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 August 7, 2021
The following program was paid for by Templar Real Estate. The views and opinions expressed on this program are not necessarily those of the staff and management of WMTR. As always, it is advisable to consult a professional before making a major decision.
It’s time now for the Templar Real Estate Talk Show. Here’s your host for the program, Joseph J. Zoppi.
Joseph J. Zoppi:
Hello. Welcome to the Templar Real Estate Talk Show. My name is Joseph J. Zoppi, a real estate investor, consumer advocate, author, and managing partner of Templar Real Estate Enterprises. You could reach us at templarcashforhouses.com. That’s T-E-M-P-L-A-Rcashforhouses.com, that’s one word, or you could call us at 973-240-8593. Again, that’s 973-240-8593 and we could answer any questions you may have, or you could email us from our website as well to ask any questions or anything you would like discussed on this show.
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 homes also up to apartment buildings. We do not speculate and we’re very protective of our money and our investors’ money. I’m not a brokerage and I’m not an agent. I have individuals on staff that are agents that could sell your house through the Traditional Multiple Listing Service. This 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 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 will provide you with my opinion, it’s only my opinion. I ask everyone to do research, research, research. That’s one of the biggest things I preach all the time every single week. Do your research, make sure you look for multiple sources, make sure you understand if someone’s given you information, if they have a certain leaning towards a certain view, then they’re going to obviously going to sway you on one view as opposed to another. So, again, please ask lots of questions. If you’re bringing on a contractor, make sure you get multiple bids. Look for their previous work, any recommendations they had, do everything you could possible to research and get as good understand of the company or individual.
I’d like to do a shout out to some individuals, Tim from Cedar Grove, Paulette, Famous Crossing Guard from Livingston, she’s well known in that community there, as well as Cynthia. I like to have a shout out to Cynthia, she’s a new listener, and also Sue. I’d like to also talk to you today about a number of things that went on this week, some really good things, some crazy things, more on frustrating than anything else.
But before we do that, again, if you’re interested in selling your house fast for any reason, I handle messy situations all the time. If you’re a tired landlord that has tenants that are just giving you headaches, we take them on. If you have problems with oil leaks from tanks, we’ll take that on, hoarders houses, structural issues, pre foreclosure, whatever the issue is, and even if you don’t have an issue, say you don’t even want to deal with an agent, we will be more than happy to work with you on that. Or obviously, we could list through the Traditional Multiple Listing Service. I have a couple of great agents, they’re real rock stars and they’d should be able to help anyone out there. Doesn’t matter where they’re located, what community, they do a really good job for that.
A couple other things, make sure you always do your due diligence if you’re investing in real estate, okay. We have a lot of individuals have called me up, and friend had flipped the house or two, and then they invest some money, and then they have a lot of problems after that. So please give me a call, I do different workshops that are free of charge, or we just sit down over a half an hour to an hour and go over how you have to look at a deal and whether it’s a profitable deal or not for you to invest in. So, you could always give me a call on that, I’ll be doing some more formal ones in September for both single family houses up to multi families.
So one of the things that occurred this week is I was down in Nashville at one of my masterminds that I had spoken about last week, and there’s two of them. So I had some of my staff go to one, I went to the other. One of them is where there’s approximately 150 of the top rehabbers/flippers in the country attended. What we were doing there, we were sharing ideas in terms of what’s working, what’s not working. We always get a lot of good information on it.
I heard something, it was really a long, long time ago. The person said that if I just get one bit of information that could transform the way you’re doing business, so on and so forth. And when he said that, this was a really long time ago, I said, “I don’t think so.” But that was so true. Sometimes it’s just one bit of information that could change a business. We’ve had that numerous times where we’ve had challenges, something, and someone said, “Well, you can do it this way” and it was like a world of difference. It was so enlightening. When you get together with professionals like this, and it can be for any industry, and there are masterminds for just about any type of industry out there. If you’re on the construction side for roofers, for plumbers, for individuals that want to do social media, writers, it really doesn’t matter. You start collaborating and sharing ideas and all sudden, you’re opening up to, “Wow, I could have done this or I should do this now.” And the same thing is with us, that’s why we invest so much money. Like I said last week, we’re investing I think it’s about $60,000 just the on this type of education every year and I more than make up for it.
Certain things that we discussed, I was attending one for multifamily. So the individual that I’m teaming up with, this past quarter, he signed up proximately $90 million in multifamily houses, apartments and things like that. And so he has under contract $90 million. And when you’re talking to individuals like that, you learn a lot. But on the flip side, see one of the reasons why they do it also is they learn certain things now. I pulled up something, my approach on certain things and what I wanted to do, and this guy has been in the industry doing this for a very long time. There are certain limitations in terms of how you could publicize certain types of offerings. I’m not going to get into the details, but I looked at it and I kept looking at what you could do with this offering and what you could do with this offering and certain ones you can’t advertise. I said, “Well, what happens if you do it this way?” And I said, I spoke to an SEC attorney and they were like, “wow, yeah, you can do that.” And then I spoke to him on it and he looked at me, he smiled. He goes, “Yeah, I think you’re right, Joe.” So it was pretty cool in terms of that because this guy’s a real power hitter in multifamily and I was able to also bring one piece of information to him that I think is going to really transform his business as well, which is really pretty cool. But I’ll be doing some work definitely with them, hopefully in the short term, relatively speaking, hopefully within the next six months, if not earlier.
So it was a very interesting trip, it was a great trip. I was never down in Nashville, so it was it was a great town and the people were great, everything was great. And working with different individuals, talking to them, sharing our war stories, as we would say, and learning from them was really enlightening. I have also asked an associate of mine, which I’m going to be partnering with on some of this multifamily work. And I said, “Well, why don’t you come down too?” He came down, he’s a gentleman. “I learned so much,” he said, “it was unbelievable.” And it was really good so I have to say at least on that side during this week, it worked out really well. So I was very, very, very pleased with that. And this is done usually every quarter, I always go every quarter, especially with COVID I wasn’t going. There was a lot of investors from Texas, and those guys are just they’re all over the place. They don’t really care withe COVID or not, they laugh it off, even though they got the vaccines. But before that they were like, “Eh, we’re still going” and some caught it and everybody was fine afterwards but still, I think it’s a little scary.
Now I’m a lot more comfortable in this variant as they’re calling it right now. I’m not as worried about it. I think pre February, all the media was talking about was deaths, deaths, deaths, now you don’t really talk as much about that. They just talk about people that caught the virus. I think that’s the issue is because they never once said that you won’t catch it. The issue is the severity of it, and I was worried. I was really worried but again, it’s like shingles, you get a shot for shingles, you could still catch shingles, but I won’t be as bad. This is no different than any other vaccine. So if you catch it, you catch it but it’s not going to be for the most part life threatening. I think the CDC even said it’s like 99.99% that you’re not going to die from it if you catch it after you get the vaccination. I think that’s what they said. So that’s the thing. So I think it’s been a little blown out of proportion. Before, I think there was a lot of trepidation, there was trepidation on my side but now I think it’s different, I really do.
So I’d like to cover a couple things today, one of the things — I have to think, this was a little kind of funny in a way. So people respond to our website, they enter information into our website. And one of the questions is how much do you owe on your house? There’s multiple reasons why we put that, sometimes if they owe too much and the house is worth 200,000 and their mortgage is 250, well, they’re underwater on it. The discussion I’ll have with them or one of my staff members are going to be talking about short sales, because that’s the only thing we could do. If they only have like $10,000 in equity or 20, and they need 30,000 in repairs, well, I’m not going to be able to buy it, buying costs, selling costs and rehab costs and make any money and they won’t be able to get any money. So there’s a specific reason why I asked that question. Some people put the number, some people say I’d rather not say, and that’s fine.
This guy says it’s none of your business. So I knew automatically there was going to be a problem. He sent some additional information in terms of when to call them. Now, when the information came through, that last piece of information didn’t come through immediately. So we tried to be on top of everything and we made a phone call. So I wanted to make the call because I knew there was going to be an issue. As soon as I got on the phone, before I could even say anything as what’s your name, as I was saying it, and then I was about to say where I’m from, and then he again interrupted me to where am I from? And then he said, “Well, didn’t you read my information?” I said, “Call back tomorrow.” I said, “I apologize. I’m at work right now.” And he hung up on me.
So when I called him, I called them from my cell. So then after that, he texts me back and says, “You have an offer, let me know,” that was the text. And after the call, I wasn’t going to meet down with them anyway. So I said, “Unfortunately, we don’t do blind offers” and blind offer is basically you’re just thrown off route without seeing the house. We don’t do that. Some companies do, we don’t. How can you really put a true offer on a house or anything without seeing it? Do you buy cars without seeing them? Sometimes they go through these organizations or these companies where they’ll test it out and they’ll give you a guarantee it’s 100 point check and stuff like that. But for the most part, when you’re buying a car, buying something, you got to look at it. So I said, “Unfortunately, we don’t do blind offers so I don’t think we would be a good fit for you. There’s a number of other companies that will probably fit your needs. I wish you the best in selling your house, Joe.” So it was a really nice, calm text I sent back. He responded, “You’re probably right” and then he responded after that with “loser.” So as I do, this guy was maniac and it was best that we don’t work with them. You don’t text like that. It’s crazy. Loser based on that. So I’m glad we weren’t going to do business. I wasn’t going to do business after really the comment from the first thing where it says “none of your business” because I knew I was going to have a problem automatically. I was going to gently get out of doing anything for him or providing any type of service, but I knew there would be some type of ramification as a result of that.
So let me close this out. I’ll be right back and we could talk some more on real estate. Again, if you want to reach us, you can reach us at 973-240-8593 or templarcashforhouses.com 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 at 973-240-8593. Again, that’s 973-240-8593, or templarcashforhouses.com, that’s T-E-M-P-L-A-Rcashforhouses.com. Anything you want to call us on in terms of real estate related, we’re more than happy to talk to you, especially if you’re looking to either sell your house fast for cash or you want to list through the Traditional Multiple Listing Service, we’d be more than happy to help you.
So a couple of things, I said when I had the trip it was a very good trip but there was some craziness also going on, a couple of my project managers as well as my contractors were calling me while I was down in Nashville this past week, and one of them — so it seems like, I don’t know, my father was a cop for 26 years, and he always said that on the full moon, there was always lots of problems. And he swore by it, but I was thinking maybe it was a full moon because it was just like everything was going sideways over the last week or two. I had my HVAC contractor cancel on me numerous times. I was on top of him to make sure that he was going to arrive on the day scheduled. I wanted to make sure there was no problems. I contacted him multiple times, and then on the weekend, on Saturday like two weeks ago, I said, “Okay, we’re set for Monday,” because I contact him on Friday. And then I wanted to call him again, text him again, and then I didn’t hear from him. He’s always responsive, doesn’t matter what time of day, Monday, Tuesday, Sunday, doesn’t matter.
So Sunday rolled around and I pinged him again, and then he says, “I can’t do it, Joe, maybe at the end of the week.” I go, “Maybe at the end of the week? You told me Monday was fine two days ago, now, it’s not maybe the end of the week.” I said, “You blindsided me on this.” I said, “I have my electrician come in on Tuesday to start running the lines and everything, now he has to change it.” So I really, really wasn’t a happy camper at all. “And if you called me last week, midweek or even to Thursday, I could have made changes.” So I was very, very frustrated at that, really, really very frustrated.
So then he had to cancel another day then finally came. And then we had to rework the system for the dock work. He proposed one way then his guys on site was suggested another way that I like better, but then he wanted to charge me another $800. Why are you digging me now again another $800? I pushed back on him on that because I really don’t like out of scope work, we should be able to do most of it. Unless I’m changing something drastically, I shouldn’t be paying extra. And that gets me crazy if a contractor does that to me. Most of my contractors do not do that, but this time again, lately my contractor has been very flaky lately. It’s very weird, because I’ve really good guys, they’ve been with me a long time. He’s pulling that it’s out of scope and stuff, and I was fuming on that. And then he said, “Well, let me see what the costs of the additional material is.”
So after that, he was supposed to be there this morning. He wasn’t there this morning and now he says he’s not going to be there. This is Friday, and now he says Tuesday. So I said okay, I’ll be there Tuesday. And then I had to call my electrician change that again, but he’s doing another house of mine so it was easier because we’re just switching it around a little bit. So that wasn’t as major an issue.
And then I received a call the other day from my plumber. My plumber is like, this guy is so on point it’s not even funny. He is so accurate and so fastidious. But he called me up and then he said to me, “Joe, what do you have as a price for the rough install?” The rough is basically when the walls are open, you’re laying the pipe and everything else, that’s the rough part. And then the final part where everything gets closed up and things get connected, so on so forth, and then it looks presentable, that’s the final, so there’s two phases usually. So I said, “Well, I think it’s like 4,200, somewhere around there.” And then he said, “Yeah, he says that’s not the number.” I go, “What do you mean?” He says, “No.” I go, “What’s the number?” He says like $10,000 and I’m like, “$10,000?” He said, “Well, Joe, you were pressuring me into doing your friend’s job and I didn’t complete the SML.” What are you talking about? First of all, I didn’t pressure him. I was livid at that. I can’t believe it. He goes, “Well, you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to.” I go, “Yeah, I know, I don’t have to.” But I was just — and then I was fuming on that one. And it was just one thing after another.
And afterwards, I approved it, but I was really not in a good mood with that, because I said that throws off my budgets and everything else like that. I give him a lot of work and stuff, like I said, he’s really, really expensive. So, there are a few times I don’t use him, but I know if he does it, it’s passing inspection on the first try. The inspectors that come there look at his work and say, “Wow, this is a good job,” that’s how good his work is. His work is stellar. It just frustrated me a lot that he missed it by such a large amount and then tells me right before he has to go in there. I’m racing against time because we had just framed out the second floor of a house, and he’s supposed to install the plumbing work for it so then my other guys could come in right after inspection and we could close everything up. So I’m racing against time for inspections and everything, and coordinating between electricians, plumbers, HVAC, so on and so forth, to get everything in inspected and then closed up ASAP. So I was very upset at that, to say the least.
I had spoken to a person, it was a long time ago, and it was about probably four years ago. He’s an investor friend of mine and he does a lot of construction work as well. He said to me, he said, “Joe,” he says, “contractors have a certain shelf life. And then after that, you got to get rid of them and move on to other ones.” I don’t think he’s wrong on that. Unfortunately, one company that I was dealing with, they were just giving me a lot of problems and their work had started to fall off. I was giving him a lot of work, I mean, I keep almost fully employed just on my work. I stopped using him for a while, and then I asked him do a job, I know he was busy and he jumped right on my job. The thing is, is that the work he was doing for the most part for me was — I’m a rehabber. So he comes and goes there, I’m not on his back saying, “You left a little early today. Why did you do it this way?” Once a while I’ll ask the question, but in the end, he’ll do it and it’ll get done. Whereas when he’s working for a regular homeowner, those homeowners are going to ask lots of questions. They’re going to say, “Why did you do that? Why’d you leave early? Why this? When is it going to get done?” I asked those questions but to a lesser extent. I’m not going to really question him for the most part in terms of his approach to things. Yeah, once in a while, I’ll do, “No, no, no, no, I don’t want it like that.” But in the grand scheme of things, for a given two weeks or three weeks, I’ll ask maybe one question if that and the homeowner is going to ask lots more questions. So it’s always easier for him to work for me.
I had a gentleman that was my contractor for a period of years until he started raising his prices too excessively because he felt like I was making too much money. So he used to always say, “I don’t want to work or do anything for homeowners, I’ll just do it for rehabbers, because they ask too many questions and they’re breathing down my back every second.” And that’s the thing. So this gentleman that I’m working with, I think he realizes it because he was working with me so long that he forgot about the other side of it. He’s doing some work for me now and will probably do some additional work for me going forward. But I think sometimes it’s good to have a cooling off period, especially when you’re giving them lots of business like I do. So that’s that.
The other thing is, I’ll talk about it briefly. So I was talking last week about these four or five properties that I purchased or I’m buying them in bulk. So then, I talked about leaky oil tanks, so on so forth, that have to be fixed. But now, I have another problem with another one of those houses where it was rezoned to what’s OR, so it was rezoned a couple years ago to Office Research zoning. Usually, it’s zoned for single family, and they switch the zoning for this house and this area to Office Research zoning due to heavy flooding. So basically, they’re saying it’s not safe for residential living. They’re recommending that it be used for office space or parking lots, so basically level it.
I have an individual that I’m going to buy this house for that I can’t even buy as a single family, and that’s in my contract, because that’s what I plan to do with it. There’s a tenant in there now, so right now my attorney is looking into it in terms of what the township wants, but it might not be worth, it might be worth only $5,000, $6,000 instead of the 150 or 180,000 that I was going to pay. So I might have to say I’ll buy it for the land because we’re going to have to knock it down. But this gentleman is going to be in somewhat of a challenge with this, so I got to figure out what we’re going to do, how we’re going to negotiate it. But we’ll see, and I’ll update everyone next week. Hopefully I’ll have some information but I feel bad for this guy. He’s just been going through a lot and just one bad news upon the other with these properties.
So unfortunately, I got to go. Thank you very much for listening. Again, you could reach us at 973-240-8593 or templarcashforhouses.com. That’s T-E-M-P-L-A-Rcashforhouses.com. Everyone, have a nice weekend and God bless, take care of you and your family. 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
Listen to Us on the Templar Real Estate Show on WMTR 1250AM on Saturday at 10:00 AM