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 15, 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, and that’s one word, or you could call us at 973-315-7990, and we could answer any questions you may have, or you could email us from our website and we’d be more than happy to discuss any topics that you’re interested in that we put on the show.
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, very protective of our money and our investors’ money. I’m not a real estate agent and I’m not a broker, but I do have individuals on staff that sell through the traditional Multiple Listing Service and if you need any of that services, we’ll be more than happy to help you with it.
This show is going to go over everything about real estate, those things that impact real estate, and we’ll talk about our rehabs, some of our investments, what went well and what did not go well and we’ll explain how we got around it. We’ll talk about the economy and 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.
I’m going to provide you my opinion. It’s only my opinion. I always ask everyone to do a lot of research and ensure that whatever service you are looking to receive, that you do it and it’s balanced. Again, as I always say, when researching on the Internet, you might get a particular slant because of the author and it might not be accurate, so that’s why you got to kind of look at both sides of the fence. In politics, that’s probably a lot more difficult, especially nowadays, you really don’t know what’s the truth even when people quote the so-called truth, it’s not the truth, so you got to just really sift through a lot of the noise and try to get to the accurate facts of it which like I say is kind of difficult sometimes.
Right now, I was featured in an article for Builder’s Magazine. The name of the article is “As COVID-19 continues, high-end second home sales are on the rise,” and it was about, they had interviewed me and a few other individuals about the secondary home market, like vacation homes, and where they are right now, and especially with COVID, and right now, the luxury market is doing really, really well. On the other markets which are the more standard secondary homes that we all try to buy, they’re having some difficulties. The other houses that are really taking off, like in the suburbs like in Jersey, things like that, those are the other ones that are really moving and receiving high prices. But for individuals that have vacation home on lake communities and different areas throughout the United States are having more of a problem selling those houses if they’re interested in selling. So the article went through some of that. My articles I’ve interviewed with, some of them are on my website. I have to have our web person update it, so that’s something that we definitely need to do. It has about four or five of the articles. I have another five or eight, I think, that have to be updated in the last couple of months that were added.
I want to go over a couple things. The first one is opinions, and it kinda goes into what I was saying about researching. So I’m going to give you a couple examples. One has to do with real estate, one does not. When we ask for someone’s opinion or we read about someone’s opinion, we got to kind of understand a couple things: are they experts in the field or are they not? The other thing is that if you’re getting information from an individual that’s possibly very, very successful and done a lot of things, it’s easier, I think, to add more credence to their opinions than someone else and I think that’s something that everyone needs to look at.
So I was on social media, it was on LinkedIn and anyone who knows LinkedIn, it’s more of a professional type social media as opposed to something like Facebook or some of the other ones, Snapchat, so on and so forth, and there was an article in a video about this device that once you put it on a person that’s going into cardiac arrest, it’s supposed to push on the chest to start the breathing, and normally, it’s done manually but this device, it was in slow motion the way it was set up and it looked like it took a long time to set up, but it’s supposedly very, very good for a person when they’re in cardiac arrest. So all these individuals were commenting on it and none of them were in the medical field, they were just professionals saying it’s not that good, it’s going to take too long to set up, so on and so forth. So I don’t know anything about it so I didn’t really want to comment but I remember my son which is a nursing student and he’s on EMT and he had talked about this exact device, so I IM-ed him real quick or sent him a quick message, texted him, and I asked him about this device and how good it was because I did recall he did talk about it and he couldn’t talk enough about it, and positive things. He said the way it pushes down on the chest, it’s more forceful and consistent, and it works quicker, and there were so many benefits of it, and I said, “Okay,” and then I said, “How long does it take to set up?” Because people are saying, well, the extra 30 seconds or minute it might take, and my son did respond. He said, “No,” he said, “Dad, it takes literally 30 seconds and the 30 seconds it takes is well worth it because of how this machine works, this device,” so I had sent that out and I explained everything, people are still saying, “I don’t think that’s right and the extra 30 seconds,” and I questioned my son again. He said, “No, dad.” He says, “This thing,” he says, “I couldn’t do as good a job or anyone could do as good a job as this device just in terms of getting tired, and it’s a physical thing,” and my son’s in very, very good shape. He works out almost every day and he’s in extremely good shape, and he said, “This doesn’t even come close.” So again, you have these people talking about stuff that they don’t even know about, and the same thing with real estate. You might get an opinion about selling your house and someone’s going to spout something, and it’s just not accurate, and you got to ensure that you’re using professionals.
We listed a house, so I’m going to give you a tale of two houses for real estate selling. So we had someone that wanted to list through the Multiple Listing Service. We said we should list it about $350,000 and you’ll probably get $320,000. It’s a small house and it’s in a good neighborhood, but there was no parking. No parking at all and this is in almost like a city, kind of, and there’s no, everybody in that area has a driveway plus garage or just a driveway, at least, and this house, you can’t put a driveway there. Just, you can’t and you couldn’t build one, you just couldn’t, and you’d have to park on the side street. Secondly, it’s a two-bedroom and it’s pretty small. So it’s got basically two strikes against it and we always look at stuff and our firm has a two-strike rule. If a property has two strikes against it, it’s going to be very, very hard to sell, and it’s unbelievable how much and how accurate that is.
So not to mention the price that they wanted, so we said $350,000, we said it’ll probably sell around $320,000, they spoke to a so-called an expert, a developer, and he said, “No, you could get $400,000, no problem, no problem.” So a couple things with that. Developers or builders always pay more than they should. That’s the first thing. Second thing is that people always think that oh, my house could be knocked down and a builder would buy it. It could happen but nine times out of 10 or 9.5 times out of 10, a builder’s not buying your house to knock it down and put a new house, because people hear about this all the time and someone around the corner, it happens, it does happen. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, it does happen, but it doesn’t happen that often, relatively speaking. Even if it looks like a lot of people are doing construction, so on and so forth, it’s not happening a lot. So she wanted to take that as gospel, we are more than happy to accommodate her and now, it’s been sitting on the market for like, two months almost and she has no bites, nobody’s making any offers, she dropped it $10,000 a couple weeks ago, still no bites. The price is just too much. She inflated it excessively. It’s like, 15% or whatever the case may be, but it’s still, it’s just not where it should be. So she’s not getting any traction on it. It’s that simple.
So on the flipside, we are selling the house and we too, we’ve done everything to it. We’ve put some really nice finishes on it, quartz countertops, so on and so forth, and it’s an average-sized house, it’s not that big but it’s not small by any means. So we put this up on the market a few weeks ago, and so before I finish with this, I’m closing up on my first segment and I’ll come back in a minute and we could finish this, but again, you could reach us if you want to talk to us at 973-315-7990 or templarcashforhouses.com, and remember, if you just want to call us and say, “I need to sell my house for cash,” we’ll be more than happy to help you with that, okay? So I’m going to close out this segment and we’ll be right back, thanks.
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 973-315-7990 or templarcashforhouses.com. If you need to sell your house fast for cash, please give us a call, as well as if you want to sell through the traditional Multiple Listing Service, or you’re interested in investing in real estate with us, please give us a call.
So in my previous segment, I was talking about an individual that we are listing a house for. We said we’d start the listing out at $350,000, they spoke to another individual, a so-called expert that’s a developer and he says, “Put it at $400,000.” We recommended that she start at $350,000 but she wanted $400,000 and we said okay, so as a result of it, it’s been on the market two months, she’s not getting any traction now at all, and she lowered the price a couple of weeks ago, I think, by $10,000, so it’s around… I forget, but it’s about, yeah, so it’s around $390,000, maybe a little bit less, somewhere around there. So as time progresses in these things, people look at it and say, “What’s wrong with it?” And then, after it’s on the market for as long as it is, then people start saying, “Well, I’m going to wait until it goes down further,” and it’s kind of a snowball effect, so I would highly not recommend that, not at all. Price it right.
So on the flipside as I was saying, we had a house and we fixed it up a lot and it was in basically the same area. It was a number of towns over but it was in the same basic area as this other house and the market is very strong there, and we did really nice finishes and everything like we always do for the most part, and we put quartz countertops, new cabinets, the hardwood floors are dark brown and it looks great against the walls which are a very, very light gray, and with the white trim, it looks really, really nice, very dramatic. And we have hardwood floors even in the kitchen, so it’s very consistent and there is no break up between tile and hardwood floors, and sometimes, when you do that, aesthetically, it doesn’t look that good, so we are a big proponent of having hardwood everywhere if we were going to put hardwood floors.
So the other thing we do is we stage it and we do this all ourselves in terms of how we want to stage this, how we want to design it, and when we go in and sell a house, we know we are the best on the market and there are other flippers who’ll say or investors that have some really nice houses as well and we are probably comfortable with them. Sometimes, we might be better looking it or a little less, but when a professional person goes into a market and buys a house and redoes it, we’re going to get top dollar for it no matter what it is if it’s done right and it’s priced correctly. So last year, we were expecting to list the house probably around $480,000, and that was going to be towards the top where we think we could get, and because of the COVID and the limited amount of houses as well as a lot of individuals moving over from New York City coming to Jersey, that price has increased and what we did is we basically increased it by about a little over 10%, and so $480,000, and then we listed it for like, $539,000, somewhere around there, and we had it on the market for a week and a half, offers started coming in. We were competing against houses that were considerably larger than ours for the price that we had. We had moved up to that next level basically based on price and the houses were considerably larger, so our house is probably close to 1800 ft.². The houses we were competing against were like, 2500 ft.², so considerably different size, it’s a lot larger. So we had a lot of positive feedback and a lot of individuals wanted it but it was a little smaller than what they wanted. Their price point was around $550,000 but they wanted something that was larger, and we had a nice sized house but it’s not 2500 ft.², but with that being said, we still had two, three offers coming on it and right now, it’s under contract, but that’s the difference, is that you got to really know your product and you got to really price it accurately, and the price that we have, it’s high, no doubt about it, but we are definitely getting top dollar for it.
Now, we have some concerns about the appraisals and things like that, so we do have some concerns and that’s what happens when you do price that house a lot higher and you get the offer. But with that being said, the argument and the appraisal could come back more towards your favor based on the nice finishes and the staging, things like that. Appraisers are not supposed to look at it from a staging perspective but when they come in, they look at it, it’s all about the eye and that’s very important. So you got to understand your product, you got to understand how to sell it, you got to understand the pricing on it, and especially the look and the feel of it, and people buy it based on emotion, and that’s why when we come in and we will sell your house for you, we will look at those things and try to maximize the appeal. And we have individuals that could do certain painting and certain cleanup or whatever needs to be done to maximize it. Again, a number of agents have individuals that they’ve referenced before, so on and so forth. The individuals we have, they work on our houses. We get top dollar. I know these guys inside and out, so when you’re getting a recommendation from us and we are doing the things that we need to do, you could be confident that you could trust the person and the price associated with it, so on and so forth. So that’s a value add that you can’t get anywhere else. You just can’t. So that’s very important.
The other thing I’d like to talk about is again, if you’re interested in investing in real estate in terms of single-family houses up to apartment buildings passively, please give us a call on that and we’d be more than happy to talk to you on it. Right now, I’m looking at an apartment building. I was out last week in Ohio for an apartment complex that we’re kind of interested in, see where it goes. You never know. You’re talking about a lot of money for these, millions of dollars, but you don’t need millions of dollars to work with us, so just remember that as well.
So a couple other things that I’ve talked about and a little concerned about, I continue to bring up is that the election’s coming up and what’s going to happen, like you always say double you know is better than double you don’t know, and there’s a lot of concerns on my side about if the President loses, and again, it’s not based on politics alike and it’s more based on also the economics and the additional taxes that Biden is interested and wants to put in place. I don’t like to get into politics, it’s more based on where our company is, and things I’m saying, it’s more about money in your pocket. When you raise taxes, no matter how it is, it’s going to be less money in people’s pockets and they could say, “Well, it’s being provided into other programs, so on and so forth,” well, my view on that is that when people are making more money, they spend more money. It’s just that simple. When you have more money in your pocket, when companies have more money in their pocket, they spend more, they spend more on nonprofits and it’s seen. When you have less money in your pocket, you’re not spending as much on some of the other nonprofit organizations that you would like to spend. It’s just that simple and by raising taxes and doing a number of other things, it’s really going to in the end impact a lot of people, like there’s a thing called 1031 exchange, so basically, if you sell your house or you sell a property and it’s an investment property, there is the ability, instead of taking any capital gains, it is that if you purchase another one in a certain amount of time – there’s a bunch of rules around it, I’m not going to get into those – but if you purchase another property, you will not have any capital gains associated with it, so you could move out. So again, you could grow and you could move up in terms of those investments, and right now, what they’re talking about is that you are getting taxed on it, so again, you sell something, you get taxed on it and then you can’t buy something as big and maybe you won’t even sell it then, and that’s going to hamper investment, it just is.
I have an individual that works with us and he does a lot of handyman stuff and he says, “Joe, my goal is for my son to have an apartment building,” and he’s a Hispanic guy, he’s just a hard worker, great, great guy, and he’s just a simple hard worker, and I really like him a lot. Something like that is going to impact him, so he has, I think, a four-family and he wants to eventually sell it and then get a bigger property, and that’s the American dream. But the things that will be put in place, it’s going to hamper him purchasing a larger property and then passing it on to his son, and that’s with anyone that has some investment properties, things like that. The inheritance, I think there may be even something like inheritance tax that they’re going to do something but I’m not quite sure on that, but again, those are the things that are going to hurt people in the end. So just be conscious of that.
The other thing is that Wall Street, Wall Street doesn’t care, okay? Because Wall Street will say, “Okay, I’m for Trump or I’m for Biden.” They don’t care because you have to remember, Wall Street wins out in the end. They could play either side of the market. When I used to do trading, it did not matter to me whether the market went up or the market went down. Like I said before, I prefer it when the market went down because I would make more money quicker, and that is the way it is with also Wall Street. George Soros, he made his money shorting or having the market go down on the British Pound, if I’m not mistaken. So that’s where he made, he made $1 billion on that, that’s how he made his, for the most part, most of his money was on shorting or betting against the going up, and that’s how a lot of individuals, investors on Wall Street make their money, their massive money quicker, is when the market goes down. So they could play both sides. They think it’s going to go down, they’re betting it going down and then when it goes down, then they push the money in and let it go out. It’s a really simple formula for them. The question obviously is timing, so that’s always nobody could time the market and they might short the market for a long period of time but they’ll hedge it a certain way, but in the end, they really don’t care. And like I said, they prefer that the market go down in the end because they’re going to reap the benefits in the end, so that’s where we’re at.
So again, I hope you enjoyed the show. Closing out right now, have a nice weekend, you could reach us at 973-315-7990 or templarcashforhouses.com and again, if you’re interested in selling your house and you need to sell your house for cash, please give us a call. Thank you 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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