How Much Money can you Make from Rental Properties?

how much money can you make from rental propertiesRental properties are a great investment and you can make a lot of money off of them.  I am making over $60,000 a year from the cash flow on my rental properties and I bought my first rental in December of 2010.  I have 11 rental properties now and I plan to buy 100 by the year 2023.  You can’t buy just any property and turn it into a rental if you want to make a lot money.  You have to buy houses below market value and with great cash when buying rental properties.

When I was able to start saving money in 2008 from my real estate business, I wanted to grow it as fast as possible.  After exploring many investment opportunities, everything I read and researched pointed me to rental properties being the best investment.  I have to say I am very happy I chose to invest in rental properties as not only are they bringing in over $60,000 a year, but they have appreciated in value and increased my net worth by $600,000.

I detail how I have been able to achieve these returns in my complete guide to investing in long-term rentals.  In this article I will detail how much money you can make from rental properties over ten years.

Why I want to make a lot of money off rental properties

When I was younger I told myself I did not need the finer things in life, that I was happy with whatever I could afford.  I told myself I didn’t need more expensive things, because I didn’t believe I could ever afford the things I really wanted.  In the last couple of years I have completely changed my thinking process.  I now believe I can achieve and acquire whatever I want and I was doing myself a disservice by masking my true desires.  I also realized that it feels really good to be able to help others and give to charity.  The more money you have, the more you can give to charity and help others.  If you have passive income coming in from rental properties then you will also have more time to dedicate towards helping others as well.

One of my passions is automobiles; I love classic and exotic cars.  I purchased a 1986 Porsche 928 a few years ago and absolutely love that car.  The 928 was the most expensive car Porsche made when it was built, but I was able to purchase the car for only $6,000.  I think the 928 is one of the all time bargains for classic/exotic cars, unfortunately not all classic/exotic cars are bargains.  My all time favorite car is  a Lamborghini Muira, which was built in the late 60’s and early 70’s.   The Muira was the predecessor to the famous Lamborghini Countach, which is also one of my all time favorite cars.  A Countach will run at least $300,000, in today’s market and a Muira is somewhere in the $800,000 range if not more.  Not only are these cars extremely expensive to purchase, but maintaining them will cost thousands of dollars a year.  It is not easy to maintain or find someone who knows how to maintain a Lamborghini.

Lamborghini Diablo and Real estate

Long-term rental properties are a great investment

I knew if I ever wanted to be able to afford a Countach or a Muira, I would have to make a lot more money or get very high returns on the money I was investing.  I have been able to do both in the last few years and a lot of that increase has been from my decision to start investing in long-term rental properties.  I have purchased 11 rental properties and I am making over 20% cash on cash returns on all of them.  In fact I am making over $5,000 from my rental properties every month.  That is $60,000 a year in income from my rental properties, with very little management or time required.

For more information on why rental properties are such a great investment and how to start investing in rental properties.  Check out my E book Retire Rich and Early with Real Estate at Amazon as an 113 page E book or as a PDF for only $6.49!

Long-term goals are very important to my success

I know $60,000 a year is not enough extra income to justify purchasing a Lamborghini, but I just started investing in December of 2010.  I plan to keep purchasing rental properties for at least the next ten years.  My super aggressive goal is to own 100 rental properties by 2023.  I have no idea how I will accomplish this goal given my current income and buying pace, but I also have no idea what exciting and lucrative opportunities may present themselves in the future.  For the purpose of this article, I am going to assume I will buy three houses a year for ten years to show the income potential of long-term rentals.  With this strategy I could easily afford the Countach and possibly the Muira with enough saving and planning.  If you can’t afford to buy 3 rental properties a year, then check out this article where I detail how much you can make buying one rental property a year.

Update: My goal changed from buying a Countach to a Lamborghini Diablo due to many reasons.  I actually purchased a 1999 Lamborghini Diablo in June of 2014 and you can read all about it here

How much does it cost to buy a rental property?

I go over the exact cost of a rental property here, but lets assume it costs $30,000 to purchase and repair one rental.  You can buy your first rental for much less money using strategies listed here.  You don’t have to invest $90,000 a year to buy three rentals a year, because you can begin refinancing rental properties after you own them a year and taking cash out to invest in more rentals.  I also use the snowball method to pay off my loans, meaning I take all extra cash flow and use it to pay down one mortgage at a time.  I usually buy my properties for about $100,000, with less than 4% interest rate and 20% down.  That leaves a payment of $381 for principal and interest.  Given these variables, here is a ten-year projection for the income potential of buying three houses a year each with $500 a month cash flow.

Ten year projection for rental property income

Here is a chart showing the cash flow, houses paid off, extra cash flow from paying off mortgages, money paid towards mortgage reduction and total income for ten years.

Cash Flow = profit for each year

PO = How many properties are paid off

ECF = Extra cash flow from paid off properties

MRCF = Mortgage reduction amount from cash flow

INC = total income

Cash flow       PO             ECF             MRCF                INC

1.        $18,000         0                0               $18,000            $18,000

2         $36,000        0                0                $54,000            $36,000

3.        $54,000        1            $4,572        $112,572           $58,572

4.       $72,000         2            $9,144         $189,144          $81,144

5.        $90,000        3            $13,716        $292,860         $103,716

6.       $108,000      5             $22,860       $423,720         $130,860

7.        $126,000      7             $32,004       $581,724         $158,004

8.        $144,000      9             $41,148        $766,872          $185,148

9.       $162,000       12            $54,840       $983,712          $216,840

10.     $180,000        15           $68,580       $1,232,292       $248,580

I hope the numbers make sense, I didn’t want to write  a novel to explain every detail.  Basically after ten years, you would have invested $900,000 to buy 30 properties (assuming you didn’t refinance or use other methods to put less money down).  You would be making $248,580 a year, which turns out to be 27% on the $900,000 invested.  You would also own 15 houses free and clear that would be worth 2.25 million dollars.

Additional benefits of rental properties

The really exciting thing is these numbers are not adjusted for any inflation, rent increases or appreciation to make the math simpler.  My models for my rental properties show a higher income at the end of ten years, because I am making more than $500 a month cash flow per property and I am also planning on buying more than 30 houses in the next 10 years.  If things go as planned I will have more than enough passive income to afford that Muira!


If you can’t afford to buy this many houses or don’t want to buy this many, you can still have a great passive income by buying one house a year.  It can cost a lot of money to buy a rental property, but you can more than make up for the initial cost by how much money you can make on rental properties.  If you are wondering how I can afford to spend so much money on rental properties, I am a real estate agent that also fix and flips houses.  Both business have been a great source of income and capital for the rental properties.

Related Articles

My plan to purchase 100 rental properties

How to finance more than four rental properties

How to buy property below market values

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I have been a licensed Realtor since 2001, I own 11 rental properties and fix and flip 10-15 homes a year. I love writing, real estate, cars and my family!

Posted in How to Buy Properties, Rental Strategies Tagged with: , , ,
19 comments on “How Much Money can you Make from Rental Properties?
  1. jagesso says:

    Good luck on the Muira! One of my favorites too. I like how you say you have no idea how you will accomplish this, but you also have no idea what opportunities will come. Great attitude…that’s how to keep pressing forward to realize ambitious goals!

    • If I only set goals that I knew exactly how to achieve, then it wouldn’t be nearly as challenging or exciting.

      • Randy says:

        I am a 25 y/o subscriber of yours. Bought my first home at 21 y/o on a short sale 40k below value and used my first time homeowners 8k tax credit to renovate property. It’s been a great investment as I have rented it out for $500 extra cash flow per month (And I live in the master bedroom as I rented out the other three rooms through college). I have been raised a Dave Ramsey type of investor but I don’t agree 100% with everything he teaches. This RE investment idea is definitely good in theory, how far along are you as of today? And I would love to see your spreadsheet with all of the assumptions you made to come up with these numbers. Love this post, great work as we are all reading to hopefully learn something and expand our thinking!

        • Hi Randy,
          Thank you for the comment! Good work on your rental. I have 10 rentals now with an 11th under contract. You can find the details under the rental property category on the blog. I think Dave Ramsey has some great ideas for those looking to save money, but he is ultra conservative about debt. Debt can be a great thing is used carefully and to create more money. My spreadsheets are actually hand written out year by year. I keep redoing them, which is an awesome exercise to get an idea of the numbers and progress I will be making.

  2. Wrightius Maximus. says:

    Are there any Aussie readers reading this? Is this possible to do in the current Aussie market or is this only possible for US readers given the cheap real estate on offer there at the mo?

    • I just saw this article about the Aussie market.
      I have no personal knowledge about what it’s like over there, but there are markets that don’t work for my model in the US as well. Many investors in New York, San Fransico or other high value areas end up investing in other areas of the country because prices are just too high in their local market to cash flow. You may try a simple google search for “best places to buy rental properties in Australia”.

    • Rachel says:

      Hi. I’m an Aussie living in Atlanta. I think you’ll find it more difficult to achieve in Australia given the higher cost of houses and interest rates. I have a house in Brisbane which I’m currently selling so I can buy some rentals in Atlanta where I’ll get a better return. I wouldn’t be able to buy as cheap in Brisbane.

      • Hi Rachel, sorry for the delayed reply, I have been moving all weekend. I have heard from a couple Aussies, that prices are too high there to make the numbers work for investing. Good work taking the steps to invest in a better market. That can be a very scary thing to do, but sometimes it is the only choice.

  3. Wrightius Maximus. says:

    Thank you.

    My current thinking is buy a $300,000 unit (the cheapest in a good area in Melbourne) Live in it and pay off in 6 years. Then go to a smaller city nearby and buy two more at $200,000 each. And “Snowball Method” these in 6 years. Just thinking out loud. Trying to do the best with what I have. Should leave me with a $40,000, adjusted for inflation, income and a place to live in ten years. Which I’d be very happy with. No Muira for me. I also think although it’s important to maximise your earnings and keep learning and pushing but I think it is also important to stick with what it is you can understand easily in order to not bite off more than you can chew. This is the balance I struggle to keep. I think keep it simple works best for me. Anyway. Great blog. Very inspiring. Keep it up.

  4. Maria says:

    Your blogs are great! I’ve been reading them non-stop!

    Any direct lenders you recommend? I’m in California and looking to invest in central coast areas and north of California.


  5. Colette says:

    Hello Mark,

    Thank you for your article. I did not see any math for tax liabilities. How are you using all of your excess cash flow dollar for dollar, without any adjustments for taxes?

    Best Regards,


    • Most of the cash flow is income is countered by the tax savings by depreciating the properties. There is some other taxes that I pay on them, because the cash flow is higher that that depreciation, but I have not taken the time to calculate it out.

  6. Mark this is a brilliant explanation. I too, want to do some more in real estate. My family in particular has been burned on renting properties and so I’ve held back for until I learned more. How do you get and keep good renters? Do you, at any point, set up a company or companies to handle all the properties, paperwork and accounting involved?

    • Thank you for the comment and sorry for the delay responding. I am in Florida on vacation right now. I am in the process of starting a property management company right now. They will handle all the paperwork and accounting. It is really not too difficult with a few properties.

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