Elisa Safia March 12, 2021 Spreadsheet
One of the first things to consider is what kind of data you have to work with in your cash flow template Excel spreadsheet. Ideally, you‘re looking for accurate monthly data including income statement items like revenue and operating expenses and balance sheet items like equipment purchases and cash from financing activities. If you have a longer time frame you can go with quarterly periods, but annual tends to be too long. After all, how can you predict what is going to happen beyond 5 years with any accuracy unless you‘re valuing an annuity?
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.
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.
I love spreadsheets. I use them for everything I can and every kind of organization. I, honestly, don‘t know what I would do without them or what how I used to cope before I first discovered them. I use a spreadsheet to balance my checkbook, to manage my business expenses, and to make ‘To Do‘ lists to plan out my days. I also use spreadsheets to manage my money and set my financial goals.
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.
Since this is a residential rental apartment building it makes sense to include rental income in your real estate spreadsheet. That‘s obvious. What isn‘t so obvious are things like interest on tenant deposits, subsidies, tax refunds, etc. When you‘re building the spreadsheet you need to estimate when those revenues will arrive, and that relates to the number of tenants, the rental rates you charge, how long the lease term is for each tenant, etc. You also need to assume some late payments, evictions, and vacant units. If you haven‘t invested in the area before this can be a challenge. You can gather data on that by speaking with local real estate agents, lenders, and tax agencies, or subscribe to an industry database that covers the local area.