Definition of "Capital expenditure"

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The capital expenditure definition is an evaluation method of investments that a company of any kind, including real estate developments, makes to maintain or upgrade tangible assets. These tangible assets are financial outlays that improve or sustain the company’s scope of operations and increase the full value of the property. 

Some of the Capital Expenditures in real estate

Capital expenditures in real estate include investments that increase the value of the property. Installing an innovative solar roof is seen as capital expenditure, a new swimming pool for your tenants or vacationers can also increase the value, intense renovations, a new spa, a new gym, etc. Capital expenditures are not seen as losses from profit but investments in the property.

What Does Capital Expenditures Tell Investors?

When investors look at real estate investments, they consider the property’s net operating income (NOI), telling them how profitable the property can be. The reason they look at it is that from NOI, they can see what the margin of profit is once the operating expenses (OPEX) are subtracted. Once they have the capital expenditure (CapEx) potential, what can go to investments, they see the property’s potential to grow.

The CapEx also tells real estate investors how much they actually invest. While the full potential of investment would be the NOI, any company that wants to succeed needs an actual profit. But this is where it can get tricky. It is the investor’s decision how much they are willing to finance in the CapEx.

Something that might help investors differentiate CapEx from OPEX is that OPEX is deductible expenses while CapEx is mentioned in the balance sheet, not in the income statement. CapEx might also appear in the real estate property’s cash-flow statement as investments and is often cited as PP&E (property, plant, and equipment). From the cash-flow statement, an investor can see previous investments in the property and check if investment grew or decreased.

The Formula for calculating Capital Expenditures:

Besides adding all the costs of investments, CapEx has a formula.

Capital Expenditures = PP&E Costs + Current Depreciation


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