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Real Estate Investing

Break Even Ratio, Explained



There are a lot of ratios to look at when investing in real estate, and it can get confusing. One of the lesser used but still important ratios is the break-even ratio.

The Break Even Ratio answers the question:

At what occupancy rate am I breaking even?

Good question to know the answer to, right?

Additionally, it allows lenders and other investors to assess the rental property for its ability to meet its operating expenses, debt service, and provide a level of profit.

Break Even Ratio Formula

To calculate the break even ratio, simply take the debt service + operating expenses – any reserves and divide by the gross operating income.

Break Even Ratio Example

Let’s say a given property has an annual debt service of $15,000 and it’s annual operating expenses are $12,000. The total yearly expenses for this property amounts to $27,000.

Now, let’s say this property has a gross income of $33,000 (not to be confused with the net operating income).

Total Expenses / Gross Income = Break Even Ratio

$27,000 / $33,000 = 81.8%

So, you need roughly 82% occupancy to break even and cover your expenses.

Break Even Ratio vs Debt Service Coverage Ratio

The DSCR and BER are clearly related. As you might remember, the debt service coverage ratio is the NOI / Debt service. It is the relationship between the NOI and Debt Service.

The break-even ratio is the relationship between all costs and income.

So, these are very closely related but answer slightly different questions.

The DSCR lets a lender know the borrower’s ability to pay the debt service. So, a DSCR of 1.25 means the borrower net income is 25% more than all of the operating costs (including debt service). They could lose 25% of their NOI and still cover the debt service.

The break even ratio is slightly different. It tells you how much of your gross income you can lose in order to break even.

So, the debt coverage ratio compares net income to the mortgage. Break even ratio compares gross income to total expenses.

When To Use Break Even Ratio

The break even ratio is important for both investors and lenders. It’s used to know what occupancy level you require in order to still cover your bills.

For example, if your break even ratio is 92%, an investor or lender may feel this deal is shaky because of the high occupancy required to keep the building afloat. It’s really common for occupancy levels to drop below 90%, especially during a recession.

On the other hand, if the break-even ratio is 75%, an investor or lender would be far more confident in the deal knowing that during the worst case scenario of a 25% vacancy rate, the property could still cover all of its expenses and obligations.

Additionally, investors may analyze a deal by looking at the break-even occupancy rate both at acquisition and after the building is remodeled and stabilized.

For example, if we are buying a deal with a heavy rehab component, we might expect it is currently underwater or barely breaking even. So, a break even occupancy of 95% or even over 100% would be expected.

We could project out one or two years and look at what the stabilized property would look like, and determine the break even occupancy at that point. Let’s say that in year two, the break even ratio is a much healthier 82%, so we might choose to take this deal.

On the other hand, if we did all this remodeling and work and the break even ratio was 90%, we might reconsider investing in the deal.

Break Even Ratio Rule of Thumb

As a general rule of thumb, lenders will look for a break even ratio of 85% or less. Just like everything else in real estate, this number fluctuates and depends on the lender and property, but a ratio under 85% is good.

This means the total rent collected can drop by 15% and you still can cover all of the bills. That’s pretty good for income producing property.

Analyzing Real Estate Deals

When analyzing your rental property deals, there are a number of metrics you’ll want to use to determine if it’s a good deal.

First, you want to know what it will be worth when any upgrades or rehab is completed. This is called the After Repair Value. You calculate this by doing a comparative market analysis (if it’s a smaller deal) or by using capitalization rates (if it’s a larger deal).

The next thing you want to look at is the average cash on cash return as well as the overall return on investment over the timeframe of the deal. You’ll want to look at the in-place cash on cash return day 1 and compare it to the cash on cash return once the work is complete and rents are pushed.

You do this because you want to walk into a cash flowing property day one, then add value. It’s a lot harder to buy something that is cash flow negative and turn it around.

This is where you’ll look at the break even ratio to see how the deal performs both day 1 and after it’s stabilized.

Now, you’ll want to look at overall financing and how that affects your returns. This is where the debt coverage ratio comes into play. If the DSCR is too low, you’ll get less loan proceeds which means higher cash out of pocket and lower cash on cash returns.

With all of this information, you can make an informed decision to buy or not to buy.

This article originally appeared on IdealREI.  Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Featured image: Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Real Estate Investing

How to Invest In Real Estate Through Your IRA



Investing in real estate can be a great way to grow your wealth, but did you know that you can use your IRA to invest in real estate? An IRA (Individual Retirement Account) is an investment account funded with pre-tax dollars and can be used to purchase investments such as stocks, bonds, or even real estate. Here’s what you need to know about using your IRA to invest in real estate. 

Rules & Regulations 

First and foremost, specific rules and regulations must be followed when using an IRA to invest in real estate. You must adhere to IRS guidelines regarding the types of investments allowed and how much you can contribute each year. 

The most important rule is that you cannot use the funds for personal benefit; any money used for personal benefit will be subject to tax penalties. 

Additionally, it’s important to note that the money in your IRA must be invested into a qualified trust company or custodian before it can be used for any investment, including real estate. 

Benefits of Using an IRA To Invest In Real Estate 

One of the major benefits of investing in real estate through an IRA is that all profits from the investment are tax-free until retirement age.

This means any profits gained from rental income or appreciation won’t have to be reported on taxes until you withdraw them at retirement (typically 59 ½ years old). Additionally, since a traditional or Roth IRA allows for up to $5000/year ($6000/year if over 50) contributions without triggering taxes on those amounts, this could provide more capital than if investing with after-tax dollars alone. 

This could give you more buying power when looking for a piece of property and create larger returns down the road with compounding interest. 

Drawbacks of Using an IRA To Invest In Real Estate

There are some drawbacks associated with investing in real estate through an IRA, such as using the money after retirement without incurring taxes and penalties on withdrawals before then.

Additionally, IRAs typically have higher fees than other investments because they require custodians or trustees who charge annual fees for managing the accounts. Also, since IRAs can’t borrow money against their assets or partner with outside investors, acquiring larger properties is challenging due to the limited capital resources available through an IRA account alone.

With proper research and planning, investing in real estate through your IRA may help increase your wealth while avoiding taxes on those profits until retirement age making it a potentially attractive option for many investors who want access to capital without being taxed prematurely.

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How Big Real Estate Moguls Avoid Taxes (And How You Can, Too) 👀



I was looking around Google for an old article on tax strategies and this five-year old video of myself happened to pop up.

I’m interviewing a tax expert about how real estate investors avoid paying taxes in perpetuity—AND how everyday citizens can do the same thing.

(Real estate—our TEMPLE I and TEMPLE II projects included—has a number of tax benefits savvy investors have capitalized on for years, including Opportunity Zone breaks and 10-year tax abatements.)

There’s the 1031 exchange, of course, which I’ve shared with you guys before. 

Just to refresh your memory, the 1031 Exchange allows you to roll over gains from your last project into a new property TAX FREE—as long as said property is worth the same or more.

But there’s ANOTHER TAX LOOPHOLE that can take your portfolio to an entirely new level by splitting your capital gains into MULTIPLE properties.

So I thought I’d share it with you guys. 💎

You can check it out here.

Let me know what you think. 😎

PS: In our next update, I’m going to break down how real estate moguls get paid from their properties…tax free. 👀
PPS: If you want to learn how to implement generational wealth strategies like this one, you can join our NYCE wealth academy (TRIBE U) here.

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How I run a $300M+ business from the beach…(and how you can TOO!)



Yes, you read that right.

If there’s anything the pandemic taught us, it’s that the paradigm of “office” and “workspace” has been shaken to its CORE.

Universities are teaching via Zoom, court dates are done virtually, FULLY REMOTE businesses are valued at $1B+, and legitimate Inc. 5000 startups are run from…wherever. 📲

This is my office for the day…

I am actually running our business from the beach, typing this from here.

It’s 4:28 pm CET, which means it’s 10:28 am EST and I am CRUSHING my to-do list.

(And the team will continue to crush it while I’m asleep. That’s the 🗝)

So how did we get here? 

We launched NYCE and our mission to create 100,000 millionaires in March, 2020…just as the global COVID-19 lockdown happened. 😳

As a result, we shut down our main office and set EVERYTHING up to run remotely…

SMOOTHLY! And a system that allows us to outperform competition by 200%. (You can build this system, too. More on this in a second.)

Here’s what we were able to do since then:

  • Gained 6M+ followers across all platforms 📈
  • Add 1500+ new apartments to the portfolio 🤑
  • Grow to $300M in real estate 🚀
  • 105% investor returns 🎉
  • 700K+ community members 🤝

And here’s the best part…

Having team members in all the main time zones gives us a 24-hour work cycle vs. 9-5/eight-hour on-the-clock performance.

This means we get 3x the productivity of a similar company. 🔥

Let me repeat that…3x PRODUCTIVITY vs. our competitors.

Meanwhile our project management software grants us 24-hour TEAM-WIDE connectivity that tracks all tasks and lets us know if productivity dips even a little bit.

There is ALWAYS someone senior awake. It could be Martin in Barcelona…Nat in New York…Vineet & Arif in New Delhi.

All the while giving YOU GUYS wealth hacks and daily content. 🔥

OK, so how can you do it?!

Well, the first step is to have an actual side hustle you’re launching. Not just an idea, a validated business.

MAJOR KEY: Do NOT spend money until you’ve made your FIRST DOLLAR! 🗝🗝🗝🗝

(You can catch a replay Business Launch masterclass here and see TRIBE member Nessa launched her business on the spot and got her first $45K client shortly after.)

One of the easiest ways to start is with Airbnb—you can start that in 10 minutes. Literally. (Here’s a guide if you need it.)

Once you have your business, you build a virtual infrastructure (you really just need two softwares, which are FREE), manage the team accordingly and run the business from there.

I’m gonna put together a step-by-step video breakdown this weekend inside the new TRIBE U on the FIVE key things you need to do this for YOURSELF. 💵 💎

From what software to use, how to build a team, how to keep.

In the meantime, drop a comment if you’re ready to build some wealth and any questions if you want more…

Let’s get to work. 🙌

PS: If you can’t be bothered with video and just wanna get to work, we’re hosting a TRIBE U workshop that will help you get this process started on the spot. It’s $479 $49. 🔥

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