Real Estate Video Game

by Mr. Cheap

I’ve often thought that an interesting game would be a simulation that takes you through a few decades of a real estate investor’s career. Yes, yes I’ve heard of monopoly, you’re very funny!

What I envision would involve analyzing properties, determining the cash flow, and dealing with unexpected changes in market conditions and interest rates and whatnot. Probably it’d work better as a single player game, or if it was a multi-player game it would be fairly non-competitive.

Robert T Kiyosaki has a game, “Cash Flow” which is a step towards this idea (and he even made it with the idea of using it to help teach people about money), however its pretty lame (and I’d find it frightening if anyone actually felt better prepared to manage their finances after playing it).

Probably the game I’d imagine would in some way involve people balancing their time and money. They’d find and manage properties (with more potential problems as they got more properties), decide when to keep properties or when to sell them. Potentially it could work off of the computer as a game with cards or something (but there’d be a lot of book keeping tracking mortgages and whatnot). If it was on a computer, I’d make it as much of a simulation (instead of a game) as possible, and hopefully get it to mimic the real world as much as possible.

I’d ideally love it if it illustrated the idea of exponential gains, that things start of slow, and really pick up speed once compounding kicks in (which I don’t think is a very intuitive concept for many of us, we usually have a very linear perspective on life).

Nothing at all like what I’m describing, but I came across a silly, fun real estate game: Mansion Impossible. You should be able to figure out within 20 or 30 seconds what the strategy is then follow it until you win.

Be Sociable, Share!

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 FourPillars

Sounds good but I think I’ll wait for the “Sub Prime” edition to come out :)

Mike

2 Mr. Cheap

In the “Sub Prime” edition, EVERYONE loses!

3 Gates VP

Hey Cheap;

Aren’t you “job-free” right now? Sounds like the perfect “free-time” project, the type of thing that you start as a side project that then becomes an additional stream of income as people pay license fees :)

4 Mr. Cheap

Gates: Yeah, truth be told that’s kinda what I’m thinking. Once all the PhD applications are in, it might be the perfect time to work on a side project like this…

5 MillionDollarJourney

Damn that game is addictive! 14 yrs is my record!

6 Mr. Cheap

MDJ: Good for you! I think 16 years is the best I’ve done…

7 Mike-TWA

“Second Investor Life” maybe?

If you do create this, Mr. Cheap, please consider an avatar option of no student loans. I’ll subscribe like yesterday.

8 Mr. Cheap

Mike-TWA: Seeing as you’re a RE investor (and your father was one before you), what do you think of the game concept? Could a sufficiently complicated simulation capture the decision process, risk and reward to RE investing? Have you come across anything yourself that does an ok job of this?

I was actually thinking you could have different avatars, each with pros and cons, such as the university grad (makes more money but has 4 years less play time), the work-aholic (more money to spend, but less time to set up deals), the handyman (can do repairs himself at the cost of time), etc.

Are student loans tax deductible in the states? Are you ever tempted to refinance a property and pay off your student loan?

9 quietrose

The interest you pay on student loans is tax deductible in the United States, but not the principal. The Mansion Impossible is fun, my record is 14 years so far.

10 Mike-TWA

Mr. Cheap,

I’ve never seen anything along these lines, and you’re one up on me, having even seen Kiyosaki’s game. Truthfully, my uninformed (which never stopped me before) thoughts on the success of the game concept are that 1) it would not have broad appeal unless 2) it was a companion to a guru style book or course (well, like Kiyosaki’s). Although, I do like your avatar qualities/limitations idea. I’d give it a whirl, but you know I’m squarely in the RE geekdom arena.

Quietrose speaks truth on deductibility of interest although the deduction phases out pretty quickly and cruelly.

The refi thought: well, it doesn’t really provide any interest savings. The student loans, while massive-ish, are low interest. Also, to my great and public shame, I pointed out on TWA that I was first and foremost a flipper of RE before about 2 years ago. This had the dual effect of cutting myself short on profits from those deals and inviting me to spend rather than reinvest some of said profits. Feel free to add that dumba** decision to one of your avatars (just don’t call him Mike-TWA please).

11 Mr. Cheap

Mike: yeah, we’re buy-and-holders in this neck of the woods! You’ve seen the error of your ways though, so I guess we can forgive you ;-)

I’d want to target the game at hard-core RE geeks (ideally people who wanted to learn / test their learning without losing money). I wouldn’t want to bundle it with any guru crap though (wouldn’t feel right peddling any of that stuff).

quietrose: Thanks for the info!

12 property bulgaria

Quietrose speaks truth on deductibility of interest although the deduction phases out pretty quickly and cruelly.

The refi thought: well, it doesnt really provide any interest savings. The student loans, while massive-ish, are low interest. Also, to my great and public shame, I pointed out on TWA that I was first and foremost a flipper of RE before about 2 years ago. This had the dual effect of cutting myself short on profits from those deals and inviting me to spend rather than reinvest some of said profits. Feel free to add that dumba** decision to one of your avatars (just dont call him Mike-TWA please).

13 Roarke

OMG I’ve been looking for a good real estate sim forever. The only one I’ve found is broken to no end and they expect you to pay $50. Its broken enough the demo works forever, but you can only play it once. I had Virtual PC 2007 installed with a copy of WinXP and the game installer that I would just have it never save the changes, but the game was really easy. Within a few years I was a multi millionaire with apartment buildings.
I know this is years old, but I know there is a demand out there. I wish I had the skillset to be able to make the game myself but I’ve got nothing.
Hopefully some kind of game will fill this niche soon!

Leave a Comment

Current ye@r *

Previous post:

Next post: