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 6, 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, that’s T-E-M-P-L-A-Rcashforhouses.com, or you could call us at 973-240-8593. And we can answer any questions you may have, or you could email us from our website, again, you could put in there anything you want in terms of questions, anything you want discussed on the show, it really doesn’t matter.
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 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 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 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 you know as much as possible about it.
I will provide you with my opinion, and it’s only my opinion. I ask everyone to do a lot of research and make sure that, again, your research is thorough. And as I always say, you could always get recommendations from other individuals. But if you do, ask lots of questions. Again, you now the old saying about “peeling back the onion” because one person, the way they were might not be really what you want. Just like when I go to a restaurant, so I’m really a pain in the neck when I go to restaurants in terms of the food I like and don’t like, so some people will say, “Oh, this is a great restaurant,” and I’d say it’s a lousy restaurant. So, again, it really depends on your taste, your appetite for the type of work someone does. Those are all the things that are involved, and you really got to understand that. That’s like with restaurants, I do a lot of research before I go to another restaurant. I look on Yelp. I do a lot of research because I’m just a pain in the neck when it comes to food, I really am. But, you know, I like certain food and it’s not so much I’m fussy. It’s just I have very, very high standards with food, especially Italian food. So, again, you got to kind of understand what your tolerance is for certain things and do the research accordingly, and again, ask those questions.
I’m going to do a shout out to Paulette and also Tim from the Cedar Grove Water Department. I was in Cedar Grove the other day, and we had to do a final meter reading for a house I had previously sold. There was never a final water reading on that so I scheduled it. I met the gentleman Tim over in Cedar Grove at my old house. The house was being rebuilt so there was really no one in there, but it’s a reconstruction of the house, totally reconstruction. He went down in the basement. I went down with them for the water meter just to show him where it was. It was encased in this little square box basically that had a side that was missing so you could see the water meter, but it was really in there and you really couldn’t see the water meter or the numbers on the water meter specifically.
He’s looking, I’m looking, and I said, “I’ll be right back.” So I went back to my car, I got my phone, and I stuck my phone in there and just took a picture of it. And then I read it off to him, he says, “I’d do it,” but he only had a flip phone. So I said, “Yeah, no problem, Tim.” We were walking back and he said to me, he says, “Are you on the radio show? You own Templar?” And so I said, “Yeah, yeah.” He says, “I always listen to you.” I said, “Oh, okay.” So I guess based on my voice, my unique voice, he was able to figure that out, because I didn’t tell him I was part of Templar, so that was funny. So, again, Tim, do a shout out to you.
A couple other things, again, if you’re interested in selling your house, either through the Traditional Multiple Listing Service or you just want to sell it fast for cash because you just need it needed quickly. There’s lots of reasons, sometimes you have medical issues, sometimes it’s going to be a challenge to someone get a conventional mortgage if there are certain things that need to be done in the house, sometimes it’s in major disrepair. Any of those things, I’d be more than happy to take a look at it or someone on my team and we could give you an offer. And if you agree, then you decide when we want to close. It’s really that simple. So if you need to sell your house either, again, through the Traditional Multiple Listing Service with a realtor, or for cash, please give us a call on that.
Next thing is, as of last couple of weeks, I’ve been looking for and continue to look for underwriters for properties that we’re going to purchase. Again, you don’t have to have real estate experience, you just have to have strong financial experience, ex-CPAs or CPAs, anyone that’s a go-getter, someone that could really crunch numbers, previous executive in a large company, any of those types of things. The other thing I’m looking for part-time is a individual for marketing. If there’s anyone out there, please give me a call. So it’s any type of marketing, Facebook marketing plus Instagram, and web development or web content writing as well. So I’m looking for a cross blend of a person that could do certain things with websites, as well as Facebook, Instagram, and content writing. For this, please give me a call at 973-240-8593. It’s right now going to be a part-time position. It could go into a full-time position. So definitely please give us a call, we’re growing and there’s a lot of opportunity here.
Next thing I’d like to talk about is a townhome that I had spoken about previously. We did an inspection, it was down the shore in Monmouth County. I had one of our agents go down there, did a walkthrough, did an inspection. One of the issues we had is because it’s a condo basically, and it’s almost like an apartment type condo, where there’s multiple floors. This unit is on the second floor. When the inspection occurred, went up in the attic and the attic span the entire building. One of the things that was uncovered was the dryer vents, so the dryer vents did not go outside. They went just up into the attic and all the lint and everything would just collect in the attic, which is really just it’s a safety hazard and it could cause fire, so you need to clean out your dryer vent once a year at least. That’s fair, just once a year, but it needs to be done because there’s a lot of places you could catch on fire as a result of that. Certain HOAs require their townhomes to clean it out once a year anyway, but with this one, they really don’t. We had an issue with it because it wasn’t getting vented outside. We brought that up to the HOA, they said they would clean it but they would not connect it to the outside. They said that when they replace the roofs, they’re going to do it. So they know there’s an issue.
We were talking about it in the office. A lot of times when we’re selling homes, what we’ll do is we’ll have a roundtable discussion on all the different homes, and what’s come up and we’ll talk about different suggestions. So it’s not one person providing information and making decisions and giving it to the client, but it’s a group of individuals. That’s how you really get some of your best ideas is from groups of individuals that will look at it in a different way than you will, no matter how much experience you have.
With that being said, one of the things I spoke to the agent about is to get back to the attorney that is representing our buyer. We wanted to put the HOA on notice saying that we see this as a hazard and we expect that they would vent out the vent to the outside, and if not, we’re putting them on notice that they’re going to be responsible if there is a fire. So, again, just because someone comes back to you and says, “Well, we can’t do it,” that doesn’t mean anything. Again, you got to think a different ways and you got to sometimes push very hard. Now, what this is going to do is a couple things, it’s going to put them on notice. And if they have any wherewithal, they’re going to address it, because it’s going to put some risk associated with the HOA, especially if you’re putting them on notice saying that “we’re going to hold you responsible if there’s a fire because of that.” So that’s what we’re going to do, and we’re going to see what’s going to happen. We’re hoping that they’re going to fix every single one in that unit at least, if not the entire complex, because it’s a safety hazard. It’s as simple as that. There are certain things that could be done or not done in the complex to address these types of things. Again, it’s a fire hazard and it should never have been done like that. They’re all just going up through the attic and there’s multiple units, so it’s not a good situation at all.
Well, I’m going to close out this segment, and hopefully I’ll be right back and we could talk about this new title company that has just been around for a couple years and they’re doing a lot of trendsetting and maybe shaking up the title industry. So it’s pretty interesting about it, so I’ll discuss that shortly, okay. I’ll see you shortly. You could call us at 973-240-8593, again, that’s 973-240-8593 or templarcashforhouses.com. Thanks a lot, bye.
Be sure to listen to the podcast of the Templar Real Estate Talk Show. Find it now at templarbuyshouses.com.
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 templarcashforhouses.com. That’s T-E-M-P-L-A-Rcashforhouses.com, that’s one word.
So in this segment, I’d like to talk about a new company that has been around a couple years now, and they do title insurance and the title work associated with it. They’re right now changing the industry a lot in terms of challenging what is currently done and how it’s done. As I said before, originally way back when, if I had told you that one day you’re going to get on your iPhone and you’re going to schedule for a person that you don’t know to pick you up in a car and drive you to another location, you’d say, “No, I’d never do that. I would do it for a limo or a cab but I would never do it just for a regular person that has their car and I wouldn’t do that.” That was then and that was 15 years ago, and now people all the time do it with Uber, and Ubers really impacted the taxi service to a great degree. That is just something that just nobody would have thought about a while ago. Second one is Airbnb, I’ve said it before, if you had said anything to anyone you’re going to go into someone’s house and you’re going to rent it out for a day or two or three and that’s it, you’re going to say “No, I’d rather just go to a hotel.” But that’s what the individuals in the hotel industry were thinking, but it impacted the hotel industry dramatically as a result of it and really just changed the way people stay at different places. All these new companies challenge the way things are thought of, and that’s very, very important to understand.
Right now, the real estate industry is going through a lot of different changes with Zillow and now this one company. So before I get to this one company, I’m going to talk about, briefly, get to the reason why I’m talking about IPOs. So an IPO is basically an initial public offering. Before you can list your company on a stock exchange, you have to go through basically a IPO, and there’s an underwriter associated with it. And then they got to determine what the offering price is going to be in the offering prices, what it’s going to initially sell at, the number of shares, when it’s going to go to market. And then after that’s completed, there’s a team put together that consists of lawyers CPAs, experts in Security Exchange Commission, things like that. And then there’s an additional set of documentation for marketing purposes or really pre-marketing purposes. And then the underwriters, again, look at how the people that they’re putting it out to, are they very interested in it, are they interested in it based on the price, so on and so forth. Once that’s done, they establish a board of directors and then they go public, and then you’ll see these different companies that come out as a result of that just like Google or any of those other companies, and then people buy stock in it as a result of it.
Now, with an IPO, it’s based on a company, whatever that company may be, again, IBM one day went public, Yahoo went public, so on and so forth, there was a company associated with it. So now, a long time ago, decades ago, besides an IPO, there was another, we’ll say, type of company that would go public and that was called a SPAC, S-P-A-C, okay. What it stands for is a Special Purpose Acquisition Company. What is that? It’s a shell of a company that goes public but there’s nothing associated with it. Again, you know Wall Street, Wall Street could always develop some type of creative way of doing things. So, again, these things have been around a long time but it really hasn’t been used a lot until recently. What happens is a company is formed, the shell company is formed and it goes public. And then there’s no assets really associated with it, except for one thing, and that’s money that’s put into this shell company. The whole sole purpose is to purchase another company, enroll it into the shell company, and then basically now you have a company that’s listed on the stock exchange. So it’s a lot different than a standard IPO. This money is put in and then within a certain period of time, they have to purchase or merge with another company, usually it’s around two years. But, again, that could be extended based on the owners, stockholders putting additional money in so it can delay it even further. And as a result of that, certain companies are looking at these SPACs as a way to do an IPO without going through all the headaches associated with it. One of my former CEOs was working for and is currently working for a company that makes high end batteries, you know, like Tesla does, basically. They purchased or went into a SPAC basically. Instead of going through the IPO process, they were acquired really through the SPAC.
So why do I bring this up? There was another company called DOMA, and it used to be called States Title. They were acquired by a SPAC to go public, basically. Now, what’s unique about this company, DOMA, is that normally the title process takes five days, it could take longer, depending on the complexity. So it takes considerable time, relatively speaking, when you want to purchase a property. Sometimes we have to wait, unfortunately, five days, five, six, seven, eight days, if we want to purchase a property very quickly. Sometimes we could do it quicker and we could do it within three days, depends how messy the title is and how complex it is, but we can purchase it very quickly. I have a really good title company that will work very quickly to do that.
But this new company, DOMA, what they could do is they could literally underwrite the title, the title insurance and everything else associated with it within minutes, as opposed to up to eight days. So it’s really crazy how quickly they could do that, and they could do it using artificial intelligence and a lot of different algorithms to determine what the risk associated with it. It’s all based on risk, that’s what this is based on. It’s all based on risk. So based on artificial intelligence, they’re going to say, “Well, this is risky” or “it’s not risky.” If it’s risky, then obviously it’s going to take longer, but probably 70-80% of the transactions out there are not risky per se. So the underwriting could be quicker. But, you know, with standard underwriting for a title company, there’s human beings involved, it just takes some time. But with this company, it’s basically lightning speed and it’s supposed to be cheaper and it’s faster.
So there’s a lot of talk within the industry on this new product or company and what they’re doing. So it’s really going to challenge the standard title companies. Title companies might say, “Well, it’s not really,” but again, as I said before, if you were a taxi driver and you said, “Ah, Uber, forget about it, it’s nothing,” and look where it is now, and Airbnb, look where it is now. So do not underestimate this company in how quickly it could move. It’s going to be good for everybody involved, from a mortgage company, so on and so forth. It’s going to be very quick. It’s very, very interesting. There’s a lot of individuals back in this company, everyone from Wells Fargo is putting money into it, there’s a number of other big hitters that are putting money into this because they see the major upside. Right now, they are handling 1% of the market right now, that’s 1%, so there’s a lot of upside associated with it. They figure in the next couple years, they’ll be up to 5%. So, again, if you really think about it, that’s pretty big growth and it’s just going to snowball, it will snowball. So I wouldn’t be surprised in five, six, seven years, the percentage in terms of the entire market share, what it’s doing. So title, companies have to look out for this and they’re going to have to pivot to something else or figure something else out to help this along, or maybe counteract that somehow. It’s pretty interesting.
So there’s another company like this, it does basically the same thing but it’s not for title insurance. What it’s for is homeowners insurance, and it’s called Lemonade. Lemonade’s been around for a while, but they are a company that doesn’t have any sales reps, everything is done online. When you have to file a claim, you have to do it through your cell phone. You can’t even do it online with your laptop, it has to be through a cell phone. And what they’re pushing is that they could determine very quickly how to underwrite a application, and it’s done very, very quickly, or for any type of claims, it could do it very quickly as well. I think it could be like that day, you could get the money.
Now, again, they’re going to use artificial intelligence to determine those things that are within its norms and whatever that norms are and say, “Okay, that’s safe, we’ll pay it,” as opposed to certain other ones that might say it’s $100,000. If it’s a small claim like $2,000, they’ll look at it real quick within the algorithms and say, “Okay, we’re going to pay it quick,” whereas something over a certain threshold, they’re going to look at a lot longer and take a look at it. So it’s pretty interesting and this is the way things are going to be in the future in terms of making decisions a lot quicker, especially with different software, and as well as different products that are going to be out there. So something that’s going to take a long time is not going to take a long time anymore. We’ve seen that with just about everything we’re doing. It’s just quicker, quicker, quicker.
Next thing I’d like to talk about and just close out with a couple of things is that right now with the economy, right now it’s at about 6.2-6.3% but there are economists are thinking it’s around 10%. That’s still really pretty high. The other thing that you might look at certain headlines that said that there was 379,000 new jobs in February, that might be the case. But the issue is, is that are individuals getting jobs that are of their level or is it below their level and they’re underemployed, even though they’re employed, they’re underemployed. Instead of making $75,000 a year, they’re only making $35,000 a year. So, again, the numbers, you got to take the number sometimes with a grain of salt and you really got to understand certain things. So when you jump on CNN, NBC or another news organization, just because they make a statement doesn’t mean much. You got to understand what’s under the covers and what it really truly means, and sometimes that’s very, very difficult to do. Everyone wants to preach the same thing. So just be wary, be wary, always question when someone provides numbers, statistics, things like that, because they always want to maybe put it in a certain slant. I’ve said this before, people write articles, they have a particular slant they want so they’re going to put the numbers or spin on it that supports their argument or what they want to push forward in terms of a certain type of narrative, whatever that narrative may be – right, left, whatever, something good, something bad, so on and so forth. So just be wary of that.
So I have to unfortunately close out the day. Thank you very much for everything. God bless. And, again, if you need us, please give us a call, we’d be more than happy to help you out. You could call us at 973-240-8593 or templarcashforhouses.com. Again, God bless everyone. Take care and have a nice day.
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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