How Many Rental Properties to Make 100k: The Math

How Many Rental Properties to Make 100k: The Math

June 12, 2024
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If you’re wondering how many rental properties to make 100k, you’re not alone. Many real estate investors are searching for the magic number of properties that will generate a six-figure passive income. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, understanding the factors that influence rental property profitability can help you set realistic goals and create a roadmap to financial freedom.

So you want to rake in a cool $100,000 per year from your rental properties? It’s doable, but you’ll need to get strategic about your property portfolio. From scouting out the perfect property location to crunching the numbers on financing options and management strategies, we’ll break down the must-haves for a profitable rental empire.

Key takeaways

  • In the business of rental properties, think of each property as a revenue stream and remember that owning seven properties generating $14,400 in NOI each is just the start – to reach $100,000 in passive income, you’ll need a combo of strategic financing, smart accounting, and a solid plan for managing your portfolio.

Factors That Impact Rental Property Income

  1. Location: Properties in areas with strong job markets and limited housing supply generally command higher rents.
  2. Property Size and Condition: Larger properties with more bedrooms and bathrooms tend to fetch higher rents. Well-maintained homes with modern amenities also attract higher rental income.
  3. Local Rental Market: Competition from other landlords and the overall demand for rentals in the area can impact your ability to charge higher rents.

Calculating Your Rental Property Income

To determine the number of rental properties needed to make $100k per year, estimate the net operating income (NOI) for each property. NOI is calculated by subtracting operating expenses (property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and management fees) from the gross rental income.

For instance, if a property generates $2,000 per month in rental income and incurs $800 in monthly operating expenses, the NOI would be $1,200 per month or $14,400 per year. To reach $100,000 per year with this NOI, you would need approximately seven properties ($14,400 x 7 = $100,800)

Setting Realistic Goals

Building a profitable rental portfolio requires patience and careful planning. Start with one or two properties in strong rental markets and focus on generating positive cash flow. As you gain experience and build equity, you can expand your portfolio gradually. Avoid taking on excessive debt to mitigate risk​.

Benefits and Risks of Investing in Rental Properties


  • Reliable Income: Rental properties provide a steady flow of passive income.
  • Tax Deductions: Landlords can benefit from various tax deductions, including mortgage interest, property taxes, maintenance, and depreciation​


  • Vacancies: Unoccupied properties still incur expenses, impacting cash flow.
  • Maintenance and Repairs: Unexpected repairs and maintenance can be costly and time-consuming

Financing Your Rental Property Investments

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Most investors use a combination of personal funds and mortgage financing to acquire rental properties. Investment property loans typically require larger down payments and higher interest rates compared to owner-occupied mortgages. It’s essential to secure favorable loan terms and maintain a cash reserve for unexpected expenses​.

Building a Profitable Rental Property Portfolio

Success in building a rental property portfolio involves strategic planning and adaptability. Diversify your investments across multiple markets and property types to mitigate risks. For instance, mixing single-family homes, multifamily properties, and vacation rentals can help balance your portfolio​.

Scaling Your Rental Property Business

Scaling your rental property business involves acquiring more properties over time. Using strategies like the BRRRR method (Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat) can help you leverage your investments and grow your portfolio efficiently​


Building a rental property portfolio that generates $100,000 per year is achievable with careful planning and strategic investments. By analyzing potential properties, diversifying your portfolio, and implementing effective management strategies, you can create a reliable stream of passive income that grows over time.

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