In The Basics under Bein' a better slum lord, we talked a little bit about buying properties in New York to start building up your empire and overall net worth. If you don't remember it all off the top of your head, refresh yourself on the basics before diving in to some of the concepts below. It is assumed you are already roughly familiar with ROI and the general benefits to buying New York properties in quantities of 10. After you get past these ideas, it is worth taking a look later in this article for some basic advice for getting you started in the new Cuban and Moscow businesses.
An over simplification of the property system is to always buy in lots of 10 and to always buy the type of property which offers the shortest ROI terms. The fact of the matter is that neither of these rules is actually absolute if you are truly looking to milk every last time out of your tenants as quickly as possible.
First, the rule of buying in tens should be looked at more closely. Whereas it is certainly true that purchasing 10 at once is cheaper than buying them one at a time since the cost increases by 10% of the base cost per property of that type you own, we have to take a closer look at the difference between cash on hand and your cash flow. If you have the cash on hand to immediately make the purchase of 10, this is always best unless you are talking about lots. If it is just lots you are buying it is worth considering whether or not you have the cash on hand to buy both the lots and the final properties. If you don't we have to look at your cash flow.
The real question when applying the rule of 10 is relatively simple when you think about it. In the time that it takes to save up the money to purchase 10 of the type of the building rather than one at a time, would you make more money purchasing them one at time first than the extra increasing cost? Let us take a look at an extreme example. If you are currently making $300 an hour, an Abandoned Lot costs $5000 and a Rent House costs $10000 and you are making no money from jobs, it would take 500 hours to save up the $150000 necessary in order to purchase 10 lots and then 10 houses. On the other hand, if in 17 hours you purchased just one Abandoned Lot right away, you are now making $400 an hour, so in another 25 hours you could buy the first Rent House and be making $600 an hour. In the 500 hours in the first case you would make exactly $150000. Now with having down the first one individually, in the same 500 hours you would make 17 * $300 + 25 * $400 + 458 * $600 for a total of $289900, Clearly at really low income levels, the one at a time purchase benefits you more. The most practical application of this is that if you get a windfall from a big hit list kill, you may find yourself better off buying a single large property rather than waiting to try to get 10.
Now lets challenge the ROI assumptions. Always buying the lowest ROI properties is the best approach if you are looking to grow your total amount of money the fastest. However, since different types of properties yield different amounts of income, if you are trying to quickly boost the amount you make an hour, it can actually be beneficial to ignore the lower ROI of the more expensive building in favor of the greater payout. You will see this principal periodically reflected when you go to rob someone and they only have 250 Mega Casinos. It seems like this is making the money come in faster, but this is actually a bit of a fallacy. The best ROI will always grow your wealth the fastest, as annoying as it may be to get around to buying 1100 Rent Houses before getting 500 Casinos.
In both Cuba and Moscow, properties work very differently than they do in New York. Rather than there being an amount that they make an hour, each business has an item it produces, a capacity, and an amount it creates every 3 hours. Whenever you play the game, you can sell of the accumulated items at the value amount of the type of good it produces. If the capacity is filled before you log in, any further items are just wasted.
In Cuba there is one special business that is worth mentioning, the Bribery Ring. This building does not produce money, but instead creates for you a fount of Politico Corrupto which are the Cuban equivalent of those darn pesky Cell Phones. If you either play the game alone or are the highest level player in your group of friends, you probably want to fully upgrade this business as soon as possible so you can be stockpiling these long before you get to the jobs that require them. On the other hand, if you have a friend who has already completed Cuba, it is quite likely that they have a large stash of these they are no longer using that they would be happy to trade or give to you. Expect to need thousands of these to complete all job tiers.
In Soviet Russia, business sells you! Luckily the wall has come down and things aren't quite that bad anymore, but equipment in Russia is expensive. Job tiers will not provide enough money to keep up with equipment for the requirements of the higher job tiers so it is important to get these businesses going as soon as you have access to them, even if you aren't doing the Moscow job tiers yet. As for actual return rates, they function identically to the Cuban buildings.