I hear a lot of questions regarding underwriting multifamily deals. I underwrite a few deals a week and have made lots of mistakes, and thought I’d share some thoughts and a few excel models.
Basics: At a minimum, in my opinion, an analysis for small multifamily should include some general information, a rent roll, an operating statement, financing information, and outputs. I generally like to have two year’s actuals and a pro-forma. The pro forma is built from the rent rolls.
Simplicity: Also, I completely agree with Peter Lynch of A Simple Model–financial models should be as simple as possible. I also don’t believe that you should use another person’s model–you need to build it yourself and understand it thoroughly. I’ve seen waterfall models and syndication models that would take an average person weeks to link together. A mistake or two in that scenario would mean disaster!
Cascading Models: I think it’s generally a good idea to have a simple “napkin” model that can help you determine if a deal pencils in general. If it works, run it through a slightly more complex spreadsheet. If that works, get it under contract, get your due diligence documentation, then run it through a more sophisticated model–one that you can print out and present to a lender or potential partners. This will save massive amounts of time underwriting deals that won’t work.
Below are links to a simple model I’ve put together, and more complex models from other websites and blogs.
Are you considering making an investment in a rental property? Here are a few considerations to help you, whether you’re thinking of buying a Duplex, Triplex, Quad, or even something much larger as your first investment.
Get good legal advice
I can’t stress enough how important it is to find an attorney that you trust who has experience dealing with commercial real estate to advise you in legal matters related to your investments. Your attorney will advise you with questions relating to incorporation, review of purchase and sale agreements, they will close your transactions, and advise you if a lawsuit or issue arises with your rental properties.
Hire a broker to help you evaluate your options
For your first transaction, it is a good idea to find a broker you trust to help you find deals and run numbers for you. This is especially important in markets such as Augusta, where duplex deals don’t last very long on the market or trade off-market. Also, it’s important to have someone who can help you navigate the underwriting process.
Hire a professional property manager
It is definitely a good idea to hire a professional property manager to handle your first deal. This also means that likely you will need to add an additional expense to your budget that the seller didn’t have if the property wasn’t professionally managed. It is always a good idea to interview a few managers, and have a good understanding of how their fees work.
Solid marketing and promotion to lease up your units
Professional pictures, a floorplan, even a 3-d tour—these are things that help listings to stand out and move quickly. Ask your property manager about them, and you may even need to help them put the marketing package together. Look at your competition—what are other apartments doing to attract tenants?
If you’re looking to make an investment, what are questions that you have? If you’re a seasoned investor, what are things you wish someone had told you?
Passco Companies announced its purchase of the 300-unit Crane Creek Apartments in Augusta, GA for $58,000,000. According to Costar, this property traded off-market at a 5.73% Cap Rate with a 5% vacancy at time of sale. The sale price equates to about $193,333 per unit.
Passco plans to make a a number of improvements to the already luxurious property including LED lighting, Nest thermostats, and energy-efficient toilets and shower heads.
Opportunity Zones are a new tax investment vehicle similar to a 1031 Exchange that allows tax deferment on acquisition of real estate and also on investments in businesses. This opens the door for small startups to raise funds for their ventures. Remember that all of Downtown Augusta, Downtown Aiken, and many other city centers in the CSRA are designated as O zones.
See the Forbes Article below for details on how Opportunity Alabama is doing this, as well as an article in Medium by Alex Flachsbart–Founder & CEO of Opportunity Alabama. Also see Enterprise’s overview of OZone program.
Columbia County neighborhood is attempting to convince Columbia County commission to vote no to rezoning land on Columbia Road for a self-storage project. Advising with zoning and entitlements is a major part of a commercial broker’s role, especially with raw land. We often have to deal with neighbors, and getting them on board with a project can make or break a development.
The neighbors say the project will be “out of place” and that “it will damage the water system”. Of course, the county has an engineer who’s job it is to confirm the stormwater plans are adequate.
What’s your experience with zoning opposition? Have you ever opposed a project that was going to be in “your back yard”? Have you ever put together a project that fell apart due to zoning opposition?
Affordable housing is growing as a major issue across the US, partially due to a lack of workforce housing, and partially due to zoning restrictions which restrict smaller lots or higher density. Mobile Home Communities, once a fixture of affordability in most communities, are near-impossible to develop and I’ve heard from multiple sources that a new mobile home community hasn’t been developed in the southeast in the last 15 years.
“The gap is growing, in part because renters across the U.S. face a shortage of properties they can afford to buy as starter-home prices soar, year after year. In the second quarter, the homeownership rate for all Americans fell to the lowest since 2017, and the number of new homeowner households grew by only 585,000, a third of the year-earlier level and the fewest since 2006.”
Question: What’s your experience with affordable housing? Or have you had zoning challenges to an affordable or dense project you wanted to develop?
Big news for landowners–in Knick vs. Township of Scott the Supreme Court ruled on Friday in favor of Pennsylvania landowner, which is a huge decision in giving landowners protections from state, local, and special interest groups, in giving the landowner access to federal suit.
Topgolf coming to Augusta is great news! The guys at Presley were just talking about what a great fit they’d be in this market, and the village at Riverwatch is a perfect place for them, alongside other regional retail like Cabela’s, Costco, and Guitar Center. Jordan Trotter Commercial Real Estatehas done a great job with that development. Also see press release below from March where TopGolf announced a new smaller footprint concept that would allow it to enter secondary markets–prior to this their minimum footprint would have been 13 acres. Great for Augusta!
Freddie Mac announced yesterday a new mortgage product that will allow borrowers to buy fixer-uppers and finance renovation costs with the same loan. Existing homeowners can use it to repair or improve their homes. This loan product also allows investors to purchase a single-family home and renovate it without living in it, but would require them to live in a 2-4 unit building. This product is more flexible than an FHA 203k in that it doesn’t require consultant approval. This is a great new option for neighborhoods such as Laney-Walker North Historic District, Harrisburg-West End Historic District, and Olde Town Neighborhood Association. Tag someone looking buy a fixer upper, or a mortgage broker that may be offering this new product!
Presley Realty is proud to exclusively present this 1.37-acre corner site for sale in Downtown Augusta. Originally consisting of several tracts, which have been assembled for this sale, the property is zoned B-2 Commercial. The property could potentially be configured as two parcels, for sale together or separately, a 0.62 acre corner lot alongside an existing 0.75-acre auto sale / shop building, making the total development acreage available 1.37 acres.