How do I find a good investment analysis program for under $500…or better yet for FREE? I am looking to begin my investing business and need to “run the numbers” on properties before considering making an offer.
Any good tips or advice? What have most investors been satisfied with in the past? I am not an EXCEL person so building a personal analysis program would take me months or longer!
Before you use anyone else’s software, you ought to have a firm understanding of how to evaluate property by hand using paper and a calculator. Software should be used out of convenience and not to replace an understanding of the basics of property evaluation. One drawback to using someone else’s software is you are locked into their metrics. You might want to use cash-on-cash return but their software might only provide return on equity and IRR. Here’s where the ability to customize a spreadsheet comes in handy.
You weren’t specific about the type of property you are looking at but this website offers much free software that might be helpful to you:
The ten year rental analysis spreadsheet might be a good place to begin. It evaluates the four components of real estate growth: equity, appreciation, cash flow, & tax savings. As noted above, I don’t recommend using it until you understand how to evaluate property on your own and can replicate their numbers by hand.