There are a zillion investing and financial planning tools out there. We are only interested in personal finance applications that may help real estate investors. As we conducted our research, we began to categorize the various applications. Ultimately we discovered current software provides a cursory provision for real estate investing, but the results are highly inaccurate and sometimes you are left doing the heavy lifting in spreadsheets to create the input numbers. These applications just weren’t made for someone who sees real estate investing as a core part of their financial plan. If applicable, we have included comments, but only when we’ve spent a good bit of time trying to use the software.
There are a plethora of articles about these on the internet if you want to do further research. Personal budgeting is just that, and certainly wasn’t intended to do any of the forecasting and scenario modeling for real estate that I need. While it’s good to know these applications are out there, I felt it wasn’t worth but so much research time for me:
By Intiut. Free. Have had TERRIBLE luck with them as it consistently misses 30% of my account transactions (+/-). I have spoken to numerous others who have had the same problem. Just not reliable enough for me.
You Need A Budget (YNAB)
Budgeting & Short Term Planning (cash flow)
Does more than just personal budgeting by providing some amount of cash flow forecasting, but not great for long term planning.
Maybe this “does it all”? For Mac iOS. Real estate property values are tracked and it looks like it will run some nice reports. Have not tried it yet.
Sells your information to insurance companies, banks and credit card companies. Not sure if the software is any good.
Writers and bloggers get paid up to $100 PER CLICK that goes to their site if the user signs up and has over $100K in investments. This is called an “affiliate link”, and their payout is one of the highest in the Financial Tech industry. https://www.personalcapital.com/affiliates
I’m not saying this is wrong, but it’s no surprise Personal Capital is listed by writers on nearly every financial site as “recommended” software. If you want something free and easy to use this could still be a great choice. However, there are major issues you should know if you use their site:
- Whether you buy a house, or save for something, or payoff a mortgage, no event you add to your plan is connected to anything else. So if you are planning to do something you can’t afford to do, you have no idea. For example:
- You add to your plan saving $20K a year toward retirement.
- That money is magically added every year without being deducted from your disposable income.
- There is no distinction between tax deductible contributions (IRA) and non-tax deductible (Roth). Those tax consequences are not calculated, nor are any contribution limits put on anything, etc.
- Same for withdraws. No tax distinctions applied through retirement.
- Say you plan to make $100K annually…
- That’s it. That’s what it applies from now till retirement. No inflationary increase.
- So you plan to sell your house in 20 years?
- Does the mortgage payment go away when you sell it? No. You have to manually delete that separately. No mortgage is linked to any property.
- Does the rent money you were receiving for the house go away when you sell it? No. You have to manually delete that separately.
- Costs for commissions, repairs, future property value and tax liabilities? All up to you to calculate and plan, then enter the final number into the software (after you’ve done all the work).
- All is fine unless you are playing with different purchase / sale dates and trying to see the effects. Then you have 3 or 4 separate events you have to change each time to see the results. Again, nothing is connected.
I could go on and on, but it’s “FREE” (selling your info to others), so for a free tool, it’s pretty good. It just wasn’t designed for real estate investors.
At some point in the future I may do a deep dive into each of these:
Sorry, I haven’t done any bitcoin research yet…meanwhile….eREITs are becoming more mainstream:
One of the top names in non-traditional investing. Besides eREITs you can invest in startups.
No Code / Low Code Integrations
I’ve found plenty of posts where people have written basic scripts that screen scrape info, use SQL and/or use some sort of integration app. These three apps seem to keep coming up as low code/no code solutions. Some of them offer solutions that are specific to real estate as well:
Software Recommendation Sites
We’ve found many of these review sites have partnerships with the software they are reviewing / promoting. They generate money for themselves by affiliate marketing, which means if you click on a link about the software they review, they may receive a small commission. We will do the same thing if we can, so we’re not necessarily saying that is wrong! However, we encourage readers to be mindful of this potential conflict of interest. Often it seems like the reviews were done by a writer who had a deadline and wanted to write something that got a lot of clicks (which translates to money from advertisers and affiliate marketing) but didn’t necessarily give the most accurate and complete info.
Once you try some of the recommended software, you will find there are major facts left out of the review that anyone who actually used the software for its intended purpose would know. Often these issues make the software in question completely useless for our intended purpose and it probably means the writer didn’t actually try to use the software much themselves. If we haven’t actually used it, we won’t write about it. In our opinion, some sites like Capterra literally misclassify software in their search results so you ended up wasting a lot of time trying software that wasn’t meant to do what you wanted at all. If you want to do some of your own research on these sites, here you go. While there are some great recommendations to be found, we would proceed bearing in mind the aforementioned caveats: