Close this search box.

Table of Contents

One Percent Rule


The One Percent Rule is a guideline used in real estate investing, stating that a property should rent for at least one percent of its total upfront cost. This means that if a property is purchased for $100,000, it should yield a monthly rental income of at least $1,000. This rule is used to determine if the potential rental income makes a property a good investment opportunity.


The phonetics of the keyword “One Percent Rule” is: wʌn pər’sɛnt ruːl

Key Takeaways

  1. The One Percent Rule is a guideline real estate investors often use to determine if a property is likely to provide a good return on investment. It states that a property’s monthly rent should be at least one percent of its purchase price.
  2. It is a quick and easy calculation that can help investors to screen properties and make decisions about which ones might be a potentially good investment. But it is only a rule of thumb and should be used as part of a larger set of criteria for evaluating a property’s potential.
  3. The rule doesn’t include some significant expenses like maintenance, vacancy loss, property management, capital expenditures, and other costs that can affect a property’s profitability. Therefore, it’s essential to use other financial metrics and conduct a thorough analysis before making any investment decisions.


The One Percent Rule is a significant guideline used in real estate investment to determine if a property would potentially provide a positive cash flow. Essentially, it states that a rental property should rent for at least one percent of the purchase price (including any necessary repair costs) per month in order to generate a decent return on investment. By using this rule, investors can screen properties more efficiently and identify those that have a higher potential for profit. Though it’s not foolproof, it provides a quick way to assess rental potential and make decisions regarding property investment. It is important because it can steer investors away from properties that may not be profitable and guide them towards others that are worth considering.


The One Percent Rule is a guideline regularly used in real estate investment to determine if a property is likely to yield positive cash flow. It helps investors evaluate potential rental properties to ensure an adequate return on their investment. This rule provides investors with a method to screen potential real estate investments quickly and efficiently. The rule suggests that a rental property, to be deemed a good investment, should yield monthly rental income that is at least 1% of the property’s acquisition cost.

For instance, if an investor is considering a property priced at $300,000, that property would need to bring in a minimum of $3,000 in gross monthly rent to meet the One Percent Rule. This guideline is beneficial in comparing different potential properties and markets, allowing investors to make informed investment decisions. However, it is to be noted that one should not rely on this rule alone, but always complement it with a detailed analysis of other financial factors like property condition, market trends, and additional operating expenses.


The One Percent Rule is a guideline often referenced by real estate investors when determining if the potential rental income of a property is likely to exceed the cost of the mortgage payments and other expenses. It suggests that the monthly rent should be at least 1% of the purchase price for a property to be considered a good investment. Here are three real-world examples:

1. Rental property A costs $200,000 to purchase. According to the One Percent Rule, this property would need to rent for at least $2,000 per month ($200,000 * 0.01) to make it a potentially favorable investment. If the property can only be rented for $1,500 per month, the rule would suggest it may not be a good investment.

2. An investor considering commercial rental space B which costs $400,000. Using the One Percent Rule, the investor would aim to earn at least $4,000 a month in rent. If the expected monthly income is greater than $4,000, the investment seems more acceptable based on this guideline.

3. Real estate property C, available for purchase at $150,000, is in a highly desirable neighborhood, thus allowing it to command a higher rent. If the owner can charge $1,500 or more per month in rent, the One Percent Rule would suggest that this may be a worthwhile investment.Remember the One Percent Rule is just a guideline and other factors such as property taxes, potential for capital growth, property maintenance should also be considered.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the One Percent Rule?

The One Percent Rule is a guideline frequently referenced in real estate investment, suggesting that a rental property should generate gross monthly rent of at least 1% of its purchase price. This helps investors evaluate whether a property could potentially generate cash flow.

How is the One Percent Rule calculated?

The One Percent Rule is calculated by taking the monthly rent and dividing it by the purchase price. If the result is 1% or more, it complies with the rule.

What is an example of the One Percent Rule?

If you purchase a property for $200,000, you will need to charge at least $2,000 per month (1% of the purchase price) in rent to satisfy the One Percent Rule.

What does the One Percent Rule tell me about a potential investment?

The One Percent Rule gives a quick snapshot of whether a property might be a good investment. If the monthly rental income is less than 1% of the purchase price, the property may not give a good return in terms of immediate cash flow.

Is the One Percent Rule a guaranteed success strategy?

No, it’s not. It’s just a rule of thumb used for quick assessment. Real estate investment success depends on many other factors like property location, condition, operating expenses, changes in local market etc.

Does the One Percent Rule account for possible expenses like maintenance and vacancies?

No, it doesn’t. The One Percent Rule is only a guideline to gauge the rental income potential of a property. It doesn’t account for expenses or vacancies.

How can I use the One Percent Rule in conjunction with other investment evaluating tools?

The One Percent Rule can be a starting point for investors. It helps to quickly filter potential investments. If a property satisfies the One Percent Rule, investors can then delve deeper, considering other factors like the Cap Rate, Cash-on-Cash Return, or overall ROI.

Related Finance Terms

  • Real Estate Investing: This is the primary field where the One Percent Rule is employed. It’s the act of purchasing, owning, managing, renting, or selling real estate for profit.
  • Rental Yield: Related to the One Percent Rule, rental yield is a percentage that shows the annual return on an investment, in this case, the rented property, compared to its cost.
  • Net Operating Income (NOI): This is a calculation used to analyze the profitability of income-generating real estate investments. NOI equals all revenue from the property, minus all reasonably necessary operating expenses.
  • Property Management: This term refers to the operation, control, maintenance, and oversight of real estate. Property management is also related to the One Percent Rule since it’s about making real estate investment as profitable as possible.
  • Cash Flow: In real estate investing, cash flow refers to the amount of money that is left over after all of the property’s operating expenses have been paid. The One Percent Rule is often used as a shortcut to estimate potential cash flow from a rental property.

Sources for More Information

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More