Devonne Camila February 12, 2021 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.
Next, how much detail do you need in your cash flow template Excel spreadsheet at the individual line item level? Is cash from financing sufficient or do you need equity financing, debt financing, interest earned, etc. Also how do you intend to handle depreciation and amortization, since these are non‐cash items that are typically added back to the income statement entries when determining the cash effect.
Our first step is to capture non‐quantitative data in the spreadsheet, so we reserve a worksheet for that. This is used for location and condition information such as address, zoning category, residential vs. commercial, neighborhood, occupancy in the building and surrounding area, school district, etc. This will all be useful for financing and insurance purposes, as well as keeping track of a number of properties if you have a large real estate portfolio or a property management company. You might want to put it into a standard database format in case you want to save and analyze the information later.
Second, remember that whatever can be measured can be managed. Develop a system wherein just a few look at some numbers can tell you the health of your operations. But this also depends on the soundness of the system. If someone can just fill in numbers they can induce you to think in ways that may not be desirable given the fact that you have to manage the operations.
Fixed expenses. The expenses that do not vary every month are called fixed expenses, which include your loan payments, rental fees, and insurance premiums. Total income and expenses. When using a monthly budget spreadsheet, you will need to get your total income, total variable expenses, and total fixed expenses. Get the sum of the fixed and variable expenses and then deduct it from your total income. The resulting amount is called the disposable income, which can be used for savings or as an emergency fund. In case your expenses are higher than your income, you will have to make some adjustments in the amounts you allotted in your variable expenses.
Finding your way around and identifying the various elements of your spreadsheet document will help you navigate around it more easily and use it more effectively. Most elements are the same for all spreadsheet programs but they look quite complicated. But once you understand how they work and how to find your way around them, they are easy to use. To understand from the start you have to know it is a grid of cells. The columns are like the columns in a ledger. You can use them to make lists of figures and perform calculations. Each column is identified by a letter of the alphabet and each row by a number.