Category Archives for "Real Estate – General"

The Art of Investing (Part 2)

Art Espinoza recently asked me to return to his radio show entitled “The Art of Investing”.  Art is a respected financial advisor and wealth manager with offices in Vero Beach, Florida and Brookfield, Wisconsin, and his show airs every Saturday at 9:30 am on WAXE 107.9FM and 1370AM, or on iHeart Radio.

Here’s the Point: Listen to the following audio clip in which we debate a variety of topics including real estate trends in Vero Beach and in Florida, current demand for mortgages, liquidity in the financial markets, and the direction of interest rates:

Recently Overheard at Dinner Parties…


“I got caught in the housing crisis, so I’m not going to buy now unless it is a steal”
[Reality: They can’t afford to buy anything, and most of the low hanging fruit is gone anyway]

“I’m downsizing because I don’t need the space”
[Reality: Their income is not close to what it was, and their association fees are killing them]

“I’m nervous because interest rates have been so volatile”
[Reality: They lost most of their equity in 2008-09 and are scared to death of borrowing – even though rates remain at historical lows]

“As soon as we sell our home, we will finance the purchase of a retirement home in Florida”
[Reality: They will use their net proceeds to pay cash for the Florida condo]

Lately, when attending seminars, dinner functions, charity fundraisers, and other networking events, I hear a lot of people in real estate finance say: “It’s crazy busy right now”.  But those are the people I don’t know that well.  They stumble a little when I ask about the number of real estate loans they have closed and funded.  Unless they are focused on helping people who require portfolio loans due to prior events that have detrimentally affected their credit (and there is a lot of this business right now), volumes on conventional financings are way down and banks are shedding staff as a result.

Here’s the Point: It is encouraging that people are much more cautious now when it comes to real estate investing – even if their pride has been hurt in the past. Continued low interest rates in a market that is presently more stable provides a great opportunity to strengthen your credit and build liquidity.

Don’t Put All Your Eggs in the Stock Market Basket

basket(Thanks for putting up with my Easter pun.)  As a real estate investor, it’s time for a “feel good” reminder:

Commercial Real Estate (CRE) represents an attractive asset class.

Here are a few of the obvious reasons for some reinforcement:

Inflation Protection (with contractual rent increases, CRE can offer the perfect inflationary hedge

Long-Term Capital Appreciation (according to the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries or NCREIF, CRE returns have outperformed the S&P 500 since the late 1970’s – ignoring the correction of property values in 2008-09)

Low Return Volatility (CRE can lead to more predictable, recurring cash flows – especially well-located properties having a stable roll-over schedule of creditworthy tenants on longer-term leases)

Diversification (CRE returns generally have a low correlation to stock and bond returns)

And for those of you who just can’t stay out of the stock market… Although 2013 was an exceptional year for the S&P 500 (32.7% return), equity REIT’s in 2014 are likely to outperform last year’s abysmal 2.7% return.  The threat of interest rate increases weighed heavily on the REIT sector in 2013, but these returns should improve with the focus now leaning on company earnings – which should lead to additional demand for space in markets with limited supply.

Here’s the Point: Over the long term, commercial real estate has proven to be a great inflation hedge and has provided low return volatility, diversification, and long-term capital appreciation.

The Art of Investing

I recently had the pleasure of apArt of Investingpearing on a radio show entitled “The Art of Investing”, hosted by Art Espinoza. Having known Art for quite some time in the Vero Beach community along the Treasure Coast of Florida, he asked me to discuss what’s happening in the real estate market, who the primary borrowers of real estate capital are, where I see interest rates going, and a variety of other related topics.

Art has been a respected financial advisor and wealth manager for 28 years, and has offices in Vero Beach, Florida and Brookfield, Wisconsin. His show, “The Art of Investing”, is broadcast every Saturday morning at 9:30 am on WAXE 107.9FM and 1370AM, or on iHeart Radio:

Art kindly asked me to make regular appearances on his program, and I look forward to sharing real estate industry dialogue and exchanging topical ideas with listeners in the future.

Here’s the Point: Click HERE to listen to our discussion of what’s currently happening in the Florida economy with respect to commercial and residential real estate activity and interest rates.

Bring a Shotgun to the Wedding

A bit extreme to settle differences with your real estate partner through the use of a “shotgun buy/sell” provision? You‘ll be relieved you negotiated this in your joint venture agreement: It gives you the option to either purchase your partner’s interest for a set price, or sell your interest to your partner at that same price. So, if you decide to exercise this right, you better be prudent in coming up with a neutral price – because you will either be buying or selling at a price that you’ll need to live with.

(i) Price control (you’ll know what the proceeds will be or how much capital you’ll need to raise)
(ii) Timing certainty (you’ll know upfront in the agreement how long this process will take – generally 30 to 90 days)
(iii) Closing efficiency (there is little to negotiate, and less chance the market will move against you to introduce significant market or competitive pricing risk)
(iv) Ability to exit the relationship (or introduce a new like-minded partner)

(i) Outcome uncertainty (you have no control over whether you will be the buyer or seller)
(ii) Reputation risk (some partners don’t appreciate surprises – you may be viewed as unnecessarily forcing your partner’s hand)
(iii) Lack of Cooperation (from the “shot-gunned” partner)

Here’s the Point:  You think you know your partner now.  But without a buy/sell provision in your joint venture agreement, you may have difficulty unwinding your partnership – at a time when you may need to raise liquidity.

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