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 February 20, 2021
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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. Again, that’s T-E-M-P-L-A-Rcashforhouses.com, that’s one word, or you could call us at 973-240-8593, and we could answer any questions you may have or you could email us from our website. If you want any topics discussed, again, you could drop us a note and if we could fit it in, we would be more than happy to.
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 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. I’m not a real estate agent and we’re not a brokerage, but 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 and some of our investments, what went well, what did not go well, and especially how we overcame those. 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.
I’m going to provide you with my opinion and it’s only my opinion. I ask everyone to research everything. Even if you have your own attorney or CPA, always double or triple check, make sure you do ask lots of questions. I say that every week, if you’re going to receive a recommendation from someone, ask lots of questions, peel back the onion, make sure that that person has the same temperament and the same ways of doing business that you like the service performed for, so that’s extremely, extremely important.
I’d like to do a shoutout to Paulette and Cindy, and John, thanks, guys.
Again, if you’re interested in selling your house fast for cash, please give me a call, we’d be happy to come out, walk the property and inside as well and again, we’ll make you an offer and if we both come to a satisfactory conclusion with that, we could pick a closing date and that closing date could be any date you want. The only thing is if it goes out more than two or three months, then I can’t always really give you a price. Reason is, I don’t know where the market’s going to be so I don’t know if it’s going to higher or it’s going to go lower, so that’s the big thing, but if it’s within a month or two and maybe three, I’d be more than happy to lock you into a specific number, and then we close accordingly, and if you have to leave anything around, that’s fine, we usually donate anything to the Veterans Association as well as churches and temples in the area.
The other thing is you could leave the house as is. Again, you don’t have to fix anything, we will fix it once we purchase it, so that’s a big, big plus, and on the flip side is that if you just want to sell your house through the traditional Multiple Listing Service, I have great agents on staff that would be more than happy to help you, and a lot of times, we’ll give you different options. Sometimes, you would want maybe to try to list it and test out the waters, and if it doesn’t work, then we’ll buy it for cash, so it works two ways and it’s very flexible in terms of what we do and how we do it.
Right now, I’m looking for six to seven individuals that are going to come on board to do underwriting for us, and underwriting is basically trying to calculate how much, say, an apartment building is and the risks associated with it, and then we put offers in as a result of that, so we do that and doing that throughout the country, so I need about six or seven individuals, those individuals need to have good analytical skills, mergers and acquisitions individuals would be perfect but not necessarily, former or current CPAs, someone that has a strong finance background that could crunch numbers, it’s very important. Previously worked in corporate America managing large budgets, complex budgets, that would be great. I need a go-getter, someone that’s hard-working, so we are really excited in bringing on some individuals and we are expanding considerably as a result of that, so we’re very happy about that, we’re bringing on next with a couple of additional individuals that are going to be doing some marketing, outbound marketing as well, so we are doing really well and we are really bullish for at least our business. I’m not going to say I’m bullish about the economy but I’m bullish for our business right now, where we’re at, so that’s really good.
Another thing I’m going to talk about, I bring this up a lot and it’s a major pet peeve of mine and that’s professionalism, especially for individuals that provide a service, and I’m very, very tough and critical, and I expect a lot, and I expect a lot from our team and when I engage with a real estate professional or any type of professional, I expect high quality and knowledge of the profession and can conduct themselves in an appropriate manner.
So, originally, we had some individuals that, this week, we had a couple challenging situations with real estate agents for some other parties. One of them being a person came to us, she was selling her townhome and she had it under contract, and when you take it off, you put into pending status or it says that it’s under contract, and hopefully, it’s going to conclusion where it’s sold, this individual had the townhome off the market for six weeks and that’s because of the weather and it was the holidays. I mean, it was a bunch of things that went on, but within that, the agent that she used received the offer and the attorney also accepted the offer and they went back and forth a little bit in terms of the price, but one of the things that they accepted at face value, which just again, it bothers me is that the accepted payment of $1000. Now, obviously, depending on the size of the transaction, it will determine to some extent how much of a deposit you put, but with that being said, a number of agents that submit offers might put a low down payment and a long amount of time before the payment needs to be paid, and that’s, on our side, we push it very, very hard that after attorney review is completed, they need to provide a deposit within three days because we need to make sure that they have the money. We are taking it off the market and we want to make sure that the money is coming in, and this woman unfortunately only received $1,000 deposit, and after six weeks, there was some traction, they were supposedly going to close but it kind of just petered out and the attorney is submitting or I think it’s time of the essence and that means you gotta move quickly or we’re going to cancel the contract, basically. That’s occurring but it looks like she might get $1,000 out of the deal if this thing doesn’t go through but she has to put it back on the market. It’s been six weeks, it’s just not a good situation, whereas if they put $5,000 down, again, it would be harder for the buyer to give up that $5,000 and it would hurt more, and that’s what you want, you want skin in the game. You don’t want $1,000. $1,000, relatively speaking, is not a lot of money so in the event of a transaction doesn’t go through, you could get something out of it, and that’s the biggest, biggest issue, and that’s a major issue with the way I see it, and it was very disturbing to see that. It wasn’t really handled as well as it should’ve been and now, she’s heard and she’s probably going to put it back on the market but we’re probably going to list it for her, and hopefully, we’ll be able to sell it quickly as a result of that.
Another thing that happened was that we saw a property that we usually don’t buy from auctions but we saw one and we talked to the agent and then she had some additional questions because of the location of it and she thought there might be some issues and we research it further and we determined if we get a CO, we’re going to have to raise the house. Basically, it’s down the shore and depending on the locale of it, you might come a lot of times, you might have to raise the house and put it in basically on stilts and put it higher, and that costs a considerable amount of money because you have to do a lot of different things to it, it’s not just raising the house, it has to do with your furnace sometimes when it’s on the first floor, all your supply lines for anything from gas, sewage, all that, so it’s a big, big ordeal. I had an individual, a friend of mine, a builder that was doing that down in Toms River and he said, “Joe, after that, I’ll never do it again,” and he’s built a lot of houses but he said that, forget about it, and depending on the township, there are a lot of laws and regulation. Toms River is horrendous for that, there’s a lot of challenges for that, so if you are even buying in that option, you gotta really watch it and make sure it’s not, well, you’re going to buy for this price and you’re going to take, I’ll say a risk gamble for the amount of work that needs to be done, but if you don’t realize that the CO requires certain things like raising the house and things like that, you could really get hurt as a result of that, so that’s a big issue and you really gotta watch when you’re buying from auctions, so just be aware of that.
Well, I have a couple more stories about lack of professionalism but this part of the segment is closing out and I’ll be back shortly. Again, if you need to reach out to us, call us at 973-240-8593. Again, that’s 973-240-8593. See you shortly, bye.
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 templarcashforhouses.com. Again, that’s T-E-M-P-L-A-Rcashforhouses.com, and if you need to sell your house quickly either cash or with a realtor, please give us a call. Again, either way, if it’s a cash deal or through the traditional Multiple Listing Service, we’d be more than happy to help you out.
So, in the previous segment, I was speaking about this one individual, this woman that had the townhome and again, it was put into pending status where it was under contract, and now, it’s probably coming off. Now, the one other thing that I wanted to bring up about this, and again, a lot of times, when something happens, there’s a cascading effect, ripple effect, and this is a situation where it is happening as well. So, the woman has money, so she purchased another house or at least put money down on another townhome because this one was under contract. Again, she has ample funds to purchase the other property but now, she’s going to have to put this back on the market, and the problem with that is that it’s one thing when you own a property and you’re living in it, and you have it under contract and it’s going to close, and then you start looking for another property, and obviously, put the money down and we’re going to try to consummate that deal as well. It’s another thing when you have a property and you have to put it back on the market and you’re purchasing another property. As a result of that, after you purchase that one property and you’re living in it and the other one is still up for sale, your approach to things is a lot different and instead of being comfortable while you’re living in that apartment, until it sells, you’re not that way now, and even if you have the money, everyone or a lot of people will get nervous about it and start making decisions based out of fear and basically, you’re making a decision out of fear as opposed to a position of strength, and that’s a problem, and you might make a decision where you’re going to cut the asking price faster because of that and there probably is the case because you’re going to say, I just want to get rid of it, or I’m worried, let me reduce it, or you are going to ask an agent, should you reduce it? Whatever the case may be, again, it’s going to be a position of being scared as opposed to a position of strength or comfort. When you do that, you start making bad decisions or you act possibly too impulsively, and when you do that, a lot of times, you’re losing money as a result of that.
Another thing that I encountered this week was a property that I’ve talked about previously and what happened was we purchased it last year , the gentleman wanted a loan, we don’t traditionally just do loans and I said we don’t do that but we hit it off and he was jammed up and he said, “Joe, I’d like to sell the house to you.” I said, “Well, we will do that,” and then I usually do a rehab and then I’ll sell it. He said, “Well, I’d rather just live in it and I’m going to get the money back in a couple of months and I’ll buy it back at a predetermined price,” and he gave me a story about his situation with his sister in Egypt, she was making high-end wedding gowns and she couldn’t leave until it was completed and she needed some money, and said okay, we’ll do something, and I tried to look into some of this and I was able to get some information but I couldn’t get all of it to validate what he was saying but I was going to purchase the house anyway, and this was in February of last year, and he said two months, I figured four months just to be conservative, and four months rolled around and still nothing, and then five months rolled around and I was very patient with him, and then six months rolled around, and I said to him, “I’m going to have to get some money because you’re living there and I’m paying the taxes on it,” so he said, “Yeah, no problem, Joe, until I get the money.” I said, “Sure, no problem,” and I was going to give him a good rate for that and it’s going to cover basically my expenses, and a few other minor things but they were all expense-related and I wasn’t going to be making anything, because I like the guy and I wanted him to not be stressed out about it. November rolled around and then he went dark on me, and I’m sending him texts and he’s not answering, so I’m getting very frustrated I don’t know what’s going on, and I have my attorney send a letter and he gave him a couple of options, and they were all really pretty generous options. I said basically, you’re going to pay some rent and the rent was really, for a house, it was a very, very good rate, and that was the first one. The second one, I’ll give you $20,000, just move out, and the third one was, move out and I’ll fix up the property and you could buy it back, and there was just silence. So, I got more and more frustrated as a result of that, and I waited, and one of the other things that was in the letter sent to him was that if we don’t hear anything, we are going to sell it to an investor or auction off the property, and like I said, we didn’t hear anything, so I put it under contract, I put it on the MLS and we had individuals calling and I explained everything to them and I said, “You’re going to have to wait probably to evict this person because there’s a moratorium,” and I put it under contract for the first time and the gentleman says, “Joe, I understand, I understand.” I gave them everything. I told him we were going to give him $20,000 and he didn’t do anything about it, so on and so forth, and we went back-and-forth in terms of attorney review and we had a small set of changes, and I didn’t hear anything, and I’m talking to the agent and she’s saying, “Well, he’s very, very busy,” so I waited, and that I’m getting a little frustrated, and afterwards, he went to, and I said to him, “He’s not going to be able to go into the house and he’s going to have to buy it as is for cash.” After looking into it, we figured, we could probably get into the house if we needed to bring an appraiser in, I could get the police because it’s my house so I could do that. In the meantime, the gentleman went to knock on the door and the tenant, now, the previous owner didn’t answer and they texted the person, they didn’t answer, so on and so forth, and he was getting a little worried, and I kept saying, “Are you going to sign the contract?” He says, “I’m going to but I need to get in touch with him first.” I said, “You’re not going to. He’s not going to answer the calls,” and this went back-and-forth and I just canceled the contract as a result of it. And then, the agent called me, “Joe, why did you cancel?” I said, “This is just taking too long.” She made a lot of excuses but it just took too long. Then, I had another individual that put it under contract again a few days later, and the attorney reviewed it and said no on it to the person, saying don’t do the deal, so I came out of contract again.
Then, the next one, we went under contract and again, the gentleman drove around to the house, saw the owner or the previous owner, I may say, and said he’s going to buy the house and he’ll give him $10,000 to move out, and I already told him that I was going to give him $20,000 and he didn’t do anything, and the gentleman said, “I’m not moving and you’re going to have to forcibly move me out,” so that got him worried and he said, “No, I’m not going to do it.” Again, all this, I had stated. I said, “The only way you’re going to get him out is evict him,” so I had another agent call me and I went through every scenario that I just went through now. I went through this situation , we were going to give him $20,000, so on and so forth. The agent was not listening to a word I was saying even though I was explaining everything. I could just tell, and I said, “I don’t think you’re listening to me.” She says, “Yes, I am. I have 20 years experience, I’ve been doing this for 20 years, I know what I’m doing,” and I said, “Well, you have to get a CO for this property.” “Well, I’m going to get a temp CO and it’s that simple,” and I said, “I don’t know about that,” and one of the things is that with a temp CO, you’re not supposed to be living in the house, no one is, but she assured me everything. I said, “I don’t think you’re listening to me.” “Yes, I am. I have all this experience,” so on and so forth. Okay, okay, okay. We go back and forth with the writer which is a second document after the main contract is signed with any adjustments. One of the statements on the writers said that if we could get the tenant out, give an extra $5,000, so the buyer will give us an extra $5,000 if. So, we looked at that and we are just shaking our heads, myself and my partners, and in the evening, I get a text from the agent that said we’re not going to be able to do the deal because we’re not going to be able to get the tenant out, and I responded that “I explained all of this to you, you wasted my time.” She said, “Oh, don’t worry, you’re going to sell it.” I said, “I’m not worried. I know I’m going to sell it, but you wasted my time and all you kept saying was that you have 20 years of experience.” She responded, “I have 22 years experience,” and then of course, I responded that those two extra years really didn’t help either me or your client, which then she responded, “I know tenants and I’ve been doing this, again, for 22 years, and why don’t you evict the person?” Again, I said, “Well, there is a moratorium on it.”
So, just because you have 20 years of experience, it doesn’t mean anything. If you do the same thing, if you do baking and you bake a cake and you bake it, just, you do one cake and you’ve been doing it for 20 years, well, you’re not an experienced 20-year baker. You know how to do that one cake. Maybe you’re experienced at that one cake, but you’re not a baker. The same thing is with these agents and that’s what gets me crazy is when they threw these numbers out, I got 20 years experience, it doesn’t mean anything. If you’re doing the same cookie-cutter type thing all the time, it doesn’t mean anything and that doesn’t mean that you’re good at it anyway. So, the number of years don’t mean anything if they haven’t experienced different challenges, different ways of looking at things, instead of saying, “This is the way you do it, this is the way we always do it,” and that’s what I always complain about. You just see these people, whether it’s, again, for agents or anything else and they don’t have the experience or the depth of knowledge that they should have, and that’s what really just gets me just really crazy.
So, we’re going to close this session out. I’d like to thank you very much for everything. Again, if you need to reach us, you could reach us at templarcashfor.com or 973-240-8593. Thank you very much, God bless, and take care, have a nice weekend.
Be sure to listen to the podcast of the Templar Real Estate Talk Show. Find it now at templarbuyshouses.com.
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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