Smart Investment Money Goes for Real Estate

dennisfassett.comI found a great article by Denis Kleinfeld on the Moneynews.com website that talked about real estate as an investment vehicle and I wanted to pass it along.

Here’s the piece:

I know that many people are unhappy with the way their money managers have been handling their investment portfolio. This becomes readily apparent to me every time I sit in one of those meetings between the client and their investment advisers.

The meeting pattern is so predictable. First, the review of the current portfolio holdings explaining that while they didn’t meet the benchmarks, the portfolio did better than others did. The implication being that it was a good thing that they were handling the investments otherwise the client would have lost more money with the other guys.

Second, the presentation of the predicted investment climate for the next month or quarter is made. All sorts of glossily printed charts and graphs based on something called data tell the future in mathematical terms. The chief economist of the firm has pronounced what will happen and the client is expected to dutifully be in awe of his brilliance.

You would think that listening to these guys that the world of investment consists of primarily stock and bonds and something called alternative investments.

I have the impression that they lump everything they actually know little about into the alternative investment category.

The Landlord Suicide Squeeze

dennisfassett.comThe suicide squeeze is one of the most exciting plays in baseball.

It happens when there’s a runner on third who takes off toward home when the pitcher starts his motion, expecting the batter to make some sort of contact with the ball and put it in play, thus scoring a run.

Except for trying to steal home outright it’s also the riskiest play in baseball.

I was with a couple of buddies this afternoon smoking cigars and talking shop. We got on the subject of rental houses, and since one of them is a lawyer, we talked at length about how many LLCs I use with my rentals and how I learned to use them properly.

He then told me about a couple of his colleagues that have free-and-clear rental houses. They’re building up portfolios, and his understanding is that neither of them use LLCs at all, as they were simply holding the properties in their own names.

That’s just about the riskiest play in landlording.

Which is why I call doing that it the Landlord Suicide Squeeze.

Why? Because when you do that you’re betting your entire personal balance sheet on black.

Every single day.

All it takes is one slip and fall or one “accident” at one of your properties and you could be committing personal financial Hara-Kiri.

Now I know the folks he was referring to, and they’re both really smart people. Which reinforces to me the fact that proper use of entities isn’t common knowledge.

So I want to use this space to review the reasons why using entities is important when you have rentals.

One caveat – my friend is a lawyer, I’m not. So I’m not giving you legal advice. If you have questions, talk to a local attorney with real estate entity experience.

Here are three items to keep in mind:

Stock Market is Now DOWN for the Year. What’s in YOUR Wallet?

dennisfassett.comIt has been a pretty good ride, hasn’t it?

I mean, since the dark days of the “great recession” when the DOW bottomed out at 6443.27 on March 6, 2009, the market has gone pretty much straight up.

Remember those guys in the office that spent all day with a browser window open to their E-Trade accounts so they could “trade” their mutual funds?

They were all over the place before the DOW tanked. They got killed during the crash. And now that they’ve built their 401ks back up a little, they’re back with a vengeance and they’ve all been partying.

Which is all cool. I don’t ever begrudge anyone their success.

But the funny thing I’m noticing is that people have really short memories. One of those trader-guys even told me that the same thing can’t happen again “because the government won’t let it”.

Wow.

The other thing I’ve noticed recently is that those guys are a bit less euphoric. The reason is pretty easy to determine.

The DOW closed at 16,576 on December 31, 2013. Last Friday it closed at 16,544.

So those clowns day trading their index funds are now negative for the year.

Beware of Professional Tenants!

DennisFassett.comI have to say that one of my biggest fears about being a rental property owner is running into a “Professional Tenant”.

A “Professional Tenant” is a someone who knows the rental laws cold, knows the system, and therefore knows how to work the system” by taking advantage of pieces of the law to live rent free. Sometimes indefinitely.

They can cost you several months of rent and thousands of dollars in legal fees before you win. And they’re generally not collectable so while you’ll eventually get your house back the judgment will be worthless.

I’ve mitigated that risk somewhat by buying and owning properties in the best school districts, so I generally have no less than ten good quality applicants to choose from when I have a vacancy. So I can reject an applicant that doesn’t look right on paper.

And to date I haven’t ever rented to one. But my fear is still there.

I bring this up because I just read a great piece on the topic and I wanted to share it with you.

It’s called ‘Professional Tenants’ and How Not to Fall Victim to Them, and it was written by Richard D. Vetstein, Esq.. A link to the article is below.

REITD 015: Kelly Brittingham – COO, Property Manager, & Full Time Mom

REI Talk DetroitIn this episode I talk to Kelly Brittingham.

Kelly started her real estate investing business with her Husband Todd in 2009 with their first investment in a single family rental property. Since then she has completed over 40 real estate transactions.

Her investments have included single family rentals, lease options, wholesales, fix & flips, turnkey rental properties and most recently they have focused their business on building new homes.

In the midst of all of this Kelly is a mom to two great kids – Alivia who is 8 years old and Jaxson who will soon turn 3.

Before Kelly was a real estate investor she was a working mom, but she found that her job took significant time away from her kids. Now as a real estate mom, Kelly is able to stay home with her kids focusing on their needs while helping run their well-established real estate business.

Crowdfunding News

As I mentioned in a prior REI News segment, for the last couple of months I’ve been working on a project involving Crowdfunding.

If you’re not familiar with it, Crowdfunding is where you openly solicit investors you don’t know to invest in your business. If you’d looked into this before you know that this used to be highly illegal, and there are several people that you would probably know by name in jail right now for running afoul of the SEC rules regarding general solicitation.

But that has changed. A couple of years ago Congress passed a law allowing general solicitation, or Crowdfunding. But as the federal government is prone to do, the implementation of the law has made it about as difficult and expensive as it was before.

Michigan, however, recently passed its own law on Crowdfunding within the state. It’s much simpler to do. It’s less regulated. And it’s FAR less expensive to implement than the federal law.

So I’ve teamed up with a local securities attorney to put together an educational program on how to implement Crowdfunding in your business.

It will be held on Saturday, September 27 at 9am in Southfield.

If you’ve been looking for a way to take your business to the next level with additional funding, then I highly recommend you attend the seminar. By the time you leave you’ll have all the knowledge you need to get started with your own Crowdfunding campaign.

You can find the details at CrowdfundingEducation.com.

Landlord Friendly Financing? Seriously?

dennisfassett.comThis is pretty amazing.

I was looking around for some new ideas on how to finance additional rental properties, and I happened to find something that was pretty surprising…..

…… that a monster-sized hedge fund – BLACKSTONE no less – has started offering financing specifically focused on rental property owners.

Yeah. To say I was shocked was an understatement.

I mean, Blackstone has been the bad guy as they hoovered up all the good deals in many areas over the last several years.

But that has apparently changed.

I have never been very fond of conventional lenders. They don’t like rental properties, and back before and during the crash they kept making it more and more difficult to get their approval.

In fact, the process to get my 10th conforming mortgage took SIX MONTHS to accomplish. Partially due to the broker’s incompetence, but most of it was due to the lender changing he rules of the game as the game was being played.

So the fact that an organization is now landlord friendly is a great thing.

I’ve included the text from the press release below, and there’s a link to their lending site as well if you’d like to get more information.

Let me know how it goes if you decide to reach out to them.

Here’s the press release from Blackstone….