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 30, 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 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. And any questions or topics you want discussed on the show, I’d be more than happy to review and hopefully put on.
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 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 investors’ money. I’m not a real estate agent and we’re not a brokerage but I have individuals on staff that are agents that could sell your house through the traditional Multiple Listing Service.
This show is 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, and how we adjusted accordingly and 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’m going to provide you my opinion, it’s only my opinion. I ask everyone to research everything and make sure you do your due diligence. As I always say, if someone provides a recommendation to you, ask lots of questions, because that person might have a risk tolerance or might not have issues with certain things, whereas you may have issues with some of those things. So really, really ask lots of questions about it. And as they say, peel the onion back and really understand it, especially from someone that’s giving you a reference, deal with money, contract or so on and so forth.
So a shoutout to my favorite listener, Paulette, and also William and Bonnie R. and Sam S. Also, as always, if anybody’s interested in investing with us, please give us a call. All those investments are passive investments, you’re not going to be actively working on the property or in the investment itself. We come upon an agreement, and then you get paid a certain percentage based on what the deal is and how long the deal is. Certain times you’ll be paid on a monthly basis, other times you’ll be paid at the end of a specific project. Those projects that are less than a year usually get paid at the end. Those types of investments that last multiple years like investment in apartment complexes, it’d be usually getting paid monthly, and then there’s additional money at the end as well. But again, it depends on the type of project it is, type of deal it is. Again, if you’re interested in selling your house fast for cash, please give us a call and we’d be more than happy to set up an appointment, come by and take a look at it. We will never give you a quote over the phone, we always go to the house. That’s very important. Sometimes people call us and say, “Can’t you give me a price over the phone?” I cannot do that. Just like if you’re buying a car, you don’t buy it site unseen and just put a price on it, it’s just you can’t do that, especially when you’re dealing in hundreds of thousands of dollars. But unfortunately, certain companies just quote over the phone, I don’t do that, and I think it’s a bad business practice. Then you set up expectations that are going to be one price then it changes, it becomes very, very messy.
Also, if you know anyone that needs to sell their house for cash or needs to list their house, we accept referrals. We will always provide you with also a finder’s fee as a result of that. We’re very discreet about it, we’re not going to use your name if you don’t want that, so please give us a call. We’re especially looking for large apartment complexes, but we’ll do smaller ones like 40-50 units.
A couple other things. Right now I have six positions open. These are new positions and they are for underwriting apartment buildings. So we’re pushing hard this year in terms of purchasing apartment buildings and purchasing a bunch of them so I need underwriters that are going to do that. Now, the positions consists of someone that has a strong financial background, strong analytical skills, and strong business background, just holistically business. Doesn’t have to be specifically in real estate but I need someone that’s a numbers person, that knows how to crunch numbers on spreadsheets, and has the business acumen to figure things out. And like I said, I have six positions open. They’re full or part time. I just need dedicated individuals that want to work for us and maybe get into something new. I’m open for it, please contact me on it. I brought on one person last week or this week, technically, but I spoke to them last week. I spoke a little bit about them on the last show. She’s into mergers and acquisitions. She worked for Citi Group, and we hit it off and now she’s part of our group, and expect a lot of big things from her. I think she’s going to be a perfect fit in terms of the way she thinks and just her hard work ethic, which is extremely, extremely important for this company. We work very, very hard but that doesn’t mean we don’t relax or I don’t relax. My partners don’t relax but my staff does. It’s a good company to work for and I’m a great boss. But kidding aside, if you really want to join a good company, please give us a call. There’s potential for equity positions as well as a result if you’re successful and you’re the right type of person. So please yell and give me a call. I really like it, like to talk to you guys.
So the next thing I’d like to talk about briefly is one of the things about real estate that I like and is a big benefit is the ability to control it. So it’s something that’s hard, you put your arms around it and you could do certain things to make it appreciate. There’s forced appreciation, which means that you could upgrade kitchens or the cosmetic looks of real estate or apartment buildings, apartment complexes, and that raises the value. That’s forced appreciation. And then you have regular appreciation that’s based on the market, the traditionally might go up X percent per year. So that’s regular appreciation. But you could do forced appreciation and you have control over it.
Now, there’s articles that have been coming out all week, and it has to do with, I don’t know if you’ve hear, and it’s called Robin Hood and GameStop. So Robin Hood is a trading app where individuals can buy stock, sell stock, and options as well. And as a result of it, you have all these different groups, where they talk and they talk about the trades and everything else like that. And what happened was, on Reddit, one of these trading groups talked about purchasing GameStop. So GameStop is a retail location, they sell all the different games for videos and things like that. And even when I was trading back when, there was always lots of challenges with that company. And it was always in the teens and single digits and was all over the place, a lot of people always betted on shortening the stock to make it go down, that they thought it was going to go down. And that was years and years and years ago.
So back last year, about four or five months ago, it was trading at $6 a share. And a lot of investors, institutional investors were going to short the stock, and short the stock saying basically, “I’m betting that it’s going to go down. If it goes down, whatever it is, I get the difference.” Whatever you technically sell it at, which is it’s a little convoluted the saying on it, but it’s almost like buying it and you say it’s at $10. And if it goes down to $2, you make $2, it goes down to $8, you’d make $2 on it. And as a result of it, you had this entire group talking about purchasing the stock, and the stock is what they call “thinly traded” there’s not a lot of shares out there. So as a result of it, it could become very volatile, could go up very quickly or go down. Whereas something like Boeing has a lot of shares, and to make it move considerably, you have to trade lots and lots of shares. And it’s very, very difficult to, say, manipulate the stock too much. Whereas a thinly traded stock could move very, very quickly. As a result of it, all these individuals purchased the stock and it kept going up. And by the by the end of last week or something, it was at $347, that’s from $6. It’s a $6 stock. It’s not $100 stock, it’s really a true $6, $10 stock. And a lot of institutional investors were wanting to short the stock, and it kept going up and up and up and up. And as a result of it, it’s caused a lot of problems for these institutional hedge funds that wanted to short the stock. One company lost $32 billion because of this, so it’s really crazy. But again, there is some control with this, but it’s a thinly traded stock. And it’s this group of individuals that just started “let’s buy, let’s buy, let’s buy.”
But again, really, you don’t have no fundamentals behind it or anything else like that. I’m happy for everyone that made a lot of money on it. And truthfully, all the hedge funds that lost money, a lot of people are happy about that as well because that’s big Wall Street losing money and the little guy is making lots of money, which is great, I love it. But on the flip side is that control. And when you’re on the right side, it’s excellent. But if you’re on the wrong side, it’s not so good and could be painful. And the same thing goes with just other stocks where you have institutional traders shorting the stock and you’re in there, and they just keep piling it on and eventually could go down, and then you’re left with a huge loss. So you can’t control these things, really, it’s just the dynamics of the market. Whereas with real estate, I could control my destiny with that for the most part. If a neighborhood goes bad, obviously, it will go down, your properties will go down. But this doesn’t happen overnight and you could have the telltale signs before something like that does happen. But for the most part, you could appreciate in real estate and if you do certain things, you could appreciate it considerably. And that’s one of the strengths of real estate and that’s why I like it so much, as you can control your destiny with it.
Now, with the stock market, things are getting, very, very high and you have a lot of big players saying, they’re hedging against, they’re pulling out as a result of that and going into more conservative type of assets because the market keeps going up. And this reminds me so much of the .com days, because people would just purchase stock and it would just go up. I was there, the same thing happened. I had an individual that I worked with, he used to buy stocks based on how he liked the name, and then we’d go up. It was just one thing after another and they kept going up and up and then you put more money into it. But there will be a day where there’s a reckoning, and when it happens, it’s extremely swift. During the .com, I remember the market was up I don’t know how much and one day it came down, it was down hundreds, hundreds of points. And then all the buyers came in and brought it back up, but it wasn’t at the top anymore. Then the next day, it came down again and it never came back. And that’s what happens with the market, all of a sudden it’ll come back and you’ll be like, “Okay, everything’s okay.” But then the next day, again, the volatility starts and the selling starts. And you’re saying, “Well, it’s going to come back,” and it doesn’t. It’s a big gamble with this, especially as it gets higher. So, again, really protect your positions, as I said last week, make sure you put the proper stop losses in there. So in case it goes down, your basically stock is sold or your mutual fund is sold and you could hold on to your profit, so please do that. So I’m going to close out this session. And we’ll be back shortly, thank you very much.
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, that’s one word.
Again, if you’re looking to sell your house fast for cash, please give us a call. If you’re interested in investing in real estate passively, give us a call. If you’re interested in selling your house through the traditional Multiple Listing Service, please give us a call, we’re more than happy to help you. And if you have any issues with real estate and you just need a few minutes to talk on something, please give us a call on that as well. I’m not going to charge you for it, and we’re here to help you out. That’s one of our biggest things and that’s our biggest mission is really to help people out.
A couple other things, I spoke about the market and stocks, everything like that in this past segment. But again, I always want to really harp on protecting your investments, and that’s the biggest thing. And as I always say in the beginning of my broadcast is we do not speculate, and with the real estate market now, it’s really just speculation. It’s not investing, it’s speculation. And that’s what a lot of people are doing. And way back when, now everybody thought they were great at picking stocks, and then judgment time came and the market did a massive correction. And it will happen again, there’s not “maybe it’ll happen again.” It will happen again and make sure you’re on the right side and you protect those profits. Okay? Again, when we invest in real estate, we do not speculate either. We didn’t purchase as many houses this year as previous years because I was not going to chase the market and the prices. It wasn’t sound. And, again, people made money, that’s great but I was not going to do that and we were not going to do that just to hopefully make a profit. And speculation is something that I do not like to do. When we underwrite, and that’s to look for risk, we’re very conservative. Those individuals that I want to bring on board that are going to help underwrite these deals, and they’re going to determine risk associated with it and cash flow and all those things, we want to be conservative because we want to protect our money, as well as our investors’ money. So it’s very, very important to us.
Couple things, we had a individual, she had a condo. And we listed to it through the Multiple Listing Service. My agent went out there and it was a nice condo, it was in Clifton. And one of the things we told her is that in her complex, in her area, the condos and properties were not flying off the shelf, they just weren’t, it was just taking considerably longer than other areas. And it wasn’t because the area was bad. It’s just for whatever reason, they weren’t moving as quickly. She took that to heart and understood that. So as time progressed, it took some time to sell but we did finally put it under contract. And one of the biggest things is that her condo didn’t have a lot of upgrades associated with it but it was meticulously clean and neat, and did not have clutter. Whereas other condos which are still on the market, where it had some upgrades and were priced higher. So sometimes the upgrades help and sometimes they really don’t.
We were looking at or one of my agents was looking at with her, because what happened was we put it under contract and she said, “Well, I need another condo in Monmouth County and I’d like you to come and take a look at it.” So my agent went down there and they looked at a number of condos that she liked in a particular complex. And one of them was just redone but the accents and things that were upgraded all clashed. And as a result of it, it just did not look good. And that’s one of the things that’s really important, is that if you’re going to put upgrades and enhancements to a house, to a condo, whatever the case may be, you got to really understand where the market is and really what the tastes are of individuals, not your taste, it doesn’t really matter. It’s where the market’s going, what the market will accept, and those individuals that are the market will accept. Even though everything was upgraded in the condo, they passed on it because it was an eyesore. And I see that time and time again, that individuals upgrade things and they’re really not upgrading the way they should. The other thing is that she looked at one condo, so the condos there were going for about $175,000, and she looked at one that was about $275,000. So you could appreciate a condo so much and there are certain things that you can’t push it too far. Sometimes you could do it with a house, because you could do a lot of different things. So you could put an in-ground pool, you could do a number of things to really increase the value considerably. But with a condo, it’s only so much. The outside is the outside, you can’t change that. So it’s really the four walls inside the condo. And you could lay it with gold on the floor but doesn’t mean anyone’s going to buy it.
There’s one individual, she redid her condo and it was a two-bedroom at the time. She knocked down walls and redid it, and my agent says, “Man, it was beautiful but it wasn’t worth the money or nobody was going to buy it based on the complex and the amenities associated with the complex, even though it was a beautiful condo.” So she’s going to have a lot of problems trying to sell it, it’s about $100,000 more than the nearest one and they’re selling for approximately $180,000, $175,000, maybe pushing $200,000 on some other ones that are two or three bedrooms. But this is basically now a one-bedroom but it has beautiful finishes. It’s European modern type finishes, a lot of money was invested in it, but the ability to sell that is going to be very difficult. And that’s the thing, you got to know what to put into a house or a condo, the types of accents and types of upgrades, and what not to do. When we purchase a house and we rehab it, we try to be conservative a little bit. We’re not just putting in lights everywhere, putting in this upgrade, putting in this upgrade, because you won’t get it back. So you really got to know what you’re putting in and what you’re going to get out of it. Now, it might be your home and you might want certain upgrades and that’s fine. That’s what you want to be with, then for the next 10 years, 15 years and say, “I want this,” and that’s perfect. And that’s the way it should be, it’s your house. But on the flip side, it’s just when you sell it, it might not be that favorable. And again, 15 years later, you could kind of do certain things maybe to adjust accordingly. But just balance that out, it’s always your house so you should do what you want to it. It’s just the marketability on the other side sometimes, and you don’t always have to think about that when you’re upgrading it. But if you’re going to upgrade to sell, make sure it doesn’t matter what your tastes are, it’s what the market will bear. And that’s very, very important.
I was hearing someone, a broker talk, this is a change of subject, he said to the person, “Well, you could just contact the township and they’ll be more than happy to help you out,” so on and so forth. So I just started laughing inside me because the broker didn’t know from practical experience. And that’s the thing, we have lots of experience, practical experience. Because depending on the township, it really just depends, because some are more helpful than others. I had one from Cedar Grove, they called me on Labor Day because of an outstanding call I had on them. So there’s certain ones that people are just there to help you out. And then there’s others that they’ll help you out begrudgingly. I had one of my attorneys said something to someone because they were asking about the county and getting some records from the county. And what the attorney said is it all depends on the mood and subjective emotions of the clerk who you talk to and when you catch them. And that’s it, it depends on their mood sometimes, it’s that simple. So when you’re working with real estate professionals, you got to understand that they might have done stuff for a long time but do they have the practical experience? We have that now with one of our houses where we’re selling the house, we still have an outstanding permit that needs to be closed out. And the agent is pushing and saying things that are not accurate to us and complaining, and she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. It’s that simple. I can’t put it any clearer than that. She’s calling up the township and saying, “Joe, there’s an inspection Tuesday,” and I’m saying, “There’s no inspection on Tuesday.” We haven’t paid for the permit yet because we weren’t given the price for it. So as soon as we get how much it is, we’re going to pay for it, and then we’re going to schedule it, but they don’t just schedule it. So she’s all upset and I’m pushing back on certain things as a result of it. And then the agents got my agent up in arms on this also because she keeps calling and yelling and, again, total lack of professionalism. She thinks she knows what she’s talking about, she does not. And that’s a part of the game, unfortunately. We have one house we’re selling and the agent selected an attorney, and then the client after dealing with the attorney said, “Forget it. I’m going to deal with another attorney.” So it has delayed certain things. Again, you got to use the right professionals and it’s that simple. And sometimes it’s very difficult to find the right professionals.
Well, thank you very much. I appreciate it. Again, if you want to reach us, call us at 973-240-8593 or templarcashforhouses.com Thank you very much. God bless and have a nice weekend.
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Be sure to listen to the podcast of the Templar Real Estate Talk Show. Find it now at templarbuyshouses.com.
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