Introduction to Real Estate Finance and Investment

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February 18 @ 12:00 pm
February 27 @ 2:00 pm
Live Online
Online DC United States
ULI Learning


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February 18, 20, 25, and 27
12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. EDT

Developed for non-finance professionals, this webinar program provides a broad and solid introduction to the basics of real estate finance and investment. Held over four sessions, with an online video pre-webinar introduction to refresh students on the basics, the course will begin with a review of basic financial concepts and analytical tools. After that the program will examine how real estate investment opportunities are analyzed, and how they are financed. The workshop will acquaint students with fundamental real estate finance terms and concepts including: time value of money, risk-return tradeoff, capital stack, financial leverage, and waterfall structure. Using examples and Excel spreadsheet, it will demonstrate important calculations in real estate finance and investment, such as internal rate of return (IRR), mortgage amortization, and property valuation. This course is recommended for non-finance real estate professionals who wish to gain a basic understanding of real estate finance that also will help them get more out of their professional interactions.

Module 1 Financial Concepts and Tools: A Review

  • Capital sources: debt vs. equity
  • Key financial concepts
    • Time value of money (TVM)
  • Risk and return
    • Basic TVM calculations
    • Compounding and discounting
    • TVM of a cash flow stream
    • Financial functions in Excel

Module 2 Financial Leverage

  • Key features of commercial mortgages
  • Mortgage calculation
    • Amortization
    • Monthly payment and annual debt service
    • Outstanding loan balance
    • Annual percentage rate (APR)
  • Mortgage underwriting
    • Loan-to-value ratio
    • Debt coverage ratio
    • Debt yield

Module 3 Basics of Real Estate Investment

  • Net operating income (NOI) and pro forma
  • Real estate valuation
    • Direct capitalization approach
    • Discounted cash flow (DCF) approach
  • Performance measures
    • Net present value (NPV)
    • Internal rate of return (IRR)
    • Cash on cash
    • Equity multiple

Module 4 Capital Sources and Investment Waterfall

  • Capital sources for real estate projects
    • Debt capital
    • Equity capital
      • Joint ventures and syndicates
      • Real estate funds
      • Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
  • Introduction to investment waterfalls
    • Return of capital
    • Preferred return and hurdle rate
    • Promote


Charles TuCharles Tu
Professor of Real Estate
Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate
University of San Diego
San Diego, California



Tu is the Daniel F. Mulvihill Professor of Commercial Real Estate at the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate at the University of San Diego (USD). Tu joined the USD faculty in 2004 and was appointed the academic director of the Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) program in 2010. He is also responsible for the curriculum of the undergraduate real estate major. In addition to teaching courses, Tu coaches student teams in local and national competitions.  USD MSRE students won six first-place and two second-place victories in the ARGUS University Challenge in the eight years the event was held.

Tu’s research covers a wide range of topics, including housing valuation, smart growth and the new urbanism, sustainable and green buildings, commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), real estate investment trusts (REITs), multifamily housing, retail shopping centers, and real estate education. He has published in many academic journals and for professional organizations such as the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). He currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Sustainable Real Estate.

Tu earned his PhD in business administration from the George Washington University (GWU) in 1999. He received the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 2000 and became a LEED Accredited Professional in 2009. He is ARGUS Software Certified (ASC) for ARGUS Valuation-DCF, ARGUS Enterprise and ARGUS Developer. Before joining USD, Tu taught real estate and finance courses at GWU and California State University at Fullerton.



Members: $395
Nonmembers: $525
Govt./nonprofit member: $350
Govt./nonprofit nonmember: $465