You mentioned your example is a bit "pretend" in that most deals won't work right now, and you wanted to give an example of a theoretical deal that could/would work.
Curious: which of the inputs were the most departed from reality in the example to make it work? e.g. rent per square foot is higher than reality, land costs were made to be unusually low, cap rates aren't that low, hard constructions costs couldn't possibly be that low per unit, etc.
Or are all your ballparks pretty spot on, and the thing that would tank the deal is simply a lack of investor interest due to interest rates? Like the return on capital would be no higher than a treasury at the moment, so you wouldn't be able to get investor interest?
Regarding unit types, what has been your experience offering 2 Bed/1 Bath super efficient units (<600 SF) for roommate situations and/or small families. Many developers including myself focus on building studios, 1 BR units in walkable, urban neighborhoods targeting Millennials/Gen Z renters. Furthermore, these types of projects are generally more attractive (higher rent PSF) with the downside being slightly more operational turnover versus larger units, 2 BR, etc. I think there is an underserved market for different renter types in these neighborhoods and having a more balanced unit mix will help reduce turnover long term.
This was a great one - thanks Sean!
This is great! Regarding the construction cost, does that cost per unit stay pretty consistent in the sub 100 unit size? Just thinking that I wouldn't want to bother the GC for a estimate every time I evaluate a site so would the cost per unit on a 35 unit be more or less the same (for UW purposes) as an 80 unit for example?
Hi Sean, would love to hear more about how to think about the right size project to start with. Sounds like 35-unit might be a sweet spot? But what do you consider to be too big for a first-time developer? Or two small? How do banks think about financing for first-time developers? Thanks!
Great post Sean! Is there a profit % hurdle or other financial metric that you look at to determine the project's viability at this stage? In this example we have $1.4M of profit on roughly $7.2M of cost, but how do we know if that meets your (and your investors') return requirements to justifying further evaluation?