The ABCs of Multifamily Cash Flow

You hear the term all the time. After all, it’s an essential concept for apartment investors because it not only reflects the viability of your investment but also its value. 

But what really is cash flow? How do you compute it, and more importantly, how can you increase the cash flow of your multifamily property?

Cash flow is simply the money that moves in and out of your business. For apartments, the cash coming in is in the form of rent, and the cash flowing out is in the form of expenditures like property taxes and utilities. 

Cash flow – or lack of it — is one of the primary reasons businesses, or real estate investments,  fail. Without sufficient cash flow, you’ll run out of money. That’s why it’s essential that you have sufficient capital to not only purchase an apartment property but also sustain it in the event that cash flow fails to be what you projected – for example, if units turn over more often than you expect or rents decline. 

Here are some ways you can improve the cash flow of your apartment investment:

  • Increase rents. This is perhaps the fastest and easiest way to improve cash flow. Consider repositioning the property – investing some capital to improve the units and then bumping rents.
  • Reduce utility costs. Fix leaky shower heads and faucets, which waste water. Install energy-efficient appliances and lighting fixtures. 
  • Decrease expenses. Renegotiate your property management contract, or put it out to bid at the end of the term. Use free rental property listing sites rather than paying a broker to rent apartments.
  • Encourage residents to stay. Moveouts are expensive, so when tenants renew their leases you’ll save time and money on prepping the unit.
  • Add additional streams of revenue, such as pet deposits and rent, garage rentals, vending machines or valet trash. 


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What is a Garden-Style Apartment?

Woman reading a book in a windowWhen it’s time to rent a new place, there are tons of important decisions you’ll need to make. Are you looking for a one-bedroom or a studio space? Would you prefer a standing shower or a full tub? Do you want to live in a garden-style apartment or a high-rise with a view?

Each of these is a valuable question to consider before signing your next lease. Fortunately, ApartmentSearch is here to help you take a closer look at a garden-style home’s pros and cons to support you in a smooth decision-making process.

Characteristics of a garden-style apartment

A garden-style apartment is typically characterized as a low-rise building surrounded by a garden-like setting.

Garden apartments and condos are located in an outdoor-style complex that can be one, two, or three stories high, though two or three floors are typical. The grounds are decorated with trees, shrubbery, and sometimes actual gardens. Because of their outdoor nature, garden-style homes are usually found in either rural or suburban areas.

Amenities with a garden-style apartment

While garden condos and apartments may not offer an elevator, a fitness center, or a rooftop deck that some high-rises and mixed-use buildings boast, they still have many appealing and useful amenities of their own. The following are a few standard conveniences you can expect from a garden-style space.

  • Easy access: Many complexes offer on-site parking, so you won’t have to walk far at all to get to your car. Your unit’s exterior door may lead directly into the parking lot, making for a quick and easy commute when coming home after a long day. (Or when trying to unload all the groceries in one trip!)
  • More space between neighbors: In contrast to the close proximity of high-rise apartments, garden-style complexes have more space between their buildings. This can often translate to improved privacy, and possibly a quieter living environment overall.
  • Beautiful grounds and greenery: As noted above, a prime characteristic of garden-style apartments is right there in the name — a garden setting with plenty of green spaces for you to enjoy. A good management company will be sure to keep the flowers and landscaping looking beautiful all year long.
  • Community common areas: Common areas of a garden-style complex may include a pool, clubhouse, sand volleyball court, benches or picnic tables, and sometimes a shared grill. These little extras provide a great way to socialize with your neighbors or host all kinds of get-togethers.

Things to consider before renting a garden condo or apartment

The main difference between a condo and an apartment is ownership. Apartments belong to a building containing multiple rental units owned or managed by a professional company and leased out to individual tenants. On the other hand, condos are typically owned by an individual and controlled by the owner or a property management company.

So, is living in a condo worth it? That decision is entirely up to you, depending on the level of responsibility (financial, maintenance, and otherwise) you’d like to take on. But whether you choose a condo or opt for an apartment, a garden-style unit can make an incredible home.

Before you make a move, though, be sure to consider the location, the amenities, and the overall aesthetic you’d like from your next address. If you’d prefer green spaces over concrete, on-site parking over a parking garage, and a more suburban setting over living downtown, a garden-style space could be an excellent fit for you.

However, the defining attributes of a garden-style complex are definitely different than those of a high-rise building, so you’ll need to determine what features are most attractive and practical for your specific living needs. Also, some renters find that garden-level apartments come with annoying pests in the winter and summer, though most apartment complexes stay ahead of the seasonal challenges with pest control services. (Just ask about pest control during your tour!)

Are you interested in a furnished apartment in Austin or on the hunt for a Charlottesville garden condo? No matter what type of home you’re looking for, ApartmentSearch has your back. Use our search tool to find an apartment, and enjoy a cash reward to put towards your moving costs!


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