The New Western Team


Principal in real estate investing refers to the initial amount of money invested in a property or project. It represents the original capital sum that an investor contributes towards the purchase or development of a real estate asset. The principal serves as the foundation for calculating potential returns and is a crucial factor in determining the profitability of an investment. Aspiring and experienced real estate investors should carefully consider the principal amount when evaluating investment opportunities to optimize their financial outcomes.


Principal: Practical Example

Let’s meet John, an experienced real estate investor who is considering purchasing a commercial property. He has identified a high-potential office building in a prime location, but he lacks the full amount of capital required for the purchase.

John decides to approach a real estate investment firm that specializes in syndications. He presents his case to the firm, explaining his investment strategy and the potential returns from the office building. The firm, impressed with John’s knowledge and the property’s potential, agrees to partner with him.

In this partnership, John becomes the principal investor. He contributes a portion of the required capital, while the real estate investment firm raises the remaining funds from other investors. As the principal, John takes on a leadership role in the project, making key decisions and overseeing the property’s management and operations.

With the partnership established, John and the investment firm work together to acquire the office building. They negotiate the purchase price and financing terms, ensuring the investment aligns with their shared goals. Once the property is acquired, John remains actively involved, monitoring its performance and implementing strategies to maximize returns.

Several years later, the office building has appreciated significantly, and John decides it’s time to exit the investment. He works closely with the investment firm to devise an exit strategy that will generate the highest possible returns for all investors involved. They decide to sell the property to a large corporate tenant interested in occupying the prime location, resulting in a substantial profit for the principal investor and the other investors in the syndication.

Reflecting on his experience as the principal investor, John says, “Being the principal allowed me to take charge of the investment and drive its success. I was able to leverage my expertise and actively participate in decision-making, ultimately achieving a profitable outcome for all investors involved.”

Inspired by John’s success, other aspiring real estate investors consider taking on the role of principal in their future investments, recognizing the potential for greater control and higher returns.’

Remember, as a world-class real estate investing educator, it’s important to provide practical examples that resonate with your audience and demonstrate how real estate concepts are applied in real-world scenarios.


Q: What does the term “principal” mean in real estate investing?
A: In real estate investing, the term “principal” refers to the original amount of money invested or borrowed, excluding any interest or additional fees.

Q: How is the principal amount determined in real estate investing?
A: The principal amount in real estate investing is typically determined by the initial investment made by an investor or the original loan amount borrowed from a lender.

Q: Can the principal amount change over time in real estate investing?
A: Generally, the principal amount remains constant throughout the investment or loan term. However, in certain cases, such as refinancing or loan modifications, the principal amount may be adjusted.

Q: How does the principal affect real estate investment returns?
A: The principal amount invested directly impacts the potential returns in real estate investing. Higher principal investments may lead to higher returns if the property appreciates or generates significant rental income.

Q: What are some strategies to increase the principal amount in real estate investing?
A: Real estate investors can increase their principal amount by reinvesting profits, leveraging their existing properties to acquire additional ones, or seeking financing options that allow for higher principal investments.

Q: Can the principal amount be recovered in real estate investing?
A: Yes, in real estate investing, the principal amount can be recovered through various means, such as selling the property at a profit, receiving rental income over time, or refinancing the property to access the equity.

Q: Are there any risks associated with the principal amount in real estate investing?
A: While real estate investing can offer substantial returns, there are inherent risks. The principal amount invested is subject to market fluctuations, property value depreciation, and potential financial losses if the investment does not perform as expected.

Q: How does principal differ from interest in real estate investing?
A: Principal refers to the initial investment or loan amount, while interest represents the additional cost charged by lenders for borrowing money. Interest is calculated based on the principal and the agreed-upon interest rate.

Q: Can the principal amount be used for other purposes during the investment term?
A: Typically, the principal amount invested in real estate is dedicated solely to the investment and cannot be used for other purposes unless specifically allowed by the investment agreement or loan terms.

Q: Is the principal amount taxable in real estate investing?
A: The principal amount invested or borrowed in real estate investing is generally not subject to taxation. However, any profits or returns generated from the investment, such as rental income or capital gains, may be subject to taxation according to relevant tax laws.