So, you finally found some real estate to buy and you want to know how much cash flow your rental property should produce to be a good deal.

Well, congrats, you’re already 10 steps ahead of most people who just consume real estate investing content without taking any action.

Now, how much cash flow do you need to be secure, justify the investment, and reach your financial goals?

How to calculate cash flow — and see if it’s good

It might seem really easy to figure out cash flow, yet a lot of people get it wrong. To calculate it, you subtract the expenses from the income:

Cash Flow = Total Income – Total Expenses

On paper, it looks easy, right? But the reason so many people screw this up is because while the equation is simple, the items that make up the equation are the tricky part. 

In other words, people don’t know how to calculate their income and expenses properly.

Total income calculation

Income doesn’t only include the total rent. There may be other sources of income you need to account for, such as laundry, application fees, late fees, pet fees, etc.

Expenses to consider

Be as specific as possible about your expenses to get the most accurate estimate.

Some common examples might include: 

  • Vacancies 
  • Taxes
  • Insurance 
  • Property management fees 
  • Utilities (water, sewer, trash, electric, propane, natural gas, etc.)
  • Maintenance
  • Advertising 
  • Legal fees
  • Payroll
  • Mortgage payment
  • Mortgage insurance (PMI or MIP)

In addition, keep in mind that not all of these will occur each month. As a result, it’s best to calculate a certain percentage for those expenses when planning for the future.

So, what is “good” cash flow?

The short answer to this question is this: 

Any amount of positive cash flow is good. and the bigger, the better.

But if I were to give a specific number, let’s take a 16-unit property as an example.

That deal should produce at least $24,000 a year — regardless of cash-on-cash percentage.

Final thoughts

Cash flow is the holy grail of real estate. So, the biggest thing to keep in mind with your investment property is that you want to do everything possible to increase it.

You can do so by adding more value to the property, increasing your rent, looking for long-term tenants, maintaining the building properly, etc.

And finally, it would be a shame not to mention that I have a free real estate training where I show you how I turned $3,000 into billions in assets. Secure your spot here.

Be Great,

Grant Cardone

Disclosure: This content is intended to be used for educational and informational purposes only. Before investing, you should always do your own analysis based on your own financial and personal circumstances before making any investment. Grant Cardone is an industry expert who has been investing for over 30 years and his opinion is based solely on his own personal experience and circumstances. Individual results may vary. You should perform your own due diligence and seek the advice from a professional to verify any information on our website or materials that you are relying upon if you choose to make an investment. Investment involves great risk and there is no guarantee of performance or results.

We are not attorneys, investment advisers, accountants, tax professionals or financial advisers and any of the content presented should not be taken as professional advice. We recommend seeking the advice of financial professional before you invest, and we accept no liability whatsoever for any loss or damage you may incur.

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Star of Discovery Channel’s “Undercover Billionaire,” Grant Cardone owns and operates seven privately held companies and a private equity real estate firm, Cardone Capital, with a multifamily portfolio of assets under management valued at over $4 billion. He is the Top Crowdfunder in the world, raising over $900 million in equity via social media. Known internationally as the leading expert on sales, marketing, and scaling businesses, Cardone is a New York Times bestselling author of 11 business books, including “The 10X Rule,” which led to Cardone establishing the 10X Global Movement and the 10X Growth Conference, now the largest business and entrepreneur conference in the world. The online business and sales educational platform he created, Cardone University, serves over 411,000 individuals and Forbes 100 corporate clients throughout the world. Voted the top Marketing Influencer to watch by Forbes, Cardone uses his massive 15 million plus following to give back via his Grant Cardone Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to mentoring underserved, at-risk adolescents in financial literacy, especially those without father figures.

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