Learn about Real Estate by one of the premier Real Estate Investors in New Jersey. Each week Joseph J. Zoppi will be talking about investing in real estate including buying and selling houses and apartments. Understand how the economy, the Fed and world events impact real estate and how to adjust to these dynamics.
Templar Real Estate Radio Show for May 23, 2020
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The following program was paid for by Templar Real Estate. The views and opinions expressed on this program are not necessarily those of the staff and management of WMTR. As always it is advisable to consult a professional before making a major decision. It’s time now for the Templar Real Estate Talk Show. Here’s your host for the program; Joseph J. Zoppi.
Hi, welcome to The Templar Real Estate Talk Show. My name is Joseph J. Zoppi, a real estate investor, consumer advocate, author and managing partner of Templar Real Estate Enterprises. I’m still recording this from my home base, so please bear with me. If it’s any distortion or any problems like that, but I’m thinking the way it seems, the recording seem pretty clear, so I think I’m pretty happy with that. You can reach us at templarcashforhouses.com. That’s T-E-M-P-L-A-R-cashforhouses.com or you can call us at 973-240-8593. We could answer any questions you may have or you could e-mail us from our website. If you want any topic discussed we’ll try to address it on air and we’ll do our best to do that.
My company is a real estate investment firm. We buy houses for cash. We purchase apartment buildings. We do joint ventures with other real estate investors. We loan money for rehabs and provide transactional and gap funding, as well. We work with individuals that want to invest with us in single-family houses up to apartment buildings. We do not speculate and we’re very protective of our money and our investors’ money. We’re not a real estate agent and we’re not a brokerage. I do have individuals on staff that are agents if you want to sell your house the traditional way through the Multiple Listing Service.
The show will go over everything there is about real estate, those things that impact real estate, we will talk about our rehabs, some of our investments, what went well, and what did not go especially well. We will talk about the economy, interest rates, and general trends and how they impact real estate. Real estate is one of your biggest investments, so the more you know about it the better it is. One of things here is I’m going to provide my opinion. It’s only my opinion. I always ask everyone to do their research and their due diligence no matter if they’re presented for any type of offer for either real estate or any other thing, if it’s a contract, anything to do with an attorney, CPA, I always recommended highly to do your research and look at things – try to look at it from a balanced perspective. I talk about this every week because I think that is extremely important anything we do in life.
This week I was reading an article and –let me back track. I’ve been talking recently about the demand for real estate. It’s very high right now because there’s not a lot of houses out there. So, supply is low and demand is still increasing, so that’s a good thing. We’re getting into sometimes pricing wars and the numbers are holding very strong, which is a good thing. This is nationally. There might be some issues on the New York City side, but for the most part nationally the numbers are very strong. Obviously Michigan is still closed own, so we can’t talk about Michigan. For the most part the numbers are very, very strong. With that being said I was reading an article and it was like the sky is falling and real estate’s already starting to be impacted and the numbers are coming down, and that’s totally not the case. Totally not the case. I’ve been looking at these numbers very carefully because we always do that, but especially now. I have a lot of investor friends and I belong to a mastermind, which has approximately 150 of the top single-family investors throughout the country. We’re always talking and they’re not seeing it either. The numbers are very strong for them.
So, when I see this article, I started scratching my head, where is this coming from. Am I missing something? then, I look at the author, the author’s a tech writer, but he’s writing about rest, which might be okay and then I was reading a couple of other articles and they were all the same slant. That’s the thing, you’ve got to look at any article and see where the author, writer, publisher, whatever the case may be, is coming from. That article I thought was a piece of garbage. It just wasn’t factual. It was, even though it didn’t state it, it was really kind of an opinion article. Someone reads it and then they’re going to think that it’s worse than it is. Now, I’m not saying that in the future there’s not going to be problems because I’ve been saying that all along, been saying that about the stock market and I think it’s going to pushback and I think it’s going to go down a lot, but we’ll see. Maybe it won’t. Nobody knows the future of the stock market or anything else, especially what’s going to go on two months, three months from now but I just can’t see, with how the economy was just basically turned off, it was just restarted, that we aren’t going to have impacts in the future with this.
So, one of the good things was there were certain stimulus packages presented and I think it’s helped a lot of people. Obviously some of those stimulus packages went to large companies and they weren’t supposed to, it was really the small, medium sized businesses and unfortunately that wasn’t the case, but I think that’s really helped a lot of people. Also, the $2000 to a number of individuals, that’s all good stuff. I think that’s going to help, but the restaurant industry is not going to be back to the way it was for a very, very long time. You have some of these establishments like fine dining, white tablecloth type restaurants that aren’t doing takeout, and how long can they stay closed for? How long can they stay closed where they’re only able to do 50% of capacity? When a restaurant there’s certain margins and certain revenue that they’re expecting based on number of tables. That’s just the way that it works. They’re going to get x-amount per table, they’re going to have someone sit at a table for x- amount of time. They’re going to have so many turnovers of the table, so on so forth and that’s how certain things are really calculated in terms of how much money they’re going to make.
Well, when you all of a sudden just cut everything in half that’s really, really going to hurt them. The other thing is, you have the travel and leisure industry. That’s going to get hit hard and it’s going to stay hard hit for a considerable amount of time. I don’t know how many people that want to really go on a boat or a ship and go on a cruise. When are you going to do that? I think it’s going to be a long, long time before cruise ships start getting filled up again. You have, still, people stuck on cruise ships. I think there’s going to be a lot of problems in the future. I really do, but we just have to take one day at a time.
I’d like to talk about a couple of things. First thing is we’re still having private discussions with individuals that are calling us about concerns for them saving their house, which we’re honored to help people. That’s one of the things that is a founding principle of ours; to help people. It’s not whether to make money or bring money in because that comes. I think if you help people and you have a good mission all that other stuff comes and it always has come for us, and we’re very, very proud of that. We’ve had a number of individuals talk to us, we’ve laid out some plans to help them. We’ll be keeping in touch with them to see where they’re at. The other one is, obviously, we’ll buy your house fast for cash. Now, we can’t give you market price, so we’re going to have to buy it at a discount. What we’ll do is it’ll be a fair price and we can do it very quickly. That’s something that a lot of people have been asking for. They’ve asked for it in the past and they continue to do it, and I have a lot of testimonials on our website about how we’ve helped people. So, if you go to our website templarcashforhouses.com you’ll see those testimonials. Those are all real people that are very happy that they worked with us. That’s the big thing, they relied on us and we delivered for them.
The other thing is that we’ve been having discussions, we always have discussions with individuals that are looking to passive invest in real estate, so they team with us and we’ll select different projects and then they’ll receive a consistent rate of return on those projects. Again, we’ve been very successful with them and we have a lot of happy investors, so that’s good news for us at least. That’s our biggest thing, to ensure that our investors are taken care of and our clients are taken care of. A couple of things I’m going to also talk about is certain things that we had go on this week in terms of inspections and problems, like we always do, some of them we just scratch our head on and move forward. There’s always problems. Anyone that says there’s no problems in this business, they’re lying to you. There’s problems all the time, but it’s how you address problems and how you move forward with them and a lot of them aren’t catastrophic problems, they’re just hiccups that are in the way and we move forward on them.
I’ll talk a little bit about that. We’ll talk about some market trends; Airbnb and what’s going on with them and their employees, rents and how are the numbers overall throughout the country. Maybe you’ve heard about rent strikes, so some of those things that have occurred. Job losses, mortgage rates, mortgage applications, where they’re standing, consumer credit cards and where we are with that. I think that’s very important in terms of where we are with an economy and spending. There’s a decent amount of spending going on relatively speaking, which is a good thing. Obviously we don’t want people to just use the credit cards and they don’t have any way of paying for it, but hopefully it’s in a smart way. We’re going to talk again about motivated buyers and how that’s going. The first thing is, this week.
We had a couple of inspections. One inspection I had, which was long overdue that I’ve been talking about for weeks, we finally passed the plumbing inspection. The plumber I had, he’s just a – you talk about master plumber, he’s just a true master plumber. He is just unbelievable; his attention to detail and the way he does work is just second to none. It’s just really, really good. I pay a lot of money for him, so when you get someone good like that you do pay and you pay handsomely. He is very, very good and I had to use him because the other one just was not cutting it. Unfortunately, I tried to give him a chance to work with us and continue to work with us, but it just did not work out. I have another thing we had a little impact, was trees. We had one of our rehabs going on that we had some bushes cut down. I’m going to leave it at that. When we return I’ll talk more about that. My segment is up right now and I’ll get right back to you. Thank you very much.
Joseph J. Zoppi:
Hello, welcome back to The Templar Real Estate Talk Show. My name is Joseph J. Zoppi, managing partner of Templar Real Estate Enterprises. In my last segment I was closing out with one of our war stories as we say. It occurred last week or the week before, but it just came to light this past week. I have a property that I’m right now rehabbing. It’s going along really very smooth. It’s moving along really, really quickly. It consists of a cape and we’re finishing the basement. It was partially finished already, but it had the paneling, the old paneling from the 60s and 70s, just very, very dated. We took down all the paneling, we’re putting drywall up. We’re going to lay some nice flooring in the basement. We put a new HVAC in there with central air. As I said last week we took down some walls to make it an open floor concept. It’s starting to come along really, really well and we’re very happy with it. The yard was very, very overgrown and had these huge bushes. They were just all over the place. They were in the front. They were hiding the house. When we started the rehab the first thing we always do is we work on the outside first. We do pressure washer and then we usually do certain things to the doors in terms of painting them and the shutters if there’s shutters. It was very dingy and everything, just doing a power wash of the siding just added a lot to it.
I had one of my contractors just chop down some of the bushes around it because I knew I was going to rip everything out. I said just chop around it, clean the house, and going forward we’ll rip out all the bushes. He did that and then he did some painting, the shutters, it was a brown tan color in terms of the vinyl siding and then we painted the shutters black, so it really popped. Same thing with the door. We replaced the door, removed the screen door because I always want to have everyone see the front door. I don’t like screen doors when we’re selling houses. We want to see that door. I think that’s a strong statement and it looks a lot better, it doesn’t hide the door no matter if it’s a full glass screen door, storm door, whatever. It just doesn’t look as nice. We did that and then we started tackling the inside.
I had a gentleman that I’ve used on one other occasion to trim some of our bushes and things like that, so I asked him to go in there and get rid of all the bushes. The ones on the side I said just trim down because I didn’t know what I was going to do with it. I didn’t want them take out too because the house next door doesn’t look that great and the other one on the other side doesn’t look that great, so I like the bushes there, but I said get rid of everything else. I walked the property once or twice. I walked the outside pretty briefly. I really wasn’t concerned about the outside as much. I was more concerned about the inside and what it was going to cost and how we were going to make it a real showpiece of a house. I contact him and I said just get rid of the bushes. I go there’s tons of bushes, please get rid of them. He did that and then followed up with pictures of everything, said everything looked perfect.
I get a call this week from my contractor and he’s one of my best guys. He says Joe, there’s a problem, they were trying to get in touch with you and they couldn’t, the township, there’s a problem with cutting down the trees. I’m like trees? There were no trees on there. There was a complaint that you were cutting trees down. I says I don’t know anything about that. He said that the individual from the township had come by and he was telling the tree guy. He told him to do certain things and he didn’t do them. I’m like this is the first I’m hearing about it. So, I immediately called the township and I called DPW for the township, the Department of Public Works. I know the guy there really well. I called him and he goes what are you doing. I said what do you mean what am I doing, what went on. He goes are you trying to pull a fast one? I go pull a fast one? I go, Vince, you know me, I tow the line. I make sure everything’s right. He goes, well, your guy, he was giving an attitude to my other guy and I’m still waiting on a permit from three weeks ago. I was like three weeks ago, permit, I said for what? I said we cut down some bushes. He said no, there were trees there. I was like – I told him, I said Vince, I really did not know there was trees there. He goes okay, I believe you. He said because I was going to give you a $1500 fine and the tree guys, so you called and that’s fine, but the tree guy I’m still giving a $1500 fine because he never sent in the permit. I said Vince, I’ll take care of it, I’ll get you a permit so on so forth. Everything was fine.
Then, I was filling out the permit, I said let’s just get this done. I wanted to fill it out. One of the questions is how many trees need to be cut down. So, again, I’m going into this there is no trees that I needed to cut down. There was trees on the side and I did not cut them down, but everything else looks like a bush. So, I’m looking through pictures I have of the yard, the front, the back, and I’m still looking. I’m going I don’t think there’s any trees. So, I call Vince back up. I said Vince, I’m filling out the form here and I feel like I’m in My Cousin Vinny. I said have you ever seen the movie My Cousin Vinny? He goes yeah, yeah, I love that movie. I said I’m looking at these pictures and just like in the movie, it’s like I’m trying to count the bushes and the trees, and as Joe Pesci’s interrogating one of the defendants, he’s asking about counting the trees and the bushes, and everything else like that. So, I feel like I’m doing the same thing and I can’t figure out what’s consider a tree and what’s considered a bush. So, I said do you want me to put 10 down? I didn’t care what the number was, I was going to get charged per tree. It’s $25 for the first one and then $5 after each other one. I said Vince, just tell me what the number is, tell me the answer and I’ll be more than happy to put it down because I have no idea. I said do you want me to put 10 down? He goes 10, why are you putting 10 down? I go well, I want to do the right thing. You know I always do the right thing. He goes no, Joe, just put one down and that’s all. I’m not here to bust your chops, it just needs to have a permit. I go yeah, sure, sure, that’s fine. I got away with one, which was fine because I didn’t think there really was even one tree on the lot, but I think in reading the permit it says anything over three inches.
So, I called up the tree guy and he’s like three inches? He goes that’s not a tree, that’s not considered a tree under the code. I’m said listen, you can’t fight City Hall. I said you gave them attitude and you didn’t fill out a permit, they were waiting for a permit, you’re still getting fined $1500. He says, well, I shouldn’t be. I said listen, give him a call and talk to him and explain the situation, that’s it. So, I don’t know if he did or not, but that’s the thing. Sometimes things go awry and there’s the best intentions, but depending on the township, like I always talk about, sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s not easy. Some of these townships are just so strict and they won’t budget, and they’ll fine you or whatever the case may be. Most of them don’t though. If they see that you’re not really trying to be malicious and trying to go around them too much, for the most part they’re not going to fine you, but they just drag their feet and give you a lot of headaches.
I have a great relationship with this township and I love working with them and they’re reasonable, and I can’t say enough good things about them. I’m not going to say what the township is, but they’re just a really good group of individuals that really work with the people of the town and the contractors, and they’re just really good whereas some of the other ones just put road blocks and it’s just very, very frustrating, so that’s where we’re at. Again, relationships are a key component of who we are and people that know us know we do the right thing. Our clients know we do the right thing and we get lots of good testimonials and our contractors know and they get paid very quickly. That’s one of the things you hear, the contractors on the flip side, say I never get paid or I don’t get paid all the money, so on so forth and that’s not the way we do business. I don’t renegotiate down. I don’t do any of those things. People have to put bread on the table and they have families and bills, so on so forth, so it’s very important for us to pay everyone on time. As a result of that we have contractors that love working with us because they always know we’re going to pay them on time and that’s really important to them. They know the type of person I am. I’m going to challenge them on certain things, I’m going to question certain things sometimes, my staff is going to question them on certain things, but overall they know we’re not going to really bust their chops, we have confidence in them. We don’t micromanage them. So, it works out really, really well.
Next thing I’m going to talk about is Airbnb. Airbnb is a company where you could rent out your house through this company platform, this software and you could have people that visit in a particular area, we’ll say Jersey City or New York City, or wherever, and you can rent out your house to them or a room, I think, also. It really hurt the hotel industry based on this platform and business, which has been out for a number of years. It’s just like with Uber, Uber hurt the taxi industry, limo industry, well, this hurt the hospitality industry in terms of lodging. So, they got hit hard because nobody’s going out and traveling. As a result of that they’ve been really hit hard in terms of from a financial perspective, but I’ve got to give them a lot of credit. They’re laying off, unfortunately they’re cutting off 25% of their staff, which is a lot, but the CEO there is going to provide severance packings of 14 weeks of pay, an additional week of unemployment, a year extra for unemployment, so if you have 10 years, I don’t think the company’s that old, you would get 10 additional weeks of pay, which is really, really good; very generous. Also, health insurance for up to a year. That’s a testament to that company. It is a testament. For us, like I said, we’re in a very good strong financial position. We were going to, even if we had no new business I’d be able to pay my employees full time for a year and possibly longer, but at least that. There was always that confidence on our side, as well.
The segment is almost over and I have to close this out. I want to thank everyone for listening. If you ever have any questions, please give us a call, please visit our website. If you’re ever interested in investing with us we’d love to talk to you. That’s it for now. Take care. God Bless. Have a good Memory loss day.
The preceding program was paid for by Templar Real Estate. The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the staff and management of WMTR. As always it is advisable to consult a professional before making a major decision.
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