought about the uses, calculations, and net results you‘re looking for. This should be done before you ever get started. Here we demonstrate some key considerations by means of a case study. To demonstrate the proper approach to designing and building a real estate spreadsheet in Excel, let‘s use a residential multi‐unit rehabilitation project example. To keep it simple, let‘s assume it has 4 apartment units, was built 60 years ago, has 3 existing tenants, and requires new interior and exterior paint, some plumbing and electrical work to update the property to modern safety standards, and a partial re‐roofing to fix some water damage.
We want to look at costs, so we reserve a tab in the real estate spreadsheet for that. Here, you have a decision. You can either make a large list of standard rehabilitation and operating costs or a smaller list of costs specific to this property. The first option allows you to use the Excel spreadsheet for other properties which are probably not the same. The second option keeps things small and tidy and might work if this is a once‐off investment. Either way, you will want to include all of the costs in a timeline schedule by week or month. This would include the re‐roofing, paint, plumbing, electrics, landscaping, electricity if you are responsible for it, insurance, etc. The financing costs are likely to be the most complex because you need to estimate not only the interest rates of the loan or loans you get, but the principle amortization, mortgage insurance, etc. This can be complex from a calculations standpoint. How granular you get with costs is up to you.
I like using spreadsheets for monetary goals because of the functions I can use. If you are working towards a savings goal, using a word processor or writing them out will require constant updating. With a spreadsheet, you can simple add in how much more you‘ve saved, and if you had the right formulas set up, it will do it all for you. First, set up a different sheet for your long term goals and your short term goals. You can have long term goals and then break them up into short term goals as well as have separate goals. Make the sheet look appealing with bold headers and colors. If you don‘t know how to use excel or other spreadsheet programs, you really only need the basics. Search the net to find out how to get started with spreadsheets.
Next, add the dollar amount of your goals and the time in month or years. The long term goals will probably be in years and the short term goals in months. Set up a formula to divide the total goal amount by the goal length in months. This is the amount you need to save each month to achieve your goals. Set up a budget to help you save more money if you feel you can‘t make your goal savings each month. For extra help, open up another sheet and record your progress. Every week or every month write about how you are reaching your goals and if you are able to save the minimum each month. Try to save a little more each month and cut down on your time table, or if you can reach your monthly goal, adjust it. With this plan, you can include goals to save for big items such as a car or house, or to pay down debt.
I get a great feeling every time I achieve a goal, whether I made it a week ago, or 5 years ago. There comes a certain satisfaction when you reach a successful point in your life. Making goals is critical for a fulfilling life. When it comes to finance, if you want to successfully plan your money, you need to make goals.
First, databases are still tricky for some people to understand. While relational databases can be thought of as tables that have several indexes, this is more than many people want to deal with. Second, the collaboration tools are tough to learn and use. Look at how many people still use Lotus Notes for email and not much else. And since most of us are comfortable with email, using it as the transportation system isn‘t all that taxing. Until the day comes when three people are working on the same spreadsheet and make conflicting changes.