Skip to Content

Calculating the Potential of Real Estate: Understanding the 5% Rule

Person sitting at a desk calculating real estate costs.Long gone are the days when success was solely measured by homeownership and a flashy car in the driveway. In today’s continually evolving real estate landscape, the boundaries between renting and owning have become blurred, leading to a fresh wave of investment opportunities. As a real estate professional, it’s necessary to comprehend the particulars of contemporary real estate strategies, including the popular “5% Rule,” and why it’s critical for savvy investors.

Dispelling the Myth

As opposed to common thought, holding a primary residence may not always be the first step when considering investment properties. Fluctuating societal norms, transforming personal taste, and the need to avoid long commutes have affected the landscape of rental real estate investing. It is important to determine which option, renting or buying, corresponds to your financial goals and preferred standard of living. Employing the 5% Rule is a useful instrument for making wise choices.

Deciphering the 5% Rule

The 5% Rule serves as a valuable tool for comparing the costs of renting versus owning a home. Calculating rental expenses is quite straightforward, as you just need to add up your monthly rent. Nevertheless, determining homeownership costs calls for an additional and complex approach. This rule considers three vital components:

  1. Property Tax: Typically equivalent to approximately 1% of the home’s value.
  2. Maintenance Costs: Roughly 1% of the property’s value will be used for routine upkeep and repairs.
  3. Cost of Capital: The remaining 3% accounts for the opportunity cost of investing your down payment elsewhere, like in rental properties or the stock market.

Applying the 5% Rule involves a straightforward calculation:

  1. Multiply the property’s value by 5%.
  2. Divide the result by 12 to derive the monthly expense.

If the cost of renting a comparable property is higher than this amount, it might be better for you to consider renting while redirecting your money towards investment properties.

Embracing the Benefits

Though the 5% Rule delivers an easy comparison of homeownership versus renting, its benefit extends beyond individual decisions. Rental real estate investors stand to get invaluable insights from this arrangement, affecting both personal and strategic selections. Property managers have the opportunity to enhance tenant retention and optimize investment returns by giving tenants useful knowledge about the upsides of long-term rentals, mainly in areas with high living costs. In markets with quickly soaring property values, the 5% Rule allows investors to make wise decisions that maximize profitability while lowering risks.

Seize the Opportunity

As you start to establish yourself as a rental real estate investor, employ the 5% Rule to properly navigate the complexities of the market. Whether you’re determining potential investments or steering tenants on long-term housing strategies, this rule delivers an achievable approach to real estate decision-making


Are you prepared to tap into every aspect of your investment portfolio? Get in touch with our Lebanon property manager team at Real Property Management Beacon for more delightful investment prospects and strategic insights. Contact us online or call 603-448-8808 today!

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details