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 August 8, 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 Templar Real Estate Radio 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 T-E-M-P-L-A-Rcashforhouses.com, that’s one word. Again, that’s T-E-M-P-L-A-Rcashforhouses.com, or you could call us at 973-240-8593. That’s 973-240-8593, and we could answer any questions you have, anything you’d like to be discussed on our show, we’d be more than happy to discuss iI as well as any questions you have about selling your house, for us to buy your house, investments – the full gamut. Anything to do with real estate, we’re there for you.
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 or gap funding as well. We work with individuals that want to invest with us in single-family homes up to apartment buildings. We do not speculate and we are very protective of our money and our investors’ money. I’m not a real estate agent and I have individuals on staff that are agents and they’d be able to sell your house through the traditional Multiple Listing Service. We are not a brokerage either, but we do have people on staff that sell a lot of houses, so if you’re interested in the traditional way, it’s a great alternative to come to us.
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 did not, especially how we learned from it. We’ll talk about the economy, interest rates, we’ll discuss trends in the real estate market. Real estate is one of your biggest investments, so it’s important that you know as much as possible about it.
The show is going to discuss a lot of things about real estate. Some of it is just my opinion, so again, I always ask everyone to do their research, go online, look at it, and make sure that when you look at something online, you understand the author’s perspective on this particular topic you’re looking at, so that’s very important because they’re going to have a slant for a particular way to support their argument, so you need to kind of look at it and balance the approach. If you’re going to talk about politics, we’d go, you’d look at Fox and then you look at CNN, and somewhere probably in the middle is really what the truth is, so you really need to look at that and understand where things are coming from.
I was listening to a video, a YouTube video today, it was today, and the gentleman was talking about 2021, he thinks there’s going to be a lot of houses foreclosed and there’s going to be a lot of problems, but he says it was going to be extreme, but he also said that there’s a lot of things up in the air in terms of the CARES Act, what’s going to go on, so there’s a lot of unknowns and he’s accurate about that. But one of the things that he brought up was that X percentage of individuals are not paying their rent as well as individuals that are in forbearance and not paying their mortgage, which is the case, so those numbers are accurate. The real question is, is that you can’t just take it linear and say, okay, these are the individuals that aren’t paying their rent or mortgage, and as a result of that, when foreclosures can occur again, it’s going to happen that way, or when evictions are going to happen, it’s going to happen, everybody’s going to be evicted, so it’s not necessarily the case. You got to know the markets. I have friends that have had a lot of apartment buildings just like we do and they’re having some issues with collecting rent because individuals are saying, “Well, you can’t evict me, so I’m not paying rent,” that it’s that simple. So it’s not so much that they don’t have the money, it’s just that they are using the laws right now to their benefit and obviously, it hurt the landlords, so it’s just not that simple that says that individuals don’t have the money to pay. It’s just something they just don’t want to pay, and it’s a sad situation, but that’s the case. Same thing is, is that with these unemployment benefits, I know a lot of people or a number of people that said, “I’m not going to go back to work because I’m making more now than if I was going back to work,” so you see some of these policies put in place and they work, I think, important policies at the time but they want to continue with some of these policies in the future, and it’s going to hurt people in the end. It’s going to hurt the economy, really, and you just can’t keep giving money away on certain situations. I’m not saying that people shouldn’t be helped out, businesses shouldn’t be helped out, but sometimes, when you make things better, of course, they’re going to say, “Well, why should I?” It’s pure socialism: why go to work if I’m going to just get money? And that’s what’s happening, and a number of people are saying that. So when we look at these policies and we have these politicians putting these policies in place, we got to really understand the downstream effect of it and the ripple effect, and they just want to garner votes, well, it might be good for them but again, it’s not good for that country, and that’s something I’m very concerned about. Right now, the Republicans and Democrats are going back-and-forth in terms of additional stimulus. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have that, I think we should, but if we are just giving lots of things away, then it’s not really going to address the problem, and then we’re still going to have the issue, and that’s, like I said, major concern of mine and my team here at Templar.
Also, as always, if you’re having some problems, true problems paying for your mortgage, please give us a call. We could help you out in terms of maybe making certain suggestions and to help you along, you might have covered everything but we are here to help, so it’s not a charge. We are here just to help and I think that’s one of our missions is to help individuals, so it’s kind of important to us that we do things like that. If you do want to sell your house for cash and just want to move onto whatever your next chapter in your life is, then please give us a call, we’d be more than happy to come out and take a look and offer you a fair price for your house. Also, if you want, we could sell it on the Multiple Listing Service. So there’s a couple options there. We can sell it on the Multiple Listing Service. If it doesn’t get the traffic that we want or the speed at which you want to sell it, then we could always have a cash offer also, so there’s a lot of flexibility.
The other thing is, is that I had stated before, we have a lot of individuals that work for us and we also give word to them in terms of different contractors, so when we put something up for sale and we work with the homeowners, there are certain things that we might suggest that needs to be done and we’ll use our staff to do those jobs and to get the highest amount paid for your house. We had an individual that I spoke to them on this situation and I also quoted them what we think she was going to be able to get for the house. Well, one of the things that came by is that she spoke to another agent and the agent says, “Well, I know people that could do what needs to be done and I’ll get you X amount of money.” It was considerably more than what we said we could do and so she went with that agent, and then later on, she called me and said, “Joe, it was not what was promised,” and I said, “Yeah.” I said, “What we quoted you is what we thought was realistic,” and that’s the difference. Someone could come to you and say, “I’m going to get you this much money because I know the market and I sell in this town,” and so on and so forth, and that’s not the case. It’s really the price and how the house shows, and the people we have to work on these houses, they do it for us all the time and we get top dollar for our houses, but we do obviously the full gamut when we do a rehab – a lot of the times, not all of the time but a lot of the times, but we get top dollar because we know what we are doing and we do this all day long. Right now, one of the houses that we’re selling is going to probably be $30,000, $40,000 over what all the other houses are selling for and we have it under contract right now, so we know what we are doing. This individual promised the world to this person, and I’m not saying all agents are like that because you got some really, really good agents, but just because they promised it to you, you got to really look at the numbers and statistics, and where the houses are selling for and what condition they’re in. There’s a lot of factors, so it’s just not that simple.
The other thing is, is that we back the work that’s being performed, so we know what needs to be done, we know all the ins and outs, what’s the minimum needed to be done to get the maximum value, and that’s extremely important, especially when you’re trying to sell your house and you’re trying to get top dollar, and that’s very, very important. We’ve had situations where we think it’s going to be one price and the homeowner says, “No, I want more money for it,” and we’ll list it for any price you want but in the end, it’s the market which is going to drive the price, and there is a delicate balance between listing a house for one price that’s a little higher and listing a house that’s a lot higher, then what happens is you’ll get some traffic in the beginning but after that, it’s going to die down quickly, then you’re going to start taking big price cuts, and then it becomes a snowball effect where people say, “Okay, you dropped $20,000, I’m going to wait until you drop it another $10,000 or $15,000 because it’s still, I think, a little too high,” and it’s just a bad situation. Then, you have a homeowner that’s very depressed, very upset, and they’re not going to be happy in the end, even though you might see it and you might be explicit about it, it still doesn’t translate well.
The other thing is, is that if you’re going to sell your house or you want us to buy it, there’s a lot of emotion associated with that, and especially if you’re behind on your mortgage payments and even though it’s not going to be foreclosed immediately, it’s sometimes difficult to let go of the house and we’re here to work with you and understand that it is challenging and there’s a lot of emotion associated with it, and that’s one thing we bring to the table, is the empathy and understanding what you’re going through, so please contact us with any of those issues or questions, and if you’re worried about something to do with real estate, please give us a call. We are more than happy to help you out. Again, we don’t charge for these things but we do make recommendations and you could always feel confident to call us.
Well, I’m going to close out this segment and then we’re going to talk a little bit about our rehabs and some other unique things in real estate. 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 get in touch with us at templarcashforhouses.com or you could call us at 973-240-8593 and we could answer any questions you have. If you’re interested in selling your house cash for cash quickly, please give us a call. If you’re interested in investing passively in real estate, please give us a call on that as well.
I was just out in Ohio for a couple of days looking at an apartment complex, 220 units, so we were doing a walk-through of one of those potential investments and we’ll see where that goes. Hopefully, we’ll be able to pick that one off. We have a number of investors that are interested in it and working with us to purchase it.
So the first thing I’d like to do is go over a situation that occurred in Iowa, so it’s a pretty unique story, so I wanted to talk about it last week but I ran out of time. So there was an Iowa landlord that basically got caught in an impossible situation: said yes to an emotional support dog and the dog affected another tenant which had severe allergies. The allergic tenant sued because she went to the apartment with the understanding that no pets were allowed and the court sided with her because she was there first, so it went all the way up to the Supreme Court of Iowa and one of the chief justices there said the landlord got himself into a pickle trying to satisfy the needs of both tenants. So when the judge says something like that, you know it’s like oh, boy, so it’s an unfortunate situation. So what happened was that landlord had rented an apartment to Karen Cohen on November 11, 2015 for lease period from July 2016 to July 2017. Cohen had severe pet allergies and signed a lease because it said no pets were allowed in the apartment building. Okay, case in point, perfect. A few months later, the landlord rented another apartment in the same building to David Clark and it was for the same period. His apartment was down the hall from Karen Cohen’s. Clark’s lease also stated there is a no pet policy and at the time, he did not have a pet. About a month later, when he moved in, he gave the landlord a letter from a psychiatrist saying that he had an impairment in his ability to function and needed an emotional support dog that would help him with his health and his well-being. The property manager notified everyone in the building asking if they had an allergy, which is perfect, that’s what they should’ve done, that was right on point. Cohen responded with details about the extent of her allergies. She stated that her reaction to dog dander makes her feel like she has a constant cold and nasal congestion, she says she’s even more allergic to cats and she needs to carry an EpiPen in case there is an encounter with a cat, so it’s pretty extreme. So the property manager wasn’t sure how to address this and you had the support dog and you had her allergies and he wanted to make sure that under the fair housing rules, he contacted the civil liberties, Civil Rights Commission to get some informal advice. He told someone over there over the phone and said he’d like to move Clark to another apartment but the person on the phone said that that would be unreasonable accommodation for Clark, so as a result of that, he looked at a couple other things. He talked about maybe they could go in at different entrances and he also installed an air purifier for cooling, but that wasn’t enough to keep her reactions from happening, so she still suffered and it was miserable for her.
So about a year later, Cohen filed a complaint in Small Claims Court saying the landlord had breached the no pets clause in the lease and the quiet enjoyment of her apartment that she’s paying for. She also sued the other gentleman, Mr. Clark, saying that he also denied her quiet enjoyment for her apartment. The landlord told the court that he was following the law in allowing the emotional support dog and had followed the advice of the Civil Rights Commission accommodating both the tenants, so they were trying to do everything possible. So the court determined, the original court determined that the landlord had done enough to accommodate Cohen, so her case was dismissed. So there was a bunch of appeals and court appearances, and then it eventually went to the Iowa Supreme Court that determined that even though there were merits on both sides, that the first time factor tipped the balance and she was the first and the landlord should have given her needs priority according to the rule.
So there’s a couple lessons that should be learned from that. First of all, you need an attorney, so he used a commission that is a good commission, the Civil Rights Commission, but it’s not binding and it’s just a suggestion, and they don’t really have any backing. So Cohen had signed the lease first and the presence of a pet in the building would be a serious threat to her health. So the takeaway is for landlords to consider this when there is a conflict between two tenants.
In the end, I think he had to pay for like, a month’s rent and it was a little bit more but in the end, he didn’t have to pay a lot but he had to go through all the legal actions as a result of that, and even though he tried his best, along with the property management company, you could still be caught up in this situation and it’s a tough situation to be in, it really is, so lucky we weren’t part of this but yeah, you go through a lot of angst on both sides. You have the individual that has a pet allergy and all the angst she’s going through, and then you have the property management company, you have the landlord, you have the other individual, so it’s just a mess, unfortunately, the case.
A couple things: I had interviews this week with a couple of magazines and one of them was on walk-throughs, final walk-throughs when you’re purchasing a house and it’s very important that you do a final walk-through and it’s important that you work with your agent and any good agent will do the walk-through with you and will keep you on point and make sure that everything is looked at. It’s not a full inspection but it’s a visual inspection for the most part and it’s important that the agent is there because they’ve been through this before. When you’re going and you’re buying a new house, there’s all that excitement associated with it and I had told the individual that was interviewing me about that and he says, “Yeah, no, that’s a good point,” because what happens is you go into a house, it’s going to be a new house, basically, even if it’s used but it’s your new house and you got lots of plans for it, so you kind of lose track of really what the importance of that final walk-through is, and the real estate agent will keep you on point with that. They’ll check the water, they’ll check the basement if there is one.
They asked me, if there’s three things that you want to look at for a final walk-through, what are they? So I felt that it was basically the roof, to ensure there’s no leaks coming through, so if it’s a two-story house, you go up to the second floor and make sure there’s no leaks, especially lately, we’re always getting rain storms. Well, these past couple of weeks, we didn’t, excluding obviously, the hurricane, but for most of the spring, we were getting rain storms constantly, so it was very easy to see if there’s any leaks in the roof, so that’s the first thing. Second thing I would check, plumbing, and I would check, put all the faucets on to make sure that the water is running and everything is draining properly, and another thing is to have some toilet paper, throw it into the toilet and flush it and make sure it goes all the way down, so you know that the toilet isn’t blocked or if there’s a problem with the septic system, so on and so forth. And then, the last thing if you had to do three things, go into the basement if there is a basement, check for any water or anything else. Once everything is moved out, you could see things a lot better and that’s something that sometimes with home inspections, there’s too much clutter around and the home inspector can’t see everything, and then all of a sudden, you start seeing some stuff that you’re like, oh, boy. So that final walk-through is very, very important, and also to ensure that all the repairs are completed if there are any repairs. Lastly, everything is removed that’s supposed to be removed and those things that should be kept are there. So there’s a lot of different factors for the final walk-through in terms of the importance of it. You should also be bringing your contract as well as the repair list, so you have that as well, so you can make sure that okay, the washer stays but the dryer goes, and just check the repairs.
We had an individual, they were very, very detail-oriented and we had a number of repairs we wanted to do for one of our houses, so they wanted to do a pre-final walk-through to check the repairs out, and then they found additional things that they want to fix, and we for the most part accommodated them. For us, it’s not a big deal. We didn’t think it was a major issue, it’s just that a couple of things that came up, we were just very, very surprised about. There was an outlet that we did not replace that was on the side of the stove and I don’t know how they found that. They must’ve pulled out the stove or something when they were doing the pre-final walk-through and they wanted that changed out. And then, they said there was a crack in a window and we looked at it afterwards and it wasn’t a crack. It looked like a crack, a small crack but it wasn’t, and there was a few other things that we were more than happy to accommodate, but sometimes, the emotions get involved and that’s where a good agent will help you to ease up and say, “Listen, it’s not that bad.” Sometimes, you feel like you’re getting taken advantage of, and you might be, but the goal is to sell the house and move on, and that’s very, very important and not to let it fester because it’s a good time that you’re selling your house. For the most part, it should be a happy time. You’re moving onto your next chapter, you’re getting another house, so you have to think of it that way.
Now, if those corrections aren’t fixed, then you might have to postpone the closing until it is fixed but you should be looking at the final walk-through preferably the day of closing. You can do it the day before but sometimes, people haven’t moved out by then, so you got to have them moved out and then you could do the final walk-through. That’s our best suggestion on that.
So we’re coming to an end. I’d like to talk more about it but please give us a call if you’re really interested in investing with us or you’re interested in selling your house, or we’ll buy your house. We’re here for you, so please give us a call. Thank you very much and God bless.
The preceding 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.
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