Set yourself up for success on Stessa with this 4-step process to refine your dashboard metrics and bring your transactions data current.

1. Confirm Acquisition Details

Your Property and Portfolio dashboards are only reliable when the underlying data is accurate and complete. The first step to dialing in your dashboards is to confirm the correct acquisition cost and date is entered for each Property.

Navigate to Properties and then click on any acquisition price to bring up the Financial Details editor. Confirm acquisition date and price. This original cost basis is used to calculate the Return, Effective Cap Rate, and Cash-on-Cash metrics on your dashboards.

You can simply ignore the "Loan Amount" and "Capital Expenses" options for now as these will calculate automatically from other sources.

Click the "Continue" button.

2. Bring Your CapEx Schedule Current

Scroll down a bit further on your Property Details page until you see a card labeled, "Capital Expenses" on the right side of the screen. Click on "Edit Capital Expenses" to visit the Transactions page. Enter all historical capital projects here, including renovations, major plumbing/electrical upgrades, new doors, windows, and flooring, and any other costs you'd like to capitalize and depreciate over the useful life of the project.

You can enter a single line item called "Closing Costs Added to Basis" and dated the same as your original acquisition for certain closing costs that become part of your original basis. These typically include things like seller owed property taxes that you paid and were not reimbursed for, owner's title insurance costs (not lender's), legal fees, recording fees, and survey fees among others. Loan fees are not considered part of your cost basis as they are amortized separately for tax purposes.

Later on, you can edit your capital expense entries by adding useful life and date placed in service info, also via your Transactions page.

3. Confirm Your Loan Details

Mortgage and other loan details are managed through the "Loan-to-Value" and "Mortgage" cards located just below the "Capital Improvements" card on your Property Details page. To add a new loan, click the small gear icon on the "Loan-to-Value" card and select "Add Loan." To edit the details of an existing mortgage or loan, click the small edit icon on the "Mortgage" card.

Enter in as much detail as you can so that Stessa can generate accurate Return and Cash Flow metrics.

4. Add or Import Cash Flow Data from Prior Periods

Now that we've entered acquisition, capital expenditure, and loan details, you have a few different options for entering historical investment performance data. In prior years, it's likely that you either tracked cash flow in a spreadsheet or relied on your bookkeeper or CPA to tally everything up at the end of the year.

Depending on how much detail you want to track in Stessa for prior years, you can navigate to your Transactions page and bring your data current in one of the following ways:

  • Simply record a new manual "Income" transaction dated Dec 31 of each prior calendar year of ownership, in an amount equal to your total net cash flow (after debt but before taxes) for the year. Ignore operating expenses and debt expenses since you're recording a pure net cash flow number.

  • Manually record transactions dated Dec 31 of each prior calendar year of ownership, for "Income" equal to gross income and for each "Operating Expenses" category equal to the amount recorded for each on your Schedule E. Make sure the math ties out to your final net cash flow number for the year.

  • Use the CSV upload process detailed in How to Import Transactions Data (CSV) to populate your Transactions page with detailed income and expense line items from prior time periods.

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