# How To Analyze Real Estate - The Real Estate Stack

Posted by Joe Manausa on Friday, May 30th, 2008 at 9:08am.

The Real Estate Stack. This is the most basic of mathematical modeling which allows the investor to determine the Net Operating Income (NOI) of a property, and thus its true (intrinsic) value.
We often evaluate properties for investment purposes here at the Tallahassee Florida Real Estate Blog. Having done so for years, we have learned, discovered, and compiled some great models that can be learned by anyone.

Today, let's take a look at a model that I refer to as the Real Estate Stack. This is the most basic of measurement models which allows an investor to take an investment and convert it to a mathematical model so that it can be compared with all other investment opportunities.

Too often, I see "wanna-be" investors wanting to go look at properties. Personally, I never like to go look at investment properties until I've already seen the numbers potential. If the numbers are not super attractive, then looking at the property is not only a waste of time, but it also brings in the opportunity for faulty decision making through emotional attachment. I would hate to "fall in love" with a property where the numbers cannot work out as well as another property.

So, on to the Real Estate Stack. This is the most basic of mathematical modeling which allows the investor to determine the Net Operating Income (NOI) of a property. All the key terms in the model are explained below:

### Potential Gross Income (PGI)

The Potential Gross Income of a property is simply the "best case scenario" of what it can generate in rent. If a property can rent for \$900-\$1,000 per month for rent, the the PGI would be \$1,000 x 12 = \$12,000 per year.

### Vacancy and Collection Losses (V/C)

Vacancy is the measurement of time, expressed in percentage of the year, that you would expect the property to not have a tenant. Every property will have periods of vacancy due to change-over in tenants plus market cycles that make it harder to find tenants.

Collection losses, much like vacancy in that no income is occurring, is when non-paying tenants are in the property and either need to be motivated or evicted. This too is expressed as a percentage figure annually.

The key to Vacancy and Collection Losses is that you can compare different types of properties in different market cycles. Perhaps a home in the higher price range will have longer occupying tenants, thus a lower vacancy, whereas a property in a student area can be expected to turn nearly every year, resulting in a higher vacancy. Using the correct figures for vacancy allows us to compare these two properties and determine which one is the better buy.

### Effective Gross Income (EGI)

Effective Gross Income is the amount of revenue we anticipate receiving annually while owning the property. This is not the "best case scenario," rather it is the "realistic case scenario."

### Operating Expenses (OE)

Operating Expenses are those things that the property owner must pay for while owning the property. Such expenses might include property taxes, hazard insurance, maintenance fees, management fees, homeowners association expenses, utilities, and reserves for replacements (roofs, HVAC systems, etc.).

### Net Operating Income (NOI)

The NOI is the amount of money that would go to any investor after receiving all income and paying all expenses, with the exception of payments on loans and income taxes. The NOI is important because it makes all real estate investments that are purchased for cash flow equivalent.

This is the total of mortgage payments for the year. The annual debt service includes the principal and interest portion of the payment for all twelve months.

### Cash Flow Before Taxes (CFBT)

Cash Flow Before Taxes is the amount of money realized by the investor for the year, whether positive or negative, before income taxes are considered.

## The Real Estate Stack

 PGI - v/c = EGI - OE = NOI - ADS =CFBT

So there is the simple Real Estate Stack. Try it out. Use it with several properties to find out which ones will be better investments. You can check out yesterday's blog about Bull Run In Tallahassee Florida and see the Real Estate Stack in full operation. Let me know what you think!

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Joe Manausa is a real estate investor and the Broker and Co-Owner of Joe Manausa Real Estate. He can be reached via e-mail through the Tallahassee Real Estate Website or catch his latest writings on the Tallahassee Florida Real Estate Blog , or by calling (850) 386-2001.

Joe Manausa, MBA is a 26 year veteran of real estate brokerage in Tallahassee, Florida and has owned and managed his own company since 1992. He is a daily blogger with content that focuses on real estate analytics and providing his clients with a tactical advantage in today's challenging market.

#### 4 Responses to "How To Analyze Real Estate - The Real Estate Stack"

Susan Hilton - Texas Aggie Realtor in College Station Home Sales wrote: Thanks for the info! I'll use it on a couple investment properties and let you know what I learn.

Posted on Sunday, June 1st, 2008 at 12:06am.

riathareja wrote: If I were an employee, I would certainly be thinking about retirement. Worrying about retirement and social security has become an increasing concern for many. The stock market, 401 K, insurance, and good old fashion savings are all means people take to secure their financial freedom when it comes to the 65 plus years. An ideal investment strategy is one that comes with low risks and high returns. Good old fashion savings will not give you high returns, and stock market games are not often associated with low risks. Investing in land is one that that comes with both low risks and high returns if you play your cards right and you do not need to be independently wealthy to get into this industry. Investing in land is one of the smartest things anyone can do to increase their net worth and financial freedom. Investors with small or large capitals are smart to invest in land for a variety of reasons. Land property is an investment that offers consistent returns that are safer than other investments, and always appreciate in value.Knowing how and when to act with land investments can be done with the aid of a realtor in the area you are interested in. Avoid fresher’s who might actually be able to get you the best deals, but will inspire lesser confidence. Realtors know land the way a banker knows money, and they will always work with you to ensure your dollar is maximized. Now is the time to start thinking about it. Do not get into land investment without doing deep homework.

Posted on Wednesday, June 4th, 2008 at 7:34am.

Ned Carey wrote: I have certainly seen the calculations before but I have never heard it called the stack. It's actually a good way to describe it. Thanks for the tip

Posted on Monday, June 16th, 2008 at 11:16pm.

Ned Carey wrote: PS: I found your blog from the carnival of creative investing.

Posted on Monday, June 16th, 2008 at 11:17pm.