Keeping the monthly mortgage payments as low as possible is the key ingredient to optimize cash flow. The lower the payments, the greater the spread, right? Cash flow is the primary arbiter when evaluating a potential real estate investment and optimizing cash flowif the numbers don’t quite work it’s typically best just to walk from the deal and look for another.

Sometimes however, it might be better to put a bit more mental muscle in the deal and figure out other possible solutions to lower the monthly payment.

Monthly payments are a function of the loan amount, the term and the rate. Mortgage payments are at their lowest when all three come together at the ideal point. You can lower the monthly payment by putting more money down or paying a discount point to lower the mortgage rate.

You can also explore extending the loan term as long as possible. A 30 year mortgage will have more long term interest than a 10 year loan but the payments will be so much lower. Ask your lender if an interest-only loan is available for the lowest required monthly mortgage payment. Note that an interest only loan pays nothing toward the principal balance but does allow you to pay down the principal at your convenience, not the bank’s.

Take a closer look at your insurance options. You certainly want to be protected against hazards as well as liability claims but speak with your insurance agent about increasing your deductible amount. Most banks will allow for a maximum deductible at 2.00 percent of the claim. And while talking to your agent, see if there are any policies you can move to the same carrier for possible multi-policy discounts.

When was the last time you reviewed a market rent analysis? A thorough market rent analysis performed by a licensed appraisal will tell you if a rental increase might be in order at the next lease renewal. If there's a potential deal that you really, really want to make work: apply these tips for the best possible outcome.