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 March 20, 2021
START OF RECORDING:
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 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. Again, if you would like a certain topic discussed, we’d be more than happy to fit it into our schedule if we can, or if you have any other questions, please email us as well.
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 I have individuals on staff that are agents that could sell your house through the traditional Multiple Listing Service.
This show is going to go over 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 overcame those issues. 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 will provide you with my opinion, it’s only my opinion. I ask everyone to research and make sure you do your due diligence no matter what it is. Again, I say it every week, getting referrals is very, very good, bt again, you need to ask lots of questions about those referrals: what type of person it is, how they follow up, what they like, what they didn’t like, how their work is done, are they on time? You gotta ask lots of questions because what could be good for you or someone else might not be good for you, so you gotta kind of understand that and that’s why when someone says someone’s not good, you gotta understand why it’s not good, so it might be because this person doesn’t like this and you might say, “I really don’t care about that,” so it’s like when I recommend a restaurant, someone might like it and someone might go, “I don’t know, it wasn’t that good.” So, again, it’s based on taste and preferences, things like that, and that’s why you need to ask lots of question.
So, I’ll do a couple shoutouts to Paulette, Tim from Cedar Grove and Connie also, one of our clients. Again, I would like to also thank some of my private investors, those are individuals that invest with us in different deals and this week, I’d like to thank Jim and Colleen for the investments in one of our apartment buildings, so thanks, guys, I appreciate it, and as always, you’ll be getting your monthly check as always, so thanks again.
Also, if you need to sell your house fast, please give us a call, we could do it either through the traditional Multiple Listing Service with one of our agents or I’ll buy it for cash and we’ll do a quick closing if that’s what’s needed. Again, my closings usually occur within two to three months, sometimes, weeks. If it goes past three months, it’s very hard to tell if the market’s going to be up, it’s going to be down in terms of anything that could occur with the economy, with real estate market, so on and so forth, and hopefully, I’ll talk a little bit later on if I should have enough time, talk about where the housing market is going, where it’s not going, so we could discuss that as well.
I’d also like to ask anybody that’s interested, I have a few positions open. One is for an SEO person, a web developer, and does content writing or any one of those three, someone that’s technical, so I have a part-time position for that. I have also part-time positions for underwriters, you don’t have to be a formal underwriter, you have to be able to crunch numbers, a former CPA, a current CPA, anyone like that or that’s done very large budgets for corporate America, but someone that could crunch numbers really well that knows Excel, hardworker, as well as can-do attitude. That’s probably one of the biggest things that I really look for in individuals, a can-do attitude, so that’s very, very important to me. And also, there’s one other position that might be coming up, also, I have an IT position that’s a little bit on the web development side, also on process procedures. Again, give me a call or send me an email, I’d be interested to talk to you and maybe we could do something.
So, today is Friday, it is when I’m doing my recording, and during the week, I’m trying to figure out what the best topics to discuss that’s real estate-centric and those things that really impact real estate, and I was thinking about that and I was driving along today, a Friday, and today is the feast of St. Joseph, so a lot of Italians celebrate that. It’s a very popular and important feast day for us, and I was thinking about that and I was thinking about real estate and trying to figure a couple things out in terms of what to talk about, and sometimes, people ask me also about myself, so I’m trying to figure out, maybe this is something I could talk about on my show and I’ll tell you a little bit more about myself and also how the thing with St. Joseph is about real estate as well.
So, as I said, this is the feast of St. Joseph, it’s a very important feast of Italians, specifically, and there’s probably other ethnic groups that it’s important to, but being that I’m Italian, we celebrated it all the time and when this time rolls around, all my aunts and cousins call me and wish me a happy St. Joseph’s Day, and for us as Italians, what we normally do is there are certain pastries, they are called St. Joseph’s zeppoles, we have them on St. Patrick’s Day and that’s how we celebrate it. For us, as my family, we would have it on Sunday and as a result of that, we would have our antipasti and then we would have our pasta, and also, another thing that we would have is my grandmother and my aunts would be cooking these breadcrumbs and they’re the size of almost like croutons, and it would be fried bread and it would be with lots of garlic and ground walnuts, and we put that over our pasta and we would have that, and after that, we would have our meatballs and our [00:09:02], and then after that, we would have some type of meat course and then finally, we would have some desserts on St. Joseph’s Day pastries with some Sambuca and obviously, some espresso, and that would be our feast and that’s how we would celebrate it, and my kids always look forward to it as well. My one son, my older one is also named after me and it would be a very, very important day during the course of the year for us as Italians. My mom, so I always consider myself just Italian but I’m technically not just Italian. I’m half Irish, my mom, she was from Ireland, she was born in Ireland, she came over here and she married my dad, but her family always lived in Ireland, so I always was with my father’s family which is Italian and when I was born, I was born in Newark, we all lived in the same house, and I lived with my parents on the first floor and my grandmother and grandfather, my one aunt lived on the second floor, and my aunt and uncle lived on the third floor, another one, so we used to have all our parties, and my mom, she didn’t know how to cook, so my grandmother or my father’s mom would teach her all the Italian food, how to cook them and everything else and my mom never cooked anything except Italian food. Every party we went to was an Italian party, so that’s how I see myself, is really Italian even though I’m half Irish, but nobody knows that, and my kids, my kids are Korean. I adopted them, they were from Korea, and we always made sure that they had their Korean culture, that was very, very important to us and we’d go to Korean school with them and learned of the Korean culture, and they liked it at first, Korean school, but after a while, they didn’t want to go on Saturdays with us, so we stopped going, but we had the Korean culture but they also had mostly the Italian culture because my wife is Italian, and again, all the parties are based on the Italian customs and that’s what they are very comfortable with, and they kind of considered themselves Italian and we always say that they’re Kortalish and that stands for Korean, Italian, and Irish, so our melting pot of that, so I sometimes consider myself Kortalish too, and my kids, again, they really adhere and think about the Italian customs a lot. When Christmas rolls around, one of the things my kids ask for which is kind of crazy is that they want their prosciutto di Parma and their provolone, and a few other Italian delicacies, and so I’m always picking them up, usually Christmas Eve at Sergio’s in Denville, which has some really great Italian food, especially their imported stuff which is just about everything there, so it’s a killer place and I usually wait in line to get there, like, seven in the morning and then wait, and then we get the stuff and then I give it to them on Christmas, so they are very much into Italians and the Italian food and everything associated with it. I had a laugh the other day because it’s St. Patrick’s Day and I kept slipping, I was just talking about St. Patrick’s Day because we just had that and I celebrated a little bit but not too much, but I saw a picture of someone that had a shirt, it was a green shirt with white writing that said that on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish and except for Italians. So, yeah, we’re very passionate about being Italian, that’s just the way it is. I’m just very, very passionate about that, so anything Italian is great.
So, how does that work into real estate? I guess there’s this old, supposedly old way that if you can’t sell your house, what you’re supposed to do is get a statue of St. Joseph and turn it upside down and stick it into the dirt, and then there might be some type of supposed prayer for that, everybody says, “Well, I’ve done it, I’ve sold my house,” so on and so forth. Again, I’ll save this: if you’re any type of Christian or anything else, you really shouldn’t be doing that, that’s really a very sacrilegious thing to do. If you’re not religious, then, well, I can’t say much about it, but it really is not really something that should be done, and there’s the image of St. Joseph, there’s supposed to be some reverence associated with that because he was Jesus’s foster father. So, my recommendation is, no matter what you believe or what you’ve read, please don’t do that, and if you have any questions, you could definitely give me a call on it and I’ll explain it in more detail, but that’s one thing that I would highly recommend not doing no matter what someone else has said or whatever stories about some nuns that did it in the 16th century and then it worked for them, so.
Well, I’m going to close out the session, I’ll be right back and we’ll talk more in detail about real estate. Thanks.
Joseph J. Zoppi:
Hello, welcome back to the Templar Real Estate Show. My name is Joseph J. Zoppi, managing partner of Templar Real Estate Enterprises. You could reach us at 973-240-859 or templarcashforhouses.com, that’s T-E-M-P-L-A-Rcashforhouses.com, and again, if you need to sell your house fast, please give us a call. We’d be more than happy to help you along, and even if you don’t need to sell your house fast, we’d be more than happy to sell your house either by purchasing it ourselves or selling it through the Multiple Listing Service.
So, one of the things this week, I was starting to get a lot of resumes for some of those positions that I was looking for and I have a number of them from videographers and video producers, things like that, so I like a number of them, really, there are some talented people out there and we’re going to start shooting some videos and they’re promotional videos like commercials and they’re going to be probably pretty cool, and like everything I do, I try to do very unique. I’m usually not one that goes with the herd, so these videos will probably be a lot different than anything that most people have ever seen. I’ll be posting them on my Facebook which I don’t do as much, which I have been saying I need to do that, and the individual I’m going to bring on for SEO should be helping me with that because I don’t post enough on Facebook and a lot of people do use Facebook and like to look at it, so I want to make sure of that. So, there are definitely some videos you want to do, even almost like a TV show type thing that I’m working on as well, so I talked about that way back when last year, but I’m going to try to do something independent of anybody else and then we’ll see where that goes, and hopefully, that get some traction but that should be really exciting.
One of the things this week, I was looking at a couple of houses, one of them specifically, very nice lady, really nice lady, and she was trying to sell this house and she sometimes listens to the radio show, and one of the things is that she had a real estate agent that was going to help her sell it and that wasn’t through listing it on the market but bringing some investors because the house was her mom’s house and she passed on, and it’s not in the best location. It’s got a major, major road in front of it and even the side road because it’s a corner property, it’s really kind of busy going into that busy road, so not everyone is going to want the house, and the challenge with it is if you have a family, where the kids are, if they are young kids, you have to worry about them, to run out in the street or whatever the case may be, and it’s a busy, busy road, and if someone had the option of going on a busy road or a quiet road, they’re going to take a quiet road, so you gotta really price the house really very aggressively and that’s the only way you’re going to sell it.
So, she kind of knew that and one of these agents came by and says, “Well, I have all of these investors, I have multiple investors and they could buy it.” She said, “Okay, that sounds good,” and most people would do that and it’s very reasonable, and then they came, and then all of a sudden, they didn’t have any money and that’s the issue, and I assume they offered her a really good price on it, like a really good price, and that’s the reason they couldn’t finance it, or have the money for it or anything else, is that it was not a realistic price and they couldn’t get funding for it or they did not have any money for it, and that’s what happens a lot. So, you have a number of agents that say, “Oh, I work with investors, I work with investors,” some do but a lot of times, it’s not professional investors. There’s a big difference. There’s individuals that invest in homes and they rehab it themselves, and it’s basically sweat equity. So, they don’t need the cost or use the cost of different contractors. They do it themselves which is good and they’re able to sell it and make some money, whatever that is, but a professional investor usually has a crew or subs it out to a contractor. In either case, there’s more cost involved, and also, a professional investor has to factor in additional things that another so-called investors would not, like carrying costs and things like that, so sometimes, they won’t factor in the cost of money when they purchase the house, things like that, so if they’re making $25,000, maybe they’re not making $25,000, maybe they’re not calculating everything and really maybe it’s only $10,000 or $7,000, so on and so forth. I’ve seen houses where investors sell these houses to other individuals that call themselves investors and I look on the market and I see what they did, and I can figure out about how much it’s going to cost then, and that it sits and it’s sits because they priced it too high because they want to make some money, and then all of a sudden, I track it and I see it’s not sold and they take ownership of it because they can’t sell it and they have too much money into it.
So again, when someone talks about an investor, that really doesn’t mean anything. What we do and I always say is that we show proof of funds, and they’ll show you a bank account with money in it. Now, what I will do is to leverage that money with lines of credit but I substantiate what I have and if I have to use just those funds, I will, but we have lines of credit and that’s how we scale and that’s how we get more houses, because of that. I have a couple million dollars, over $2 million in lines of credit, it’s almost 3, I think, on the one line of credit that I have, so there’s substantial money I have there to purchase houses, but individuals, they don’t have those lines of credit and they don’t have the bank accounts that support all those lines credit, and what they do do is sometimes, they ask another company for a letter that says it’s proof of funds and that means nothing, that means nothing at all, it’s worth the piece of paper it’s printed on, that’s it, doesn’t mean anything.
I was looking at something on Facebook, I think, or no, a website called Bigger Pockets, so it’s an investment website and there was a question out about proof of funds and the one person said, “Just Google proof of the funds,” so on and so forth, I guess, for real estate investors and you could get a letter, so you could make up that letter yourself if you want. That’s what it’s worth, that much. So again, we show bank accounts with money in it, not letters, they’re party letters that you could get from anywhere. So, that’s very important.
The other thing is that if you decide to sell your house either by yourself or with an agent, if you have a good agent like we have, we’re going to tell you what to fix up and what not to fix up. When I was talking to this woman, she was saying, “Well, my brothers going to fix certain things up,” and I spoke to her after that and I said, “Don’t be spending a lot of money on fixing things up.” The house was a nice house, and the only thing I suggested is to clean the basement out and paint the basement. Everything else was nice. It was her mom’s house, it was a quaint house, it really was, it was a cute little house. It wasn’t set up, there were some additions put on so it really didn’t flow well compared to newer houses. So, when you start putting additions on and you leave everything else the way it is, things don’t flow with the rooms and it’s just difficult, but again, it was a nice house and I told her, “Don’t fix anything else up, don’t do anything, don’t spend money.” You shouldn’t spend money if you don’t need to. You’re just throwing it away. No matter what you think, that’s why you need a professional and they will tell you what you do need and what you don’t meed.
We had a house we sold in Bergen County not that long ago, we told the owner, “Don’t fix anything. This will sell perfect as is. “Well, I want to do –” “Nope, don’t do that,” and then we sold it really quick. So, sometimes, you have to fix it up, sometimes you don’t. It depends what it is, depends on the market, it depends on the location, it depends on a lot of things, and by relying on a professional, they’re going to maximize your return. Don’t spend your money that you don’t have to. As I say always, we have crews and stuff that we know that will help you out if you need some of those things done, depending on the location, we got some great prices on dumpsters that we use exclusively, they’re very, very good in terms of pricing, so please give us a call, we’ll work with you and help you sell your house.
Next thing I want to talk about, I only have a few minutes left, is the housing market. So, houses continue to go up in price but as I said before, there are certain headwinds, so one of the things is that because there’s not a lot of houses on the market, prices are going up. Second reason is interest rates have gone down, they’re coming up a little bit but they’re very low, and as a result of that, even though the prices have gone up, because the interest rate is lower, you could afford more a house, and that’s what the reason is, but with those, I’ll say headwinds, and I’ve talked about some of these before and they’ll eventually come to fruition, you have individuals that are not working or having another job and they’re underemployed, you have housing prices that are going up and they’re going to have to stop soon because it’s just, people can’t afford it, and people are going to have challenges with that. The third thing is material costs, so a lot of material costs have been higher and I’ve talked about this. I talked about this before COVID, that my material costs were very high. Well, last year when COVID hit, lumber prices and a number of things went up really high and they’re continuing to go up high, and lumber is up 170% as opposed to pre-COVID, and what the other challenge is is that a number of builders have contracts with individuals they signed and some of them don’t have locked in prices for lumber because sometimes, you could do that, and as a result, they have to go back to the homeowner or the future homeowner and say, “No, your house is not going to be this much, it’s going to be this much,” and a number of builders have had their contracts canceled because of that. So, that’s a major headwind that’s going to continue. Now, hopefully, towards the end of the year, we’ll see where building supplies are but the supply chain was really disrupted considerably, it’s not only for lumber, it’s for just in general building materials and finishing materials, so all of it has gone up in pricing, even some appliances from what I hear have been creeping up. I’ve seen that a little bit as well, but I’ve heard it’s a little worse than I thought it was, so all these things going on top of the increase in price of houses, and that’s going to definitely stall it unless things open up more and more houses come on the market. So, it depends on how people are going to react as they’re getting the vaccination and are they going to feel more comfortable with putting their house on the market? Are they still going to have that lagging effect? So, we’ll see, but home prices can only go up so much from what I’m seeing. That’s why I always say seize the opportunity. If you have a house, sell it as quick as possible because it won’t always be this way, and there might be a pullback. If interest rates go up, I’m telling you, the housing prices are going to probably go down, and that’s if inflation kicks in, they’re going to try to control inflation but everything is so expensive now. Food prices are through the roof, so that’s just something to be wary of and just something to look at.
Unfortunately, I gotta close out our session. Thank you very much. Again, you can call us at 973-240-8593 or templarcashforhouses.com. Thank you very much, God bless, and happy St. Joseph’s Day.
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
Listen to Us on the Templar Real Estate Show on WMTR 1250AM on Saturday at 10:00 AM