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 April 17, 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 WMT. 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:
Welcome to the Templar Real Estate Talk Show. My name is Joseph J. Zoppi, 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 can answer any questions you may have or you can email us from our website. Again, if there’s any topics you want discussed on the radio show, we’d be more than happy to see if we could fit them in. If you have any questions in general, please drop us an email 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 investors, we loan money for rehabs and provide transactional and gap funding. We work with individuals that want to invest with us in single-family houses up to apartment buildings. We do not speculate, 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 that are on staff that are agents that can sell your house through the traditional Multiple Listing Service.
The show’s 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 learned from them. 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, it’s only my opinion. I ask everyone to do research and do lots of research. Ask for opinions from people but again, as I always say, make sure you ask lots of questions when someone’s given you a recommendation and because what might be tolerant to one person might not be tolerant to someone else. So, you really got to ask lots of questions in whatever the case may be. If it’s a contractor, you really need to ask from the beginning to the end, what they did, how they engaged with you or that other person, their terms, how they set up the contract, so on, so forth. You got to really peel back the onion on that.
So, I’d like to also do a shout out to some of my listeners. One of them, of course, is Paulette, she’s Livingston’s famous crossing guard, Timmy from Cedar Grove Water Department and Johnny T. I would also like to thank some of my private investors that have invested in certain deals with us and this week I’d like to thank Cindy and Cheryl. Thanks a lot guys.
So, with this radio show, I make it very clear. What you hear is what you get. There is no pretense with us, we are unapologetic who we are and how passionate we are about our company, our staff, our clients, and our investors. I tell you the raw truth on everything on this show. So, I want you to know who we are and what we stand for. I think that’s very, very important to us. Again, if you want to sell your house fast, please give us a call. Either if you want to sell your house fast for cash or through the traditional Multiple Listing Service, please give us a call. Again, I have a number of individuals on staff that could help you either way. I might go out to a house a lot of times. It really depends, especially on a given week. So, each week is different for us, each day is different for us, each transaction is different for us, it’s just never the same. So, we’re more than happy to look at any situation and try to address it accordingly.
Again, we’re looking for apartment buildings, preferably a hundred plus units but we’ll do smaller. I’m not going to do anything like four units. You could call me on it, I might do it or I might know someone that would purchase it but we personally are looking for larger sets of units; 50 units, 100 plus but whatever it is, please give us a call and I’d rather say no to it than not hear about it and potentially, we could put a deal together. The other thing I look for also is if someone has a group of properties and you want to sell those properties as a package, we always do that and we encourage you to give us a call it. So, if you have 5, 6, 10 single-family homes or combination of multi-family and single-family, please give us a call on that as well. Also, I’m still looking for some underwriters for our deals. Again, if you have a strong financial background, you’re very good in Excel and you’re hard working and you want to crunch numbers, please give us a call. So, I’m looking for that as well.
So, there’s a couple things I wanted to talk about this week. One was leverage and the difference between leverage with stocks and leverage with real estate and that was based on something I discussed last week about Bill Wong and he had like 5 to 10 million… billion dollars, excuse me, 5 to 10 billion and it was wiped out in two days based on leverage. So, I really wanted to dissect the difference between real estate leverage and stock leverage but, as always, things come up and I think it’s very important I go over a couple other things. One is something that’s very, very important I think and I want to bring that up. So, one of the things that’s important to us and I think it’s important to most people is really about people and helping people out. Who we are, Templar, is a company that’s always looking to help individuals out and a lot of times, things come up with us or are presented to us and we try our best to always help people in whatever capacity it may be.
I always feel that we’re very blessed. All of us are very blessed with being in a country. I had a presentation given to me on health this week and it talked about how we’re very blessed that we have fresh drinking water and things like that that a lot of people don’t have and we have a lot of things that sometimes, or a lot of times we take for granted and those things, like I said, we take them for granted and we don’t realize what we have and what we do is we get, myself included, self-absorbed in the ‘probleme du jour’ or whatever the case may be but I’d like you to think about what I’m going to talk about. So, I’m going to go in a roundabout way to try to set out some foundation of where I’m coming from on this.
So, again, some people have money, they could give money to people. Some people just have theirselves that they could give to people and we impact people’s lives all the time by doing something to them or not doing something and I’m very critical of certain leaders and I’m not talking about political leaders, I’m talking about business leaders or bosses we’ll say, that’s a term when we’ve worked for people and they have a certain amount of power and they impact people’s lives and I imagine almost everyone that’s listening to this had a bad boss at one time and what they’ve done and how they’ve impacted you and for the negative, maybe, or for the positive but I know perspective, a boss that’s not good impacts you in a negative way and, again, we do things that sometimes impact people and we sometimes do things and we don’t even see that we could help people out and one of those things is that I always try to give a good example to my kids about helping individuals out.
So, a lot of times when we go to the ShopRite, that’s always a place where I always seem to be helping people out, you know? There might be a woman that can’t pick up a case of water and they need to put it into a trunk or inside the car. They need just a helping hand getting something from a top shelf and there’s always these ways where we could help people and they’re always presented in front of us but sometimes we don’t see that and it happened to me a number of years ago. I was picking up my kids from school and just racing around and I pulled up to my ex’s townhome and she was working, so I was going to prepare the meal for them and everything and there was a gentleman outside and it was really hot out and he was working and it was like 90 degrees and he was digging a hole for some pipe in the ground and my son saw it and I saw him but I really didn’t pay much attention because I was, again, self-absorbed in what I needed to do and I went inside and my son disappeared for a minute or two and I was starting to make dinner and doing a bunch of other things and I had to go outside and the gentleman came up to me and says “I want to thank you for your son.” and I said, “What do you mean?” and he said to me that, “Well, your son gave me a couple of bottles of cold water and that kind of shows that he didn’t do that just by himself, he did that because of who you are and what you’ve taught him” and I said, “Oh wow, I didn’t even realize he did that.”
So, again, I was missing the point on seeing that person that needed help but my son, on the flip side, did see that person. So, that’s something, I was very proud of for him and my younger son’s done numerous things too and I’m not going to discuss that here but there are those situations where we could help people and we don’t see it and it’s just a simple thing as giving a bottle of water. I had a situation and like, I try to keep my eyes always open to help people because sometimes I don’t and sometimes my eyes are closed and I could go on with another story on that but time’s ticking by, so I really want to discuss this one thing. Paulette, so I always do a shout out to Paulette and she’s a crossing guard in Livingston, well-known and she gives me a call sometimes in terms of individuals that need help and she called me the other day and left me a message. I called her back and she says, “Joe, do you have any places for someone to stay? I know you have rental units and things like that.” and I said, “I don’t have any vacancies right now.” and a lot of times I don’t because people stay at my places because I give them a good experience and I’m not always raising the rents and everything. I have to raise them when I need to but they always have a positive experience at all my rentals, so I keep a lot of people and she said to me, she said, “Joe, I need you to… any way to help this one person out.”
I said, “Well, explain to me.” She said, “Well, the girl, the woman, her name is Angie and she’s from Ecuador and she has an eight-year-old son and they live in Orange and the son, he can’t go out and play, they’re always scared, scared of going to school and she doesn’t make a lot of money, she’s a manicurist and she needs a place that’s a better place outside of Orange and she’s trying to move up more towards Livingston and maybe work there where’d she get better tips, but again, she doesn’t have a lot of money.” Her husband, I think, was killed. So, she’s just in a bad spot and there’s nothing worse than thinking about having an eight-year-old son or kid that is scared just to go out and play and scared to go to school and it’s a real shame and I’m asking anyone out there that has a place for them, preferably in the Livingston area and Paulette said, “They could live in a basement, a room, whatever the case may be and to help these people out.” So, I’m asking you to see what you could do. Maybe you don’t have a place, maybe you have a friend that could help them out or something but I would really like to see if we could help these people out. I’ll be more than happy to augment some of the rent or maybe all the rent. I just… I would like to really help these people and I’m asking everyone that’s listening to think about it and figure out how we could help this family that needs some help, you know? It’s very important.
It’s so easy for us to say, “Well, I have enough problems of my own.” but this is someone’s life and it is very easy to just walk past and not do something but I’m asking every single person that’s listening to look, ask friends, family, whatever the case may be and then you could call us up and you could give me a call at 973-240-8593 and we could try to figure something out. If you have something that’s in a good town, preferably near Livingston, somewhere around there, if it’s not just give me a call anyway, let’s try to figure this out. Get a good neighborhood and maybe we could find something, a better position for this woman, Angie. Again, she’s a manicurist but maybe we could get her into something else that she can make some decent money and just help her son out and we could do the same. So, I’m asking everyone to please just try to figure this out. I’m still trying to figure things out, I’m trying to talk to some individuals I know. So, far I’ve struck out but a lot of individuals I know, they have a number of places that are very far south, as well as a number of places in Newark, things like that, boarding houses and stuff and that’s just not going to do but I’ll ask you and everyone here to think about it, okay?
So, I’m going to close out this segment, it’s longer than usual. The other thing I wanted to say is that, again, my friends at Mara’s Italian Deli in Pine Brook and the woman’s name is Theresa, she’ll give you a 10% discount on lunch and catering orders. So, again, that’s Mara’s Italian Deli, that’s in Pine Brook. The only one is in Pine Brook and you got to ask for her and say that I recommended you and she’ll give you 10% off. The other one is Basilico, please go there. Great Italian restaurant in Millburn and the owner is Mario. Just tell him that Joseph’s Zoppi recommended, okay? Thank you very much. Again, call us at 973-240-8593. Again, that’s 973-240-8593 or templarcashforhouses.com. Thanks a lot guys and I’ll be right back.
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 973-240-8593 or templarcashforhouses.com, that’s T-E-M-P-L-A-Rcashforhouses.com.
So, the second thing I’d like to talk about, and it happened this week, was a little crazy and it had to do with a closing we had and this whole transaction was just horrendous from the get-go. We had a woman that was trying to sell her townhome, beautiful townhome but in the area, those townhomes were moving slowly even in this market and it’s never universal ‘everything moves quick’. So, please, no matter what you hear, that’s not the case. So, my partner, which is an agent, she was representing this seller and we got it under contract and just everything went sideways. The buyer’s attorney, we engaged with the buyer’s attorney and then like a day later he was fired by the buyer and then we had another individual that was the attorney and things in the beginning kind of went slow. The agent for the buyer was just horrendous also and she would never respond to texts, never respond to calls, never, just never respond. That was totally unresponsive. We finally got it under contract after attorney review, then they went into where did an inspection and everything, that place was perfect, just about perfect. There’s always a little thing here or there, there was like two little things that the inspector found. First thing is, is that the sliding door didn’t slide that easily. Okay. Second one was the tub upstairs in the master bathroom, didn’t really have cold water.
So, those were the only two things. She kept this place immaculate, she never used the dishwasher once, she never used the oven, she never used the gas fireplace and just everything was just pristine and she had it, I don’t know, 20 years, it looked like it was brand new. It was just pristine. It was a little dated but everything was pristine in the place and it was just her. She was a single woman and stuff and retired and like I said, it was just pristine. So, they said, the buyers basically said you had to fix those two things so you had two options, you give a credit or you fix them and we said we would, I think originally, fix them but they never responded with a yes or no and we followed up with a second request and they never responded then a third request and then finally we said that if after three days you do not respond, that means you’re going to waive the right for any concessions on those two things.
And he finally responded and said that “We removed all those things from the writer and they’re still applicable.” and, again, our attorney responded and said, “There’s nothing removed. Please show proof.” and he never did and we sent numerous emails again and letters. So, the next thing is, we were supposed to get a deposit, that was late and then we were supposed to get a second deposit and we never received that and we kept sending emails on that and the loan company couldn’t get in touch with the attorney, we couldn’t get in touch with the attorney, the agent wouldn’t respond but then we had a email from the mortgage company stating that they needed some additional paperwork, there was some questions for the HOA, so on and so forth. Again, nothing from the attorney and the attorney’s supposed to quarterback all this but we wanted to move this forward, so we helped it along and we had to go back numerous times with the mortgage company based on questions for the HOA. It was kind of confusing who was responsible in the HOA for this and it took some considerable time. Again, nothing from the attorney for the buyer. Finally, after two and a half, three months, we finally come to completion of everything that the mortgage company needed but we still didn’t know if it was occurring or not. We had the impression because of the mortgage company but nobody was ever responding to us and we never received the second deposit, we kept asking for that. At one point, we were going to say we were going to cancel the contract and we were implementing time of essence saying basically, you got to accelerate or we’re going to cancel it.
And they, I think, they responded once to that and again, no response. Well, we finally figured out they respond and said, “We’re going to have closing.” and it was, basically, the closing’s tomorrow and it was going to be, I think, five o’clock. So, we had to have a walkthrough and my partner said, “I can’t make it to give the keys for the walkthrough to the other agent.” I said, “Well, I’ll take care of it. It’s not a big deal.” but it was noted that we weren’t going to give the keys to the agent until we closed and until we received the money because there was just… there was a lot of things we just were not comfortable with. Well, I went there, the agent wasn’t there, agent didn’t say she wasn’t going to be there even though she gave the impression she was going to be there and she was supposed to be there, no one from our office was there. So, I did the walkthrough with them. They had an issue with the water and she said, “Well, we had an issue with the hot water” and I knew there was an issue with the water but I forgot that it was really for the cold water, there was no cold water coming out of the tub. It was all hot water, very hot water. So, when the buyer tested it, she was testing the hot water and it was coming out hot but not really hot.
I looked at it as, maybe, it has to take some time, then I looked at the water heater, I turned it up, still wasn’t coming out that hot. It was coming out hot and not that hot. So, I kept saying to her that your attorney never responded about this and it was waived and she would never acknowledge that. She just said, well, “That was an issue.” and she would never acknowledge it and I gathered throughout this and I was saying, “Your agent’s supposed to be here for something.” she would not acknowledge that. So, anything that was on her side or her team, she would not acknowledge and the deficiencies associated with that and if I was on the flip side, I’d be livid but she really did not care and she said “I took the keys.” and she was on with the attorney and the attorney said that you need to drop the keys off at the attorney’s office, his office and if not, that the agent wasn’t going to get paid for the commission and I said, “Oh, okay.” Now, that wasn’t what I said out loud. Now, I didn’t care and my partner wouldn’t care that we’re not getting paid right away, again, we sell houses for individuals, that pays for some of our expenses, we don’t live on it. It was like, okay, so what? We’re going to get it in three days or four days, so what? It really didn’t matter to us but I just wasn’t going to cause any problems at the time.
And then I just took the keys and we went and we’re waiting for the closing documents. They finally, we heard they came through and then we heard nothing and it was eight o’clock at night and we still didn’t hear anything. If it was closed, we didn’t hear it anything from the attorney. Next morning, we didn’t hear anything, we didn’t see any money into the account and my partner, she’s getting pissed off and even though it’s not her money, we take things very personal with our clients and our client wasn’t getting the money and we didn’t know what was going on and then she looked up that the attorney was reprimanded and penalized because of misappropriation of funds and poor accounting. So, he was on, I don’t know what it was, for two years where they had a monitor him and he had a report every month, I think, on how he was managing the money and a lot of times, the attorneys might receive some of the money for the deposit but the distribution is usually the title company but it wasn’t the case with this. So, we were like, “What’s this?” and as a result of it, at five o’clock the next day, we finally got something from the agent that said, “Well, we didn’t receive the keys or we had questions, we still had issues with the water, so we’re going to hold back $365,000.” My attorney is like, “What? I’ve never heard of such a thing over some hot water or cold water.” and she said, “You can’t do that. You just can’t hold back that. You might hold back maybe $1000 or whatever until it’s resolved but you don’t hold back $365,000. That’s just… it’s ludicrous, it’s on called for, it’s not done.”
And she was… the attorney said that we were going to contact the bar association and he didn’t respond until the next morning and said that, well, he’s busy and he’s going try to send out the funds based on his availability at the end of the day. So, we had to wait again and then he finally sent it out after like two days and that’s just uncalled for and it just… it was crazy. The agent was MIA, the attorney was MIA, we found out that he was brought up on charges for misappropriation of funds. So, going forward what we’re going to be doing and I talked to a number of investors, they don’t do it but what we’re going to do as a result of this is any time we’re going to engage with an attorney, we’re going to look and see if they were disciplined for anything and it just… it was crazy. So, there’s still this debate on the $1000 that they want for the water, the hot water, cold water, who knows, you know? Now what they’re disputing but the owner’s not going to budge on this and if she has to go to court, she’ll go to court but again, we take this very seriously. It was bothering us more than it was bothering our client and we were just fuming on this. My partner was crazy and she was off at it. It was just… we take this very seriously. Our clients are like family and our staff is like our family. So, when something happens, we take this very personal and we don’t just say, “Well, that’s theirs and it doesn’t matter.” or we look at it objectively and we do to some extent but it’s still very personal to us. So, I got to close out right now. I’ve extended too much already. You can reach us at 973-240-8593 or templarcashforhouses.com. Also, talk to Teresa at Mara’s Italian Deli in Pine Brook and ask for me and you’ll get 10% off the lunch or catering or Basilico. Again, thank you very much, God bless and also, please try to find someone, someplace for Angie and her son. Please give me a call on that ASAP. Thank you, God bless again.
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.
END OF RECORDING
Listen to Us on the Templar Real Estate Show on WMTR 1250AM on Saturday at 10:00 AM