Madie Lise December 25, 2020 Spreadsheet
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.
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.
The third important consideration is the availability of different cash flow valuation methods. Depending on the purpose and vehicle used for the real estate investment, you may want to value the investment on a pro forma basis under a variety of different assumptions. You may also want to calculate or use the break even point, IRR, NPV, and cap rate factors for various purposes. Ensuring the necessary calculations and inputs are available makes it easy to use the same model for different investment opportunities, and eliminates the need to enter all the necessary data twice.
The fourth component to look for in a real estate investment spreadsheet is the ability to input growth rates. Instead of manually keying in different numbers, say for utility costs or rental rates, simply changing a periodic growth rate is much faster and easier. Most good investment models will allow the user to change the important input factors via growth rate variables. This substantially reduces the time to analyze different scenarios and allows the spreadsheet model to be semi‐automated.
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.