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 November 28, 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, and that’s T-E-M-P-L-A-Rcashforhouses.com, that’s one word, 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 could email us from our website and we could answer any questions you may have or topics you want discussed on the radio show.
For first-time listeners, 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. We work with individuals that want to invest with us in single-family homes 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. I have individuals on staff that are agents that could sell your house through the traditional Multiple Listing Service.
This show will go through everything there is about real estate and those things that impact real estate. We’ll talk about our rehabs, some of our investments, what went well, what did not go well and how we adjusted accordingly. 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 you know as much as possible about it.
I’m going to provide you with my opinion and it’s only my opinion, okay? I ask everyone to always do a lot of research and ensure that you double check and triple check all your research that you do. I always say, there’s a lot of information out there and it’s very difficult to sort through the noise. I always also state that if you’re going to get recommendations from individuals, make sure you ask lots of questions. Do not just say, is this person good? Please ask lots of questions that are very, very important to you, and sometimes, you don’t know what questions to ask but just try to uncover everything there is about it and try to get to the details, and then you might realize that that recommendation is not good for you. It might be good for the other person but not good for you.
The other thing I always say is that we all know there’s a lot of mediocrity out there and sometimes, it’s very difficult to find really good people to do what you need done, whether it’s an advisor from a financial perspective, an agent, or someone that’s going to work on your house, or anything that you, even a mechanic. So it’s just sometimes very difficult and like I said, there’s a lot of mediocrity out there. It’s just what it is and not everyone could be the best, so sometimes, it’s a challenge to find those individuals that are very, very good. Sometimes, with us, we have certain contractors we use and you have to take the good with the bad, so some of them might, we might have some issues with, but overall, they’re really, really good at what they do. So there might be certain pet peeves that just might annoy us, but you have to balance everything out, and I have certain contractors that are just very, very expensive, so that’s kind of what annoys me sometimes, but they’re really good at what they do. So sometimes, you just gotta bite your tongue and accept what it is. That’s just the way it is.
I’d like to also wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. I know this has been broadcast after Thanksgiving, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and was able to share maybe some of their time with their family or at least remotely see them, talk to them, see them on Zoom or whatever application you are using right now, so we are all going through so many tough times and I don’t need to belabor a statement and an issue that everyone knows about.
Also, I’d like to do a shout out to a couple of my listeners, Paulette, as always, she’s what I’ll call a bird-dog, so a bird-dog is someone in the real estate industry that finds deals, so she always gives me a call, says, “Maybe I have a potential opportunity for you,” and then I look it up. Right now, I’m currently working on one that she had called me this week on, and we will see where it goes, Paulette, but just keep it coming. As I’ve stated before, if you provide a deal or a reference to a potential deal, I will always pay a finder’s fee for that, whether it’s a listing for a house, a purchase of an apartment building, or if I’m going to buy house directly with cash, so any of those ways, I’ll make sure I’ll more than compensate you for it, and thank you as well for it.
I’d like to also thank some of my private investors. We just sold a property this week that they had provided some of the funding and that’s Linda H. and Joe H., they are husband-and-wife. Private investors, you might hear me talk about that and those are individuals that want to invest in our projects and receive a rate of return. Depending on the project, some are paid monthly and some are paid at the end of the project, so it really depends on the project and what the duration of the project is. Again, if you’re interested in selling your house fast for cash, give us a call. If you’re interested in selling your house, and we have some great agents, and we could again list it through the traditional Multiple Listing Service. We sold a number of houses in the last few weeks and the market is good but I think it might be cooling down a little bit, at least, and I’ll talk about that a little bit later in our broadcast. Again, we are looking for apartment buildings, anything, 100-plus units, I’ll do smaller, 50, 20, but I really am looking for 100-plus units.
I was interviewed for a number of magazines, basically, this week and they were published, one was by Next Advisor which is really a website and it was “How a Mortgage Recast Could Save You Money on Monthly Interest Payments,” so that’s on the Internet and I’ll have to get that posted to my website as well. Another one, I was interviewed by Forbes and the title of the article is “Is Buying a Home Worth It? To Find Out, We Asked Nearly Two Dozen Experts,” and then lastly, there was one from NASDAQ, “Today’s Monthly Interest Rates: Rates Smash Another Record Low,” so I was interviewed for that as well.
So I’m going to talk about a couple things. One of the things I’ve talked about previously is experience, so based on experience, it tells us a lot about what could probably outcome, what the outcome could be. Now, it doesn’t always happen that way but a lot of times, based on your experience, you can see certain things that are going to materialize and that’s one of the biggest things about experience and using experts, and leaning on them to help you out, whether it’s an attorney, accountant, whatever the case may be.
So one of my pet peeves, I was at a house last week and we had an open house, so I was there and we had an agent come through and what really gets me is when agents say stuff that are just totally wrong, and they just want to say stuff to say stuff, so I had an instance where one of our houses is right next to Fort Monmouth. Fort Monmouth has been closed down since approximately 2011, so the individual, the agents told their buyer that, “Oh, that’s for a,” and there’s a football field there but she said that’s a football field for the high school and that’s not even close to right. It was just part of Fort Monmouth and she’s just spouting stuff because she assumed there was a football field and there must be a high school there. Another one came in and stated that the kitchen cabinets were not level and of course, I had to correct her on that. I go, “It’s not the kitchen cabinets that aren’t level. It’s the ceiling that’s not level,” so sometimes, when you have older houses, the ceiling isn’t perfectly level. That’s just the way it is, and so when you look at certain things, certain things might be off, especially if it’s cabinets, and cabinets are level, but again, by knowing certain things about houses, you can’t just assume those things, and again, they just spout those things, so I hear all different types of statements that are incorrect. Sometimes, I say something, sometimes, I don’t, but it’s very misleading to the client in terms of what’s wrong and what’s not wrong.
I had another individual, he came to the door, and all our houses, we make sure that individuals take off their shoes and they could put on these little booties that we supply or they could leave their shoes on and put booties on. Either one, or they could be barefoot with their socks on, it doesn’t matter to us because we have a lot of hardwood floors and we want to make sure that they stay shiny, and dirt is brought in, we are very meticulous about our rehabs and what we’ve done with them and we want to make sure that they will look and present really well. So this gentleman comes to the door and I said, “Well, either you have to take off your shoes or you could put the booties on.” So he got all indignant and was like, “I’m not taking off my shoes.” I was like, “Okay, whatever,” and then he said to me, “I guess this is because of COVID, I have to put these on?” I said, “No,” I said, “We just don’t want anyone walking on our floors with shoes,” and then he huffed to that as well, so I knew there was going to be issues or there was going to be a problem, and he put it on begrudgingly and then him and his wife were walking around and not even, like, a minute and she went in one direction, he went in the other and he was looking behind a door and he knelt down, he’s looking there and he gets up, and I hear him go down to the basement and say, “The quality isn’t good in this house.” Now, I never get an issue with quality for our rehabs. Everyone says they’re good, and once in a while, I will, once in a while, I will, so it’s usually individuals that are supposedly experts or supposedly know something, and this individual said, yeah, the quality is not good, and then he alluded to it on the way out. He didn’t even stay, like, five minutes, and he was like, “Well, who did this rehab? I was just wondering, just wondering.” I was like, “You know, one of the individuals.” I really didn’t name the company, and after he left, I went to where he was looking and everything looked perfect but what we did is we had to mount a fire extinguisher because of the CO and we need that for code, and there were holes drilled on the wall to mount the fire extinguisher and there was some dust that fell to the floor from the drilling, because he was down on his knees, he was looking at it and I think that’s what he was looking at because there was nothing else there. Everything looked perfect, so he had just assumed, I guess, that maybe the dust was really not dust, it was maybe particles on the floor and the hardwood floor wasn’t done correctly, because I used my finger and it was just dust, but again, he had a preconceived notion walking in and he wanted to find an issue and he found an issue, but it was really not an issue. So that’s just the way it is sometimes, but I just knew there was going to be an issue when he was scoffing at the booties and have to put them on. Usually, when that happens, I know someone’s going to find an issue or make like there is an issue, so that’s again, based on experience. I know what the outcome is going to be.
So I’m going to have to close off this segment and I’ll be right back, thank you.
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. You could reach us at 973-240-8593, again, that’s 973-240-8593 or you could reach us also at templarcashforhouses.com, that’s T-E-M-P-L-A-Rcashforhouses.com, that’s one word.
So one of the things I’d like to talk about in this segment is one of our deals we closed this week. It was a woman on Bergen County and she was approximately, like, probably in her late 60s and she’s interested in moving to Florida, and her house, a nice cute house, it’s a cape and she didn’t want to sell through the traditional listing service and she’d have some problems for a number of reasons. First thing is she would not pass the CO, so she’d have to invest probably $3000-$4000 to pass the CO, so that’s the first thing, and without a CO, a mortgage lender is not going to underwrite a loan because of that because there’s an issue with the house, and it’s not a major issue but it was an issue. Basically, the town requires that the driveway apron, that’s the first part of the driveway before the sidewalk, it’s between the sidewalk and the street, so certain municipalities require certain requirements for a house to be sold and for someone to live in it. This one municipality states that it needs to be, the apron needs to be fixed and it needs to be up to a certain code, and I haven’t really seen too many other municipalities look for that. Some of them look for certain things, some of them look for other things, but they do, and it needs to be corrected because of that, so we are looking at a few thousand dollars, probably about $3500, because you have to put down the cement and everything, it’s just, it’s a little bit of a hassle. Anything to do with cement is expensive, so it’s just, that’s the way it is, and unfortunately, masonry work is very expensive, you cannot get away with masonry work, that’s very, very expensive.
So, that’s one thing. The second thing is that when you walk in, her ceiling, the drywall on the ceiling was, like, hanging down, and then also, it’s hanging down in the bathroom over the tub and then also upstairs, so she had some leaks previously and I guess it was fixed, like, five years ago but the leaks were, but there’s still ceilings hanging down, so it would be very, very difficult to sell the house, so it would have to be sold through an investor, and I had someone go out there and met, and after everything was over, she said, “Wow, this was so easy,” and that’s what we like to do, is we really like to make it easy, and the other thing is that she said, “Well, I don’t need an attorney.” We always stress to have an attorney and that’s very, very important to us. We went through the contract with her initially, and then obviously, it will be sent over to the attorney and we will pay for a portion of those fees as well as our closing costs, and she asked also, she might have a little bit of taxes due and we are going to pay those as well, so just to help her out, and she was really happy with it, and the other thing we said is that whatever you want to leave, you could just leave, so I came over just to have the contract signed and I just wanted to meet her and I restated that, and she spoke to her brother and said, “I feel guilty leaving stuff.” That’s the type of person she is. She’s just a sweet person and he said, “Just pack your bag and just leave. Don’t worry about anything else,” and I said to her, “Exactly, just have your bags packed and then that’s it, we’ll take care of the rest.” So she was really grateful for that and it’s going to really work out well for her.
The other thing is that she said, “Joe, can I leave in the first week in January instead of before then?” I said, “Yeah, that’s fine,” so we picked the day. She said, “Well, if I’m not done by that day, is that going to be a problem?” I said, “Of course, not, don’t worry about it.” We’ve had some that have gone on for an extra week or so because you think you’re packing and it’s going to take three weeks, and then you get sidetracked, so we have no issues with that, we are very flexible with all that, but the one thing that really stuck in my mind was that she relied on us a lot and it always sticks on my mind, and you have individuals that are in my business and they’re not as forthright and they’re not as honest, and there’s a number of good investors out there, but there are some that are not and how they could take advantage of someone that’s a very trusting person, and that’s something that always bothers me and I always, when I get calls afterwards if something goes sideways with another investor, they call me and say, “Joe, I’m in a bind, can you help me out?” And sometimes, we can, sometimes, we can’t because of things that were done previously, so it’s very, very important to always do research. We always say, with the Better Business Bureau, we are rated A+ rating. One of the things with that is that when you’re a member of the Better Business Bureau, you state certain things that if there’s a complaint and you can’t resolve it, it will go to binding and arbitration, which is good, and then it will be resolved there, so that’s very important but you have to be a member of the Better Business Bureau. You might be rated on the Better Business Bureau but not a member or an associate of the Better Business Bureau and that’s a distinction and a very important distinction that you need to know and remember.
The other thing I want to talk about is something I said before about the real estate market. Now, everybody’s hearing it’s hot, it’s hot, it’s hot, and I’ve been saying that as well but I think it’s starting to cool down. Now, I’m not quite sure if it’s because of the holidays or what, so that has to be determined, but I’m seeing a number of houses that are doing price drops and we weren’t seeing that as much before and we saw a lot of this past week. So I’m just wondering if that’s the case, it might be because of the time of year, I don’t know about that. It’s a little more complex to share because we’re talking about it in the office and again, this holiday season is not going to be like other holiday seasons, and you might be preparing for Christmas or Hanukkah, whatever you celebrate, but it’s not probably going to be to the degree that it was every other year, so based on that, I’m not sure that the impact to the real estate market is because of that, because of the holidays, but we will have to see. But I’ve been thinking about this for a while and I’ve brought it up before, that eventually, it’s going to get to a point where things might pull down a little bit, and that’s why I always say, seize the opportunity when you have the opportunity and don’t put it off that, oh, it’s going to be higher three months from now. I would never guarantee that, I would never even dream of thinking that way because you just don’t know when the market’s going to turn; things aren’t just going to continue going up and you might all of a sudden see that it’s 5% lower than it was previously, so I would never ever, for us, recommend for any of our houses, I will wait a couple of months and hold off. Sell when you know what it is right at that given point. That’s where you know, and that’s the only thing you really know. You do not know the future and if you go into the market and you say, “Well, I could sell the house for this much,” then you have a general idea. You do not know what it’s like two or three months from now, and it could be higher but it could be lower and it could be substantially lower. The way the market is right now, I think it is cooling off a little and that’s an impact based on a few things. The economy, we have a lot of individuals that are not working. If you look at some of these businesses, the mom-and-pop businesses, they’re not doing well at all. Some of the big ones, obviously, like Amazon and all these other big ones like Apple are doing really well, but all the smaller ones are not and it’s going to impact everyone as a result of that, and you just never know. People are being furloughed, people are only working X amount of hours per week as opposed to 40, so where is this going to go? A lot of individuals are not paying all their mortgage. I think there is, and I could be wrong, I saw a number, I thought it was $10 billion of unpaid mortgage payments. Where is that going to go? Who’s going to pay for that? And even with the bailout from the government, it’s only going to bail out a portion of your debt, possibly, or at least for you to pay on a go-forward basis, not all the other missed payments. You have landlords that aren’t getting paid their rent and what’s going to happen to that? And is the mortgage going to be forgiven for that if you can’t pay the mortgage company if you’re a landlord? I don’t think so but say you did, what’s going to happen with the bank? The expected X amount of profits, so someone’s going to have to pay for it in the end, either the banks, the landlords, the government, but it’s not going to be a total bailout, and that’s a big concern of mine coming into next year, what’s going to happen? I briefly brought it up now and then on our broadcast, I’m very, very concerned and no matter how much money the government throws at you, there are certain things that are not going to be paid off and it’s a big issue.
So, I’m going to close that out right now, thank you very much for today. Again, you could reach us at 973-315-7990. Again, that’s 973-315-7990, or templarcashforhouses.com. Again, thank you very much, have a nice weekend and God bless.
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.
END OF RECORDING