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In This Article

  1. What is ARV?
  2. How Is ARV Calculated?
  3. ARV Real Estate Examples
  4. What Is The 70% Rule In Real Estate Investing?
  5. Benefits of ARV Real Estate
  6. Risks/Limitations of ARV Real Estate
  7. Common Mistakes When Calculating ARV
  8. ARV Real Estate for Wholesaling
  9. ARV Real Estate for BRRRR
  10. ARV Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  11. The Bottom Line: ARV Real Estate

Being a real estate investor requires many skills — skills that require education — and that includes understanding important real estate terminology. 

There is one acronym that is critical to real estate investing success, whether you flip homes, buy and hold rental properties or wholesale: after repair value, or ARV. 

In this article, we will explain:

  • What ARV real estate is
  • how to calculate ARV real estate
  • examples of ARV real estate
  • how the "70% Rule" factors into ARV
  • the benefits of ARV real estate — and the drawbacks
  • and more

If you're ready to learn how you can use ARV real estate to ensure profitability in a future real estate deal, let's get started!   

What is ARV?

ARV Real Estate explained

ARV is the estimate of a property’s value after all repairs and renovations are finished.  

By determining the ARV of a property, real estate investors will know the max offer price based on the margin that they need to make and can submit a strategic offer to the seller.

Knowing ARV can also help you adjust the asking price of the property when you have finished the repairs and you are ready to sell the property.

Simply put, ARV real estate takes the guessing out of a real estate investing deal so that you don’t lose money

How Is ARV Calculated?

ARV real estate is calculated using the following formula: 

Purchase Price + Value From Renovations = After Repair Value

In order to determine the value from renovations, many real estate investors use “comps”, or comparable properties in the surrounding areas. 

Next, we’ll look at each step in depth. 

Purchase Price

To calculate ARV real estate, you have to first estimate the current value of that property. 

A professional appraisal service can identify any issues that may depreciate the property value. A look at the property on the MLS is another tool to utilize. 

It’s also important to carry out a comparable market analysis.

Try looking for comps located close to your property, same size and age of your property. You can also compare your real estate property with others that were sold within a two to four months period so you can see how your property compares in terms of value.

This current value will dictate the purchase price of the property. 

Value From Renovations 

After estimating the property's current value, the next step in determining ARV real estate is to estimate the value from renovations. 

This starts with estimating the repair cost on the property. To make a profit on the property, the total repair cost must not be greater than the value of renovations once complete. 

After you have both the purchase price and the value from renovations, you can determine the after repair value. 

ARV Real Estate Examples

Let’s take a look at 3 ARV real estate examples to help explain how to use the formula.

ARV Real Estate Example #1: Disrepair in the Suburbs

John lives in a nice neighborhood in the suburbs. There is a house on the next street that has a low asking price of $250,000, but it is in disrepair. 

John thinks that the house will make a good fix and flip investment. He estimates the repair cost at $30,000. By using comps of similar homes in the neighborhood, he determines that the ARV will be $350,000. 

His bid for the home of $215,000 is accepted, and he pays $30,000 for repairs. When he sells at the ARV of $350, he realizes a profit of $105,000. 

$215,000 (price of the property) + $30,000 (cost of repairs) = $245,000

ARV = $350,000

$350,000 - $245,00 = $105,000 in profit

ARV Real Estate Example #2: Passive Income from Rental Property

Rachel wants passive income from a rental property. She finds a desirable two-family house that has been on the market for a while. She uses comps to determine that the ARV will be $750,000. 

The estimated repair costs are $25,000. She offers $500,000 and the owner, who is anxious to sell, accepts her offer. Rachel currently rents out the property, but she knows that if she chooses to sell, she will realize a profit of $225,000.

$500,000 (price of the property) + $25,000 (cost of repairs) = $525,000

ARV = $750,000

$750,000 - $525,000 = $225,000 in profit

ARV Real Estate Example #3: Using the BRRRR Method

Sam is a serial investor who uses the BRRRR method of Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, and REPEAT. 

He puts down $30,000 (20%) on his first investment property, which he picked up for $150,000 – a great deal. He spent another $20,000 on renovations, bringing his cash out-of-pocket investment to $50,000. 

Since the ARV of the investment property is $250,000, Sam stands to make a profit of $80,000 when he sells. He uses the profit to invest in other properties.

$150,000 (price of the property) + $20,000 (cost of repairs) = $170,000

ARV = $250,000

$250,000 - $170,000 = $80,000 in profit

Purchase Price + Value From Renovations = After Repair Value

What Is The 70% Rule In Real Estate Investing?

When you're rehabbing a property, taking into account the repairs you make on the property prior buying and reselling it is critical. 

This is where the 70% rule comes in. It helps investors determine their maximum offering price. 

The 70% rule stipulates that a real estate investor should not pay more than 70% of the after repair value (ARV), minus repair costs.

If a real estate investor invests more than 70%, and there is a change in the market, he or she could either be unable to sell the property, or have to sell it for far less than they originally put into it. 

For example, if a property has an after repair value of $300,000 and the estimated repair costs are $50,000, then: 

$300,000 x 70% (ARV)

- $ 50,000 (estimated repair cost)

$ 160,000 (maximum offer price)

Benefits of ARV Real Estate

Benefits of ARV real estate

The ARV real estate is an important factor when investing in real estate. The benefits of ARV include the following.

ARV Real Estate enables you to set a price for an offer

ARV real estate plays a significant role in allowing a property owner to set a price for an offer from a real estate investor.

Knowledge of ARV would help the seller provide an estimate for renovating a property before setting the total cost of the property. 

ARV Real Estate is essential to helping you get your desired profit

With a proper ARV calculation, a seller can place a price tag for a property and still maintain a profit margin even after considering repairs. 

It also assists real estate investors in estimating how much they may gain from going ahead with the deal.

ARV Real Estate reduces risk

Calculating the ARV of a property can help to reduce the risk of losing money when flipping houses as an investor. 

A proper ARV calculation will give real estate investors an idea of what to expect. 

ARV Real Estate can help you get financing

When you turn to sources for funding your investment property, they will want to know the ARV of the property to determine the amount of the loan.

Risks/Limitations of ARV Real Estate

It’s important to keep in mind that there are limitations to ARV real estate.

Changes in the Market

If housing market conditions suddenly change while a real estate investor is in the middle of a project, the ARV real estate will most likely change too.

The true ARV of a property is what someone else is willing to pay for it, and the price is determined by the market. The real estate investor determining the ARV does not set the price according to his or her determination. 

An investor could pull the best comps and have backups to support a value but if no one is willing to purchase the property for that price, the investor will have to drop their price to the market value.

Underestimated Repair Costs

Also, if you underestimated repair costs or chose poor comps, your estimation of a likely sales price could be far different than it should (for example, much more expensive), making it hard to sell the property. 

Unexpected Renovations

You might estimate the repair costs of obvious deficiencies properly, but in any renovation project you run the risk of unexpected repairs leading to unexpected expenses.

Common Mistakes When Calculating ARV

Next, we’ll take a look at some of the most common mistakes real estate investors make when using ARV, and more importantly, how to avoid them. 

ARV Mistake #1: Leaving Out Necessary Costs

One of the most common mistakes investors make when calculating ARV is not including all of the necessary costs in their calculations. 

When calculating ARV, you need to include:

  • the cost of materials
  • labor
  • permits 
  • and any other associated costs in your calculation. 

Otherwise, you could end up underestimating the true value of the property, which can have significant effects. 

ARV Mistake #2: Not Accounting for Current Market Conditions

Another common mistake associated with ARV is failing to account for the current market conditions. 

Market conditions can change rapidly — just take a look at the housing market in 2008 — so it's important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and understand what the economic forecast is. 

ARV Mistake #3: Believing ARV Doesn’t Fluctuate

Finally, some investors make the mistake of thinking that once ARV is determined, it won’t change. 

But depending upon how long it takes you to buy the house, and depending on how long it takes you to renovate it, many factors can change along with the housing market. This includes:

  • the cost of materials
  • the cost of labor
  • Unforeseen or unexpected issues with the house

ARV can fluctuate over time, so it's important to keep an eye on the market and adjust your calculations accordingly.

ARV Mistake #4: Moving Foward Without an Educational Foundation 

One of the biggest mistakes real estate investors make when determining ARV is by not having the right education about the fix and flip process. 

Did you know there’s specific training that can walk you through how to find ARV, how to use it to fix and flip a house, and how to put a system in place so that you can replicate it again and again? 

Even better, that training is on demand. It includes:

By avoiding these 4 common ARV mistakes, you'll be well on your way to success.

ARV Real Estate for Wholesaling

ARV real estate isn’t just a tool for those looking to fix and flip a house; it’s also an important tool for wholesalers.

As a wholesaler, you buy a property under contract to sell to a real estate investor without carrying out any repairs on the property. 

To know how much a buyer is willing to pay for your acquired property, you as the wholesaler must calculate the after repair value of that property. 

ARV Real Estate for BRRRR

Buying underpriced homes with a substantial ARV can boost your equity and allow you to access more cash for investment through a cash-out refinance.

Successful real estate investors apply ARV when using the BRRRR investment strategy. The BRRRR strategy is a five-step approach where you buy homes in disrepair, renovate them, generate a steady rental income and refinance. 

BRRRR stands for Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, and REPEAT.

When the BRRRR strategy works well, you only spend money on the purchase and rehab of your first property. After that, you use your rental income and cash-out refinancing to acquire more properties and generate more income — and more equity.

ARV Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Next, we’ll take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions associated with after repair value. 

Q. How can you Increase ARV?

There are a number of ways to increase the ARV of a property, including:

  • Making cosmetic improvements, such as painting, new flooring, updated fixtures, fittings, etc.
  • Adding square footage through an extension or conversion 
  • Updating the plumbing and electrical systems
  • Installing energy-efficient features, such as solar panels or double-glazed windows
  • Bypassing any legal issues that may be depressing the value of the property

These are just a few of the many ways to increase ARV. Always consult with a professional real estate agent or appraiser to get an accurate estimate of your property's value before making any improvements.

Q. How to Find ARV on Zillow?

Zillow is a popular website where you can find information on homes and real estate. 

To find the ARV of a property on Zillow, simply enter the address into the search bar and then click on the "Zestimate" tab. 

The ARV will be displayed here.

Q. ARV vs Loan To Cost — What’s the Difference? 

Loan to cost (LTC) is the loan amount divided by the total project cost. It's used to calculate the maximum loan amount a lender is willing to give you for a fix and flip project. 

The LTC ratio doesn't take into account the property's ARV. 

ARV is important because it's the amount you hope to sell the property for after completing repairs and renovations. The difference between the ARV and the purchase price is your potential profit. 

So if a property has a high LTC ratio, it may be more difficult to obtain financing, but if the ARV is also high, there's the potential for a larger return on investment.

Q. Is ARV the same as annual rental value?

No, ARV is not the same as annual rental value. 

The annual rental value (ARV) is the estimated market value of a property if it were to be rented out. 

ARV is different from the monthly rental amount because it items into account such as void periods and maintenance costs.

The Bottom Line: ARV Real Estate

ARV real estate is a critical calculation all real estate investors should be familiar with. 

By knowing the term, you can set yourself up for a profitable real estate deal — and minimize risk. 

If you’re looking for additional ways to maximize your profit margins and minimize risk, here are additional real estate investing tools: