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 July 18, 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.
Joseph J. Zoppi:
Hello, 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. You could reach us at TemplarCashForHouses.com. That’s TemplarCashForHouses.com or you could call us at 973-240-8593. Again, that’s 973-240-8593 and we could answer any questions you may have or you can email us from our website. We’ll try to address any topics that you have in some of the topics that I’ve talked about or based on individuals’ questions or certain things that they would like us to cover, so we’re more than happy to answer any of those questions on the air.
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, we provide transactional and gap funding. We work with individuals that want to invest with us for single-family houses up to apartment buildings. We do not speculate and we’re very protective of our money and our investors’ money. I’m not a real estate agent and we’re not a brokerage, but we have individuals on staff that are agents and they could list your property through the Multiple Listing Service. The show will go over everything there is about real estate, those things that impact real estate. We’ll talk about our rehabs, some of our investments, what went well, what challenges we had and what we learned from them. We’ll talk about the economy, interest rates, and general real estate trends. Real estate is one of your biggest investments, so the more you know about real estate, the better it is.
This show is based on my opinion and just things that occurred in our business, okay? It’s just my opinion. I ask everyone to do their research and their due diligence for anything they do, any financial transaction, always do your due diligence and also, when you do do that, and I say this every week and I’ll preach on this all the time, is that you need to understand, when you’re doing the research, that perspective of the information you’re getting in terms of is the author a slant towards one belief or another belief? So you need to understand that and get a balanced approach to the best of both worlds and see where it really is, and that’s sometimes very difficult. As I’ve said before, I know a lot of people reading about COVID and there’s just so much information out there and who knows really what’s true? First, they talk about not wearing masks, this is in March, and it’s not going to help you, and then they said, oh, yeah, you need to wear masks and now, they’re pushing for mandates to have masks, and back in March, when the CDC was saying that, I firmly believed they had an ulterior motive about saying you don’t need to use masks and it’s not going to help you, it’s because I think we’re low on masks overall and they wanted the first responders and nurses, and doctors to have those masks. That’s what I believed from day one, and no one’s ever said anything otherwise but I just scratched my head that they’re saying you shouldn’t have masks but the individuals that are dealing with the patients should have masks. Well, if it wasn’t going to help you, then why would it help them? So it just did not make sense to me.
This past week, I was interviewed by Forbes and there’s some article out on the Internet called Here’s the Secret to Finding Low Mortgage Rates and you’ll see me quoted a number of times in that article. And I get interviewed probably two times a month, three times a month for different magazines or publications, and certain ones are published and certain ones are not, and again, that has to do with a big part of it. It has to do with the slant of the article. So if the author wants a certain slant and my responses aren’t supporting that, they probably will not reference me in those articles, so again, you have to understand the publications and what they want to portray, and that’s where you’ll see someone supporting the authors premise and you’re not going to see – sometimes, you’ll see a balanced approach but a lot of times, you will not, and that’s the reason. I’m not faulting it but sometimes, you’d rather have a balanced article than one that is slanted in a particular way, but in some ways, you kind of need that, so I do understand that to some extent.
Also, if you’re worried about losing your house, please give me a call, we could talk about certain things in terms of preserving your house, we don’t charge anything for that. A lot of times, people call us, we’ll give our opinion on certain things when they’re having problems, and that’s just what we do. That’s what we’re built on and that’s the premise of our organization, is really not only to make a profit and profit for our investors but also to help people out. That’s our guiding principle and our mission really. So if you have any questions about trying to save your house, please, please give us a call. If we could help, that would be great. I can’t always help and certain things have always been taken into account. For certain people, they go, “We did this, we did this, we did this. So I said, yeah,” and if you come to a point where you need to sell your house quick, please give us a call, we’ll be more than happy to help you in that and provide you a fair quote in terms of that, and you could close quickly as you want or slow, but as time progresses, there are certain things that we can’t always guarantee and that’s the price, so we could guarantee the price for like, four weeks, maybe five weeks, something like that, but once it starts getting to months, we can’t guarantee the same price, and the reason is, is we don’t know what’s going to happen two months from now. We’ve always been that way but especially in this market, we really don’t know what’s going to happen in two months, three months, whatever the case may be, and that’s why I keep saying to push on, if you’re going to sell your house, sell it faster than slower, and don’t wait. Even if you don’t have everything lined up, the market is really hot right now. I’ll talk a little bit about it later but I would seize on that opportunity as quick as possible.
Also, if you’re interested in investing passively in real estate, please give us a call, we’d be more than happy to work with you, and we’ll talk and usually, we don’t do hard sales on anything we do, so it’s a process. We want to get to know you and then we’ll talk money and talk investments on later meetings, but it’s more of to really understand who you are and for you to understand who we are, and that’s really, really important to us. Also, I’m looking for apartment buildings, 100-plus units preferably. I’ll do less but if you have any, if you want to sell directly to us, great. If you know of anyone, please give us a call, I’ll give you a finder’s fee. We are very discreet, so we’re not going to use names if you don’t want names. Throwing around, so if it’s either for a house that you have down the street that you see needs repair and it’s overgrown, you could give us a call and we’ll sign an agreement so if we do buy it, we will give you a finder’s fee, and same thing for apartment buildings or any other type of investments, so that’s something that we’re always looking for.
So a couple things that we went over this week, the first one was we were talking about – I talked about it last week, is we had some leaks in basements, we installed French drains, and now we are installing sumps for that one house that we have, so we have two sub pumps going and there wasn’t a lot of water but it was just coming to the seams and the sumps aren’t really going to much if at all, but it was entering the basement and we needed to do something before we sold it and we wanted to be upfront with the individuals that were buying the house. A nice couple, they have a small baby and we always want to do the right thing, and I think when you’re selling a house, you’re really got to do that. Not everyone wants to do that, but that’s kind of important, and when we buy the house from someone, we just buy it as is, so whatever problems there are, that’s the way it is, so we have no issues with encountering problems and fixing them. That’s what we do, but when you’re selling it to a homeowner, especially a first-time homeowner, you always really want to do the right thing. I think we always get it back tenfold when we do the right thing and I’m a firm believer in that. In terms of townships, in terms of permits, things like that, a lot of the townships are still closed, so they’re on a different way of doing things. Sometimes, we’re submitting permits and after the work is completed, we are just sending in pictures. Same thing for COs and fire inspections, so all we’re doing is signing agreements saying we did this and we are sending new pictures, and the townships are fine with that. Other ones do want to still go on site and that’s great too, we have no problems with that, but some of them say, if you have two entrances, one like case in point, for the basement which we are working on, they said, “Do you have a second entrance?” And then we said yes, so then they were going to come out and look at it. If we didn’t have that second entrance, I don’t think they would have went out to take a look at it and inspect the work that needed to be done. So that’s something that they continue to push on and I think it’s a good thing. We have to make sure that people are protected and it’s just a vicious disease. We have a friend that the entire family got the coronavirus and it was about eight people and there was the immediate family plus extended friends, girlfriends, ex-husbands, so it’s really crazy and it’s really scary how contagious this disease is. There’s a lot of care that needs to be put into that as well as when we show houses and people have to leave while someone goes in and takes a look at the house. Open houses aren’t as big right now, everything’s a one-off, so people want to go after hours and come and take a look at a house, and the open houses aren’t really as busy as they used to be, and that just started up again in terms of open houses, but that’s the way it is. People are very, very cautious and you could just even see it in the restaurants. You look and I’ve eaten outside numerous times and it’s still not like, crowded and filled to capacity, so it’s kind of disheartening for the businesses and what they are encountering.
Well, we are coming to a conclusion of my first segment. So I’ll be returning shortly. Thank you very much.
Hello, welcome back to the Templar Real Estate Talk Show. My name is Joseph J. Zoppi, managing partner of Templar Real Estate Enterprises. You could reach us at TemplarCashForHouses.com, that’s TemplarCashForHouses.com, or you could call us at 973-240-8593. Again, that’s 973-240-8593.
So a couple other things that have happened this week, we’ve had a lot of listings, so traditionally, we’ll buy a lot of houses and we do some listings but that number has increases substantially and that’s a good thing because like I said, the market is really hot and there’s not a lot of inventory out there, so I strongly recommend that you do it sooner than later. We do not know what’s going to happen at the end of the year or even two or three months from now. No matter what you read, they do not know. There’s a possible second wave or there is a second wave right now but we still don’t know what’s going to happen and the repercussions of everything that’s going on, and that’s the scary thing and I’m going to talk a little bit later about the commercial market, real estate market and things like that and I think that’s going to get hit really hard, and certain things in terms of certain cities, that’s going to also hit hard, especially in New York City, I think, it’s going to get hit really hard as well. So that’s something that you have to always be cognizant of and it’s not always going to be everything’s going to be great just because the newspaper says it and you really got to manage your risk. One of the things that I always tell everyone that’s selling their house, whether I’m going to buy it or they’re thinking about selling it in the future is that your carrying costs, so you’re paying a mortgage and you’re paying interest, and that interest is going to the bank. For the most part, depending on how old the loan is, a large portion of what you’re paying goes towards interest, and as a result of it, you’re just giving money to the bank and you’re not benefiting at all. So if you’re thinking of selling your house and you have an extra house, we’ll say for your parents’ old house that you just have and you’re still paying a mortgage on it, you’re giving money to the bank as well as property tax. You’re not gaining for any of that. It’s just money that’s being paid to the township or to the bank and it could be a substantial amount of money, so if you start calculating that and you start calculating your water bill, even if you’re not using water for the most part, you’re still paying like, some sewer charges, and then you have your insurance as well that you have on the house and all this adds up. When we’re rehabbing a house, we look at those carrying costs all the time and we see how much money is going out, so we want to fix those houses as quick as possible and get them on market, and sell them and close as quick as possible, so even when we sign an agreement, it could take two months almost before we close and that’s still, with the property tax and insurance, and electric and water, it all adds up, so I always, always push on individuals and tell them to think about those carrying costs and whether they could see the house faster because again, you always want to seize the opportunity because you never know what’s going to be in the future, if it’s going to be better, maybe, but it also could be less, and that’s the thing, is I always want to close our houses as quick as possible, even if we have to take a little bit more of a reduction, we always do that and most of the time, we sell close to asking and sometimes, over asking but that doesn’t matter, so if we’re going to take a little bit of reduction, we will do that for the most part. I’d rather have money on hand and I think when you’re selling your house, you have to think of those things.
So with the listings we’re having right now, a lot of the homeowners are pushing the envelope even higher and we’ll see where it goes. Some of them aren’t going to sell and then we’re going to have to reduce the price, and we made it very clear. We said, “This is the price you go in at,” a lot of the homeowners say, “No, well, I want to push a little higher.” I’m like, “Okay, that’s fine with us.” We’ll be more than happy to work with the seller in terms of the price they want. There’s just that caveat that it might sit on the market for a while and we need to reduce it, but in this market, relatively speaking, because there’s not that much inventory, it’s not as bad to do that and we have been going a little higher in terms of what we normally recommend because of that, because the inventory is not there. But if you have a market where there’s a decent amount of inventory, we really frown upon it, but we always do what the customer wants in the end anyway. That’s just our opinion and we don’t know everything, and sometimes, we’re right. Sometimes, we’re wrong. More times than not, we’re right because we know the markets really well. But there are those times where I couldn’t say we’re right 100% of the time because that’s not the case, but probably 80% of the time, 75%, 80% of the time, we are on point with the numbers because we know the markets really well, what it’s on for, how many days on market, all those things and they’re all factors that we look into in deciding in terms of price. One of the things that – we got a call this week on an individual, they have a house and their parents have a house, they need to sell and they just want us to buy it. We get that a lot and we have the financial ability to do that and a lot of investors don’t, so that’s something that if you have a house and your parents have a house or there’s a couple houses that you want to sell quick, please give us a call, we did that all the time and it works out well, so there’s no burden in saying, “We sold one of the houses. But the parents’ house, we didn’t sell and they’re still in it and they want to come live with us,” and that’s the case for this family, is that they’re trying to sell the house and their parents are trying to sell the house, then they’re going to pool the money together and move somewhere and get a house where they could live together which is a great idea, and so it’ll work out well for both of them. I had an individual that called this week and he was talking to the agent and then the agent passed it onto me, and I was talking to him and he has a house in the town, Hudson County, and he says, “Joe, the house is not selling. Will you buy it?” And I’m looking at it, he says it’s on the MLS. I said, “How long has it been on there for?” And he says like, 20 days. I go, “20 days is not a lot,” and I said, “You should stick it out,” and he was very adamant about certain things, so usually, we want to make sure that we work very closely with the client but I set it straight down with him. I said, “Listen, you need to listen and you need to see what’s going on here,” because he just wasn’t listening at all. I said, “I’m trying to help you out.” I said, “I don’t care if I have a sale or not. I’m trying to help you out, and I’m telling you what the issues are,” because the price was too high. I just knew the price was too high. I said, “Also, you have a pool in the backyard.” I said, “That’s going to limit the number of individuals that will want to buy the house.” He goes, “Well, people like pools.” I go, “I’m not saying that. I’m saying some people like pools.” When we purchase a house, if it’s an aboveground pool, we knock it down every single time because it limits the number of individuals that want to buy the house. Some people don’t want pools, they don’t want the maintenance, they have little kids they have to worry about, and this house has an inground pool which adds complications to it because if the family has like little kids, they have to worry about the kids running out of the back door and falling into the pool or playing in the backyard, so that adds a lot of complications to it and you’re going to limit the number of individuals that want to buy the house. So after talking to them about some of this stuff, he goes, “Joe,” he says, “I like the way you do business, I want to do business with you. Can we do that?” I say, “Yeah, let’s wait 10 days, see if the house sells, and then come back and we’ll talk some more and we’ll list it and we’ll list it at the right price, and we’ll take it from there,” because he had a friend, I think, that originally listed the house for him but it was just – or he had the listing because he was a part-time agent, something like that, and it wasn’t working, so we are going to always do the right thing and we are going to tell you the truth, whether you like it or not. That’s just the way it is, and in the end, I think we garner a lot of respect because of that. We won’t want to just say yes, yes to everything. There are certain things we will and there are certain things we’re going to tell you straight up why it’s not a good idea. So that’s really important. We had one house, a gentleman was selling the house, it was on the Multiple Listing Service and he couldn’t sell it. It was a beautiful house, beautiful, and I look at it and I said, “I’m not going to be able to buy it.” It was probably around $700,000, and we’ll buy some of those houses but with that being said, it’s that the house was pristine and the money I was going to have to buy, he wasn’t going to sell it for that, because I knew I was going to have to hold it for a long period of time and I was concerned about that because those types of houses sit on the market longer, just historically, they do, so I was just telling him that the price is too high because the house was immaculate. He says, “But there is a problem with the roof.” I said, “That’s not why you’re not having the house sold,” and that he was saying that he went through a discount brokerage and that nobody wanted to, all the agents in the area did not want to show the house. I said, “That’s not the case,” because I said, “What is the commission rate?” and it was a fair commission rate and I said, “That’s not the reason either,” but he had these things in his mind and he said, “No, that’s not the case.” I’m saying, “I’m telling you, that’s not the case.” So he was a super strong type A personality and I said, “Listen, I’m just telling you what it is. Those are the reasons you’re not selling it.” So I had the address, I put it into our file, and reduced the price a little bit a couple of months later, but he never sold it. He took it off the market, and that was last year. Now, he put it back on the market and he raised it another $75,000, and we’ll see if he sells it. Again, the market is strong so he might, but also, his carrying costs were really high on it, so he might make out, but if he sold it, I think, a year ago at the reduced price, I think he would have probably made out better, but that’s the way it is.
So right now, I’m coming to a conclusion of our radio show. Thank you very much for everything. Again, if you’re interested in selling your house, please give us a call. If you know of anyone, please give us a call and if you want to do business with us in terms of investing, please give us a call. Call us at 973-240-8593. Thank you very much and have a nice day, bye.
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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