Property Buyers Group Blog

Just a typical day in the Rehab business with Unreliable Sub-Contractors....

Wanted to share this BLOG with you guys as it happens day after day in our business and no one ever talks about it.  Everyone talks about the Good (which is what we should talk about), BUT what about the Bad and the Ugly!!!  So decided to share a couple of entertaining examples that I have experienced the last couple of months.

Example #1                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

So I have been trying to get Glass companies, etc to come by and give me an estimate on this Sunroom, Florida Room (whatever you want to call it). There are about 15 broken window seals which have condensation inside make it difficult to look at the wonderful river view. Little did I know this should have been a little easier than I thought.  15 calls to Glass companies two times-sometimes three just to get them to call me back - only 7 call backs, 5 appointments set, 5 confirmed the day before, and only 2 show up.  Wait it gets better - Out of the two that showed up - One showed up on wrong date and one showed up 2 hours late and Wait there is more….. Neither of the 2 that sat here for over 45 minutes gave me an estimate when they said they would.  I called and emailed and texted and sent certified letters and Morse code…..Nada, Nothing from these inconsiderate $@#$@$@$...... 

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So back to drawing board-finally found the company that built this.  2 weeks later I get an estimate for 18K. What would your reaction be to replace 15 pieces of glass? I asked her if this glass is gold plated, has maybe a hidden heating unit inside the glass, diamonds, something to justify your absurd quote.  2 weeks later a phone calls from the company "Hey adam-The owner has never done this before and he really wants to get this job done for you as it's our product.  "He will bring the price down $17,100”.  What do you think I said to them….I can't put on this blog post or might get taken down, but you can get the hint.  "Thanks for the deep deep discount but I am going to pass".  She hasn’t stopped calling me since.

So back to drawing board again - Called my handyman who is an actual Glazier in his real job!!! Got the price of materials down to $1200 and will pay him some money for the labor.  Didn’t go to him in the first place because it's on a hill and not safe at all but he said he can do it….Win-Win for everyone but it is still not done as of 1/23/16.  Why you ask-Because my handyman is unreliable (LOL)!

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Example #2 

The Dreaded Tree Guys is a Sub that no one should ever have to deal with.  If you can watch YouTube and learn how to cut down trees yourselves - then do it.  It will save you Thousands of dollars and migraine headaches!!  It is probably the biggest scam of a business in the world…They have no rhyme or rhythm to how they come up with their prices.  They basically pull them out of their "you know what!!!"  

So I had 2-3 trees that needed to come down at one of my properties.  They were 100% dead and either leaning or hanging over the house.  BTW I did some Periscope videos on this if you want to check them out on my website.  I called about 7 different companies off Home Advisors, Craigslist, Pulled some cards off the bulletin boards at the local hardware store and Referrals from local neighbors.  We had a better percentage of call backs with these guys than the window guys.  7 calls and 7 appointments (CAW!!!).  Only 2 no shows--3 of them 1-3 hours late without a phone call and the other 2 guys an hour early.  Wow…An hour early. 

What goes on is this:  You show them the trees and go through what you want taken down.  They only give you a price to get the trees down to the ground.  Then you have to either have them cut and taken away or cut and leave them for firewood.  I wanted them cut, put in a certain area and split - not leave them cut in the random areas making my life more difficult.  Or else I would have to go through this whole drill again with finding someone to cut and split the wood!!  Then they try to tell you about other trees that don’t have much longer to live.  They point, look up, point some more, and point some more and then come up with a price.  I am very clear with them…I only want these trees that put the house in danger taken down like we discussed and that is it.  So between the 5 that showed some were more professional than others - took notes, pics, made diagrams, etc. Prices came in between $2300-$5000…Yup-that was the range for the same job…

I narrowed it down to one guy and told him he was hired.  Nice guy - didn’t take notes and his price was $2500.  Set a date, asked for his insurance and the day before he sent over insurance which expired 2 years ago.  I said your truck said you’re insured.  What happened?  I told him not to show up.  I will go with someone else.                                                                                                                     

I called the next guy and he was $2400 and we set a date.  He had to come back with his climber to take another look.  Confirmed - Got insurance - Confirmed the day before and said he was a week behind due to unforeseen circumstances.  *%#@#%^%*^.  What is wrong with you people?  You could have told me that earlier in the week as I have better things to do with my time.  Fired before he even started.            

Went to Tree Company #3…Set a date, price, etc.  He did show up on time with one other guy on the day he was supposed to.  I said: "It's only 2 of you and you plan on doing all this work in one day.  He starts yapping away about how he misread these trees and he does not feel safe climbing them and does not want to use my insurance if one of them falls on the house.  He said that 3 times.  I said clearly "What are you talking about.  You do this for a living - I assume you are a professional which obviously is not the case.  I drove 2 hours to meet you and now you said you misread these trees.  Are you kidding - Stop looking up at the trees Chris - They are not going to change by looking at them.  Hope you head falls off!"  He says "we would need another $1200 to bring a crane in".  I said "Get the hell out of here and I will be sure to review your amazing service you provide".

Back to Square one again and bear in mind winter is coming and we need to get these trees down.  Got another referral for an Arborist - Fancy word for Tree Guy.  He came-He took notes-explained to me what his plan was going to be (the only one that did that).  He hugged these trees, He tasted them, licked them, and french kissed them!!  He priced them right in front of me, had his insurance in hand and we set a date 5 days later.  He was expensive but I know I had the guy that would get this done.  He is exactly what you can imagine a tree guy would look like.  Wrangler Jeans with the big chain wallet, flannel shirt, buck knife holder on his belt, big ass boots, grizzly beard - you get the hint.  But he shows up with one guy.  He says “2 of my guys cancelled on me, hard to get good labor here"  Me: Nooooo Really - Didn’t realize that". It was suppose to be a one day job but they work short hours and took him three days but the job has been done…Thank God....

In Conclusion

Why dont trades want to work anymore is my question?  I have better things to do with my time and they should as well (especially the people that spent 30min-1hr at a property). Why do they advertise on websites that charge money to promote their business?  Why do they take time to post an ad on CL and other sites and not respond to a potential job.  Why do they set appointments and not show up, WHY-WHY-WHY…. I literally can write a book the size of the Webster’s Dictionary about this topic but to be honest we have all been through it and I don’t need to explain it.  What I have learned on this property and others is that you get what you pay and that good workers are hard to find.  That is the moral of this BLOG.  The End…………                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

The Art of the Professional Squatter......And How to Prevent them from Moving in!

It's been a few weeks since my last Blog as I have been setting up my new vacation home in Upstate NY and have been working on my other projects so time has not been on my side.  With that said I wanted to touch on the topic of Squatters.      

Webster's Definition:

  • Someone who lives in a building or on land without the permission of the owner.                                                            
  • One that settles on property without right or title or payment of rent.   

I am not sure how it is in other markets around the country but I can tell you in the State of New York it is offensive.  We are so pro-tenant that you can lose your building to these people.  They can move in if your property is vacant or partially vacant, destroy the property and some even try to take over the building by falsifying documents.  They generally target vacant Foreclosures-Short Sales and properties that are under construction.  They will live rent free for months, some even years.  We call them "PROFESSIONAL SQUATTERS" and they do this for a living.  And in NY there is nothing we can do except take them to court in a long drawn out eviction process.  The Police won't do anything nor will the city or state.  It is totally absurd.  I can talk about my experiences with these CATS all day long, but just a couple of examples that stick out that I thought you would enjoy. 

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Example 1:  A partner of mine was finishing up his 2 family rehab in Queens NY and he gets a call from his neighbor asking why his tenants are moving in at 230am.  To his knowledge he has not rented the property out nor was the rehab complete.  He called the cops and he shows up an hour later.  Drapes were installed, locks were changed, crowbar from opening the door on the couch, broken window, TV hung on the wall, beds were set up in the bedrooms, the kitchen was stocked with dishes and food, you get the hint.  My partner says "#$#^$&$*%(*(%%^*$"...Get out of my house.  They said that someone rented it to them and showed some fake lease to the cops.  The cops fully understood that they broke into the house and didn't believe a word these crooks said, but there was nothing they can do and my partner had to bring them to court which took him 2 months to evict.  

Example 2: I evicted a tenant out of one my 2 families that I own upstate.  Eviction took about 2 months.  Not only did it take 2 months they left all their belongings in the house which by law the landlord has to keep for 30 days. Which means to me-1 month more of no rent and have to pay to remove their bed bug infested crap.  Nice-Huh-It gets better.  After the lockout happened the alarm goes off in this unit and guess what.  The tenant we locked out and evicted decided to break in and move back in.  Yup and guess what-Had to go through the eviction process again.....

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       This is the Squatters Rights Symbol

 

This type of garbage happens all over the country in all types of neighborhoods, but generally happens in the distressed areas where there is poverty, projects, and subsidized housing, etc.  We are not afraid of these areas as there is money to be made and we are rejuvenating these blocks one by one and bringing up home values.  With that said we have come up with a very simple fix to prevent these SQUATTERS from moving in.  

Tip of the Year:  We have a few guys that we utilize that move into our rehabs once the walls are up, painted and the property has running water and working mechanicals.  They basically live rent free but always move around to new properties rotating to where they are needed.  Obviously we are always in different stages of each of our properties so on occasion they will need to fill the GAP.  We try and keep them in their specific counties-cities so they are not so far away from their comfort zone.  Some don't drive so they need to be near public transportation, etc, etc.  Their form of payment is generally a brand new rehab to live in each and every week or month and sometimes get a little spending money.  They take care of the property, make sure it stays clean for showings, mow the lawn, bring in the mail, etc.  And at the end of the day with this system we keep the BAD SQUATTERS out and the TEMPORARY good SQUATTERS in!

The Art of the LP - No.....Not the LP Vinyl Record!!!

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It's the dreaded LP - "Lis Pendens for Short".  It's not the LP that the bank files when you are late 3 months on your mortgage payment.  It's not a Mechanics Lien.  It's the best LP of them ALL.  The KING of all LP's.  The LP you SLAP on a property when you are in contract on a house and the seller decides not to sell to you because your competition offered the seller more money.  And these LP's are even better when the seller cashes your Ernest Money Deposit you gave them.  That technically puts you and the seller in full contract 100%.

What the LP does is CLOUD THE TITLE and makes it just about impossible to sell the property to anyone else, which puts a little damper into the plans for the seller and buyer.  There is really no Title Company in the world that will insure a property with an LP against it unless it is paid off.  Although we are a honest and hardworking company that has a great reputation we are in business to make money - so when sellers goes back on their word and try to play games this is what we do when we have a signed executed contract.  It's not for everyone as it costs quite a bit of cash and have to make sure you have an attorney that can get it done the right way.  This  is why alot of investors stay away from these types of deals-they just tend to say "oh well" or call us to take over.  We have three of these going on currently but one from last week that sticks out which inspired me to do a BLOG on this subject:

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A newbie investor called me recently (Lets say his name is Julio) and said he had a deal for us in Suffolk County, Long Island NY that he was in contract on.  I ran the comps, looked at pics, and so on…I said "Julio, get me into the property for a quick look and we will sign contracts".  5 days pass and a red flag goes up in my head.  I knew he was in contract and gave a deposit that was cashed, emails from the seller basically begging to know when they can get the money as she can't even buy soap to wash her hands.  Note: When giving Earnest money Deposits make sure you put the address, etc in the Memo line: "Deposit for 123 John Street"

Some email headlines from seller:

  • "Can you give me a check and some cash"
  • "How long does the check take to clear"
  • "I need some time to clean out the house after payment"
  •  Etc, Etc, Etc

So I knew Julio had a hot lead ready to sell…….so we thought......

I said Julio - "If the seller has not called you back, returned texts, emails, etc then they are shopping around and/or got a better offer.  Slap an LP on the property ASAP-like today-now".

Julio said- "Can you guys do this as I am not that experienced in this and money is tight".

Me- "Yes.  We will draw up contracts and send over.  How much do you want as assignment fee. $$$$$.  Done….We are in contract now and in full control of this deal.  Everyone is happy.

That very same day an email from sellers attorney comes in explaining how this contract is canceled, deemed Null and Void as my client had no understanding whatsoever in what she had signed and has been under DURESS.  Really (LOL), I don’t think so.  From her emails, texts she very well knew what is going on.  This is a boilerplate email we see on occasion from sellers attorneys that try to pull out of a contract that their seller signs.  We know the sellers attorney which means she will not be too happy and has no case at all.  I am not sure how far this will go in court as the seller does not have the financial capability but we do and the deal is worth pursuing.  The End

To Be Continued……………………………………………………

Setting Your Goals in this Crazy Real Estate Business

So this Blog came to me when I saw numerous posts on Facebook and other group sites that are all about struggles, set-backs and giving up and all I think is that these so called investors are looking for attention or just a pick me up-probably the latter.  They want some therapy, someone to talk to and vent to figure out how to get out of the RAT RACE.  Some type of motivation and to hear from others investors that have been in their shoes. As we have all been here no matter what anyone says. ROME WAS NOT BUILT IN A DAY.  Making money and building any business takes time and in this crazy Real Estate Business there is a ton of competition out there. 

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I figured it would be great to do a short Blog about SETTING YOUR GOALS. I am not that mushy type of guy for those of you that know me and to be honest I think some of you find me a little offensive and controversial. It could be my NYC attitude from my previous stressful career I had before getting into real estate, but I am ok with that!!!

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When I quit my job almost 3 years ago and joined Fortune Builders I set a lot of goals. Many of them are not achieved yet - but I will not give up until they are. I have setbacks every day in this competitive NYC market but you have to move on and keep your head up and push forward. Every now and then you might have to take a couple of steps backwards before you move forward again. That is ok…So with that said I set some of my own personal business goals a few years ago, not personal - that is a whole nother blog, maybe a Book!

1. Buy Rental properties so I can have cash flow - I currently own SIX Multi-Family homes

2. Purchase a Brownstone in Brooklyn that I can rehab and live in (has not happened yet)

3. Have my own realty Show on TV (almost, but not there yet!)

4. Buy skyscrapers, a casino(love to gamble), Develop high end resi in the NY Market, etc (not close)…The list goes on and on.

5. Buy a Vacation-Weekend home $$$$$$$DING DING DING$$$$$$$$$ BOOOOOOMMMMMM.

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http://www.dropbox.com/sh/1vjcc6nglziht4n/AACIzb5s5654lREeCNxnQwama?dl=0

As of today I am in contract on a home in New Paltz, NY(pics below-5 acres)….An awesome area in Upstate NY close to the Catskills, Woodstock, Kingston, Stone Ridge, etc.  A place I can clear my mind, hang out with friends and family and a place I can figure out how to accomplish my past and future GOALS! I am not telling you these things to brag. I am telling you these things to show you that it can happen and will happen if you keep your head up and just keep pushing no matter what gets in your way…I am not a big believer personally in all these educational programs, accountability groups, etc…but I can tell you this….If I didn't’t join the Fortune Builder Family I would never be where I am at today in Real Estate. So with that said- thanks to Than Merrill, Paul Esajian, JD Esajian, Konrad Sopielnikow, Molly Shaw-Matthers, Jonathan Steingraber (his 3 day speech sucked me in) and the whole team who keeps this company moving along on the Up and Up. Keep up the amazing work you do for us and all future family members. Now it's time to get a second job to furnish this place as it's going to cost a Fortune(play on words - get it?). See picture link above and will have a big party for all our local investors over the summer!  

In conclusion, the GOALS you set can and will happen when and if you put your mind to it and don't let anything get in your way.  Family and Friends that tells you NO, a Job which most people work, Financial issues, etc are only things that are bumps in the road.  You will get to achieve them sooner or later - just stay laser focused.  I know I will.  The End!

Driving your Comps & Never Trust a Real Estate Agent........

So this blog came to me when we almost made a BIG Mistake by purchasing a 350K home in Massapequa, Long Island. When I make offers on properties I generally do not need to see them until we have a contract in our Attorney's hand.  We use the MLS, Google-Bing Maps, etc to analyze the COMPS, etc.  If we went to see every property we put offers in on and we are not in the same ballpark as the seller we would never get anything done and would waste valuable time.  And as they say TIME IS MONEY!  This was a standard property that we would turn from a Ranch style home into a Colonial.  Gut it, Rip off the roof, Raise the ceiling and add a whole nother level on top of the house doubling the square footage.  Happens in every suburb throughout the Country.  Easy Right-Sometimes!

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So we have the contracts at 350K on this house, Based on past experience - Rehab costs around 170K+ and ARV of about 739K+.  Not the best deal in town and not the worst deal, but a DEAL.  We went to the house after we had the contracts in hand and do our Due Diligence. Walk around the house, take pictures, talk about what we should do and how to reconfigure the house, etc.  Image ► 

Now off to drive the comps........This is where this whole BLOG came to thought and I tell you this because I want to educate new investors not to make a mistake like this. NOTE: Always pull comps that are within max a mile, same school district, same style of home or what the style of the home will be after Rehab, Bed and Bath count, square footage and lot size.  You can look at many other things but these are the basics.

We arrived at our first comp, second comp, third comp and 4th comp....Nice houses, Really nice house.  I looked at my partner, looked down at the listing, looked at my partner, looked down at the listing, looked at my partner, looked down at the listing-----Shook my head, Took my hands and rubbed my eyes, and then looked at my partner again.  I know my partner well enough that if he comes to look at a house DO NOT WASTE HIS TIME!!!  I call him THE JACKHAMMER.  That will be a good story for another Blog.  None of these comps look nothing like what the Listing Agent put up on the MLS.  Not only did they not look like the pictures-The beds, baths and square footage was definitely incorrect. S^%^%&H^$@*I^$^T....I say.  2 of the listing were the same broker so I called her and had a nice short conversation with her, well not so nice.  

OHHHHHHHH she says.  We just put pictures up of the model homes this builder uses...The buyers has options to pick a style, etc.  But Ms. Brilliant real estate agent - These properties have sold a while ago and all your info is incorrect.  We rely on all the agents and brokers for accurate information and she is not a good example.  You generally will get these older agents in these fancy towns that have been an agent for 30+ years and are computer illiterate-which obviously was the case with this one. 

Below are the COMPS-NOTTTTT

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So since these properties above had more square footage, did not look anything like the house we went to see from the listing, etc....I had to call the broker and re-negotiate which didn't go well at all-Well it did not go anywhere as I needed it to be at a purchase price of 300K instead of 350k. I got an earful from him. Why didn't you guys blah, blah, blah and blah and then he hung up.  Oh well - I know I should have gone to see the subject property first but it is the name of the game.  We don't rehab a couple properties a year-We do volume and VOLUME SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS!  It's not the first time this will happen nor will it be the last.  But what I have learned is when doing larger rehabs I recommend to not only drive the comps, but call the listing agent before you do - so time is not wasted and hopefully you get accurate info. THE END.......

New Marketing Strategy to Raise Private Money

So we are always looking for new creative ways to raise PRIVATE MONEY. When we put a property under contract it is time to get the ball rolling. We send emails, texts, sometimes certified letters, and on occasion Morse Code to our long list of Private Lenders. Everyone is busy so you have to constantly follow up. We put together a nice little package with comps, spreadsheets, scope of work, pictures, and a brief description of the property. We have a pretty good response rate and almost 99% of the time get funded on 1st position and 2nd position anywhere for a return from 8% - 12%. Our investors are very happy with us because we always pay them back and always invite them to come by and check out their investment anytime. We are not the guys you see on American Greed. Those are the guys that give investors a bad name.

We are always trying to come up with new ways to catch the eye of our Private Lenders (Old and New) and thought why not do a short cool video clip of the property. Put some music to it, walk through the property, show what we plan on doing and call it a day. And well this is what we came up with and so far it works like a charm. Hope you like it and feel free to reach out to us anytime......

The Good Real Estate Agent vs. The Bad Real Estate Agent-Part 2

So 1 month ago I did a Blog on The Good Real Estate Agent vs. The Bad Real Estate Agent and promised to do a blog on The Bad Real Estate Agent.  So this is Part 2.  I try to put out blogs weekly on things that happen to me as an active real estate investor so I can educate others on my experiences and hope they do not have to go through the same thing.  This Blog will talk about Real Estate Agents that put up listings on the MLS, etc that are not accurate or true.  Part 1 of this Blog was about the Real Estate Agent that went above and beyond drawing out maps for me, trekking through 2 feet of snow just to get to the front door of a property she knew i wasn't interested in and the follow up with the county about what I can build on a vacant piece of land-amongst other things.

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My wife and I are looking for a weekend house as you might know and have been checking out the Poconos and now focusing on New Paltz, NY.  Really great town upstate with tons of things to do in the winter and the summer. We have looked at probably 20 homes over the last month which is not alot but is time consuming and tiring for everyone involved.  This weekend was no different.  6 houses to look at and generally I have been negative---as the pictures agents put up look nothing like the house.  Almost like they put up pics of another house to be honest.  So two houses caught our eye, actually my wife's eye!  Both needing a little work over time but can move right in tomorrow, which is what we want.  So we weighed the Pros and Cons.

Both on a Major Road-They call them State Routes up in nowhere land, One of them has the NY Throughway in the backyard but a river and 5 acres of land.   Do we overlook that?  Maybe.... One of them in the town we want (Rosendale) and access to everything within 10 minutes.  One is a little farther away but still close enough.  This one was what they call mid century modern...One we can rent out when we are not there.  Both have wood burning fireplace.  You get the hint and last both have REASONABLY LOW TAXES, So we Thought...

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This is where The Bad Real Estate Agent comes in.  This past Sunday we narrowed it down to the house we think was IT and we get an email from our agent (whom is good BTW).  "The taxes are wrong Adam-your not going to be happy about this".  One of my biggest issues was to keep taxes low as I will only be here part-time and don't have kids that will be in school.  Taxes on this house were about 6K a year which is more than I wanted to spend. The listing stated it down to the penny---$6345.21.  But the county and city has seemed to Assess this baby alot higher now so the taxes are at over $9,000yr.  Maybe they are wrong-Maybe the county-city made a mistake I kept saying...Probably not as that's what public record said...Or maybe the listing agent is a you know what.....A Bad Agent that is not thorough and fluffs the description of the property.  We love those types. 

Yes the Good Old Listing Agent not putting accurate info into their own listing-Gets you every time.  Maybe I should have checked the taxes in advance, maybe my agent should have, maybe my dog should have. Doesn't matter because it is over $3,000 more in what my max spend was on taxes.  Can i afford it, probably-Now it might just be principle....or maybe take my chance and buy the property, try and Grieve the taxes and rent it out on Air BNB...Anyone interested renting out house to pay for our taxes....THE END

How to Expand Your Real Estate Network!

It's always great to EXPAND your Real Estate Investing Network. That means going out to networking events in your town (local REIA's, Connected Investor, Chamber of Commerce, etc), hanging out at the local real estate school, swinging by Home Depot in the morning or even taking out some new Fortune Builder Students and showing them some of your properties (which is PRICELESS - and which is what I did on this past Holiday Weekend (No Comment!!!)

When Fortune Builders called and said "Adam-We have new students coming in for Immersion Training-Are you available to go along with instructor Dan McCutchen and line up some properties to tour?"

What do you think I am going to say?  "Absolutely not......It's Passover and Easter and I have plans.  Just kidding.  Would love to help you guys out anytime." (Which I have done in the past).

As you may or may not know I live in NYC so I need to leave nice and early because traffic is terrible on the Long Island Expressway anytime day or night and I have no idea if it could take 45 minutes or 3 hours to get out to the Hilton in Melville-Long Island where the magic was happening....Bear in mind I was out in the same area of Long Island for Passover with my family 9 hours before I had to be out again at 9am.  I show up in the classroom at 830am and I meet Dan and look around the room and there is 1 other person in the room.  I look at him and say "1 Student Dan-Great Showing - This is going to be awesome".  Boy was I wrong.  

23 students showed up like there was an Easter Egg hunt going on.  My eyes light up as I am thinking 23 potential new buyers, 23 potential new wholesalers, 23 potential NEW DAILY LEADS for me, 23 potential new emails and phone calls (ughhhh-lol), You get the hint...    

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We toured three of our properties that were in the vicinity of each other-I gave them the lowdown and let Dan run the show (and a good show it was)

  • First Stop-Syosset-Small cape we are about to convert to a colonial with a 200k renovation budget
  • Second Stop-Freeport-Property that is just about on the finish line-almost complete
  • Third Stop-Lawrence-Property is down to studs with all Rough-in complete-Live Worksite   

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In Conclusion: I met 23 motivated, excited, and ready to conquer the world students.  Am I happy about that, No!  They are my competition down the road but for now they are in my circle.  I can tell you that they know by now my company Property Buyers Group are active buyers and wholesalers in the Long Island area. And I know we will be their first call when the time comes when they are looking to wholesale or JV their first property.  And this is one great way to EXPAND YOUR NETWORK..

The Good Real Estate Agent vs. The Bad Real Estate Agent-Part 1

So...As you know I am an active real estate investor in the New York area and a licensed real estate agent as well. And generally at all costs I avoid agents, brokers, etc because-well-duhhhh - most of them are lazy...No one likes the truth but the truth hurts sometimes. I can call 20 agents-brokers a week and if I am lucky I will get 2 call backs...There are companies that are listing properties they are looking to sell and no call backs, no return emails-phone disconnected-voicemail full-COME ON.. I will save "The Bad Real Estate Agent" for another Blog.  On this Blog I will be talking about The Good Real Estate Agent.

What spurred me to write this Blog was when my wife said: "You are finally making money-Lets buy a vacation house in Upstate NY or The Poconos-We need to get out of the city once in a while-it's healthy for our marriage". I said ok #$%$%$#^$#^%$. This is what I was thinking.  

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Little did I know this house above was NOT our vacation home we were going to get nor can we afford.  I think I might need to pick up another job. So last weekend we decided to tackle The Poconos...Yes.  Mount Airy Lodge-It has the Champagne Glass Bathtub and a Round bed that spins in circles in their Honeymoon Suite.

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We knew what we wanted to be near some action.....Hiking, Lakes, Wineries, Casino, Outdoor Markets, Historic Town, and 1hr 30 minutes from NYC.  You get the hint. 

So I called a couple of agents-brokers that I found online and went with the one that left Brooklyn NY for a weekend in the Poconos and never came back.  She seemed very nice on the phone and was somewhat attentive...Little too slow and layed back for me as they seem to be on Caribbean time.  Not a worry in the world.  So I had to set my mind to Poconos time and did not look at my watch!

Some previous emails going back and fourth I didn't like her tone or attitude but she had set up 13 showings over 2 days and I knew she meaned business....She was very educated on the whole region and I knew I had a good agent when she had no issue trampling through 300 yards of snow that was over 2 ft high to see some properties.      

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I knew we had a good agent when she literally made me watch her for 30 minutes draw out maps and directions of the houses we liked if we wanted to go back to see them again.  Highlighters, markers, gold stars, etc!

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Note:  She had to draw out directions because she says Navigation doesn't work out here too well due to the towns and villages rezoning and changing addresses. Hmmmm.  We ended up at the wrong house only twice.

I knew we had a good agent when we asked her to get some additional pics of the property when there is not 3ft of snow covering everything!!

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Note:  Selling broker-Agent says he doesnt want to call the owners for that.  That is a LAZY bad agent!!

So, basically I think we found a good agent after all said and done but not sure if we found the property yet....I hope you enjoyed my Blog and will keep you updated of the progress over the next month.........

Purchasing a Deed!

Remember this one: Its's a WIN-WIN and maybe a webinar!

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I am buying the deed on this property in Queens NY for 65K. The deal died when the seller wanted 20K more a week before we were going to close.…I said good luck-that’s not the deal we had. Three weeks later she is calling, texting, Instant mesengering me, Skyping, she even sent me a singing telegram! Guess what-I said that deal is null and void-60K take it or leave it! Don't be Greedy is the moral of this deal.
Anyway we are taking the mortgage subject to 350k mortgage. It's 3.5% interest rate(PTI-$1800 a month) and the property is grossing over 5K. Once I evict tenants and do some light work the property is worth 550K+. We are paying off her arrears of 22K to bring her mortgage current…She owns the debt-I own the Asset. And I borrowed all the money for the second position. Not a dollar out of pocket. Do you think this is a good deal and who buys deeds! Lets talk.

A New Futuristic Hotel Coming To Williamsburg

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The upcoming futuristic hotel named "The Level Hotel" is set to be built at 55 Wyth Ave between North 12 and 13 Streets. Only two years after the Wyth Hotel opened up its doors in Williamsburg, the 320.000 Sq ft colossal is rumored to feature 183 "luxury" rooms and plenty of retail space. Adding to its space-like image the hotel will feature a 20,000 sq ft farm on the rooftop providing fresh produce. To give it more of a cultural feel, On July 1st artists who reside or work in Brooklyn, and submit their sculptures via  website to have a shot at a $200,000 budget to create their work that will displayed in the hotels lobby. The time tables may change but "The Level Hotel" is aiming to be completed by the end of this year.

Ace Hotel May Find A New Home In Downtown Brooklyn.

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Ace Hotel seems to have had their sights on the Downtown Brooklyn area for a while now. GFI Capital Resources is in talks with sealing the deal on opening a new Ace Hotel in Downtown Brooklyn near the infamous Barclay's Center. According to the Commercial Observer GFI Capital Resources, the company that developed the Ace Hotel in Manhattan currently located at 20 West 29th street will build another hotel on the corner of Schermerhorn and Bond Street. A few other hotels are set to be built in the area such as the 13-story EVEN Hotel at the intersection of Nevins Street and the Holiday Inn located at 300 Schermerhorn. Will this impact the ever growing dowtown brooklyn area? More details here.

Volant Studios

Volant Studios

Located in the heart of New York City's  Tribeca Area. Volant Studios is a state-of-the-art recording facility providing both vintage and modern equipment. Launched in 2013 following a major refurbishment by Horacio Malvicino of Malvincino Design Group and Larebour Inc , this facility is a complete reworking of a previous space. You may access the studio via a keyed elevator service leading to a private lounge area ensuring that you studio time will not be disturbed. Aiming to provide optimal service Volant Studios is equipped with a endless Analog CLASP24 system allows recording to tape with a speed and ease of workflow that matches in-the-box. Going on the market soon, the owner is motivated and will sell together or separate but think the real value is purchasing both floors. Head over to our properties page for more info.

Plans To Expand On Cast Iron Building On Duane Street

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There goes the neighborhood, Back in 2008 there were plans to spruce up the cast iron building located within the Tribeca West Historic District on Duane Street with a reported four story expansion turning the old establishment into a mansion. Vincenzo Polsinelli, the architect that proposed turning the building into a 8,000-square-foot single-family megamansion plans came to a screeching halt being shot down by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, leading the owner to rent the place to known rapper and hip hop pioneer Damon Dash. Since then the rapper has vacated the cast iron building, prompting the owner to once again explore the idea of turning the landmark into a mega mansion. The new architect of record is Christian Zambrano of Sibertekture Architects.

Barclay's Center Getting A Greeen Roof Overhaul

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The logo-emblazoned roof of the Barclays Center is going from white to green. The developer of the arena is bringing back a plan to cover the top of the structure with a 130,000-square-foot green roof. The green roof, currently being designed by SHoP Architects, will also help to muffle loud concerts.You can find the story here