What Is The 1 Rule In Real Estate? (Question)

The 1% rule of real estate investing measures the price of the investment property against the gross income it will generate. For a potential investment to pass the 1% rule, its monthly rent must be equal to or no less than 1% of the purchase price.

  • The 1 percent rule in real estate is used to determine if the monthly rental income earned from the property is more than, or at least equal to one percent of the purchase price. You can get the same result by reversing the 1 percent rule:


Is the 1% rule in real estate realistic?

The Bottom Line The 1% rule isn’t foolproof, but it can be a good tool to help you whether a rental property is a good investment. As a general rule of thumb, it should be used as an initial prescreening tool to help you narrow down your list of options.

How do you calculate one rule in real estate?

The one percent rule is simply a rule of thumb that says a rental property should meet the follow criteria:

  1. Monthly Rental Income ≥ One Percent of Purchase Price.
  2. 100 x Monthly Rent = Maximum Purchase Price.
  3. And the bottom line income from your rental (before income taxes) will be negative $3,108/year.

What is the 2% rule in real estate?

The two percent rule in real estate refers to what percentage of your home’s total cost you should be asking for in rent. In other words, for a property worth $300,000, you should be asking for at least $6,000 per month to make it worth your while.

What are the three rules of real estate?

The three rules of real estate: location, location, location.

Does the 1% rule still work?

The 1% rule is a good prescreening tool. It works well as a guide for determining a good investment from a bad one and narrowing down your choices of properties. As you review listings, apply the 1% rule to the listing price and then see if what you get is close to the median rent for the area.

Does the 1% rule matter?

The one percent rule is more of a guideline than a rule, and not one you should follow blindly. Think of it as a screening tool or benchmark in a multi-step evaluation process that also takes property quality, location, and tenants into consideration.

Do buyers want high or low cap rates?

Buyers usually want a high cap rate, or the purchase price is low compared to the NOI. But, as stated above, a higher cap rate usually means higher risk and a lower cap rate usually means lower risk.

What is the 10 rule in real estate?

A good rule is that a 1% increase in interest rates will equal 10% less you are able to borrow but still keep your same monthly payment. It’s said that when interest rates climb, every 1% increase in rate will decrease your buying power by 10%. The higher the interest rate, the higher your monthly payment.

What is the 70 percent rule in real estate?

The 70% rule helps home flippers determine the maximum price they should pay for an investment property. Basically, they should spend no more than 70% of the home’s after-repair value minus the costs of renovating the property.

What does 7.5% cap rate mean?

With that caveat, to understand a CAP rate you simply take the building’s annual net operating income divided by purchase price. For example, if an investment property costs $1 million dollars and it generates $75,000 of NOI (net operating income) a year, then it’s a 7.5 percent CAP rate.

How does Roofstock make money?

How does Roofstock make money? Roofstock charges a marketplace fee to buyers and a commission fee to sellers. For buyers, you pay $500 or. 5% of the purchase price (whichever is greater).

The One Percent Rule Determines Base Rent on Investment Property

The one percent rule, which is frequently referred to as the “1 percent rule,” is used to calculate if the monthly rent received from a piece of investment property would surpass the monthly mortgage payment on that piece of property. The rule’s purpose is to assure that the rent will be larger than or, at the very least, equal to the mortgage payment, allowing the investor to at the very least break even on the property.

Key Takeaways:

  • If the monthly rent received from an investment property exceeds the monthly mortgage payment on that investment property, this is known as the one percent rule, which is frequently styled as the “1 percent rule.” According to the rule, the rent must be larger than or—at worst—equivalent to the mortgage payment in order for the investor to break even or make a profit from his or her investment.

Using the one-percent rule, commercial property owners may set a baseline for determining how much they should charge for their real estate location. There are many different sorts of tenants that can be accommodated in both residential and commercial real estate facilities at this rent level. Purchasing a piece of real estate as an investment necessitates a careful examination of a wide range of criteria. The one percent rule is only one of several assessment tools that may be used to assist an investor determine the level of risk and possible benefit associated with a real estate investment.

How the One Percent Rule Works

This straightforward formula involves multiplying the purchase price of the property plus the cost of any necessary repairs by one percent. As a result, a base amount of monthly rent is established. It is also compared to the anticipated monthly mortgage payment in order to provide the owner with a more accurate picture of the property’s monthly cash flow flow. There are additional expenditures involved with a piece of property, such as upkeep, insurance, and taxes, which are not taken into consideration by this guideline and should only be used for rapid calculation.

Example of the One Percent Rule

An investor is trying to secure a mortgage loan on a rental property with a total repayment value of $200,000. The property is being held as a rental property. The owner would calculate a $2,000 monthly rent payment using the one percent formula, which is $200,000 multiplied by one percent of the monthly rent payment. A mortgage loan with monthly installments that are less than and certainly not greater than $2,000 would be sought by the investor in this situation.

The One Percent Rule vs. Other Types of Calculations

In addition, the one percent rule provides an investor with a starting point from which to analyze other aspects related to property ownership. Second, the gross rent multiplier, which takes into account the monthly rent level to estimate the length of time it will take to pay off the investment, is critical for determining the overall payback period. In order to arrive at this computation, divide the total borrowed amount by the monthly rental rate. In the case of the residence with a value of $200,000, the investor would divide $200,000 by $2,000 to arrive at a net profit of $200,000.

When determining the payment schedule conditions of a loan taken out to purchase the property, investors can make use of the gross rent multiplier as well.

The 70 percent rule states that an investor should not spend more than 70 percent of the estimated worth of a property after repairs and other expenditures have been deducted.

Special Considerations

It is necessary for a buyer to take into account the rental rates in the area where the property is located when determining the gross rent multiplier. If the normal cost for rent in the neighborhood for the buyer in this example is less than $2,000, the investor may have to consider lowering the price to guarantee that they can find a tenant to fill the space. Another significant issue to think about is the upkeep of the property in question. Maintenance and repairs are the responsibility of the property owner.

If it is not utilized, it can contribute to earnings, and the money would be accessible in the event that any maintenance is required in the future.

The basic rent that an owner charges on any sort of property determines the amount of payments that renters may anticipate to make.

How Ironclad is the 1% Rule in Real Estate Investing?

The most recent update was made on October 12, 2021. Is the one percent rule a hard and fast guideline that every investor must adhere to in order to be successful in their investments? It is dependent on the situation. While it is a valuable tool for analyzing a property’s cash flow, it does not always convey the entire picture about the property’s investment prospects. Throughout this essay, we will reveal what the one percent rule looks like in real estate investing and why it may or may not make sense to adhere to it in various situations.

What is the one percent rule?

One percent rule (also known as “1 percent rule”) is a guideline that real estate investors commonly use when analyzing possible property purchases and is derived from the arithmetic mean of one percent. According to this rule of thumb, the monthly rent on an investment property should be equal to or more than one percent of the entire purchase price of the investment property each month. Keep in mind that the one percent guideline does not take into consideration other property expenses, such as loan and purchase fees, closing charges, repairs, upkeep, insurance, and property taxes, among other things.

Here’s how to calculate whether a property passes the one percent rule:

Rent / purchase price multiplied by 100

Here’s an example with an investment property that costs $100,000, and rents for $900 a month:

$900 divided by $100,000 multiplied by 100 equals.9 percent (This property falls barely short of the one percent guideline in terms of value.) It is important to note that while the one percent rule is not a “make-or-break” standard for all investors, it may be an effective screening tool for estimating how well a property will cash flow. If the property is now vacant, it may also be used to determine rental prices if the property is currently vacant. When it comes down to it, how does the one percent rule work?

  1. Consider it a screening tool or a benchmark in a multi-step evaluation process that also takes into account factors such as property quality, location, and tenant mix, among other things.
  2. Is this in accordance with the one percent rule?
  3. Is this a good indication of a promising investment opportunity?
  4. When it comes to investing in real estate, it all comes down to your particular objectives and criteria, as well as how many of those boxes the property ticks (we dig into that more here).

Don’t write out an investment property because it doesn’t fulfill the one percent criterion without first taking into account other basic criteria that determine the total rate of return, such as the location and the condition. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The local market
  • The quality and facilities of the neighborhood
  • The existing tenants
  • The condition of the property
  • The forecasted increase in house value
  • The projected increase in rent Trends in demography and socioeconomic development
  • Rates of foreclosure
  • Vacancy rates
  • Number of days on the market
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We’ll go through a number of these considerations in further detail below.

Fundamental factors that influence overall rate of return

You’re probably familiar with the expression “a rising tide lifts all boats.” Getting your foot in the door in a location that is seeing above-average population or job growth may be a wonderful opportunity to secure a position before demand for housing increases and competition heats up. Of course, it is necessary to take into account the barrier to entry, as well as the cost of the product. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t base your selection simply on the hope that you’ll be purchasing in the next Denver or Seattle.

Risk/return threshold

Consider how comfortable you are with the risk/return tradeoff associated with a specific investment property or investment strategy. Lower-priced properties are often a little riskier to invest in owing to factors such as location, property condition, and tenant turnover, but they also often produce better current or cash-on-cash money returns than higher-priced homes. “Consider researching low-risk investment houses that create a consistent and predictable return,” suggests Roofstock CEO Gary Beasley if you are more concerned with safety and security.

The yield will be lower, but on the other hand, you may benefit from superior downside protection and reduced volatility.” For illustration purposes, the following two investment properties from the Roofstock marketplace are compared: Property 1: A rental property in Douglasville, Georgia, falls just short of the one percent requirement.

  • An excellent cap rate of 6.3 percent
  • It is located in a 4-star area
  • Distance from a big metropolitan that is appealing for commuting (about 35 minutes from Atlanta, which has a very robust real estate market)
  • Expected appreciation that is higher than average: Zillow predicts that Douglasville home values will rise 6.9 percent within the next year, which is higher than the national average of 6.4 percent predicted by Zillow. Douglasville home values have increased by 12.4 percent over the past year, and Zillow predicts that they will rise 6.9 percent within the next year. Fixtures and appliances that have been recently refurbished or replaced

Investment property number two: A Chicago, Illinois investment home with a very high cap rate of 9 percent and gross yield of 16.1 percent breaks the one percent guideline, putting it well beyond the one percent threshold. For some investors, a solid cash flow is the most important factor to consider. Because of the following factors, they may be willing to take on a bit extra risk:

  • Location: The property is in a two-star residential area. Because it is an older home (constructed in 1910), it is likely to require more care and upkeep. There are large anticipated capital expenditures that will need to be performed before the property can be sold again.

The truth is that in the instance of these two characteristics, none is inherently superior to the other. Your investment style, goals, and risk tolerance are all determined by these three factors: The idea is that relying on a single indicator, such as the one percent rule, does not provide a comprehensive picture of investment opportunity. Tip: Examine how the Roofstock Neighborhood Ratingcan assist you in determining the risk of a real estate investment.


Several neighborhood characteristics, including the quality of local schools, the “walkability” factor, commuting distance, and closeness to amenities/services, all contribute to the desirability of an investment property — and the possibility for ultimate return on investment. For example, take note of adjacent attractions such as public parks and spaces, transit hubs/systems, retail malls, restaurants, and areas of high job concentrations. Keep an eye out for new retail developments and special economic zones since their existence may aid in the appreciation of property values.

“For example, in Atlanta, the MARTA system is being expanded throughout the city.

The communities around these prospective stations will become more desirable, and as a result, the value of the properties in the region may improve more quickly as a result of the increase in demand in the area. “Get in early to take advantage of the greatest amount of potential upside.”

Forecasted appreciation

If you’re looking at the possible return on investment properties, understanding historical and forecast house price appreciation rates is another important piece of the jigsaw to solve. Property that doesn’t exactly satisfy the one percent criteria may nevertheless prove to be a profitable long-term investment prospect, depending on how much it gains in the region where you acquire it and how much it costs. Check out Zillow’s house value index to discover how various markets compare up against national norms in terms of home values.

This is higher than Zillow’s anticipated national average of 6.4 percent for the same period.

“It all depends on your investment goals and priorities,” he adds.

Rental demand and vacancy rates

In order to determine the potential profitability of your investment, you must first have an understanding of the local rental demand and vacancy rates in the market. Some of the most important factors influencing total rental demand are proximity to work, property pricing and affordability, commute patterns, and the characteristics of homeowners and renters. Tenant turnover has a negative influence on your financial line as well. Estimated average costs are in the neighborhood of $2,500, with costs ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 on average.

Census Bureau, nationwide vacancy rates for rental housing were 7.1 percent in the third quarter of 2018, which corresponds to the third quarter of 2017.

If you’re comparing homes in various locations, it’s essential to remember that turnover and vacancy rates will normally be higher for a higher-yielding house in a lower-rated community than for a lower-yielding home in a better-rated neighborhood.

Inquire about the rental vacancy rates, rental demand, and turnover frequency in the neighborhood.

Other expenses

According to what we discussed previously, the one percent guideline does not take into consideration a variety of additional expenditures. For example, you could be looking at a listing that satisfies the one percent criterion, but has high taxes or would require a completely new roof the next time the property is sold.

Here is a list from our post on how to calculate the return on investment of an investment property, which details numerous of the fees that property owners generally incur when acquiring an investment.

  • Fixtures and equipment
  • City and property taxes
  • Property insurance
  • Mortgage/financing
  • Property management costs
  • Homeowners association dues (if any)
  • The landscaping project (if applicable). Spending on capital improvements (larger renovations, expansions, and so on)
  • Vacancy fees (which are often estimated as a percentage and added into your expected expenses as a precautionary measure in case the residence remains vacant between renters)

Ultimately, there is no one statistic that should be considered when analyzing investment homes for sale. Know your investment criteria and consider a variety of aspects to aid in the decision-making process while making a purchase. If you wish to see homes on our marketplace that comply with the 1 percent guideline, you can do so by clicking here.

The One Percent Rule – Quick Math For Positive Cash Flow Rental Properties

Known as the one percent rule, it is an analytical method that real estate investors use to analyze possible rental properties quickly and efficiently. In How to Run the Numbers Using Back-of-the-Envelope Analysis, I discussed the one percent rule in a very brief manner. However, in this essay, I’ll go into further detail about what it is, when to use it (and when not to! ), and why it might be beneficial in some situations. In addition, I’ll discuss the one percent rule, which applies in high-priced markets.

When it comes to purchasing investment properties, the one percent rule is most important since it teaches you to be income disciplined.

Let’s get this party started.

What Is the One Percent Rule?

The capacity to generate rental income is the most important advantage of investing in real estate. As a result, the one percent rule provides a quick and simple way to assess how well a rental property performs in this regard. This rule of thumb simply states that a rental property should fulfill the following characteristics in order to be considered for rental consideration: Rent Received on a Monthly Basis Approximately One Percent of Purchase Price

Rental Property Analysis

You will learn how to run the numbers in this course by Coach Carson, which will enable you to confidently assess and purchase successful rental properties. Coach’s worksheet for rental analysis is also included in the package. Find Out More About the Course A home that costs $200,000 in total (including purchase price and upfront repairs) should rent for at least $2,000 per month in order to be considered a solid investment, according to the criteria. In this case, the $200,000 price would not be acceptable because the rent is just $1,500 per month.

You may also apply the rule in the opposite direction: Monthly Rent multiplied by 100 equals the maximum purchase price.

Using a simple calculator, you may immediately determine that you cannot pay more than $150,000 (100 times $1,500).

You wouldn’t have to waste your time looking at it if it was advertised for $250,000, instead.

It’s only the beginning of a much longer narrative. Furthermore, it is not applicable to all properties or all circumstances in general. So, let’s take a look at when the one percent rule should be used and when it shouldn’t.

When to Use the One Percent Rule

In most cases, the one percent rule should be utilized as a prescreening method. It’s a time-saving method for investors who want to maintain their discipline. In other words, you’ll be putting it to use early on in the process while hunting for potential investment opportunities. If you want to rapidly filter 20 listed homes that your real estate agent provides you, you may utilize it to do so. To begin, you would scroll down the list of asking prices in order to estimate 1 percent of each list price as you went down the list.

  1. As an example, $100,000.00 equals $1,000.00.
  2. If the rent is close to one percent of the asking price, it’s probably worth your time to look into the situation more.
  3. In a recent piece, my blogging buddy and fellow investor Lucas Hall provided a thorough explanation of how to estimate the rent.
  4. However, with time, as you study and become an expert in your region, rent rates should become more intuitive, and you should no longer need to conduct extensive research.
  5. But let’s take a look at when it shouldn’t be used.

When Not to Use the One Percent Rule

Having refined your list of potential properties, I advocate going beyond the one percent rule and employing additional in-depth analytical techniques. When making an offer and ultimately closing on a purchase, for example, you’ll want considerably more information than what the one percent rule can supply. The one percent guideline is based only on the gross income generated by a property (i.e. what you collect from a tenant). However, the net income, or what is left over after all costs, is the most important aspect of rental investing.

  1. You must also account for capital expenditures such as renovations and improvements.
  2. It is possible that a property that fulfills the one percent criteria will also achieve the other objectives.
  3. A great deal is dependent on the details of the property’s expenditures as well as the amount of mortgage finance I am able to obtain.
  4. Small residential rentals (houses, duplexes, triplexes, and quadplexes) in A or B areas, in my opinion, are the most appropriate use of the tax exemption.

An further argument to the one percent rule (and one of the most frequently heard) is that it cannot or should not be utilized in high-priced marketplaces, which is a valid point. Let’s take a closer look at the scenario in greater depth.

Is the One Percent Rule Even Possible in Some Markets?

As you are surely aware, real estate investing is a fairly localized activity. The patterns and quantities differ significantly from one place to the next. Furthermore, in some locations and large cities, it is practically hard to discover homes that conform to the one percent rule of real estate ownership. For example, as of February 2018, I utilized Zillow Local Market Reports to examine numerous high-priced or hot real estate markets in the United States. The findings are as follows:

  • City of San Francisco, California: median sales price = $1,289,300
  • 1 percent = $12,893
  • 1 percent = $1,289,300
  • Average rent in Denver, Colorado is $4,285 per month
  • In Washington, DC the average rent is $2,047 per month
  • In Denver, Colorado the average sales price is $391,300,1 percent = $3,913, while the average rent in Washington, DC is $4,285 per month. The median rent is $2,146 per month.

You’d have to buy an average property for approximately half of its value in Denver and Washington, D.C., in order to fulfill the one percent criterion in these two cities. You’d have to buy a property in San Francisco for approximately one-third of its worth in order to fulfill the one percent requirement there, too! In any of these categories, it goes without saying that purchasing at such a significant discount is quite unlikely to occur. As a result, you have the following options:

  1. Make purchases in other places (either outside of those markets or in lower-priced venues inside those markets)
  2. Reduce your selection criteria (for example, use a “.5 percent rule” or some other criterion)

Numerous investors opt for Option 1, in which they simply purchase homes in other markets from a distance. Rich Carey, a friend of mine who runs the website richonmoney.com, has been doing this for years. In his early years, he resided in Washington D.C., and then in Korea, and he has since built up a substantial portfolio of free-and-clear rental properties in the state of Alabama. Others may choose for Option 2 and decrease their expectations for the amount of money a rental property must generate in order to be considered profitable.

Let me first explain why the one percent rule and income discipline are important before you proceed down that path.

Why the One Percent Rule and Income Discipline Matter

Real estate is just a tool to help you achieve your financial objectives. You put your cash, time, and energy into the property, with the goal that it would give you back much more money in the long run. You may then put this money to use to attain financial freedom and pursue the things that are important to you. Describe the specific ways in which this real estate product might benefit you. Specifically, in two ways:

  1. Your financial objectives can be achieved through the use of real estate. You put your cash, time, and energy into the property, with the goal that it would return much more money in the long run. Once you have achieved financial independence, you may put your money to work doing what you believe is important. Describe the specific way in which this real estate tool might benefit you. For the most part, there are two approaches:
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In order to achieve a better overall result as a smart investor, you should take advantage of both of these profit centers to your advantage. However, rental income is the more straightforward of the two options. I enjoy buying properties at a discount or adding value to them, but these are inherently more speculative and risky endeavors than other types of real estate investing. At the very least, they both require more time and effort to profit from than simply collecting rent. And, in the worst case scenario, the “profits” on paper can vanish before you have a chance to take advantage of them.

These formulas serve the same purpose as gauges on a car’s dashboard: they tell me how well a property generates income.

If you choose to lower your expectations for rental income (i.e.

not meet the one percent rule), you must make up for this shortfall somewhere else. And that could sometimes be a difficult task. Let’s look at two example properties – one that meets the one percent rule and one that doesn’t – in order to see how this works.

Example – A Property That Meets the One Percent Rule

Consider the following scenario: you purchase a duplex for $100,000. This pricing covers your purchase price as well as other up-front expenses (closing costs and repairs). In addition to investing 20% of your own capital, or $20,000, you borrow $80,000 at 5% interest for 30 years, with a payment of $430 per month on the loan. The monthly gross rental income for the property is $1,000. (i.e. it meets the one percent rule). Each month, it incurs $400 in running expenditures (such as for administration and maintenance, vacancies, taxes, and insurance).

Sample Property – Meets the One Percent Rule
Rental Income Operating Expenses Net Operating Income Mortgage Payment Net Income After Financing
$1,000/month -$400/month $600/month $-430/month $170/month
$12,000/year -$4,800/year $7,200/year -$5,160/year $2,040/year

However, not every property that fits the one percent threshold will end up achieving the same outcome. However, in this situation, your net operating income (i.e., the amount of money you make before paying your mortgage payment) is $7,200 each year. This results in a capitalization rate of 7.2 percent ($7,200 / $100,000). Furthermore, the net income you get (before income taxes) will be in excess of $2,000 each year. This equates to a cash-on-cash return of around 10% on your $20,000 initial down payment.

  1. You can put it in a savings account and use it to make a future purchase.
  2. Alternatively, you may utilize it to cover a portion of your living expenditures.
  3. In addition, if the rent or property value increases over time, you will reap the benefits.
  4. Assuming this is the case, the monthly revenue is equivalent to.5 percent of the entire purchase price every month.

Example – A Property That Does NOT Meet the One Percent Rule

Consider the following scenario: you purchase a duplex for $200,000 dollars. Once again, the price includes your purchase price as well as any up-front charges and expenses (closing costs and repairs). In addition to investing $40,000 of your own money, you borrow $160,000 at a rate of 5 percent for 30 years, with a monthly payment of $859 in interest. The gross rent for this property is $1,000 per month, which is the same as the gross rent for the other (i.e. it does not meet the one percent rule).

So, here’s what the rental revenue for this home looks like in numbers:

Sample Property – Does NOT Meet the One Percent Rule
Rental Income Operating Expenses Net Operating Income Mortgage Payment Net Income After Financing
$1,000/month -$400/month $600/month $-859/month -$259/month
$12,000/year -$4,800/year $7,200/year -$10,308/year -$3,108/year

In this situation, your net operating income (i.e., the amount of money you make before paying your mortgage) is $7,200 each year. Although the purchase price was twice as high, the cap rate is only half as favorable at 3.6 percent ($7,200 / $200,000), which is less than half the previous rate. And the net income from your rental property (before income taxes) will be a negative $3,108 per year on an annual basis. Because of this, you’ll need to provide cash to the property from another source, most likely your job wage or the positive cash flow from another rental property.

Does this inevitably imply that the property that does not comply with the one percent guideline is a bad investment? Not all of the time. Look at how a property that doesn’t match the one percent requirement can nevertheless generate income in the next section (eventually).

How to Break the One Percent Rule and Still Make Money

The principle on the mortgage for the property that did not satisfy the one percent criteria is lowered by about $2,400 in the first year when the property does not meet the rule. So, at least on paper, the unfavorable outcome does not appear to be as awful as it appears. All that has happened is that I have lost $708 (-$3,108 + $2,400). Furthermore, if the home rises by 3 percent in the same year, the situation might become even more favorable. A 3% price increase on a $200,000 purchase is worth $6,000.

  1. On a $40,000 investment, that’s a reasonable 13 percent return, which is not bad.
  2. They will have to rely more on price appreciation in the future.
  3. Until the property is sold or refinanced, the “return” described above is only a piece of paper.
  4. However, the term “speculative” does not automatically imply a negative connotation.
  5. adding value).
  6. This is true even if your rental income is not initially high.
  7. You will most likely have to feed the property cash in the short run, but eventually rent appreciation will catch up with you and save you from financial ruin.
  8. The major question then becomes how much of your revenue will be derived from speculating and how much will be derived from rental income.
  9. You’re putting more of your reliance on speculating to make money.
  10. However, if you want a more balanced combination of profit from rental income and speculating, look for homes in desirable locations that also fulfill the one percent criterion or some other measure of income yield.

Income Discipline Leads to Successful Investing

That was a fast overview of the one percent rule, which is a straightforward real estate investing technique. I hope you can now put the tool to use or adapt it to meet your own specific investment requirements, as I have. The most important thing is to find out a means to keep your investment purchases in line with your income discipline. At the end of the day, each individual piece of real estate is simply a small company that should generate a profit for you.

The greater the amount of rental revenue generated by your small business, the sooner you will achieve your real estate and financial independence objectives. Wishing you the best of success with your investments!

Do you use the one percent rule for your rental property investing? If you don’t, how do you screen potential deals early in the process? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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What Is the 1% Rule in Real Estate?

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How do I use the 1% rule?

To establish whether a prospective real estate investment fulfills the 1 percent rule, multiply the acquisition price by 0.01 to obtain the minimum monthly rent required to make the venture profitable. According to the 1 percent rule, if you can acquire a home for $100,000, you should only do so if the property will provide at least $1,000 in monthly rental income. Working backwards from the 1 percent rule, you may figure how much you should be prepared to spend for a given property in order to create a suitable amount of monthly cash flow.

In this situation, increase the property’s monthly rental income by 100 to arrive at the maximum purchase price for the property.

What are the shortcomings of the 1% rule?

A guideline rather than a hard line in the sand, the one percent rule is designed to serve as a starting point. Generally speaking, it is less successful when used to properties that are anticipated to have higher-than-average maintenance expenses or vacancy rates, as well as buildings with other exceptionally high ownership costs. While the 1 percent rule is useful, it should not be relied on as the single means of appraising real estate investments. Instead, it should be used in conjunction with other methods of detailed examination.

What are the 1% and 2% Rules in Real Estate Investing?

You will learn about the 1 percent and 2 percent regulations for real estate investment in this post. You’ll discover when and how to apply the 1 percent rule and the 2 percent rule, why both rules are beneficial when analyzing real estate investments, the advantages and disadvantages of each guideline, and other useful real estate investing advice.


In real estate investing, the 1 percent and 2 percent rules can be valuable tools for analyzing real estate investments in specific conditions, and they can be applied to other types of investments as well. Investors can examine rental properties quickly and easily to see which ones are worth pursuing further. When it comes to buying investment properties, these real estate investing guidelines emphasize the need of maintaining income discipline. Having said that, they are not inflexible guidelines.

Following that, I’ll demonstrate how to determine the 1 percent rule and when it would be beneficial to employ it.

What is the 1% Rule in Real Estate Investing?

A rule in real estate that determines whether or not the monthly rental income received from a property is greater than, or at least equal to, one percent of the purchase price is called the one percent rule. Rent Received on a Monthly Basis Approximately One Percent of Purchase Price You may get the same outcome by flipping the 1 percent rule on its head: In the case of a $1,500-per-month rental property, a fast calculation tells you that the purchase price should be roughly $150,000.

Please keep in mind that the rental market, rather than the buying market, determines the value of a house.

How the 1% Rule Works

To figure up the amount, multiply the acquisition price of the property plus the cost of any necessary renovations by 1%. Consider comparing the results to the amount of your projected monthly mortgage payment to have a better picture of the monthly cash flow of a property if you are financing. Please keep in mind that the 1 percent rule is best utilized as a fast, “back of a napkin” litmus test that investors may use to assess whether or not their rent to value ratios are healthy. It does not take into consideration extra expenses like as insurance, taxes, and upkeep.

Example of the 1% Rule

Consider the following scenario: you are wanting to obtain a mortgage loan on an investment property with a value of $200,000. Using the one percent rule, multiply $200,000 by one percent to arrive at the answer. The outcome of your calculations would be $2,000 in your favor. Because of the 1 percent guideline, we may infer that your monthly mortgage payments should be no more than $2,000 per month. A positive cash flow on an investment property will be tough to achieve if the mortgage payment is more than $2,000 per month on the property.

In most circumstances, it is prudent for investors to dive further into data beyond the 1 percent rule in order to appropriately establish if the numbers make up and whether there is a strong chance for a positive return on investment in the first place.

  • It is recommended that rental income be equal to or greater than the purchase price in accordance with the 1 percent guideline. To evaluate if a property’s rent to value ratio is healthy or unhealthy, multiply the purchase price of the property plus the costs of necessary repairs by one percent. Rental markets determine the value of rental properties.

The One Percent Rule vs Other Useful Real Estate Investing Calculations

During our time as real estate investment students, we learn that there are hundreds of helpful and critical calculations that must be made during the purchase process in order to make the best possible decision. The one percent rule is a quick and simple approach to analyze rent to value ratios, but as real estate investors, we know that it is only one of several indications to consider when purchasing an investment property. The following are a few real estate investing calculations that might be useful:

  • Gross Rent Multiplier: This is a metric that is used to determine the relative gross revenue earning capacity of a piece of property. It informs you how long it will take for the asset to begin providing gross income equivalent to the amount paid for it at the time of acquisition. Divide the fair market value of a residence or the purchase price by the total rental income to arrive at this figure. The 70 percent guideline is as follows: When buying a fix-and-flip home, this rule recommends the price at which an investor should spend in order to earn money. According to the regulation, investors should pay 70 percent of the anticipated after-repair value (ARV) of a property minus repair expenditures when purchasing a property. Keep in mind that this statistic is most commonly employed on fix-and-flip properties. For a rapid study of a single family investment property, the 50 percent rule can be used. According to the norm, the entire running expenditures will account for about 50% of the gross rentals on an average. The 50 percent rule is a long-term average estimate based on historical data. For this reason, about half of the income earned is spent on operational overhead expenditures over the long term. While you may enjoy years of cheap utility expenses, you will ultimately need to repair the gutters, roof, A/C, wiring, and other components of your home.
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Check out our list of the Top 54 Real Estate Meanings for Investors to Know for a comprehensive vocabulary of real estate investment words, definitions, and calculation formulas.

What is the 2% Rule in Real Estate Investing

The 2 percent rule in real estate, similar to the 1 percent rule, can assist investors in determining the rent to price ratio. The concept behind this rule of thumb is the same as that of the 1 percent rule. In contrast, according to the 2 percent rule, a rental property is a successful investment if the money received in rent each month equals or exceeds 2 percent of the purchase price. Is the 2 percent rule really that useful? Nowadays, it is nearly entirely out of date and is almost seldom used.

How the 2% Rule Works

If you want to figure out what the 2 percent rule is, you multiply the purchase price of the property plus any necessary repair charges by 2 percent. In certain cases, even if a rental property does not fulfill the 2 percent criteria, it may still be a good chance to invest for gain, depending on what the investor is hoping to get out of it. You must decide if your long-term objective is capital appreciation or monthly cash flow generation.

Once you have a clearer understanding of your objectives, you may decide whether or not to employ the 2 percent rule in order to achieve your real estate investing objectives. Please keep in mind that only a small percentage of investment properties adhere to the 2 percent criterion.

Example of the 2% Rule

Consider the following scenario: you purchase a $150,000 investment property. Using the 2 percent rule, multiply $150,000 by 2 percent to get the final result. The outcome of the computation is $3,000 dollars. This informs us that your monthly mortgage payment should not exceed $3,000 per month.

When to Use the 1% Rule and 2% Rule

The 1 percent and 2 percent criteria are actually only applicable for analyzing real estate assets in the early stages of its evaluation. As a prescreening technique, the 1 percent rule should be used. The 2 percent rule is no longer often employed as a screening method.

When Not to Use the 1% Rule and 2% Rule

Many real estate professionals nowadays completely disregard the 1 percent and 2 percent guidelines when it comes to buying and selling properties. The marketplaces where properties fit the rule criteria are typically not situated in the most desirable areas of the city. Furthermore, in order to comply with the 2 percent criterion, rental homes must be on the lower end of the price spectrum. This might result in an investor spending more for repairs and maintenance as a result of the “cheaper” price of the property in some cases.

This is due to the fact that it will most likely be located in a D or F area and will be in bad condition.

Drawbacks of the 1% and 2% Rules

When it comes to real estate investment, we are all aware that there are a lot of disadvantages to following the 1 percent and 2 percent standards. While these guidelines can assist investors in determining whether or not appropriate rent-to-value ratios exist in the market, they do not stand alone as critical predictors of the performance of an investment property in the long run. The following are a few of the disadvantages of the 1 percent and 2 percent taxation thresholds:

  • It is only useful for analyzing the rent to value of a property
  • It does not necessarily offer a complete picture of the property’s financial prospects. Other property expenses, such as mortgage and purchase fees, closing charges, repairs and upkeep, insurance, and property taxes, among others, are not taken into consideration. No information is provided on the property’s condition, location, net rental income, return on capital (COC), cap rate, or appreciation. In many markets, it may not even be possible to adhere to these regulations. If you wish to adhere to the rule(s), your two alternatives are to invest in other markets or decrease your criterion (0.8 percent).


When it comes to real estate investing, the 1 percent and 2 percent guidelines may be useful tools when analyzing a property for the first time. However, it is only a simple litmus test for establishing whether or not rent-to-value ratios are in a healthy state. The net income of a property, or the amount of money left over after all costs have been paid, is what is most crucial to consider. Investors who rely solely on the 1 percent rule to determine which properties to investigate further are likely to miss out on some excellent opportunities.

Set targets for a property’s cap rate and net income after financing in order to offer yourself the best chance of making a profitable real estate investment.


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What Is the 1% Rule?

Known as the 1 percent rule, it is a real estate investing principle that states that a property’s monthly rent should equal or surpass 1 percent of its overall investment value. Despite the fact that this rule is an unofficial guideline with its own restrictions, it might assist investors in identifying properties that can generate a profit. Despite the fact that it is not the only tool available for study, investors who employ the 1 percent rule may swiftly assess a potential property’s capacity to provide a consistent stream of monthly rental revenue.

Definition and Examples of the 1% Rule

This criterion is a guideline that real estate investors may use to evaluate potential rental properties for their ability to generate a positive monthly cash flow. Taking the entire investment (buy price plus the cost of repairs) and multiplying it by one percent will provide investors with an idea of how much they should charge in monthly rent. It is possible to feel more safe if one percent of the entire investment results in a competitive rental rate that covers expenditures and generates a monthly cash flow.

It is possible that properties that do not comply with the 1 percent guideline may have a difficult time earning money on a monthly basis.

How the 1% Rule Works

Applying the 1 percent rule to a real estate acquisition entails a very basic calculation, which investors may employ in one of two ways: first, they can use the formula in the traditional manner, or second, they can use it in a more creative manner.

  • Monthly rent equals total purchase price multiplied by one percent. Monthly rent multiplied by 100 equals total investment.

You may use this simple calculation to obtain a basic estimate of what rentals would be appropriate for a certain investment property based on its price point. As an illustration:

  • A $100,000 property should generate at least $1,000 in monthly rental income
  • A $200,000 property should generate at least $2,000 in monthly rental income
  • And so on. A $400,000 home should generate at least $4,000 in monthly rent
  • Otherwise, it is a bad investment.

As a general rule, investors can employ the 1 percent rule for two different purposes:

  • Before purchasing a property, it is necessary to assess its potential for profit. The following should serve as a guideline for how much rent should be charged:

Note, however, that while the 1 percent rule can be used as a general guideline, it is less likely to be effective for homes in more costly cities such as New York City, San Francisco, Boston, or San Jose. However, in fact, investors may purchase whatever property they like at a price they can afford. What the 1 percent rule may help you determine is whether or not a property will generate enough rent to pay its expenditures and generate positive cash flow on a monthly basis. Real estate investors that employ the 1 percent rule do so for properties that they intend to hold for an extended period of time.

According to Fitzgibbon, “if a residence can conform to the 1 percent criteria, then I maintain it in my portfolio of rental properties.” He just acquired and refurbished a property in Winter Garden, Florida, that complies with the 1 percent guideline and is designed for entertaining.

Limitations of the 1% Rule

When determining whether or not to invest in long-term rental properties for profit, the 1 percent rule should not be the only aspect to consider. In an email to The Balance, Mark Ferguson, an experienced real estate investor with Colorado-based InvestFourMore, said that investors should only utilize the 1 percent rule if they are confident that it would work for them. “Real estate is truly one-of-a-kind,” Ferguson stated. Each property is unique, each state is unique, and each municipality is unique as well.” Even inside a city, several communities and streets can be found.

  • Property taxes, insurance rates, vacancies, maintenance expenses, and interest rates are all factors to consider.

“Those charges will vary depending on where you live.” Despite the fact that property taxes in New Jersey are ten times greater than they are in Colorado, the 1 percent guideline does not take this into consideration,” he stated. As a result, interest rates are currently lower than they were a decade ago, when investors first began to employ the 1 percent rule. “With interest rates at such low levels, an investor may earn just as much money, if not more, by acquiring properties that do not fit the 1 percent criterion as they could 10 years ago by purchasing properties that did meet the 1 percent rule,” Ferguson explained.

In an email to The Balance, Serena Parton, co-owner of Azalea Home Buyers in Alabama, said that “the capacity of a home to fulfill the 1 percent guideline would vary dramatically depending on the property class.” “Generally speaking, the lower the class of the property, the more probable it is that it will comply with this guideline.”

Pros and Cons of the 1% Rule

  • Calculation is straightforward
  • An investor can benefit from conservative analysis when selecting a lucrative property.
  • Interest rates are not taken into consideration. It does not take into consideration local circumstances, vacancies, or maintenance expenses
  • And Property taxes are not taken into consideration. It is more effective for a less costly property class.

Pros Explained

  • Simple to calculate: A one-percent calculation may be completed without the use of a calculator or any professional business, accounting, or finance knowledge. An investor can benefit from conservative research when selecting a lucrative property: The rent from a property generating one percent of the monthly mortgage payment will be sufficient to meet at the very least the monthly mortgage payment.

Cons Explained

  • Interest rates are not taken into consideration: With low interest rates, investors can still earn money on properties that do not match the 1 percent criteria. There are no considerations for the surrounding environment, vacancies, or upkeep costs: Every piece of real estate is unique, and the different aspects that influence its value should all be taken into account when making a decision. Many investors who follow the 1 percent rule consider it to be a good beginning point for their investments. When selecting long-term rental homes, it should not be the sole consideration, nor even the most significant consideration. It is not included in the calculation of property taxes: Property taxes can vary significantly from one region of the country to the next. It is important to note that taxes in New Jersey are much different from taxes in Nevada, a cost that is not taken into consideration when assessing properties using the 1 percent criterion. It performs better when applied to a less costly property class: In general, less costly properties that can earn 1 percent in monthly rent perform better than more expensive properties.

Alternatives to the 1% Rule

The 1 percent rule isn’t the sole method for determining the prospective profit of a piece of real estate. Some more regularly utilized formulas to assist real estate investors in making property selection decisions are as follows:

  • The 50 percent rule states that you should set aside 50 percent of the monthly rent you earn to cover monthly costs, excluding the mortgage payment. The 70 percent rule states that you should never spend more than 70% of a property’s after-repair worth on it. Gross rent multiplier (GRM) is a term that refers to the number of times a rent is multiplied by the number of units rented. Subtract the market value of the property from the property’s annual gross revenue. In this case, the resultant number represents the number of years it will take for the investment to pay for itself. Capitalization rate (percentage): The net operating income divided by the price of the stock is referred to as the “cap rate.” This ratio is used by investors to compare the performance of different investment properties. Investment yields a return on investment. Return on investment (also known as cash-on-cash return) is determined by dividing net cash flow by the amount of money invested. A good rule of thumb is to generate an annual return of at least 8%. Internal rate of return (IRR): Your annualized rate of return on your investment is referred to as your internal rate of return. When considering investments inside a firm, it is important to assess predicted rates of return.

Key Takeaways

  • To determine if the amount of money invested in a property will create enough monthly income to pay expenditures, real estate investors employ the 1 percent rule
  • There will be certain homes that will not be able to fulfill the 1 percent criteria
  • Investing might be based on the 1 percent rule as a starting point, but investors should also take into account other considerations. Investors have access to a variety of alternative methods for evaluating properties.

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