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Refi Existing Investment Property to Purchase Another?

One of our Facebook fans, Tony Margiotta, posed this question, which I’m happy to try my hand at answering here:

“Could you talk about refinancing an income property in order to purchase a second income property? I’m trying to understand the refinance process and how you can use it to your advantage in order to build a real estate portfolio. Thanks Frank!”

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The Good News

Your plan – to extract some of the equity from an investment property you already own and use that cash as down payment to purchase another – is fundamentally sound. In fact, that’s exactly what I did when I started investing back in the ‘70s, so to me at least, it seems like a brilliant idea.

Of course, you need to have enough equity in your current property. How much is enough? That will depend on the Loan-to-Value Ratio required by your lender. The refi loan has to be small enough to satisfy the LTV required on the current property, but big enough to give you sufficient cash to use as the down payment on the new property.

For example, let’s say your bank will loan 70% of the value of your strip shopping center, which is appraised at $1 million. So, you expect to obtain a $700,000 mortgage. Your current loan is $550,000, which would leave you with $150,000 to use as a down payment on another property.

Given the same 70% LTV, $150,000 would be a sufficient down payment for a $500,000 property, i.e. 70% of $500,000 = $350,000 mortgage plus $150,000 cash.

But Wait… Some Issues and Considerations

Unfortunately, it’s not the ’70s or even ’07 anymore, so while the plan is sound, the execution may present a few challenges. Best to be prepared, so here are some issues to consider:

    • In the current lending environment, financing can be hard to find, and the terms may be more restrictive than what you experienced in the past. Notice that I used a 70% LTV in the example above. You might even encounter 60-65% today, while a few years ago it could have been 75-80%.  In order to obtain the loan, you might also have to show a higher Debt Coverage Ratio than you would have in the past – perhaps 1.25 or higher, compared to the 1.20 that was common before.
    • How long have you had the mortgage on the current property?  Some lenders will not let you refinance if the mortgage isn’t “seasoned” for a year or even longer.
    • How long have you owned the property? A track record of stable or growing NOIs over time will support your request for a new loan.  You need to make a clear and effective presentation to the lender showing that the refi makes sense, especially in a tight lending environment.
    • You need to run your numbers and not take anything for granted. For example, will your current property have a cash flow sufficient to cover the increased debt?
    • Keep in mind that you’re adding more debt to the first property, so the return on the new property has to be strong enough to justify the diminution of the return on the first.
    • Have you compared the overall return you would achieve from the two properties using the refi plan as opposed to the return you might get if you brought in some equity partners to help you buy the new property?

In a nutshell, refinancing an existing income property to purchase another is a time-honored and proven technique, but it in a challenging lending environment be certain you do your due diligence and run your numbers with care.

Of course I never miss an opportunity to promote my company’s software, so consider using that not only to analyze the deal and its variations, but also to build the presentations that will optimize your chances of obtaining the financing and/or the equity investors.

Frank Gallinelli


5 Mistakes Every Real Estate Investor Should Avoid

In my nearly 30 years of providing analysis software to real estate investors, and almost a decade of writing books and teaching real estate finance at Columbia University, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with thousands of people who were analyzing potential real estate investments. Some of these people were seasoned professionals, many were beginners or students, but just about all were highly motivated to analyze their deals to gain the maximum advantage.

I’ve seen some tremendous creativity in their analyses, but I’ve also seen some huge missteps. Here are some of the pitfalls you will want to be sure to avoid.


1. The Formula That Doesn’t Compute

If you are attempting any kind of financial analysis, then a full-featured spreadsheet program like Excel is almost certainly your tool of choice. You might opt for professionally built models, like my company’s RealData software, or you could attempt to construct your own.

  • One of the most common problems I see in do-it-yourself models is the basic formula error. A robust financial analysis involves the interaction of many elements, and it is really easy to make any of several errors that are hard to detect. The simplest of these is an incorrect reference.  You entered your purchase price in cell C12 and meant to refer to it in a formula, but you typed C11 in that formula by mistake. You may (or perhaps may not) notice that your evaluation of the property doesn’t look right, but it can be difficult for you to find the source of the problem.
  • You used to have a formula in a particular cell, but you accidentally overwrote that formula by typing a number in its place. The calculation is gone from the current analysis, and if you re-use the model, you’ll always be using that number you typed in, not the calculated value you expect.
  • Cutting and pasting numbers seems innocent enough, but it can scramble your model’s logic by displacing references. Simple rule: Never cut and paste in a spreadsheet.
  • Perhaps the most insidious is the formula that doesn’t do what you thought it did. Let’s say you have three values that you enter in cells A1, B1, and C1. You want to write a formula that adds the first two numbers and divides the result by the third. It’s easy to say this in plain English: “I want A1 plus B1, divided by C1.” So you write the formula as =A1+B1/C1. Wrong. Division and multiplication take precedence, so the division happens first and that result gets added to A1. Not what you expected. The formula that does what you intended would be =(A1+B1)/C1, where the sum of A1 and B1 is treated as a single value, divided by C1.


2. The Modern Art Syndrome

Even if you get all of your formulas correct, your job is only half done. I harangue my grad students constantly with this pearl of wisdom: Sometimes you create a pro forma analysis of a property strictly for your own interest. You will never show it to anyone else. Most of the time, however, successful completion of a real estate investment deal means you have to “sell” your point of view to one or more third parties:

  • You may be the buyer, trying to convince the seller that your offer is reasonable;
  • You may need to convince the lender that the deal should be financed; or
  • You may need to show an equity partner that his or her participation would be profitable.

Most of the homebrew presentations that I see look to me like a Jackson Pollock painting with numbers superimposed. The layout usually has a logic that I can’t discern, and I find myself hunting for the key pieces of information that the presenter should have designed to jump off the page.

The layout needs to be orderly and logical: revenue before expenses and both before debt service.

Labels need to be unambiguous:

  • If you mention capital expenditures, are they actual costs or reserves for replacement?
  • Is the debt service amortized or interest only?
  • When you label a number as “Price,” are you talking about the stated asking price, or your presumed offer? Be clear.

Lenders and experienced equity investors will be looking for several key pieces of information before they scrutinize the entire pro forma, items like Net Operating Income, Debt Coverage Ratio, Cash Flow and Internal Rate of Return.  If these items don’t stand out, or if the presentation is disorganized, you might as well add a cover page that says, “ I’m Just an Amateur Who Probably Can’t Pull This Deal Off.”


3. Errors, We Get Errors, Stack and Stacks of Errors

You may be too young to know Perry Como’s theme song (by the way, it was “letters,” not “errors”), but the tune goes through my head when I look at some investors’ spreadsheets.

  • The #NUM error can appear when you try to perform a mathematically impossible calculation, like division by zero, or also when attempting an IRR calculation that can’t resolve.
  • #VALUE usually occurs when you type something non-numeric (and that can include a blank space, letters, punctuation, etc.) into a numeric data-entry cell. If there are formulas in your model that are trying to perform some kind of math using the contents of that cell, those formulas will fail. In other words, if you try to multiply a number times a plain-text word, you’re violating a law of nature and Excel is going to call down a serious punishment on your head, a sort of high-tech scarlet letter.

It can get really ugly really fast because every calculation that refers to the cell with the first #NUM or #VALUE will also display the error message, so the problem tends to cascade throughout the entire model. Unfortunately, I often see investors who then go right ahead and print out their reports with these errors displayed and deliver the reports to clients or lenders.

Your objective in giving a report to a third party is typically to try to convince the recipient to accept your point of view. You will not accomplish that if your report has uncorrected errors.


4. What’s Wrong with This Picture?

It’s the errors you overlook – the ones that don’t have nice, big, upper-case alerts like #VALUE – that can cause the greatest mischief of all; and these can be troublesome even if the analysis is for your eyes only.

It may be an unwanted and unintended side effect of the computer age that we tend to accept calculated reports at face value. Be honest: How often do you sit at a restaurant with a calculator and verify the addition on your dinner check?

This presumption of accuracy can be dangerous when you are evaluating a big-ticket item like a potential real estate investment. As I discussed earlier, you could have bogus formulas that give you inaccurate results. But even if you use a professionally created tool like RealData’s Real Estate Investment Analysis software, you are still not immune to the classic “garbage in, garbage out” syndrome.

The mistake that I see far too often is a failure to apply common sense. For example:

  • “Gee, this investment looks like it will have a 175% Internal Rate of Return. Looks good to me.”  (Reality: You entered the purchase price as $1,000,000 instead of $10,000,000. You should have been saying to yourself, 175% can’t be right; what did I do wrong?)
  • “Wow, this property shows a terrific cash flow.” (Reality: You entered the mortgage interest rate as 0.07% instead of 7%.) Again, results outside the norm, either much better or much worse than you would reasonably expect, are your tip-off that a mistake is lurking somewhere. It is essential that you develop the habit of examining every financial work-up – those you create, and also those that are presented to you – very closely to see if the calculations appear reasonable.


5. What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You

The final item in our list of big-time mistakes goes beyond the mechanics of spreadsheets and formulas and into the realm of fundamentals. You can be the most proficient creator of spreadsheet models on the planet, but if you don’t really understand the essential financial concepts that underlie real estate investment analysis, then you will neither be able to create nor interpret an analysis of such property.

The examples that I’ve seen are numerous – I can’t possibly list more than a few here – but they all revolve around the same issue:  A lack of understanding of basic financial concepts as they apply to real estate.  Some of the most important:

  • Net Operating Income – This is a key real estate metric, and calculating it incorrectly can play havoc with your estimation of a property’s value. Basically, NOI is Gross Operating Income less the sum of all operating expenses, but I have frequently seen all kinds of things subtracted when they should not be. These have included mortgage interest or the entire annual debt service, depreciation, loan points, closing costs, capital improvements, reserves for replacement, and leasing commissions. None of these items belongs in the NOI calculation.
  • Cash flow – I have seen NOI incorrectly labeled as “cash flow,” and have seen cash flow miscalculated with depreciation, a non-cash item, subtracted.
  • Capitalization rate – Cap rate is another key real estate metric and is the ratio of NOI to value. Unfortunately, I’ve encountered some folks who have used cash flow instead of NOI when attempting to figure the cap rate and have ended up with a completely erroneous result – not only for the cap rate itself, but then also for the value of the property.

Clearly, there are two vital problems with these kinds of basic errors. First, is that they completely derail any meaningful analysis. If your NOI is not really the correct NOI and your cap rate is not really the correct cap rate, then nothing else about your evaluation of the property can possibly be correct. And second, if you give this misinformation to a well-informed investor or lender, your credibility will evaporate.


The Bottom Line

What is our take-away from these five disasters waiting to happen? You could avoid many of these errors by using the best, professionally developed analysis models – but then, of course, you would expect me to say that because that’s what we do for a living.

Let me suggest three other important steps you can take:

  • Understand that there is no substitute for careful scrutiny of any financial presentation, whether it is someone else’s or your own. Be diligent always and  apply the test of reasonableness.
  • Recognize that any real estate analysis you create is likely to be a representation to a third party of the quality of your thinking and professional competence. You wouldn’t be careless or casual with a resume; you should give the same care to your real estate presentations.
  • Finally, recognize that you need to make a commitment to mastering the fundamental concepts and vocabulary of real estate investing. There is no substitute for knowledge.

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Want to learn more?


For Real Estate Investors: A Lesson in Clarity

Recently, I was conducting the last class in my course on real estate investment analysis that I teach in Columbia’s MSRED program.  I had assigned my 55 students a series of case studies (much like those in my book, Mastering Real Estate Investment) and told them to build financial pro forms and discuss the reasoning behind their analyses. After reading and commenting on all those analyses, I felt there was one overarching theme on which I wanted to focus my final remarks to the troops: The theme was “clarity.”

Trying to reduce a course to a single word might seem unrealistic (because it is), but I really had more than one angle on the notion of clarity in mind. Even combined, those notions would not replace the real content of a course in investment analysis, but they might express some essential principles that are sine qua non — “without which, nothing” — for investors.

Be Clear About Your Objectives

Before you fire up your spreadsheet program or sharpen your pencil, you need to be very clear about your objective (or objectives) in analyzing the property. For example:

  • Are you a potential buyer, trying to establish a reasonable offer on a particular property?
  • Are you seller or broker trying to justify your asking price?
  • Are you a buyer or broker, trying to demonstrate to a seller that his or her price and terms would not be acceptable to a reasonable and prudent investor?
  • Are you seeking financing, or refinancing and need to demonstrate to a lender that this loan will meet their underwriting expectations?
  • Are you assembling a partnership and trying to show potential equity investors that this deal will make economic sense to them?

You are not trying to create alternate realities, but you might be harboring more than one objective in a given situation. For example, for your private use you might want to look at a range of possible offers by creating best-case, worst-case and in-between scenarios; but in making a presentation to the seller, you would surely not begin by volunteering what you believe to be the highest price at which the investment might have a chance of success.

In making a presentation to a lender, your focus must be to ensure that your presentation includes items like debt coverage ratio, allowance for possible vacancy, and projected cash flows — items that will have an immediate impact on an underwriting decision. For equity partners, you want to be sure that you can demonstrate not only that the property itself makes sense, but that the particular investor, considering allocations and preferred return, can expect an acceptable rate of return on cash invested.

You are typically trying either to make a personal decision about a property or to “sell” your point of view to a third party. Being clear in your own mind about the purpose of your pro forma allows you to focus on how you analyze the property and what information is of greatest importance to your intended audience.

Be Clear About Your Use of Terminology

Real estate, like most businesses and professions, has its own language – terms that carry very specific meaning. The misuse of real estate investment terminology can have several possible consequences, all of them bad.

  • You can substantially skew the results of an analysis by not being clear in your understanding of important terms. Some of the more egregious examples I have seen include:
    • Not understanding the real-estate-specific definitions of terms like “operating expense” and “Net Operating Income.”  I have often seen investors try to include mortgage payments, capital improvements, or reserves for replacement as operating expenses. This mistake can drastically affect your estimate of a property’s worth.
    •  Not understanding an important term like “capitalization rate.” I have seen investors try to estimate value by applying a cap rate to the property’s cash flow instead of its Net Operating Income. Big mistake.
  • You can bring a dialog or negotiation to a grinding halt by being unclear and offhand in your use of what should be unambiguous terms.  Yes, “price” is a legitimate English word. But if you use it as part of an analysis or presentation, you will leave your reader stumped.  Do you mean the seller’s asking price, the buyer’s offered price, the actual closed selling price?  You can tell me that a building has 20,000 square feet, but do you mean usable square feet or rentable square feet?  It makes a difference.
  • You can establish your identity as a rank amateur. Nothing will earn you a sandwich board with the word “newbie” on it quicker than misusing terms or lapsing into incomprehensibly vague language. Credibility matters — just ask your lender or your equity partners.  Be clear. Be precise.

Be Clear When You Build Your Pro Forma or Presentation

If you insist on being a do-it-yourselfer, and you plan to give your pro forma or presentation to a third party, keep in mind that nothing will unsell your argument faster than a jumbled pile of numbers.  Your information should flow and be segmented in a logical order (e.g., don’t show someone the income after the expenses, or the debt service after the cash flows). The reader should be able to apprehend the key metrics with a quick scan of the page, then go back and fill in the details. If your report turns  into a scavenger hunt for vital information, then you will fail to deliver your message. No loan, no partner, no deal.

Your success as a real estate investor requires serious number crunching, but it doesn’t stop there. You must be able to convey your analysis of a property in terms that are unambiguous, accurate, and relevant to your audience. Clarity is what you need.

–Frank Gallinelli

Get some clarity, as well as accurate calculations and industry-standard reports. Use RealData’s Real Estate Investment Analysis, a market leader for almost 30 years, to run your numbers and create your presentations.



New Mac-Compatible Releases of RealData Software

We’ve supported the Macintosh with Excel-based products since the Mac first came out in 1984.  (In fact, way back then we received an award as one of “100 Most Important Companies on the Macintosh.”)

But a few years ago, Microsoft threw us a real curve when they dropped VBA macro functionality from Excel 2008 for the Mac.  As you may know, it’s those complex and sophisticated macros (which you can’t see) that make our software really powerful and easy to use. So our Mac users had to settle for Excel 2004 to run our software

Thankfully, Microsoft has seen the light and restored VBA in their new Excel 2011; and we wasted not a moment getting to work re-writing our products to make good use of the new Excel. It was no small task, but  now all of our products are truly Mac-compatible.

Not only will you have the advantage of Excel’s new interface and features, but you’ll now be able to use the latest versions of RealData software on your Mac — even REIA Express, Version 2 and the RealData Real Estate Calculators — and you’ll see all of our programs run at speeds that are orders of magnitude faster than they ran with Excel 2004.

(A sidebar note: Because these programs are not simply spreadsheets, Windows versions won’t work properly on the Mac and vice-versa. That’s why we created these new releases specifically for the Mac.)

We’re glad to be back offering the latest and best of our software for our loyal Mac customers.


Real estate finance and investment education

A number of colleges and universities have been using my books as well as my company’s Real Estate Investment Analysis software for instructional purposes in their classes on real estate finance and investment (as have I at Columbia).

The “Express Edition” of the software dovetails nicely with my books, but some instructors recently asked for inclusion of a few of the features from its big brother, the Pro Edition. Happy to accommodate.

And so… we released a new version of REIA Express which does just that.

If you teach real estate finance or investment, note that we have an academic version of the software available for classroom use. Your students can use that to work through many of the problems and case studies in the books.

If you would like to find out more about academic use of this software, please contact me via our online contact form.


Real Estate Value – Market Data vs. Income

Trying to estimate the value of a piece of real estate seems to be everyone’s favorite pastime. I’ve discussed this subject in detail in my books, What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Cash Flow and Mastering Real Estate Investment; in previous articles here on realdata.com; on PBS’s Wealthtrack; in line at the supermarket, and just about everywhere else I’m allowed to talk out loud. Although I thought I had covered the waterfront pretty well on this topic, I continue to be surprised by the number of people who still don’;t fully understand that there are several approaches to estimating value, and that it is important to choose the one best suited to the particular property you have in mind.

First, some necessary preliminaries. Any (actually, every) real estate appraiser will tell you that there are three approaches to value: the cost approach, the market data approach, and the income approach. While they will often try to reconcile these approaches when appraising a particular property, in many cases it is clear that one of the three methods stands out as the most appropriate for that property.

The Cost Approach

The cost approach uses the cost of reconstructing the property at today’s prices (land included) and then whittles that number down because of factors such as physical depreciation and functional obsolescence. In my experience it tends to be most useful if the property is squeaky new (i.e., you haven’t yet scraped the labels off the plate glass windows) but tends to become more subjective as the property becomes less than brand new. The adjustments also tend to be pretty subjective, which may be all right if the person making those adjustments does so for a living all day long (for example, a professional appraiser), but are not likely to be so reliable otherwise. Also, you’ll need a solid estimate of the land value, often a difficult task in its own right.

For the typical investor or developer, cost may be useful to confirm valuations made with other approaches but otherwise may be difficult to apply in a way that’s reliable enough to be the basis of an investment decision. So, for the purpose of our discussion, let’s skip this approach and focus instead on the distinction that I find tends to muddle the understanding of value for many novice — and some not-so-novice — investors. When do you use the market data approach to value and when do you use the income approach? The question may sound academic. It’s not. It’s the difference between recognizing the realistic value of a property or perhaps missing it by a country mile.

The Market Data Approach

The market data approach is based on comparable sales. In other words, you can reasonably expect that a property will sell for something close to the price of similar properties located close to the subject, i.e., comparables located in the same market. You would of course make adjustments for distinguishing features — the presence or absence of certain amenities found in the comparable properties — but it is the market as much if not more than the property itself that drives the value.

When do you use this method to value a property? The poster child for the market approach is the single-family home. When you shop for such a home, you look at the amenities that the house has to offer and you look at how much other houses in the neighborhood have sold for. You might say, “Other four-bedroom colonials in this neighborhood have sold recently between $680,000 and $720,000 and I should base my offer on that information.” It’;s unlikely, however, that you would say, “I can probably get $2,000 per month rent for this, so I’ll base my offer on whatever price gives me a positive cash flow.”

You would also take note of the local economy when considering how the value of this property might grow over time. Strong employment for example might increase demand and therefore increase prices. If prices in a neighborhood have recently increased on average by about 5%, chances are good that most individual properties have indeed increased by a similar amount. Likewise, chances are good that future increases or decreases will affect most properties in that neighborhood more or less equally. A rising tide lifts all boats. Again, it’s the dynamics of the market at work here.

The Income Approach

Now consider an altogether different kind of property: an office building or shopping center or fairly large apartment building. You are not going to look for comparable sales of regional shopping malls to decide how much to offer. Income properties are bought and sold strictly for their ability to produce a net income. So long as the property’s main appeal is not for the use or occupancy of the owner, it is in the purest sense an income property. A person who buys a garden apartment complex, an office tower, or a shopping center is probably not looking for a place for his family, his office, or his store to occupy. He is looking for an income stream, a cash flow.

This investor will capitalize the property’s anticipated Net Operating Income to arrive at an estimate of value. You’ll find the mechanics of this process discussed in detail in my Cash Flow book and you can use any of our Real Estate Investment Analysis programs (Express or Standard Edition) to perform the calculations. Indeed, these programs are frequently used as valuations tools for income property.

Some Examples

It should be clear enough that you would use the market data approach when buying a home and the income approach when buying a shopping center or office building. It’s the gray areas that are tricky and can trip you up. Let me describe some typical situations that we hear most often:

You buy a single-family house for investment as a rental property. Unless the neighborhood is made up entirely of pure rental properties, you do not want to base your estimate of the property’s value on its rental income. If the other houses in the neighborhood are being bought and sold as personal residences, then prices will be driven by comparable sales, not by potential rental income. In other words, when you buy this property you will pay a price based on the market for homes in the area; and when you sell it you can expect a price driven by that same market.

Even though the price at which you buy and the price at which you sell will not be a function of the property’s rental income, it is still critically important to perform the kind of cash flow and resale projections that you can do with our RealData investment analysis software. The house may not be an income property in the purest sense, but that is how you’re using it. You’re buying an income stream and you need to estimate what you can expect as yearly cash flows and how much you’ll derive from the final cash flow: the proceeds of sale. That’s what investment analysis is all about.

You buy a multi-family house for investment as a rental property. This one is trickier yet. You need to ask yourself, “Who is the most likely buyer of this property? — an owner/occupant or an absentee-owner/investor?” One neighborhood might be characterized by a preponderance of 3- to 6-unit multi-family, larger apartment buildings and small commercial properties. The most likely buyer here would probably be an investor; hence the income approach would be best for estimating value.

Another neighborhood might contain a good number of single-family homes along with duplexes (many of them owner-occupied) and some triplexes. The buyer of a multi-family here is probably going to be an owner/occupant, someone who is buying a home that has rental income as one of its amenities. The value of this property will probably be driven by comparable sales, not by the potential rent income.

You buy a small commercial property. Commercial is commercial, right? That means investment, that means the rent income determines its value. Usually, but not always. This situation is analogous to the owner-occupied multi-family. Consider a small professional office or a small, free-standing retail building. The prime prospect for the office might be a doctor or lawyer, using the space for his or her practice. The retail building might be attractive to a local store owner. Once again, if the appeal is to an owner/occupant rather than an absentee investor, it is less likely that the value will be determined by the rent potential and more likely that it will be a function of the local market for similar properties.

Conclusion

As I said at the outset, understanding when one approach to value might be more appropriate than another is not just an academic exercise. So often we hear people talk about how they expect the value of their income property investments to rise because “real estate (i.e., their home) is going up.” As Gershwin could tell you, it ain’;t necessarily so. An example I’ve used before (but I’m allowed to repeat myself) is that of a rapidly growing community where local developers feel inspired to build office space — so much space that office rents and office building values decline even while home prices rise.

Similarly, we find folks who are surprised that a duplex or triplex will sell at a price much too high for an investor to achieve a positive cash flow, not realizing that the property is selling as a home that incidentally has rental income and not as a strictly commercial income property.

Estimating the value of a piece of real estate will probably always remain part art and part science. Matching the right methodology to a particular property is an essential first step for anyone trying to make real-world investment decisions he or she can live with.

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New: “Express Edition” of Real Estate Investment Analysis

We’re excited to announce the release today of a new software product, Real Estate Investment Analysis Express Edition.

We designed REIA Express with several audiences in mind. Perhaps you are…

— a broker who needs to create presentations for potential sellers or buyers;

— an investor who deals with residential or small- to medium-sized commercial properties;

— a person who is new to real estate investing, or a student in the fields of real estate development or finance;

— someone whose specialty is to buy, rehab, and then re-sell property for a profit.

If any of these describe your situation, then the Express Edition of REIA may be just the ticket for you. It has new capabilities and features, and offers presentations that can be customized with your company logo and property pictures. Get more info on the Express product page.


Free Shipping

For a limited time, we’ll include a software CD with every order over $50 and send it to you via USPS First Class shipping at no charge. Just place your shipped order and select “Free First Class Shipping” as your delivery option during checkout. Purchasing your software for download? You can still get a free CD – just email us after placing the order.

– Applies to U.S. and Canada addresses only.
– Total of items ordered must be greater than $50.
– Does not apply to calculator and e-course.
– Regular fees apply to other shipping methods (i.e., Fedex, Priority Mail)..


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