EP120 Wells Fargo In The News Again

Today, the Wall Street Journal reported on the front page that Wells Fargo was cited for altering client information on business client accounts. They just can't do things right. A month ago, they were fined $1B dollars for improper practices in the car insurance and...

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EP119 I’ll See You in Person

I'm hosting a mixer for listeners of the podcast and for other podcast hosts at the Philadelphia office of my development partner on July 22. Those attending the Podcast Movement Conference will be in town that week for what aims to be a landmark event. You can...

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EP117 Big Win at The Zoning Board

Today's episode is a story about two of our new projects that were approved last night at the zoning board. These types of wins aren't accidental. They're the result of months of hard work by many members of the team. In particular, designing a project that is...

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EP116 Credit Cycles, Not Economic Cycles

I'd like you to think of the credit cycle as a leading indicator of the economic cycle. In fact, some would say that we actually have a credit cycle and not and economic cycle at all. What is the cause of the credit cycle, and what does it mean for the overall...

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EP115 Special Guest, Kathy Fettke

I caught up with Kathy Fettke and her husband Rick on the Investor Summit at Sea. Our conversation over breakfast was wide ranging and focused on financial education, the stock market, running a startup company, and how the Fed is giving us a signal that more are...

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EP113 Excuse me, may I have a room please?

Today we're tacking rooming houses. Philadelphia's Licenses and Inspections Commissioner is proposing an overhaul to the zoning code that would bring legal rooming houses into residential neighborhoods. This controversial idea has both pros and cons. Listen to today's...

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EP111 The One That Got Away

I missed an opportunity to complete a land assembly located less than 4 blocks from my house. It's hard to fathom that I wan't paying attention. In today's episode we discuss why that project would have made so much sense.  

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EP108 Special Guest, Brad Sumrok

Brad has been investing in multi-family apartments and educating others on how to invest for several years. He's active in 14 markets and his students are active in over 30 markets. This wide ranging conversation on apartment investing is packed with value bombs....

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EP107 Special Guest, Shanna Badry

Short term rentals are the rage now, and platforms like AirBnB and VRBO have made it easier than ever to maximize your income through a higher nightly rate compared with long term rentals. But it's not that easy. Shanna is the President of the Momentum Property Group...

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EP105 How to Budget Repairs and Maintenance

I've recently seen an operating budget that used averages per apartment. The problem is that there is no average apartment. It's a dangerous way to create a budget. In today's episode, I recommend a method for creating a repair and maintenance budget that is much more...

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EP103 Yikes, 4300 Stores Closing

This week, Subway announced it was closing 500 locations after closing 800 locations in 2017. We have numerous stores closing including locations at Sam's Club, Toys R Us, Walgreens, Kmart, Best Buy, Sears, just to name a few. What does this mean as a real estate...

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EP100 Special Guest, G. Edward Griffin

Ed Griffin is the author of the seminal book, "The Creature From Jekyll Island". The book is a detailed history of the creation of the Federal Reserve system. It explains how our system of money that makes up the world reserve currency was created and is hidden from...

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EP99 Meaningless Statistics!!!

Case-Shiller announced their latest housing index numbers for 20 cities across the United States. They're reporting that numbers are reaching peak levels not seen since 2006. However, the numbers paint an picture that is accurate but irrelevant. Listen to find out...

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EP98 Sales Pace Slows 25% in Q1

We've seen a significant slowdown in real estate sales in NYC in Q1. The hardest impacted segment is the luxury segment. We're seeing signs that Class A properties are overbuilt in several markets. What does this mean, and how does this happen?  

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EP97 The Vacancy Tax

Last year the City of Vancouver imposed a vacancy tax as a way of addressing the extreme shortage of housing in the city. It was designed to discourage people from buying properties and keeping them vacant. After one year, the results are in, and they've very...

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EP95 A Real World Kitchen Renovation Budget

Retail design galleries can charge upwards of $40,000 or more for a kitchen renovation. On today's episode we provide a detailed budget breakdown of how to completely remodel a kitchen for under $15,000 without cutting any corners. In fact, it can easily be done for...

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EP93 Special Guest, Dana Samuelson

Real Estate investors are passionate about real assets. However, apart from property, there are other real assets that are also of paramount importance. Once you sell a property, do you want to keep the proceeds in cash? Perhaps gold is a better place to keep your...

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EP92 When is Zero Change an Event?

Yesterday the Bank of Canada decided to hold the line on interest rates, despite some signs of inflation in the market. Sounds like a non-event, right? Not so fast. In today's episode we examine what this means in a larger context.  

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EP88 Predicament at 58 Sutton Place

In today's episode we're shining the spotlight on a zoning change that took place on a building already under construction. You might be asking yourself, "How can that happen?" It seems to violate any principle of fairness. Of course, not everything in life is fair....

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EP85 Are You Begging for Money?

I hear from many investors that they're uncomfortable asking for money. It feels like begging. Of course, begging for money doesn't seem very attractive. So how is it that some people appear to be able to raise money almost effortlessly? Listen to find out....

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EP82 Go Figure

Today we are talking about the 5 F's of real estate investing. These are the 5 phases of virtually any real estate transaction. But there is one phase that is so important that if you make a mistake here, there is nothing that will save you.  

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EP81 Is Your Broker Broke?

Today's episode was inspired by a dinner conversation with a broker who operates in Broward County, Florida. Think about how you are positioning yourself in the marketplace and how that translates into repeat business.  

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EP76 Where Should You Put Your Money to Work?

In today's episode, we're grappling with a real dilemma. Where to put your money to work? There are so many asset classes that seem risky. Bond prices are expected to fall as interest rates rise, the stock market is over-valued, cash is a losing proposition due to...

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EP75 Local Politics and Zoning

In today's episode, we're talking about how to navigate the maze of zoning boards, and city council politics. Local politics is overwhelmingly concerned with land use. In fact it makes up over 80% of the time City Councils spend on city business.  

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EP73 Special Guest Stefan Aarnio

The weekend edition of the Real Estate Espresso Podcast includes interviews with notable people in the world of Real Estate investment, education, and development. I hope you enjoy today's episode as much as I did.  

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EP72 Mortgage Stress Tests

How do you raise interest rates without actually raising interest rates? Canada is leading the way in instituting a mortgage stress test that forces borrowers to qualify at a higher rate than the actual rate in the market. A full 2% higher than the actual rate. What...

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EP70 George Ross on Hidden Assets

Today and all week we are talking about hidden assets. Last night I was speaking with George Ross about hidden assets. George is famous for his role as Mr. Trump's right hand man for most of the past 40 years. Politics aside, George is one of the wisest men I know. He...

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EP69 Hidden Assets in Entitlements

On today's episode we're talking about another form of hidden asset, the entitlements. These are the zoning and site plan permits that are associated with a given property. They determine what can ultimately be built on that land.  

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EP65 George Ross on The Apprentice TV Show

I was speaking with George Ross recently in Dallas. George was Mr. Trump's right hand man for nearly 40 years, and was featured as one of the judges on The Apprentice TV show. In today's episode, George shares some of his behind the scenes perspective of the show, and...

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EP62 What is a Reasonable Expense Ratio

I'm often asked by other investors what I consider a reasonable expense ratio for a multi-family property. The answer is "It depends." I'm not dodging the question. There are 5 principal factors that affect the expense ratio, and that's what I cover in today's...

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EP60 Are You Blinded by a Dilemma?

Today's episode is based on a real life situation where I was facing a business dilemma. I was facing a difficult business problem on a short deadline, with large complex elements in play. It's easier to see the solution from the outside, and not as easy when you are...

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EP59 Interview with Guest Lane Kawaoka

The weekend edition of the Real Estate Espresso podcast features notable investors and developers from around the world. Lane Kawaoka is a young real estate investor, and is only in his 20's. In a short period of time he has grown an investment portfolio of several...

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EP57 They’re not Listening

Today's episode is a reflection on a mistake that happened in a site plan design. I had communicated the requirements very clearly, and somehow the message didn't get through. My first inclination was to blame the architect. After all, the zoning code is perfectly...

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EP56 What Property Class Do You Want to Own?

This isn't Class warfare. It's deciding which class of property you want to invest in, and matching that to the market demand. In today's episode I'm focusing primarily on A and B class properties. It's very hard to fund the maintenance and repairs for lower income...

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EP54 Are You The Cause of Property Vacancy?

In today's episode we're talking about how to create realistic budgets for your rental properties. The most commonly omitted expenses are those associated with unit turns. This is when a tenant vacates a property, and there is real work required to make the apartment...

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EP53 How to Value a Collateral Contribution?

When you have multiple partners in a project, you can often have an imbalance in contribution between the partners. This can become a source of instability in the partnership. In today's episode, we examine a specific case study and how you could restore balance when...

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EP52 When the Seller is Asking Too Much

It's very common to encounter real estate listings where the Seller is asking far above market value for their property. What do you do when the Seller rejects your offer? How do you negotiate? That's precisely the topic of today's episode, and it's based on a real...

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EP51 Guest Interview with Beth Clifford

In today's episode, I'm interviewing international developer Beth Clifford. She has built everything from custom homes to semiconductor factories, to hotels. Her latest project is Mahogany Bay Village, Hilton Curio Collection Hotel and Coastal Living Village. Beth is...

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EP50 Three Big Lies That Make Up Inflation

In today's episode, we're talking about Inflation. It turns out that the government hasn't been completely honest with us when it comes to inflation. There are three "adjustments" that in my view are highly misleading and create a false sense of lower inflation than...

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EP49 Major Jump in Lumber Prices

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, we saw an immediate spike in material prices across the entire nation. Since then, we've seen prices fall back to more normal level. That is, until now. Prices for softwood lumber are up 25%, and there were no natural disasters. What's...

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EP47 Wire Transfer Security

Wire transfers are the most lucrative target for hackers looking to profit from compromising your computer systems. There are some simple safeguards that can eliminate the risk, and protect you from losing hundreds of thousand or possibly millions of dollars. As real...

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EP45 Storm Water Pollution

What is a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan? In today's episode, this environmental requirement is explained and what you may need to do before you can get a building permit.

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EP44 Talking with George Ross on Economic Outlook

In today's episode, I'm talking with George Ross, former co-star of the TV show The Apprentice about his outlook for the economy. There are many warning signs on the horizon. We're facing stock market volatility, rising interest rates, a new chair at The Federal...

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EP41 Reasons Reasons Reasons

In today's episode we're talking about the arbitrary reasons people give to justify their negotiating position. We have a concrete real world example. Unless you're violating a law of nature, stop being Reasonable!  

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EP40 Evaluating An Offer For Purchase

In today's episode, we analyze how we evaluated an offer we received this past week. Far more important than the price are the terms of the offer, and determining if the buyer is a qualified buyer. Lots of ways to do this, but here's how we did it.  

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EP39 When You Get Unsolicited Offers

In today's episode, we're talking about how to analyze the merits of selling a property when you get an unsolicited offer from a potential buyer. It happened to me this week. I share the process of evaluating whether to keep or sell the property BEFORE even discussing...

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EP36 Managing Risk

In today's episode we're talking about risk management. This is something every investor, developer, business person, and project manager needs to contend with. But before we can manage risk, we must understand what a risk is. Most people don't. Do you? Listen to find...

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EP34 Height Restrictions Explained

In today's espresso shot of real estate investing advice we're talking about height restrictions and how to interpret them. It's not straightforward at all, and there is lots of fine print to truly understand what it means.You can connect with Victor at...

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EP33 Hiring a Landscape Architect

In today’s episode we’re talking about what a landscape architect can do for you and why you should consider hiring one. Not all projects need one. But if your land has hills and streams, a landscape architect can add tremendous value. Connect with Victor at...

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EP28 City Allocations

In today's episode we're talking about municipal allocations. What the heck are these? The city maintains a budget for how many dwellings a water main, a sewer pipe, a road can support. Just because there is a water supply at the edge of your property doesn't mean you...

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EP26 Zoning Variance

In today's episode I'm talking about how to create huge value increases by using the local zoning board of appeals to make small changes that have a huge impact on valuation.  

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EP25 Market Study

In today's episode I'm introducing a high priced report called a market study. This 150 page consultant's report will give you deep insight into the local market and enable you to make high quality decisions.  

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EP23 Seth Mosley

In today's episode we're talking with Grammy Award winning musician and Nashville music producer Seth Mosley about real estate investing as a side hustle.  

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EP22 Due Diligence

In today's episode we're talking about a real life example of an uncle attempting to sell a business to their nephew and hiding the truth about the business performance in accounting jargon.  

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EP21 Property Value

In today's episode we're talking about the four factors that affect the price you might pay for a given property. These factors are different from the considerations an appraiser would use in determining value. You probably have not heard it expressed this way before....

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