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 January 2, 2020
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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 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 and we could respond to any questions you have. If you want anything discussed on the radio show, we’d be more than happy to do it if we could 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 or 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 can sell your house through the traditional Multiple Listing Service.
This show will go through everything there is about real estate, 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 overcame those issues. 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 the more you know about real estate, it’ll help you out in the end.
I will provide you with my opinion, it’s only my opinion. I ask everyone to do research. That’s one of the biggest things I harp on and I want to plead on people to do. Like I always say, on the Internet, there’s lots of opinions and sometimes, it’s hard to ferret out what’s good and what’s not good. It’s a big challenge and it’s not an easy task. No matter what you do or what you’re looking up, we were looking up an air fryer for my son, he wanted one, and by the time I looked at all the reviews, I had no idea. It sounded like all of them were lousy even though a lot of them got good reviews, so it’s very, very difficult because you really don’t know, the one individual might say it’s making a lot of noise, another one says this, another one says that, I think we got a good one, but again, we’ll see, but at least you could get some information on it. I think it’s just a bunch of trading off, nothing’s going to be perfect and that’s just the way it is. Another example is for refrigerators and we buy refrigerators for our flips but you start reading these things and you’re like, well, I don’t know if I’d want to buy it and it seemed like every one I’ve looked at, they’ve all had challenges between water leaking to not cooling, to making too much noise, so like I said, do your research, I always say ask for references but ask lots of questions. If you’re getting a reference from someone for anything, ask a lot of questions and always ask, one of the questions you always gotta ask is what don’t you like about something? And I think that’s a big thing instead of how do you like the service? How do you like that person? How do you like the product? It’s like, what don’t you like about it, and I think that sometimes will ferret out additional questions and concerns. So again, try to ask the right questions.
The other thing is, I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah and coming up, happy new year. We had missed a show a couple weeks ago because of some programming issues, so you didn’t hear me for one week, but that’s been fixed, so I’m happy about that. I’d like to also say hi to Paulette, one of my listeners, as well as Thomas G. and Susan G.. I would also like to thank my private investors that I’ve brought on, Jim and Cheryl, so I’d like to thank them as well.
So again, you might hear me talk about private investors. What is a private investor? A private investor is an individual that will supply funds for me and they will go into one of my investments and they will get a rate of return, and that rate of return depends on the situation, either a monthly check or at the end of a particular project. Usually, at the end of a particular project, it’s designed for less than 12 months, whereas a monthly payment is usually a longer duration, usually, three, five years, approximately, so it really depends on the investment and what it is, and what we’re doing with it.
Also, if you’re interested in selling your house fast for cash, please give me a call, anytime you call in, you say, “Buy my house fast,” we will be more than happy to come to your house, take a look at it, and we’ll see if we could have an offer that you’re satisfied with and we are satisfied with, and again, you could close as quick as you want. You could close literally in, seven days is very aggressive, we’ve done it, but it is very aggressive because we just have to make sure that everything goes through with the title company, so on and so forth. Usually, two weeks to three weeks, to a month is the norm. Again, it depends on your needs, it depends how we want to structure it, but we are always here to help you out, and again, if that’s not what you’re looking for, we could sell the traditional way and I have a lot of great agents and they’ll market the property, we’ll go through everything in terms of things you need to change, enhance to ensure that the property sells for as high a dollar amount as we could get for it. One of the things that we do is we want to ensure that when we market the property and we list the property, we list it for the proper price.
I had a situation where I had quoted out a house in terms of, I said, “You’ll probably get about $260,000 for it,” and the gentleman went to another agent and they said, I think they said, “You could get $300,000 for it,” I think it was $300,000, and they came back to me and said, “Joe, there’s a difference of $40,000.” I said, “I’m telling you, you’re not getting $400,000 for it,” and they decided to go with the other agent, which is fine, and they listed it for $290,000, and they eventually had to come down $30,000 to the $260,000 I originally stated and they had to keep it for, it was four months, and again, if you price it right, it will sell quickly. There’s always those extenuating circumstances and a lot of times, we will see in the first couple weeks how we are getting traction, and with that, then we could determine if we keep the price the same, if we have to lower the price a little bit, you could kind of get a feeling based on who’s coming in, the activity, the amount of activity, and then we could adjust accordingly, and we want to make sure that it’s priced right. If it’s not priced right, then you’ll start having the reductions, and right now in the market, it’s still a good market, one of the good things is like around, everybody thinks that around Christmas time, it’s not a good time to sell the house but those individuals that are looking for a house during Christmas time, they are definitely very interested and that’s one thing that you have to think about. So, unfortunately, Christmas has passed and when you hear this radio show, New Year’s would have passed also, but this time of year, it is good to sell a house, I don’t think because it’s the holidays, especially this time of year because of COVID, those individuals that are out really want to see houses and they really want to buy a house, so that’s very important.
The other thing I want to talk about is also, if you know of anyone that wants to sell their house quickly or through the traditional Multiple Listing Service, please give us a call, we provide a finder’s fee as well as if you know of anyone that’s selling or wants to sell an apartment complex, preferably 100 units but I’ll go down to 50 units, if it’s less, I’ll still look at it and hopefully, we can make a deal.
The other thing I want to talk about is a little bit about we got the stimulus bill and now, they are debating back-and-forth whether it’s going to be $2000 or $600 for cash in people’s pockets, and either way, first of all, $600 is just about nothing and especially up here in the northeast, and it’s really not going to help anyone. They do have some of the programs that are going to help certain people but as a whole, the stimulus package is really not going to help much in terms of businesses. There is some talk about some PPP again which will provide some additional funds, but as a whole, it’s not really business centric or even people centric if you really think about it. If you get the $2000, I think that’s going to help a number of people but it’s really a stopgap. It’s not going to fix those individuals that have been missing mortgages for six months or so, it’s not going to help that much; it’s a little drop in the bucket. So, unfortunately, that’s the way the politicians did it. As I said, last year, when they put together the first stimulus bill, there were a lot of programs for businesses, so again, if businesses, especially small businesses get the money, they could continue to keep people on staff which is going to help everyone, and I think that’s a part of it.
I also think it’s important that a certain amount of money does go directly to just individuals in general to help them out. I’m usually very fiscally conservative, but under the situation, I think everything was so dramatic that this needed to happen in terms of the steps from last year. I do not like what’s going on with the second stimulus bill and personally, I think we should get rid of all the politicians and start over, but that’s my little comment for today on that.
I’d like to close out this segment and I’ll be right back, and then we could talk a little further about a number of things that went on this week and a few other things. Again, you could reach me 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.
So right now, I’d like to discuss a couple other things that occurred this week. We get a lot of calls from individuals that are in a real bind, and one of the reasons why I love my business is to try to help individuals. I had one person, I had spoken to her and she had gone onto my website and she filled out a form, and then it usually gets automatically sent to myself and my staff and we usually call back as quick as possible. So, this form came through and then it came through again, and then it came through again, so it literally came through, like, three or four times and within, like, 10 minutes, so I knew the woman was upset just by what was happening. So, I called her back immediately and she said, “I can’t talk right now, I’m getting my haircut but I’d like to talk to you in the evening later on, like, around 9:30 at night.” I said, “Sure, no problem.” So, we work literally just about seven days a week, so it doesn’t really matter to us, so I called her back at 9:30 and she said, “I can’t talk right now, my husband is around. Can I talk to you in the morning?” I said, “Yeah, no problem,” and she called back and she said she’s getting a divorce and she needs to sell her house. I looked at the house and she told me how much she had for the mortgage, and it was approximately $165,000, and I looked closely at the comps. It was a condo. So, condos are a lot easier to comp out and figure out what the market price is, especially on condos because you usually have other condos that are sold in the same area, they’re all basically the same. It’s not like a house where there’s a lot of variations, so it’s fairly easy, and every condo I saw was selling for, like, $160,000, $165,000 and she said she owed, like, $165,000, and I said, “First of all, I’m not going to be able to buy it for cash but even if you list it, you could list it for $165,000, you could maybe list it for $170,000, maybe, but by the time you have all closing costs and everything else associated with it, you’re going to have to take money out of your pocket,” and she understood but it was really tough. She had refinanced and I guess rolled everything into the mortgage. We have seen this a number of times, and it sounds good but in the end, you might have a property that you can’t sell, and recently, I’ve seen this a lot, especially with individuals that have had condos, for some reason, or townhomes and they just can’t sell them because they owe too much money on it or they owe what the market is on it.
We have one property that we’re trying to sell for this individual, it’s a townhome, a beautiful townhome. It’s very clean, and that’s one of the biggest things when you’re selling a house, you’re selling a condo, townhome, is to have everything as clean as possible because you don’t want someone coming into the house and saying, it’ll get turned off completely if it’s not clean. We push very hard on that to make sure everything is as clean as possible and also in order, but cleanliness is one of the biggest things because you’ll just turn the person completely off. So, this individual, she has a beautiful townhome, there’s not too many upgrades but it’s super clean and very tidy. It’s not cluttered and it shows well, it shows very well. But in her complex, there’s three other condos also, some are upgrades, some are not and they are not selling either, and sometimes, certain areas, certain townhome complexes, condo complexes just don’t sell as quickly as other ones and they just stay on the market for a longer amount of time. It’s just like particular areas of the town don’t sell as quickly as other parts of town, and that’s something we have to factor in. We’re going to probably do a price reduction as a result of that, and that’s just the way it is with real estate. It’s not always a simple thing even on a hot market where things always sell as quickly as you think they do, and you’ll hear agents talk about it but it’s not accurate all the time. They are pushing the hype, so you have to be aware of that. Certain markets sell faster than other markets.
Now, there are certain predictions that this year in 2021, the market is still going to be hot and I think it will be to some extent, but certain areas are going to be hotter still than others. When you read certain articles, I always tell everyone, be very, very careful when you’re reading an article on real estate because it depends on the location. I saw certain predictions where they are saying a lot more houses are going to be purchased sight unseen, except through a video. Around here, that’s not the case. If it was in Arizona, somewhere like that, definitely, the market is super, super hot there. Texas, if you look at the migration pattern of people, a lot of people are leaving California. They are going to Arizona and they’re going to Texas, Texas is blowing up in terms of the individuals. Another area is Florida, a lot of people from the East Coast, New Jersey, New York, they’re moving down to Florida, so you’re going to see that. So, certain areas are going to just continue to rise very quickly whereas other areas will not. We are having a net loss for the most part in Jersey. There are a lot of individuals coming from New York City moving over to New Jersey which is good, we’re just going to compensate for some of that net loss. The areas that are going to be hot are still going to be Burton County, Hudson County, those are two of the big ones, there are other ones also, but again, when you read an article that says certain things, especially when it’s coming to real estate, real estate is very regional oriented and it really depends on the state, depends on a lot of factors, and you just can’t take those things at face value. You got to look into the numbers a lot closer, and just like in California, some of the prices are going down. Some are still going up, most definitely, but a lot of people are leaving California. They are tired of the government and the high taxes, there’s an unbelievable number of taxes and all the regulations associated with it. Same thing is New York City. So, New York City had a lot of individuals leave and that there were about 70,000 people that left the metropolitan area of New York City, and as a result of it, there is about $34 billion in lost income, so that’s a lot of money.
There’s a couple factors associated with it, there is the high taxes associated with it and they want to up the taxes again on high net worth individuals, and then also, you have all the restrictions associated with COVID and all those factors, so you got two strikes against you with that. Now, New York is having some of these issues before COVID and certain high net worth individuals were leaving and going to Florida. Well, that’s accelerated as a result of this, and when we look at houses and we price houses out, we have a thing called the two-strike rule, so the two-strike rule is basically, if there’s two factors that are really, like, called a strike against it, we might not purchase that house or when we are selling the house for an individual, we’re going to bring those factors up and say it’s going to be harder to sell.
We had a house which was small to begin with, it was about 900 ft.² and it had a small driveway and no garage, so it was a small house and no garage, and all the complaints we were getting is, “Well, it’s small but if it had a garage, we’d buy it,” or “We didn’t care about the garage but it’s too small and we don’t have enough room in it,” and there was a lot of individuals stating that. The house was really done up really well, we had the whole house, it was a beautiful house, and the paint colors we picked, everything just really popped on the house but there were two factors, two issues associated with it. We still made a good dollar on it but we had to keep it considerably longer than we wanted to. That’s with everything being optimal in terms of what we did to the house. Now, if someone doesn’t rehab the house to the degree that it needed it, it’s going to stay on considerably longer or you’re going to have to be more aggressive with the pricing. It’s just, that’s the way it is, and that two-strike rule really hurts things. You don’t need three strikes to fail, it’s two strikes, and the same example is for New York City. New York City is having a lot of challenges and they’re going to have a lot of challenges in the future, and a number of people are saying, “Well, New York is not going anywhere,” so on and so forth, and to some extent, it’s not, but it’s not going to be what it used to be. A lot of individuals will say, “We’re going to bank on it,” and for something like New York City, it’s easy to say that and no one’s going to say you’re crazy for that. It used to be like in IT. I was in IT for a long time and a long time ago, it was always said that no one will lose their job if you hire IBM, so if you had two vendors you needed to select, if you selected IBM and you didn’t think they were the best, you still wouldn’t lose your job but no one could say anything because of the clout associated with IBM and the prestige and who IBM is. Same thing I say is for New York City. No one’s going to say you’re crazy if you’re banking on New York City, but it’s not going to be where it used to be. Again, a lot of high net worth individuals and a lot of individuals are moving out of New York City. New York City will always be New York City and we had that migration along a while ago when a number of companies moved over to Jersey City. Jersey City was built up based on a lot of financial institutions being moved over, and right now, a number of financial institutions or companies are moving down to Florida. So, I think it’s going to continue that way and they’re going to have a lot of challenges.
Well, I gotta close out this segment, I’d like to thank everyone, I hope everyone has a great new year and we all survive this pandemic and hopefully, there’s not as much impact on everyone’s families as a result of that, so I’d like to say thank you very much, God bless, and take care.
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