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 24, 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, that’s one word or 973-240-8593. Again, that’s 973-240-8593 and we can answer any questions you may have or you could email us from our website and we could discuss possibly any topic on air that we could fit in definitely or any other questions you may have.
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 investor’s money. I’m not a real estate agent and we’re not a brokerage but I have individuals on staff that are agents that will 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 learn from them. 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, it’s only my opinion. I ask everyone always, every week to do lots of research on everything they do. It’s very, very important.
I also say every single week that if you ask for recommendations, make sure you understand a lot about the individual’s perspective that is giving the recommendation. Again, what’s good for you might not be good for someone else. I always say you might have a contractor that always shows up late, you might not care but maybe someone else cares. So, it really depends on the person and what their tolerance is for certain things and again, each person is different. So, it’s very important that when you do get these recommendation, you ask lots and lots of questions and it’s really just from the beginning, from the calls that they made to the person, to their follow up, everything. That’s very, very important and that’s why, here at Templar, we always try to be really on top of everything that we do. I’m not saying we’re perfect because that would be a lie and there is no company that’s perfect but we work very hard to be on top of our game at all times and especially when we’re within a transaction.
Whether we’re listing a house or we’re purchasing a house, we are very much on top of the game with that and that’s very important. One of the biggest things with any company is communication and that’s extremely important and that should be everyone’s… one of their criteria is communication and timeliness. That is very, very important. You don’t want to have a contractor or whoever the case may be, an agent that doesn’t respond that is not responsive to the client’s needs. We have one situation right now where that’s the case and it’s very frustrating. We’re in contract with a buyer and their agent is totally unresponsive, totally and it’s very, very frustrating and I was dealing with another agent and they provided an offer to us and it was late in the evening, not that late, probably about 9 o’clock and I don’t consider that late so… and we always like to respond once we receive the offer and all sudden the night got away from me and I called her 10 o’clock the next morning and I apologize to her. I said, you know, some agents will get an offer and then you won’t hear anything you’re like, what’s going on and you don’t like that. I don’t like it. It gets me crazy. So, on the flip side, I said, “I want to make sure that I called you on this to explain what happens.” And we talked some more and it’s good and that’s one of the biggest things.
We use text all the time. Everybody uses text but I always also push on let’s pick up the phone and talk and I think that’s very important because there’s certain things that through text and through email, you really don’t get and I think it’s very, very important to really talk and as a result of it, you can hear certain things with tonation and things that may be, you might not be comfortable with and then you could explore that and talk to them or if you’re getting some positive feedback in terms of their voice, that’s good as well. I think that’s very, very important. So, I’d also like to do a shout out to live in Livingston’s famous crossing guard, Paulette, one of my favorite listeners and I spoke last week about her and I’m going to talk about her and her friend that she’s trying to help. So, I want to give you a status update on that. I’ll also give a shout out to Timmy from Cedar Grove Water Department and also Sylvia as well. Okay, I’d like to also thank some of my private investors that have invested in our houses and especially Nick and Janet. So, thanks guys. I appreciate it.
So, one of the things that I always say is what you hear from me is what you get and there is no pretense with us, there’s no pretense with me. I’m very unapologetic of who I am and I’m very passionate about our company, our staff, our clients, our investors and my family. So, a lot of our individuals that work for us, they’re like my family and that’s how I see them and I like to treat them that way. I hired one of my son’s friends, he’s an engineer but also, I brought them on to do some IT work for us and he’s really fit into our family, he really has and I am ecstatic with the work he’s doing, how he’s accomplishing it and it’s just… I’m really, really pleased with him and his work ethic and I don’t think I brought this up, one of the things that really I was impressed with and I look at character very closely, I think character’s very, very important and it defines who you are. So, when I see someone of certain character that I don’t like, it definitely turns me off. So, it takes a long time to swing around to the other way because I think is very important and that’s what we drive on for us as our character.
So, this… my son’s friend was doing some work for us. It was just some yard work at one of our buildings and he got in the van, he took off and he went down there and then he called up and said “Joe, I got a little problem. I locked the keys in the van.” I was like, “Okay, no problem.” The only problem was we didn’t have an extra set. So, I said I’m going to go down there, we called Triple A, Triple A got there first and unlocked the van and I said, “I needed the van back by 3:30.” and it was like 12 o’clock. So, he brought the van back at 3:30 and we were talking and he said that he called his father up to come down to continue working because he didn’t accomplish enough work and he was going back there in his car to continue work until it was completed and I was very impressed by that and not too many people are going to do things like that to make sure that the job is done and it’s done correctly. So, I really had to take my hat off to him on that. Again, we’re looking for apartment buildings, preferably 100 units plus but we’ll do smaller ones. Please give us a call on that, we will also provide you with a finder’s fee, if you make a recommendation, we’ll make sure it’s private and it’s discreet. That’s one of the things that’s very important to us.
So, last week I spoke about this woman, Angie, that was recommended by Paulette, my listener and Angie’s from Ecuador and her son’s an eight-year-old. They live in Orange, her husband was killed and they really want to get out of Orange and the son is afraid to go out and play. He’s afraid when he goes to school and they’re always living in fear and I had asked everyone if there’s any apartment rooms or whatever the case may be, some rental that you could help her with and I would be more than happy to augment some of that rent to make sure that she could afford it because she doesn’t make a lot of money and I asked for areas around Livingston, so on, so forth and I got a number of individuals that did call me, thank you very much but they just weren’t in really the right towns for them. It was very generous, I have to thank you very much for it but that wasn’t… they just didn’t fit the criteria that I was expecting for her and her son. So, I looked into a couple places and in Caldwell and we’re trying to see if she’s able to see those apartments and then get in there and what will happen is I’ll pay the difference, our company will pay the difference in terms of her rent to make sure that she’s in a safe place but I still ask everyone, again, if you have anything, please give me a call.
One of the challenges I’m having with one of the apartment complexes is that she needs to qualify. Even though I’m going to give her the money, she needs to qualify because she’s living there. I’m going to talk to the property manager but I don’t know if I’m going to be successful with that and because it’s a fairly large complex, it’s about 157, I think, apartments and some of these property management companies are just very, very strict with their process and procedures but I’m going to try my best. There’s another one that’s a two family which I think I could swing in terms of getting her in there and approved or accepted but it’s going to be a challenge and I’m asking everyone to please call me and see if we could do something. If you have a room or something, maybe in the Caldwell area, my son went to Trinity in Caldwell there and it’s a great town and it’s easy to walk through and I think it would be great for Angie and her son to do that, it’s a great place. So, I’m asking everyone, please, if you could do that, that would be great. I’d really, really appreciate it and I think that would be a great, good deed. Again, I will help and Templar will help augment some of that or all of it. It depends. I don’t care. I just want to get the get the job done and I want her to have a safe place and I think that’s the most important thing. So, I got to close out this segment and I’ll be back shortly. Thank you very much guys. Again, you can call us at 973-240-8593. Thanks a lot. Bye.
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 973-240-8593 or templarcashforhouses.com. So, a couple things, I’ve said this before also is that I usually use my middle initial on certain things because there’s an individual has the same name as me and except, I think our middle initials are different and I try to use that to distinguish myself because I’m in the real estate marketplace, he is too but he’s an agent and I’m not and we live in, I think, in the same town or he works in the same town that I live. So, I always like to distinguish myself. My father used to always say, “Joe, there’s a lot of Joe Zoppi’s floating around, so just use your middle initial” and it seems to be true.
So, I’d like to talk about a couple things. First one is investment. So, we’re selling one of our four families and the reason is, is the market’s strong. Second of all, we’re taking a strong cash position for other investments, larger ones and because of that, we’d put it on the market and one of the four family, basically, there was one unit that was vacant and usually my apartment complexes, the vacancies are very low. It was like, treat them really well and I’m not always raising the rent. So, they definitely stay because of that and the one individual she had to leave because I guess, her mom, I think was having some problems. She wanted to move back with her and I was debating whether to fill that unit or not based on selling the property and I did fill it and we sometimes make mistakes and I think that was the best bet to do because it reduced the marketability of the four family and I’ll tell you why. So, we’re very geared in terms of investments. I admit when we sometimes should have made a right instead of a left or a left instead of a right and we were looking for an investor and really, what had happened was that it closed down the other individuals that want to really go there, live there and use that as kind of an investment where it would augment some of their bills so they would be… maintain one of the units and live there and then the other three would pay for all or a portion of the mortgage.
So, I was getting a number of so-called investors and I say, so-called because I hear this from the agents and a lot of the agents really don’t know what an investor is and an investor is not and especially by the questions they ask or don’t ask. I was getting questions like, well, “I want to see all the apartments” and you would think that you need to do that and you don’t and I spoke to a gentleman yesterday and he was right on point and he said to me, Joe and this… it was really good because this, what I was always preaching is, is that “Joe”. he says, “I don’t need to see the apartments.” He goes, “I look at your rent roll, I look at the expenses and I know what my rate of return is and it’s that simple.” He says, “Of course I’m going to look at it later on when we go through our due diligence and we do our inspections but I don’t need to do that now. I need to know what I’m going to get back and rate a return.” and that’s exactly it and when I purchased this property, I did exactly that. I knew what the rent roll was, I knew what his expenses were and I said, “That’s fine.”
Then we went to inspections and I bought it as is but there was some minor things that needed to be done, a few things. There was a leaky window, there was a couple other things but nothing really major. There was a few things in the basement but. hey, it really wasn’t a lot and true investors know that and look at properties that way. Whereas other investors that they say they’re investors that have been doing this that really are not and that’s where I’m not going to bring individuals through all these apartments and disrupt the tenants, it’s not fair to them. It really is not. I had one individual, the agent called me and said, “This investor, he just looks at it from a numbers perspective and it was very refreshing.” she said and I said, “Great, great.” and she says, “It sounds like you do the same thing.” I said, “Absolutely.” So, I met the gentleman. Before that, she said to me that this investor brings a notepad and he asked lots of questions and she was not doing this. She was stating this, not from her experience with him but from what he said and she said that one agent was very intimidated by all the questions and everything. I was like, I’d been through this rodeo before so it wasn’t anything big, [0:21:45] sure, whatever questions he has a more than happy to answer. He could be there for an hour, I don’t care.
So, he comes and he says, “Well, I forgot my pad.” I said, okay, whatever and he walked around, very quickly, the outside, the perimeter and then he went downstairs and that’s when he told me, “Oh, I forgot my pad.” and I don’t know if he’s got like a set of questions on there but the questions he asked were very generic and they weren’t really, I don’t know, thoughtful. Whereas, I’ve had investors come in and they’ve asked some really good questions and you know that they know their business and the gentleman said, “Does it have… what about the utilities?” And I explained about the utilities. I said “We have separate utilities for all the apartments except for water” and he said, “What about electricity?” And he says, “Do you have a common area, electricity for that?” And I said, “Yes, we do” and he looks over and he looks at the gas meters and he said, “Oh yeah, I see that right there.” and it kind of caught me off guard because they’re gas meters, anyone that’s doing this should know that.
And I said, “Those are gas meters. The electric meters are outside.” and the agent chimed in and says, “Yes, I saw the electric meters.” So, I was questioning on that and saying, I don’t know what kind of experience this guy has. He’s preaching that he has a lot of experience to the agent but it’s not the case and I said, okay and then we went outside and then he asked the question, “Well, I’d like to go through every single apartment.” I’m like, just looking at him, say, “No, not right now.” He says, “You have to look at the numbers.” I said, “Well, what do you need to look at the apartments for?” And he said, “Well, I want to look at the wear and tear based on how long they were in there and I could determine, when they leave, how much work is going to need to be done.”
I just said okay to it but really, you really can’t determine that because you don’t know what the baseline is. You don’t know what was there when they started, you don’t know if it was fixed once, twice or 10 times, you don’t know what the quality was beforehand, you don’t know if it was marginal before and the door that’s hanging on one hinge was like that previously or only had one hinge to begin with, you don’t know that. So, none of that really made sense but I just said okay to it and said, “Yeah, we’ll have to do something or give me a call” and he never called back which was fun but again, individuals talk about being investors and you got to watch it. Especially, if you’re going to invest with them, that you really got to make sure that they have a track record and it’s a successful track record and not just talk about it because this gentleman obviously did not invest before because he would have known some of this general stuff. So, just, again, always be aware. So, there was another thing that happened this week I was really very pleased with and that had to do with a listing we’re going to be doing for an individual she’s, in the army and she is, I guess, leaving in July and we kind of hit it off just talking and I told her how much I respect the dedication she’s given to the army and also to fighting for us, you know? Supporting America but on the flip side, I said to her that one of the things that upsets me is how I think America and politicians haven’t supported really our veterans.
And she agreed with me. I said “So many are homeless, so many have so many issues and they’re not really being supported. Whereas, you have individuals that are coming from other countries that haven’t done anything for this country and they’re treated better.” and she says, “Yeah, Joe, you’re right about that.” She goes, “I can’t say that enough.” She says, “Yeah, that happens.” And she says, “Yeah, it’s a sore subject for me too” and I think we just hit it off like that and, again, I tell you how it is and I tell my clients how it is and what we believe in and I think, just that alone really made her feel very comfortable with who we are. The other thing, the challenge that she’s having is that she built, in the basement, she put in a kitchen for her mom and a bathroom and she didn’t do any permits. So, we’re trying to figure out what to do with that and the challenges with that because we have to do that non-disclosure. She was also very good that says, yeah, Joe, I need to do that. So, she was on the same page as us and she was forthright with that. So, we’re going to have to do some type of balancing act and figure out what the best approach to it is because I don’t want her to get dinged on it but she will indirectly somehow because she’s not going to be able to take credit for those features in the house.
So, I don’t know if we’re going to have to take them out, disconnect it, I’m not quite sure yet but please always do permits, please, please, please, please because once the CO occurs, it’s going to be caught and some towns are different than others but there’s a thing called a property card. Property card says on this form that’s on the township and the township that says how many beds, how many bathes and so on, so forth, if there’s a pool, few other things and if there’s a discrepancy with that, then there’s going to be a problem and for the mortgage, for the person purchasing the house, you might get fined. There’s a lot of things. So, if contractor’s telling you “We don’t need to do permits”, be very wary of that. Now there are certain things that are little small that you could get away with but permits are good because they’re going to validate the work that was performed. The issue with permits is sometimes it takes considerable amount of time to initiate the permit and to give the permit out as well as for the final approval and that’s the problem and that’s why certain contractors don’t want to do it. Certain ones don’t want it to because their works less. So, it’s as simple as that.
So, I’m coming out on the closure of this. So, one last thing I’ll talk next week, there was a company that was a deli in New Jersey and it was doing about $35,000 in sales over two years and it was publicly traded and I’ll explain that later but it went up to a $100,000,000 in terms of valuation. So, there was some hokey things going on and I think a number of people are going to lose a lot of money as a result of it. So, I’ll talk again next week about that. So, I’d like to close out also with a couple other things: please visit Mara’s Italian Deli and say Joe recommended him and you’ll get 10% off lunch and catering order and also see Mario at Basilico, one of my favorite restaurants. Mario’s a gem and so is Theresa and Theresa’s located in Pinebrook, Mara’s Italian Deli in Pinebrook and Basilico in Millburn. Okay, I’m going to close out. Again, call us at 973-240-8593 or templarcashforhouses.com. Again, goodbye, God bless and take care, everyone. Bye.
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
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