# What Is NPV in Real Estate? An Investor’s Guide

In the financial and real estate worlds, the term net present value (NPV) is used to help investors understand the monetary value of an investment over time. Investing in cash flow real estate will teach you what the net present value is, how the present value calculation works, and how the present value method is applied in real estate.

## What is the net present value?

Present value is a formula that investors can use to determine the value of an investment today, although over time the investment will generate income from the remaining cash flow. The present value calculation takes into account all income, receipts and expected inflows of funds according to expenses that arise during the term of an investment, with a discount rate that takes into account the risks associated with the investment and the time. Ultimately, it helps investors compare different investments by looking at the present value of their money today, their original investment, and the present value of their money in the future, the projected cash flow with the discount rate.

## Why use NPV?

The value of money is constantly changing. Thanks to inflation, money will always be more valuable than money today in the future, which means it can be difficult to calculate value or a rate of return when calculating loans or other investments that provide a consistent or identical stream of income over an extended period of time will. The NPV method reflects the value of the money in the investment over time in today’s value, with any future cash flow depreciating slightly over the repayment period to reflect the cost of inflation and time.

## What is the present value calculation?

Fortunately, for those who are unfamiliar with calculating complex calculations without the assistance of a calculator or spreadsheet, there are numerous free online calculators or tools that you can use to calculate the present value of an investment opportunity. There is even an Excel present value function that can be used to quickly calculate the net present value of an investment directly in a table. This is especially useful for investments with uneven cash flow.

For those who want to know how the present value formula works, the present value calculation is as follows: