Real Estate Finance

Shannon Donovan BA, MFS, DBA

Course AF-486 W 6:00-8:40 PM

Office Hours (Room L-222)

Fall 2002

M 8:30-9am, 11:50-12:50pm, W 8:30-9am, 11:50-1:50pm, 8:40-9:10pm, F 8:30-9am, and by appointment

Telephone: 508-531-2684

E-Mail:, course information available on Blackboard                    ( )



Real Estate Finance and Investments, 11th Edition, Brueggeman and Fisher, McGraw Hill Irwin.

A financial mode calculator is required. Texas Instruments BA II Plus is recommended and will be taught in class.


COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the subject of real estate finance, including such topics as valuation and appraisal, market analysis, mortgages, inflation effect on real estate markets, taxes and legal considerations. This course will emphasize the fundamental theories that lead to current practice in today’s market conditions and is designed for those finance majors interested in pursuing career in real state management, as well as those interested in broadening their understanding of this investment option.


METHOD:  Instructional methods employed may include lecture, cases, skill-building exercises, problem solving, student presentations and other activities.  These events heighten understanding of the course material.  The student’s preparation before class and serious participation in these activities will contribute to learning in this course. This course will also integrate a great deal of spreadsheet work.


Each chapter and each class will build upon one another in this course, so students need to be prepared prior to each class.  If you find yourself falling behind, please see me right away.  As you can see from my schedule above, I am available often and in many different formats (class, office, phone and e-mail), so there is no excuse for you not to contact me.   


Course Objectives/Outcomes




1. To familiarize students with concepts and principles of real estate finance.

Students will pass in-class examinations.

2. To let students demonstrate their ability to use the techniques they have mastered.

Students will complete at least one spreadsheet problem in which they will use the techniques examined in the course.

3. To increase students’ critical understanding of the application of real estate finance.

Students will pass a take home examination with case based problems on real estate.

4. Give students the opportunity to learn collectively and to exchange ideas in finance.

Students will participate both individually and in teams in problem solving and discussion in class to demonstrate their working knowledge of the subject.






Exam #1

15 points

93-100 A

73-76 C

Exam #2

15 points

93-90 A-

70-72 C-

Take Home Exam

15 points

87-89 B+

67-69 D+


25 points

86-83 B

66-63 D


10 points

80-82 B-

60-62 D-

Spreadsheet assignment(s)

15 points

77-79 C+

Below 60 F


100 points




CLASS PARTICIPATION: Attendance, timeliness, preparation of assigned readings, and constructive comments and activity during class sessions are included in Class Participation.  Assigned readings, problems, and cases should be done prior to the class meeting for which it is assigned in the schedule (below) or in class.  Participation in in-class activities is necessary for enhanced learning in the course. 


Quality participation is more important than mere attendance. Participation is graded in each class and includes preparation of the material, thoughtful questions, and insights.  The text provides the foundation of knowledge for class activities and discussion. The course assumes that the student has read the text and that the student’s role is active and dynamic. The final grade in this area will reflect the student’s oral contribution to the classroom learning environment. 


ATTENDANCE: Attendance is an integral part of this course. Some material for which you will be responsible is not included in the texts. Two absences will be allowed. For every incremental two absences beyond that allowed, the lowering of a student grade by 1/3 grade will result. For example, if cumulative grade is “B” and you miss three classes, your final grade will be lowered to a “B-“. Success in this course should require a preparation level of 6-10 hours outside class weekly.


ASSIGNMENTS: Questions and problems will be assigned from each chapter and will be periodically collected. Other projects will be assigned during the semester. No late assignments will be accepted and there will be no credit given to assignments handed in beyond the due date.


The spreadsheet assignments are to be completed individually. This is not a group assignment.  Students who do not adhere to this rule will receive a grade of zero.


EXAMS: There will be two (2) in class exams and a take home exam plus a cumulative Final exam. There will be no makeup exams. Calculators (not computers) will be allowed at the discretion of the professor. The take home exam is to be completed individually. This is not a group assignment.  Students who do not adhere to this rule will receive a grade of zero.



If you are having trouble, please see me right away.  My schedule is on the syllabus, on my web site, on Blackboard and on my office door. Also, there is a phone number and e-mail that I have provided. There should be no excuse that you could not reach me. Extra help will gladly be provided to all those who attend class regularly and complete homework assignments. Prepare – read the chapter, do the homework and attend classes and participate. Don’t fall behind.


Syllabus may be changed at the instructor’s discretion.

Schedule of Events





Ch. 1 Overview of Real Estate

Ch. 2 Legal Considerations

P2-1 thru 10


Ch 3 Computing Real Estate Transactions

Ch 4 Fixed Rate Mortgage Lending

P3- 1 thru 16


Cont Fixed Rate Mortgages (ch 4)



Exam 1

Chapter 5 Adjustable Rate Mortgages



Cont Ch 5 Adjustable Rate Mortgages



Ch. 6 Underwriting of Residential Properties



Ch. 7 Residential  Financial Analysis



Exam 2

Start Chapter 8



Ch. 8 Introduction to Income Producing Properties and Valuation Fundamentals



Ch. 9 Introduction to Leases, Projecting Cash Flows, and Investment Value



Ch. 10 Investment and Risk Analysis



Ch. 11 Financial Leverage and Financing Alternatives



Take Home Exam Due

REIT, Secondary Mortgage Market and CMO






* Remainder of assignments will be given in class and be on Blackboard.