How to Calculate Return on Investment (ROI) in Real Estate

Real estate investing is widely recognized as an effective long-term strategy to create wealth for future generations. Although most experts confirm this, it’s only true for smart investment strategies that produce large returns year-over-year in cash flow and returns.

That’s why, as an investor in real estate, an of the crucial steps you can take when buying a house is to study the numbers with care to ensure that the investment you’re making is going to give you a substantial return on investment and will continue to earn an income for a long period of years and decades.

Calculating your ROI is crucial In this article, we’ll explain what ROI is, how to calculate the ROI of an investment, which ROI metrics to choose, and the best way to tell the property’s potential to provide an excellent return on investment over the long run.

What is Return on Investment?

ROI, also known as the returns on investments, is a measurement used to calculate the profit made from any investment, including real estate investments, after deducting any associated expenses.

Suppose we are talking specifically about real property. In that case, the ROI is determined after subtracting the cost of purchasing and the initial purchase of the house and any additional costs like repair or remodeling in relation to the present value. ROI will be achieved once the home is sold; however, it is a crucial number to consider when purchasing a home to determine whether it will turn into an asset that earns money.

The simple ROI formula is: 

ROI = (Present value of investment – Cost of the investment) / cost of total investment

Or, to say it even more simply:

ROI = Net income on investment/cost of the investment

While the formula may be simple, however, calculating a meaningful rate of return for investment properties isn’t. It’s difficult because the numbers used in real estate investment are typically estimates or guesses and are often difficult to forecast with absolute certainty.

It is also crucial to think about the various ways to buy a property and then calculate the net profits. While some investors may buy a property for sale with cash, others might opt for an investment loan, adding ongoing expenses but ultimately resulting in less upfront costs.

You can also decide to sell your home as an investment property for a long-term or short-term rental or just keep it to appreciate, but the way in which you utilize your property will affect the value of your investment.

Therefore, even though ROI is a crucial number and one that all real estate investors must take into consideration, it’s important to keep in mind that there are a variety of ways to calculate this figure, and if you’re looking to get it right, you may want to look into calculating ROI along with a variety of other numbers you have at your disposal including capitalization rate or internal rate of return (IRR) or cash-on-cash return and the annualized ROI which takes into account the time period you own the investment at the beginning.

If you’re a seasoned investor or business owner, you’ll be looking at corporate finance figures to understand how the costs of investment and gains affect the overall investment portfolio. It is important to determine the Return on Assets (ROA), for example, which is the measure of profits a property or company earns in relation to its assets or expenses over the course of. ROE is the term used to describe Return on Equity. (ROE) refers to the net income of a business divided by the equity of its shareholders.

Naturally, the fact that a negative ROI could indicate this property is losing money, and it’s best to think of this specific investment as one that should be avoided.

Understanding ROI variables

The most important aspect of the return on real estate investments that sets them apart from other investments is that the return on real estate investment is often dependent on a variety of variables, such as local market conditions, the kind the property ( single-family homes or multi-family properties, holiday rentals commercial property) and the amount of rent an apartment can fetch. The ROI limitations can be affected by various things:

Market conditions

What can affect the ROI of properties most is the general market conditions. In a market where sellers are dominant, the inventory is small in the market, which means many purchasers will compete for only a tiny amount of properties available, which will push the price up over a specific period of time. In contrast, the buyer’s market can slow sales as well as prices.

The market conditions when you purchase can be overlooked. However, they are equally important. If you purchased a home in a buyer’s market, there could be fewer profits to earn and, consequently, less of a return on investment unless the market is able to appreciate significantly.


Cities with metropolitan areas like New York and San Francisco, Tourist attractions like Joshua Tree, and billionaire favorites like Palm Beach appreciate faster than areas in other regions of the nation. This has a significant impact on ROI over the medium and long term. An apartment close to top schools will be able to boast an extremely high rental and sale value, while an apartment located near the highway will have less attention and, consequently, a less high price.

Costs of purchase and maintenance

The amount you spent to buy a house is a key factor to consider in your ROI calculations, as will the amount you invested in repairing it and making it more modern. The ongoing maintenance costs are vital to be included in any calculation.

Importantly, mortgage interest rates also impact your earnings when you are dealing with diverse investment opportunities. If interest rates are excessive, your profits are not just going to decrease on a real basis. However, also your home prices could be affected as well because of the impact on the real market for real estate. This calculation will be taxed. This includes those capital gains you pay when you own a home for more than a year prior to selling.

ROI for different types of investments

When you calculate ROI for an investment in real estate, It is also essential to consider the kind of investment in real estate. For example, ROI is usually an easy calculation for sales and cash transactions. Calculate your profit by subtracting the cost of your purchase, which includes the cost of the home you purchased, as well as the money you spent on it from the total amount you earned. Divide that figure by the total cost of your investment.

If you’re renting a property that’s financed, However, you’ll have to determine your expected annual rental income as well as operating costs. These are insurance taxes on property, HOA dues, and day-to-day maintenance expenses. Also, you should include the legal and marketing expenses of locating and screening tenants.

What is a good ROI for real estate investors?

There isn’t a single number that is considered to be a great return for investors in real estate. However, there are a few criteria to take into consideration when assessing the long-term value of a property.

Generally, what investors may consider a “good” ROI is a number that is equal to or higher than the average return on an index in the market, like, for instance, the S&P 500. The average annual return of the S&P has been around 10%, which means any number that is higher than 10% is considered a good real property investment.

In the US, the annual average return on investment in residential real property is 10.6 percent, while commercial real estate is less at 9.5 percent, while REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) have a rate of 11.8 percent. Arizona is home to most of the single-year ROI on single-family residential houses, which is 27.42 percent, followed by Utah with 27.05 percent and Idaho with 27.02 percent.

Although the numbers may serve as a guideline, you should not overlook how what one investment expert believes to be a satisfactory return on investment may be lower than the average for a different investor. Along with the numerous variables that impact the figures, as we’ve previously mentioned, a desire for risk can also play a role in these numbers and decisions. The greater risks you’re prepared to invest in, the greater the return you’ll be able to expect. Risk-averse investors could be more confident and have less ROI as a result.

How to maximize your real estate ROI

As a smart investor, maximizing the returns of your investment property must be among the most important priorities when you are making an investment in real estate. Here are a few things to think about that can aid you in increasing your return.

Maintain the property in good order

Especially when renting your home, it is essential to conduct regular maintenance and improvements. This will help ensure that you don’t have to pay expensive and unexpected bills as a result of problems you’ve neglected.

Reduce operating expenses

 It might sound like a contradiction to the previous point. However, you should reduce operating expenses whenever you can. It’s more than simply about costs, however. Be aware of insurance and mortgage rates and reduce them as much as you can. Also, pay for the quality of your products in advance so that your equipment doesn’t break or fail often. Also, whenever necessary, employ experts, like real estate agents or management companies, to accomplish what’s needed faster.

Do your homework

 When looking for investments, do your research by looking into similar properties that are located in the same or similar areas. If you study the data on these properties and then use those as a model and a guideline, you’ll be able to make more precise estimates of the property you’re considering buying.

The bottom line

While buying a real estate property is an excellent option for investing in real estate to build wealth for generations to come, it’s not the only option. Through Arrived, you are able to have parts of real estate assets across the US regardless of whether you have a budget of $100 or $100,000 to invest. Our aim is to provide anyone, regardless of background or income level–the chance to climb onto the ladder to property.

Our investments let you co-own properties with investors and enjoy the benefits of appreciation and monthly cash flow and the potential for a huge return on your investments as soon as. To discover how simple it is to join, look through our inventory and join today to begin your journey.