The lump-sum value today of a string of future cash flows discounted back to today at a specified discount rate. In real estate, the Present Value of a real estate investment is the price that an investor would be willing to pay today for a string of future real estate cash flows so as to achieve a given target return (discount rate). In order to calculate Present Value, a discounted cash flow statement must be built forecasting the future net cash flows of a real estate investment.

Net Present Value is the Present Value of investment inflows (i.e. positive cash flows) less the present value of investment outflows (i.e. negative cash flows). In most cases, this means calculating the present value of all future cash flows, and subtracting the amount paid for the investment in time zero.

So, if the Present Value of an investment is $1,000,000 and the investor must pay $750,000 to acquire that investment, the Net Present Value would equal $250,000 ($1,000,000 – $750,000).

In Excel, the Present Value is best calculated using the NPV() function, not including the value in time zero in the selected range. NPV is arrived at by calculating the Present Value and then subtracting the amount invested in time zero.

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