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 May 15, 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 can reach us templarcashforhouses.com, that’s T-E-M-P-L-A-Rcashforhouses.com. That’s one word or call us at 973-240-8593. Again, that’s 973-240-8593 and we could answer any questions you may have or emails from our website. Again, you could ask any questions or anything you want discussed on the show. We’d be happy to try to fit it in.
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 brokerage and we’re not an agent. 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 over investments, what went well, what did not and especially, how we overcame them and learn from it. 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’ll provide you my opinion. It’s only my opinion.
I ask everyone to do research and make sure you check everything out, continue to ask questions. As I always say, every week, recommendations are great but you just can’t take the recommendation on face value. You got to ask lots of questions in terms of what they did, whoever the person is or whatever the service is, how they did it, where they late, they communicate. Communication is one of the biggest things that’s extremely, extremely important. So, it clearly sets expectations. It’s one thing to be… to come every other week if that’s what the expectations are but if it’s not, then we have an issue. So, again, communication is probably one of the biggest things but you need to ask lots of questions. I’m going to do a shout out to, of course, one of my favorite listeners; Livingston’s famous crossing guard, Paulette and Timmy from Cedar Grove Water Department, along with Johnny and Cindy Z. So, Johnny and Cindy, hello, how you doing guys? Thanks a lot for everything. I’d like to also thank some of my investors that invested in a number of our properties and I appreciate the support and the confidence that you give Templar and my entire staff.
One of the things I would like to discuss today is about character and not saying no. So, that’s going to be later on in the show. One of the other things that I’d been looking for and I continue to ask, anyone that has referrals for houses that need to be sold as well as apartment buildings. I’m looking for apartment buildings so please keep your eye out, please give me a call. There’ll always be a referral fee and I’ll give that to you as a result of it. I’m very discreet so I’m not going to use your name unless you want to. So, that’s very, very important. Another thing is, is that I wanted to update everyone on the woman, Angie, that we’ve been trying to find an apartment for. She’s from Ecuador. So, she lives in the inner city, I think it’s Orange and she has an eight-year-old son. Eight-year-old son can’t go out and play, he’s always worried, he’s was worried when he goes to school so it’s just not a good situation. We’ve been trying to locate an apartment and like I said before, we’ve been… we have a couple of apartments in Caldwell. So, finally we’re able to align everything and Angie and my partner and Paulette and Paulette’s the one that really told us about Angie. We’re going to be going out to look at the apartment on Sunday.
So, let’s keep our fingers crossed and maybe everything will be perfect and we could really do something really great for Angie and her son and get her into a really nice town. Caldwell’s a great town and just be there to help her out and then also, we will be there to help her throughout the months, like I said before, myself and Templar will provide additional money for her rent to ensure that she could stay in Caldwell. Right now, she could not afford that much basically and that’s why she’s in Orange right now and a place like Caldwell, she’s not going to be able to afford but we can’t just turn our back on her and it’s kind of really important who we are as an organization, who we are as people that when we see something like this, we really got to jump in and really help her and I think that’s just the way it is. The other thing I’d like to talk about briefly is I spoke about it last week; there’s a recall on some smoke alarms. It’s Kidde TruSense, I wanted to bring it up again in case you do have that. So, it’s the smoke alarms or a combination smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm. So, they’re being recalled. So, go on to the Kidde site to check and see if you do have a Kidde, whether it’s being recalled. So, they were sold in Walmart, Home Depot, most major department stores.
So, I like to talk to people and I was at one of my properties today matter of fact and the tenant was leaving and there was a number of things that were left out on the curve for bulk pickup and the next door neighbor, she came by and she asked me “Is this for garbage or can I take it?” I said “Yeah, definitely. You could take it.” It was really nice. She’s Hispanic and she was talking to me and we were just talking about just general things and she said “Some of this furniture is really good and I said, “Yeah, definitely, definitely.” And so, she said and “I would really like to take it.” and I said, “Yeah, no problem.” And I helped her with it, move it over and into her house and we just got to talking about who she is and she said that right now, she’s working hard but she’s saving a little bit and she had like a little minivan and she used to make breakfast and lunch and then sell it out of her minivan. She’d make $150. I think it was for the week or something like that, I’m not quite sure, she said $150, I assume it’s for the week or maybe it was per day and then she said, at the end of the day, then at night I go cleaning and she says, I don’t mind working hard and she was talking about how she’s a citizen but are her husband is not and he gets paid under the table and they make ends meet and they save a little bit and she was very frustrated with the free money that was given out and how people don’t want to work for it and stuff and she just felt like that was just wrong.
So, everybody thinks the stereotypical… if someone’s an immigrant, they don’t want to work hard or they always want the free money and I’ve encountered so many individuals that are not like that. Now, on the flip side, there’s some that, it doesn’t matter if you’re an immigrant or not, they just don’t want to work but you talk to these people and you realize that there’s a lot of good people out there that don’t want the free money and want to work for it and they feel that work is a good thing and it’s good for them and good for the economy and just good for everybody and I think that’s very important to remember that free is not always good. I remember one person said, yeah, free is for me and so I think, sometimes we’ve got to think about that. The other thing I’d like to talk about and I brought it up last week and I looked at it a little bit closer is inflation. So, inflation is something I’ve always looked at and I’ve always been very wary of and one of the things that we do because we’re investing in real estate and we’re investing lots of money and we’re always looking at the economy, we’re always looking where the economy is going, we look at the stock market very closely, we look at commodities and commodities are things like gold, silver. Other commodities could be cotton, all those types of things.
So, there’s soft commodities and hard commodities and soft commodities is like cotton and hard commodities is like silver and we look at those commodities very closely as the indication also where things are going. Now, one or two months or three months sometimes is not an indication but after a certain amount of time, a trend is established and I spoke about and I said to be cautious about inflation. I think inflation’s going to kick in. Now, the number wasn’t great last month in April and it was the biggest increase since September of 2008. So, that’s a concern, that is definitely a concern. So, the consumer price index measures goods and energy and housing costs which rose approximately 4.2% and there was a survey by economists and they were expecting like 3.6% and there was a number of things that have gone up in price and we see this, you look in the ShopRite or wherever you’re going shopping and you see this in the food and everything else and you start saying, okay, gas prices, so on, so forth and things are going up. Used car and truck prices are one of the key indicators for inflation and they surged 21% and it was 10% increase also in April. So, overall, it was a 21% increase this past year. So, that’s very, very concerning.
So, this is something that I think we all have to look at and be wary of going forward. One of the things that they said and economists said and I’m not disputing some of it, is that because of 2020 and the COVID pandemic there was a big, obviously, a widespread shutdown in U S economy. So, things were somewhat depressed from an inflation perspective and most definitely that was the case but I don’t know if that’s necessarily the whole situation. One of the things that the federal reserve… they always adjust interest rates based on inflation. So, if there’s inflation, they’re going to continue to raise interest rates to try to tame it. Well, back in 2018, they were projecting inflation and they were wrong on it. So, after that, they said to the everyone, well, we’re going to be, instead of forecasting into the future, we’re going to be behind the curve.
So, we’re going to follow it and see what’s going on. So, as a result of that, that could be a major issue. So, they’re going to be more reactive or less reactive to tell you the truth and see where things go instead of being more reactive and raising interest rates maybe ahead of time.
So, that is something that I think is going to hurt us in the long run as well. Now, there was an individual, his name is Thomas Peterffy. So, Thomas Petterffy, he owns Interactive Brokers, he’s chairman of it, he was a founder of it and he said the same thing and this is something that I’ve spoken about before so I want to be a caveat to this; is that when people write articles, they look for things to support what they’re saying. I said that time and time again, same thing with me. So, I’m feeling there’s inflation coming up. I read what Thomas said and he’s concerned about it and that supports what I did. So, I want to be very clear on that. Now, there’ll be other individuals that are saying, well, it’s not really the case, it’s only a blip. I don’t think it’s a blip. So, I want to be straight up with that. I think this is going to happen but we’re going to wait and see based on a trend but I just… with lumber prices, going up gas prices going up, food prices going up, all those things are impacting inflation and it’s just… that’s the way it is, you know?
He stated very clearly, he says, “I’m very worried. This is unstoppable situation because the longer the FED waits, the more they will have to raise rates.” And that’s exactly… when I was looking at the numbers, I was thinking that exact thing and then I’m looking at this article, I’m saying, yeah, exactly and that’s a big concern. That’s a very big concern and it’s grown faster than in the past 12 years. So, with that said, I’m going to have to close out the session. I’ll be back shortly. Thank you very much. Again, you could give us a call at 973-240-8593 or templarcashforhouses.com. Thanks a lot guys.
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 can reach us at 973-240-8593 or templarcashforhouses.com. Remember, if you need to sell your house fast for cash, please give us a call. If you need to sell your house through the traditional Multiple Listing Service, give us a call and we have great agents on staff that’ll help you and they’ll work with you and make sure that your sale is successful. So, a couple things I want to talk about. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to fit everything in because I only have like 10 minutes left on this segment. So, a few things. I’m recording this Thursday night. It’s like 12 o’clock at night. I’m going out to see my son, he’s graduating from nursing school. So, we’re really very proud of him. So, he has a special day tomorrow on Friday for pinning. So, it’s a special ceremony just for the nursing students. So, we’re really, really excited and then he’ll have the big graduation with his entire senior class on Saturday. So, I have that. So, I needed make sure that I got this recording in before I left on Friday morning.
So, one of the things that I was doing this week, I was talking to a family member and he gave me a call, he says “Joe, I want to sell my house.” I was like very surprised at that and I said, “Well, why do you want to sell? Are you can move away down south?” He said, “No, no, no.” He goes, “I’m a Jersey guy and I talk a certain way and I’m used to certain food and stuff like that.” I said, “Yeah, I’m same thing. I’m a North Jersey Italian boy that could not move anywhere else.” So, we were just laughing on that and I came by, took a look at his house and I said “It really doesn’t mean much work.” He thought I was going to need refacing of cabinets and things like that and I said, “You don’t need that.” and the refacing of cabinets cost more than replacement of cabinets. So, it’s not always a really good deal. Now, sometimes it might cost more to get cabinets but at least for me, where I’m getting my cabinets and they’re pretty decent quality, it’s really not worth it and what I did this while back, I called a refacing company and said to them, “I’m doing a rehab, I’m an investor.” And they said, “Nope, we don’t deal with investors and rehab.” because they know the prices are very expensive and they just said, no, we won’t do it. I said, “Well, what’s the price?” They said “Nope, we won’t do it.” And it was very, very funny and he wanted to change a lot of things.
I said, “Listen, there’s not a lot of inventory. Just do the minimal.” And there was a few things that need to be done and it would have cost him inside probably about maybe $1000, maybe $500 and outside, there was some issues with drainage. So, it’s probably going to cost him like $5,000 but he wanted to do the right thing with that. So, I said, “Do that.” And I said, “Well, what are you going to do? Are you going to find another place?” I said, “You’re selling at the top of the market and you’re buying at the top of the market.” And he said, “No, Joe.” He says “My timing’s always wrong.” He says, “For once, I want to try to be correct with this.” So, he said to me, “I’m going to sell now and I’m going to rent and in about four years, I’m going to buy.” I said, “That sounds really good.” because I cannot see the economy continuing with this pace, I just can’t and again, you can never really judge the top of the market. You never can. It’s always, well, it’s right now, it’s right now, you don’t know and this could go on for another year, two years, whatever the case may be but three to four years out, I really don’t think it’s going to continue and again, if we’re starting to see inflation and there’s all these increases in taxes from a capital gains perspective, I think we’re in for a tough road.
I was reading something which made me really laugh about capital gains and taxes and it said that neither of the conservatives or the progressive or liberals, whatever you want to call them, were not happy with the idea of President Biden raising the taxes and I’m saying to myself, it was very clear from day one that they were going to raise taxes. So, there should be no surprise about this. So, that’s what is just, I think, very comical that they’re surprised at it and this is what it is. There was no hiding of it, there was no secret things and they said it’s for millionaires but again, a millionaire today is not the same as a millionaire 20, 30 years ago. It’s very easy to hit a million dollars on a giving year based on someone that might have a business or someone that sold some real estate in combination with their salary, their spouse’s salary, it could happen easier than what they’re saying. They said, there’s a very slim chance. There’s not a very slim chance and that’s why people are very upset and I think once it’s enacted, I think there’s going to be a lot more people upset at that to tell you the truth. So, we’ll see where that goes. So, I only have about five minutes to talk. So, one of the things I really wanted to talk about is questions when you’re talking to a real estate investor or a contractor or an attorney, whatever the case may be and they always talk about the good, every time. It’s a good… this always happens, this always happens.
Well, really the question, an important question to ask anyone, you could ask me the same thing, is what happens when it doesn’t go well? What did you do? And how’d you react? And that’s really, I think, defines a good contract or a good individual you’re going to want to invest with, a good anyone is tell me the times things did not go well and what did you do? Because when things go, well, everyone’s a rockstar, you know? When the stock market’s going up and you’re investing in stocks, everyone thinks you’re the best stock picker. That’s not the issue. The issue is, is when things are going down, when things are going sideways, when there’s a problem, that is when you really determine if you have someone good or you don’t have someone good. Case, in point, I was showing an ex-partner, I invested in a lot of money and he took it and spent it and he paid off his bills and all those loans. So, I wanted to sue him and everybody… there’s one other thing, not only is the situation where things go sideways but never, ever, ever take no for an answer.
Wherever you have to go, if someone says no for an answer, keep plugging away either with that person or go somewhere else until you get a yes. That’s a really, really big thing and I had a situation where my attorneys, I have multiple attorneys and my accountant says “You’re not going to get the money back based on the way the contract was written.” And I said, “No, I’m getting it back.” And eventually, I got it back through some very creative means, nothing illegal. It was really straight up but I don’t want to really discuss it on air. If we ever have a chat in person, anyone out there, I’ll explain it to you but never, never, never take no for an answer. Especially, if you feel things should be a certain way and you continue to turn over the stone until you get the answer or until you think out of the box in terms of a way to solve that solution. That is so, so important. I had an attorney that was going to help me with this and things went sideways on it and as a result of it, he was falsifying documents, it was just crazy and he was charging me a lot money and I had to sue him for it and I never had to pay for the services because I questioned him but I learned a very important thing because I was trying, it was blatantly… he lied to me, it was blatant and I learned that attorneys don’t sue other attorneys.
So, one of the things, if you want to take out of this show is, an attorney won’t sue another attorney. It’s very, very, very, very difficult to find someone that’s going to sue another attorney. So, be wary of that. So, it’s always good to have someone that’s very good, that’s not going to fail and sometimes, it’s very difficult to find that situation. So, to circle back and unfortunately, I don’t have enough time and I will talk about this next week; has to do with character and again, when there’s a problem, what does a person do or a company do as a result of that problem and that, again, just take that as the last thing to think about. When you’re talking to people and you’re talking for a service that you want to receive, ask that important question about when things went wrong, what did you do? And give a couple… ask for a couple of examples. If someone says nothing’s gone wrong, then they’ve never done enough of things, whatever those services are or they’re lying to you. It’s one of the two things. It’s that simple because things go sideways no matter how much you plan but it’s how you react to those things and how you overcome them.
So, unfortunately, I got to close out this session. I want to thank everyone again. You could reach us 973-240-8593 or templarcashforhouses.com. Also, make sure you see a Theresa at Mara’s Italian Deli in Pinebrook or Mario in Basilico. Theresa will give you a 10% discount. Just tell her that I recommended it but again, you have to speak to Theresa and she’ll give you a 10% on lunches and catering, okay? So, Father’s Day is coming up. So, again, thank you very much, God bless and I’ll talk to you next week. 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.
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