Monday, September 28, 2015

Make Money Wholesaling To REI of Virginia. Learn How At Our Upcoming Meeting…

This week we’re going to dig into the topic of wholesaling real estate. Our guest speaker will be our REI officer and good friend, Eric Schmucker.

Eric has been buying properties at radically discounted prices in Roanoke for several years. He also paid for a several thousand dollar real estate wholesaling training class for additional education for him and his brother from the people at Fortune Builders.

At our upcoming meeting, Eric is going to disclose several of the secrets to successfully wholesaling property.

Even if you’re not interested in personally wholesaling property this meeting will be of tremendous benefit to you. It will show you how to find your own wholesale property and get below wholesale deals for yourself. The better price you get the property for the higher your ROI is.

Get there a little early for a good seat. You don’t want to miss this one!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Lets Dig Into The Nuts And Bolts Of Commercial Property Landlording

This week we’re going to have our sponsor and commercial property expert, Frank Martin as our guest speaker. I was amazed last time Frank came. He is very well versed in the commercial investing industry.

REI hasn’t focused much in the past on commercial investing other than small commercial residential. Frank is going to give us the rundown on commercial investing as a whole and how to finance deals like these.

Great information! Get there a little early so you can make sure you get a seat.

We’ll see you there…

Some Insight On How Your Hard Earned Tax Payer Dollars Are Spent


What's Happening In Roanoke Regarding The Government And Real Estate?

 Maybe someone will read this and get some ideas on how to efficiently spend the money we give them. No one I know cares about our hard earned tax money spent to help people that REALLY NEED help. The government taking anything beyond that is theft. See my review of the 75 page document below.

Roanoke City Council Meeting September 21st 2015.

Acceptance and Appropriation of funds. This entire city council agenda is a good example of how the Federal Government taxes a tremendous amount of what you earn and turns around and gives it back conditionally to your local governments. Back when Abe Lincoln was president, federal taxation was 5% of what a person earned. And the Federal Government was only for united military protection against foreign invasion.

Our tax rate now is significantly higher. Below is an example of how the Federal Government was able to force every state and locality in the country to abide by what they want them to do. This is how we lost our state sovereignty. Or in other words how the states lost their ability to make their own laws. They tax the citizens of every state. If the locality is behaving and following what they wish for them to do, they can get some of that money back. If they don’t behave, their citizens will continue to pay the extraordinarily high tax rate but they won’t let them have any of the money.

1. Department of Fire Programs gets additional funding of $307,532. This funding appears to be from the Federal Government TO the State TO Roanoke.

2. The Federal, US Department of Justice gives funding to the city for bulletproof vests via a grant for the police and sheriffs departments. As long as they follow the terms, provisions and conditions of the Federal Government, they aren’t required to match any funding. They will be getting a 100% funded grant of $17,102.

3. The Department of Justice gives grant money $40,172 to the city for the bicycle patrol program. The Sheriffs department gets $26,782 for in car video systems. Again, there is no local match required as long as they follow the conditions of the Federal Government.

4. The Department of Motor Vehicles gives grant money tho the city to target people driving while intoxicated. This grant is for $21,440 and there is a cash match of $1,518 and an in-kind match of $10,720. It seems like the city only has to pay the smaller $1,518 amount they aren’t clear in the agenda as they refer to another city council meeting where they discussed all in kind matches.

5. The DMV gives grant money to the police for targeting pedestrian bicycle safety. This grant is $3,200 and requires a match of $1,600. They will use it for overtime pay for traffic enforcement.

6. The DMV gives money to go after speeding drivers. There is a cash match of $6,720 for this grant of $13,440.

7. The DMV gives grant money to the police for “occupant protection”. Most of these grants will be used for overtime pay. This one is $11,200. There is a cash match of $5,600 that they may not have to pay.

Here’s where the big money gets spent:

8. City approves a 2014-2015 annual evaluation report on the cities federal housing and urban development (HUD) funded programs. They are required to prepare a report that summarizes how they spent the Federal tax payers money.
The city reports that it is finishing up it’s spending on the West End Target Area. They have primarily increased population density by building many new houses rather than focusing the HUD grant money on fixing up the houses that are there.

The city now has transitioned to the Melrose Orange corridor for their next 4 to 5 year target area. They get roughly 2.2 to 2.5 million dollars from HUD every year to spend on low income areas. This money is required to be spent on various areas that are related to housing. This money is primarily Robin Hood money taking in the form of taxation from productive working individuals and giving it to non working unproductive individuals.

They have now started the 13th street infrastructure project which they say will benefit the West End. This is the final step in the revitalization of the West End. The 2.2 million has been spent in this area for the past 5 years. The previous 5 years prior to this they also spent it on South West Roanoke. That money was used in the Hurt Park neighborhood right next to the West End.

To give you an idea where this is, the West End is the Patterson, Chapman, Campbell area and Hurt Park is the Salem Ave, Rorer area.

They have demolished significantly more houses than they planned on during each year of the grant money to the West End. They have also built quite a few more houses than they planned on. Previously when they were spending in Hurt Park they focused their money on building Government housing.

In the West End area they give money to organizations such as Habitat for Humanity to buy ugly houses and tear down the house. The property is purchased at the city tax sale and by other means. They often pay 10 to 20K or more for the house and then they tear it down which costs an additional 10K. They then build a house that matches the neighborhood style for over 200K so they have a ballpark of 250K into the house. They then find a homeowner such as a Refugee or an English as a second language family and obtain financing for them with pre-made deals with banks to buy that property for around 150K. Banks have federal guidelines to make a certain number of loans such as this. The new owner gets bamboozled because they think they are buying a property that is worth 150k…….. but when they can’t make their mortgage payment anymore they find that they can’t sell their way out of the contract because the house isn’t worth more than 50 to 60K. It’s a big Loose Loose for all.

Rehabbing existing houses would be a more efficient and cost effective way to spend the tax payers money.  It would also help get the blight out of the neighborhood and help turn it back around. An extensive rehab to flip quality that compares to the neighborhood standard costs roughly 25K on a couple thousand square foot house. Purchasing the property for 10 to 20K and then rehabbing it adding another 25K to the purchase price puts the new homeowner in a situation where they can have a little equity in the property. The total cost in the property would be no more than 50K and organizations like Habitat for Humanity get lots of donated labor and materials so it would be much less than that.

In this better scenario, the city wins by getting the neighborhood fixed up and increasing their tax assessed values across the board. The neighborhood as a whole wins as each and every homeowners property will be more valuable. The buyer wins by not getting suckered into a loan that is much higher than the true value of the property. The bank wins because the buyer will be able to make the mortgage payments as they will be much lower and easier for them to afford. And the tax payer wins because ALL of the money is returned once the bank loan is made and it can now be used to fix up another. With a rehab strategy in mind, the same tax payer money will be able to be used over and over.

Unfortunately the board members of Habitat for Humanity locally are real estate novices and are doing nothing more than playing with the tax payers money. They are essentially playing their first game of Monopoly and their currant strategy is not the strategy any business minded person would take.

The city also used the HUD money on programs that give these special hand selected people money for a downpayment on the houses that Habitat built, or other homes in the city. They also spent money on homelessness prevention and other homeless needs, public infrastructure needs, and free rehabilitation of owner occupied housing. They plan on spending more money this year in the target area on code enforcement, new homeownership and these free downpayment 1st time homebuyer programs.

Another interesting fact that shows racism is alive and well in Roanoke. They get into some of the details of specifically how they spent this money. 65.4% of people in Roanoke City are white caucasians. The city has a very large population of whites below the poverty level. 29.0% of the population are identified as black or African American. The city used the HUD money to assist 219 black or African Americans. And 177 white’s or caucasians.

Participating organizations that have used the HUD money are:
- Habitat for Humanity who’s focus is on building new houses and getting downpayment assistance and financing for selected people. Habitat reports as to being successful in focusing on Refugees and English as a Second Language populations for their new homes and free downpayment to buy them programs. This clearly shouldn’t be a factor in determining eligibility for the assistance.
Homeless Assistance Team (HAT) has a focus on rapid rehousing of homeless
Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority has a focus on their Section 8 program and public housing.
Community Resources Division with this HUD funding reviews city strategic plans and seeks out opportunities for input into restrictive policies and procedures. These restrictive policies and procedures can be in all areas of the government including zoning, code enforcement, eligibility to assistance programs, etc. In 2006 the city significantly reduced affordable housing when they rezoned everything and restricted multi-family housing to very small pockets throughout the city. This was just prior to their building of several massive low income public housing units that they personally control. They have worked diligently to put low income individuals in small contained areas throughout the city. This is a form of income segregation and has NOT been a focus of the Community Resources Division. The Community Resources Division also monitors the liens placed on the houses of every person that they give downpayment assistance to. These liens drop off after a few years of program compliance and the money they have been given becomes a gift rather than a loan.
Blue Ridge Independent Living Center used some of this HUD money to provide home modification services for low income disabled families. Building handicaped ramps and helping those who are truly in need is something that I don’t think anyone would have a problem with. The problems reside in the vast majority of this tax payer money that is wasted on bad programs. Some of this special grant money that the BRILC got was used by the city itself to outreach to underserved populations to encourage homeownership and responsible landlording. The responsible landlording consisted of hiring a lawyer to do a few landlord tenant act training seminars.
The city is required by HUD in acceptance of the funding to provide housing counseling to assist families to better plan for their finances which they say alone will improve their financial situation. Job training would be more effective.
The city also meets with the Social Services and public and private housing organizations such as Roanoke Regional Housing Network, Blue Ridge Interagency Council on Homelessness, and the Housing Partnership at the Fair Housing Board to provide training and certification to over 400 realtors per year giving them their annual credits required to keep their license. Otherwise a Realtor would have to pay for their own required continuing education training.
With this HUD money the city also supported the Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority with it’s submission of the Choice Neighborhoods Grant which if they got it would have provided several hundred new low income housing units. It appears that the city is focused heavily on becoming the largest low income landlord that it has ever seen.
Some of this HUD money was also spent on giving neighborhood associations money to spend on projects such as sending their members on vacations to national or statewide neighborhood conferences, getting neighborhood signs and trash cans, building covered bus stops, providing bicycle servicing stations, etc.

This is just a small look into just a couple sources of funding that the city gets directly from the Federal Government. This DOJ, DMV and HUD money is given to cities and towns all over the country. The Federal Government has found it to be an effective method of stripping the sovereignty from the states and localities. The money from the DOJ and DMV are required primarily to be spent on Civil Obedience. The HUD funding is Robin Hood money.

Beyond the shocking information above, below are other line items in the agenda that shall be discussed.

2:00 PM Council Meeting ONLY.  The 7:00 PM Meeting has  been canceled as there are no public hearings. Call 853-2541 if interested in being on one of the city boards.

Building and Fire Code of Appeals - Two vacancies.

City of Roanoke Finance Board - One Vacancy

Economic Development Authority - One Vacancy. Brian Redd resigns as the citizen representative of the Roanoke Finance Board and as Director of the Economic Development Authority as a result of a job opportunity in Charlotte NC.

Human Services Advisory Board - Four Vacancies. Robin Haldiman resigns from the Human Services Advisory Board

Parks and Rec Advisory Board - One Partial Term

Towing Advisory Board - Three Vacancies

Nominations being accepted for citizen of the year as well.

They will hear a report of the qualifications of Stephen Willis as a member of the Roanoke Civic Center Commission for a 3 year term.

AirBNB, Should You Be Free To Allow Guests In Your Own Home?


If So... Should You Be Forced To Jump Through Government Hoops To Do It?

 At a recent meeting of the Roanoke City Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA)(1), three people will be prostrating themselves before some local bureaucrats to plead for the special privilege of having guests in their own homes.(2)
Back on July 6th, City Council officially allowed citizens to rent extra rooms in their houses on websites like AirBnB.(3) (In case this is your first time on the internet, people use websites such as
AirBnB to make some extra money on the side. Despite the Council’s vote appearing to approve of this, the City does everything they possibly can to get in the way of it actually happening.  The blame for this falls squarely on our city manager, Chris Morrill.
In order to be able to have a guest in your house from a website such as AirBnB(4), you must:
Have a pre-filing conference with the zoning administrator,
Fill out an application and pay an application fee of $100,
Give a written narrative of exactly what you are going to do inside your personal home.
You also must follow the recently established “Four Written Standards for Homestay Establishments”:

That no changes shall be made to the exterior of the building.
That it shall have no more than 4 guests total and no more than 2 bedrooms for guests.
That they shall be not rented for more than 14 days.
That the owner must also occupy the dwelling during the time the guest is there (This is not the national standard. Some leave and let them rent the whole house, some stay and do it more like a bed and breakfast).
You then are required to submit a drawing, to scale, of the property interior. There are several other criteria that must accompany the drawing about the property.  There are some other hoops as well.  The City Manager also wants to confirm

That having guests in your home does not create an unusual demand on public water and sewer that exceeds the design capacity of the systems,
That it will not generate traffic on neighborhood streets or main roads that exceed the design capacity of the streets or create a dangerous traffic problem by virtue of driveway location, site clearance, driveway slope or any other factors,
That it does not increase the flood potential in the surrounding neighborhood and is also in conformance with the setback, yard, frontage, lot area, parking, signage, screening, shading, etc.
Yes, all of this is required to be able to have guests in your own personal home.  A final requirement is it must further the intent of the city’s comprehensive plan by bringing business to local business owners and also exposure to less popular parts of town. Isn’t that great? The city is doing all of this to help businesses!

The municipal regulations outlined above were not voted on by the city council. This tyranny is coming from the zoning department and city manager who heads all of the offices.   Our local power-hungry bureaucrats like nothing better than to make the people they purport to serve jump through unnecessary hoops to share their home with others and make a little pocket money on the side.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Use Laws To Reduce Your Tax Burden And Make More Money

The vast majority of our congressmen and congress women are involved in real estate investments. They pass laws and regulations that personally benefit themselves. This is why we have so many advantages in our industry. Many times when there is a law that appears to be restrictive, there ends up being a hole created somewhere else that prevents you from complying with that law based on varied circumstances. Loopholes are left open by our politicians to reduce their tax burden so they can become wealthy relatively quickly. If you keep abreast of what’s going on, you too will end up knowing where they are you can do the same.

Politics has everything to do with investing. If you were keeping abreast of global politics you would know like I do where you can get beautiful beach property for pennies on the dollar right now as a result of the dollar being so strong. And that property is going to appreciate tremendously within the next 10 years. What goes up comes down. The opposite of that is true as well.

A savvy investor keeps abreast of changes that are happening in the industry or industries that they invest in to determine where the tax advantages are so they can make a fair return on their investment.

This week our special guest speaker will be Jerry Dunnavant, President of Covenant Real Estate Services. Jerry will be showing us how to defer capital gains taxation through the 1031 Exchange and he will teach us about the Dodd-Frank changes that will occur on October 3rd this year.

As I said last week with Spanky Macher AKA Slumlord Millionaire. I said it will be a packed house and it was. I am telling you right now that it will be again. Over the years I have developed the ability to approximately determine the size of the group based on the topic. This will be a popular meeting. If you want to make sure you get a seat, you should get there early. And if you end up getting there late and don’t see a seat, no need to leave. Ask the waitress to bring some more chairs in. We’ll pack it in like sardines until we get a bigger room.

Do It Yourself Pest Control (Bad Infestations)


I have had many people within the past couple months asking me how to get rid of bedbugs and extreme cock roach infestations which are getting real bad in Roanoke right now. Over the years I have dealt with some extreme infestations and by trial and error have become a self taught expert.

I decided to write an article that will be going out with the email blast and will be posted on the REI website as well that I can send members to when they have a problem. Rather than explaining it to people over and over which is what I have been doing. This article is about how to get rid of a major infestation, not just a few here and there which can be dealt with by other means.

You have to hit them real hard to kill them all in a critical situation like this or you will be dealing with a never ending problem that won’t go away. If done exactly as I explain, you will completely eradicate every bug in the house (with exception of wood boring bugs) while keeping people and pets healthy. What I’m going to explain to you is very similar to the methods that you will read in forums that landlords nationwide have found to be effective. However I have my own very particular way of doing it that I have found to work well.

Fist things first, you need to explain to your tenants that you never take a mattress, couch, recliner or anything like that off the street again, even if it looks brand new. It is there for a reason and there is a high likelihood you will be bringing in a colony of bugs if you take it. And go ahead and let them know that you will treat the infestation for them but they are required to replenish their security deposit within X number of days.

If it is a heavy roach infestation tell your tenants that they can’t leave even a crumb of  food on the counter or a dirty dish in the sink. If they do they will be working against you by feeding the roaches and a roach doesn’t need much food to live. That includes not leaving out pet food.

No bug can live in an environment that everywhere they go they are walking in Diatomaceous Earth.

Diatomaceous Earth is a powdery type substance that is made up of prehistoric ground fossilized animal life mostly in the form of shells that have hardened to a sandstone type consistency. It is said, on a microscopic level, DE,  has sharp little edges all over it and it gets in bugs joints and cuts them open while drying them out.

So the first thing you need to do is to buy some “food grade” DE. You can get little expensive bags of it at Lowe’s or you can order a big 50lb bag from a place like 7 Springs Farm in Virginia which I have found to have the best prices. Most bags of that size you are looking at about 50 bucks for the bag and 25 for shipping.

You want to make sure that you are always getting food grade diatomaceous earth. They call it food grade because they feed it to cows, horses, etc to kill a bad form of bacteria in their stomach that will digest their food before their stomach has a chance to digest it and absorb the nutrients. They also blow it in the chicken coups to kill parasites that get on the birds. And they put a little in their feed to keep them healthy. 

People eat DE as well as a supplement. You wouldn’t believe how many people claim that it has cured them from all kinds of varied ailments. It is one of those “cure all” products like ACV ~ apple cider vinegar.

Regarding the application of the DE, you can’t just sprinkle some on the floor and expect it to work. Just like you can’t just sprinkle boric acid on the floor and expect it to kill bugs. You have to literally coat every square inch of the room, attic, basement, etc with a fine layer of DE. So no matter where they walk in the house they will get it on them.

In order to apply it correctly, you have to have a blower. I recommend the  Dustin Mizer blower so you can quickly get enough dust throughout the house.  All of the other dusters for sale are very small puffer type dusters and don’t put out much dust. You can buy Dustin Mizer blowers on eBay or Amazon. I don’t know of a store that sells them locally.

Have a look at the link below showing the blower in action using a different pest control product.

At this point you need to tell your tenant that they have to leave that dust on everything for 1 full month. You have to give enough time for the babies to all hatch out and get killed as well. So that means no sweeping and no dusting. If they want to dust off their food preparation area that’s fine. Yes it may be irritating to have this dust everywhere and leave it there but so what. Do they want the bugs gone permanently or not. It will kill them all. Fleas, bedbugs, roaches, ants, spiders, everything. And them and their pets will be safe in the process. If they don’t believe you feel free to eat some. The dose recommended online for humans is from 1 teaspoon to 3 heaping tablespoons per day. It’s a pretty remarkable product.

In Addition to DE Treatment, With Roaches:

Along with that, once the dust has settled, get a tube of some clear roach gel bait. I typically use Hot Shot Clear Roach Gel Bait.  Any kind will be fine. Squeeze out a pea sized drop and put them every 12 inches across the top of the kitchen counter back splash, down the side of the cabinets and across the baseboard of the cabinets. Then also run a line of pea sized beads down the side and bottom of the refrigerator and stove. Do the same to the bathroom cabinet.

Then after 2 weeks, come back to the house and do the exact same thing with the gel bait again to leave some fresh poison for the babies to eat. There are many roaches in the walls that will never come out but no worries. Roaches are cannibalistic. Several of those that came out and ate the poison will go back in the walls and die. They will eat the dead roaches and they will in-turn get poisoned.

In Addition to DE Treatment, With Bedbugs:
An additional step with bedbugs beyond treating the house with diatomaceous earth would be to get some bedbug spray like Hot Shot Bedbug Spray and treat the bed, couch and recliner. Take all of the sheets off and spray the mattress and box spring down. There is a little sewn flap at the top edge of a mattress. Look under that flap. That’s one of their favorite hiding places.

They can also hide in areas as small as a screw head hole. There can be 10 to 20 in one of those holes. So look the bed over very well and spray it down well.

On the box spring pull away some of that thin cover that goes over the bottom and hides the wood frame. Put your duster in that hole and blow dust in there as well.

Go around all of the electrical plug outlets in the room and blow the dust directly at it.  If you aren’t lazy you will do a better job by taking the plates off the electrical outlets and then blow them so you get it all in and around the insides of the box. They like to hide in those electrical outlets. There’s something about electromagnetic waves and bugs. They love to be around them.

Now once you’ve done that and instructed your tenant to take their bedding to the laundry mat and have it washed, you need to also instruct them on how to keep their bed bedbug free while we’re waiting for all of them to die off from the DE.

The next thing you or your tenant needs to buy are bedbug traps. These traps go under the bed and or couch legs. See pictures of the bedbug traps that are at Home Depot. They have a textured surface that allows the bedbug to climb up in it but a polished smooth surface that prevents the bedbug from getting to the bed leg so they remain trapped in the plastic device.

Now for these traps to work… you have to pull the bed away from the wall. If the bed is touching the wall than the bedbug can walk up the wall and on to the bed. You also need to instruct your tenants to not allow their sheets or comforter to touch the floor. If they do they will just take that route up on the bed.

Yes, this can be a real pain in the A**. Now if you don’t want to do it yourself, REI of Virginia recommends using a good, reputable, competitively priced pest control company such as our friend and sponsor Twoie Knox who owns B and C Exterminating. He can have it done turnkey by his crew. It’s up to you on how much work you feel like doing.

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Original Spanky Macher AKA Slumlord Millionaire™ This Week At REI

Hi Everyone,

I’m pleased to announce that this week our special guest speaker will be my very good friend, Spanky Macher ~ Slumlord Millionaire™.

As you may recall, when we went to the Indy national landlord conference that had over 300 landlord attendees, Spanky spoke to the group and as he was getting cut short. An Indiana Congressman / Landlord behind me yelled out “Let Him Speak” and the whole room was chanting “Spanky, Spanky, Spanky.” It was unbelievable! I’ve never seen anything like it. He was the star of the conference there’s no doubt about that.

Now Spanky is taking his dynamic likable personality to another level. He has been getting quite a bit of national interest in his Slumlord Millionaire™ reality show. I’ve personally seen emails from national production companies that were literally begging to be a part of it. Spanky has declined because he already has an awesome producer that was trained in California and just so happens to live right here in Roanoke. I predict that this show is going to make it nationally. Spanky has the star quality that is needed to make it happen. And the concept is something that has never been done before.

At our meeting we’re not going to be seeing one of the shows but rather a landlord training program that Spanky has created that will be something that people who like the show can purchase.

This training program gives insights into how he bought 20 houses in less than 6 months. And when he came out he didn’t have a single tool left and his business was completely destroyed. He was so far behind on taxes that the city was right on the edge of selling everything he had. He didn’t even have gas money and had to move in with me to get back on his feet.

This Tuesday he will give a little background on where and how he was able to bounce back from this devastating experience. It’s a rags to riches story essentially. Something that you can do as well with the right training.

So this is the first draft of his training program. It will be available on his website and on the show once it’s complete. And you get to see it for FREE!


As a bonus he will have some excerpts from his book, Slumlord Millionaire,™  for everyone.

Going Forward:
Currently Spanky has over 150 hours of video for his reality show. He is putting together two pilots that will be submitted to the national TV networks. Once it is accepted it will be go time. He will need to put significant effort into quickly producing several more shows to fill out an entire season.

Fun stuff everyone!

I suggest you get there a little early. It’s going to be a packed house…

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Make Your Life Easier

I decided to start writing a little mini series of short articles on various aspects of technology that can help make your life easier. Lately I’ve been doing things with my company that reduce time and result in more efficient productivity.

I’m going to be honest with you. I would be considered a computer guru in comparison to most of the people in our group. And I am way behind the curve. I am not 100% up to speed with all of the new productivity tools that can be used today. So those of you who aren’t implementing technology in your company should consider trying out a few things that will make your life easy. Just one at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed with it. Step 1 would be a business expense. Get a used iPad and I’m going to explain to you why below.

I bought my property manager / contractor an iPad 2 to start implementing technology to increase our workflow. I chose an iPad 2 because they only cost about $150 on eBay so it didn’t bite the wallet too hard.

I’m going to give you the benefits of having a tablet with you or your property manager at the property you are showing to prospective tenants so you can understand what you can do with technology.

Lets say you had a Section 8 tenant that called you and you told them the key code for the lockbox on your house so they can have a look. They call you back telling you that they like it and you or your property manager do your background check and meet them back at the house to sign the lease and get the first months rent and deposit.

You bring up the app Hello Sign.  This is the best lease signing app that’s out now. I’ve checked them all and most are very expensive. Hello Sign has your lease, property checklist, lead agreement, mold addendum and everything else on it. Your new resident signs and initials everywhere on the iPad lease with their finger and you email it off to the office so it’s there to be printed if you desire. You also send an email of it to the tenants email address if they have one. Later when Section 8 asks you to bring the lease down you also save a lot of time because you already have it signed in electronic form. You can just email it to them.

This lease was from the start an electronic version so down the road if you have to print off one for court you already have it in the computer and don’t have to waste time scanning it or copying it. You can just print it off.

While you were there at the house with the tenant and in salesman or saleswoman mode there were some bad things you had to tell the tenant. And you hate doing that every time because you have been Mr. Nice Guy salesperson all of this time and now you have to lecture these people you don’t even know to make sure that they change the furnace filters, smoke detector batteries, let them know that if they break something they will pay to fix it, that rent will be paid on time or you will sue them, etc. There’s lots of bad stuff you have to tell them to train and condition your new resident on the way things will go down when doing business with you.

So instead of all of that nastiness, you bring up the Rent Talk DVD which is a training video that nicely tells the new tenants all of the bad things that you didn’t like telling them. You tell your tenants that this video is called Rent Talk and the local landlord association suggests using it to remind residents of the responsibilities that the resident has vs the responsibilities of the landlord. It also has some nice things in there that tell a great new program you are offering. Residents get a 10% discount off 1 month of rent after 12 months of living there, 25% after 24 months and 1 FREE month of rent after 36 months. I would give a free month to any of my tenants that stayed for 3 years. These people deserve a reward. You want to treat your best tenants well.

You also use the iPad to take pictures of the unit at the signing of the lease so your new resident knows that you have a record of the properties condition. And you may even record a short video of the resident saying that they are happy with the property and are renting it in it’s as is condition. This helps put the thought in their mind that they can’t legitimately call code enforcement on you for damages that they did or things that weren’t 100% up to speed when they moved in. It also helps prevent them from using dirty unethical tactics to justify the non payment of their rent by telling the judge that you are a slumlord when the truth is that they ran out of money. None of them seem to realize that the judges hear that same thing over and over all day long and they are wise to those scams.

Isn’t it interesting how a tenant can be as happy as can be when they move in but down the road when they run out of money you all of a sudden become a slumlord. I think psychologically it’s because everyone wants to feel good about themselves. People don’t like to think of themselves as dirty scoundrels that rip other people off. So they look around and see a couple things that aren’t in 100% perfect condition and they justify it to themselves that you are a slumlord for letting them live like that and they shouldn’t have to pay rent as a result.

Well I have news for them. On the Karma scale, I win points for that and they lose points. It’s important to live your life and always try to do the right thing and in the end you will be the winner. Never stoop to their level.

Back to the iPad. With your iPad you also take pictures of all of your receipts and put them in an app called Evernote. Then you can just pile all of your receipts unorganized in a box if you feel like keeping them. The IRS has said that it is acceptable to have your receipts in electronic form. And Evernote will organize your receipts in categories of your choosing.

Since you are eliminating paper you better be sure you have a good backup of your computer just in case something happens. So you get Crashplan which is, in my opinion, the best off site backup system around right now. I researched them all and for the buck Crashplan wins. It can be free if you are backing up your office computer to another computer at your house or something. And it costs $60 to backup one computer to the cloud or $150 for a family plan to back up several computers to the cloud. The backups are unlimited and fast. And one more thing, automatic. You just set it up and it backs up everything. Every single thing. Unlike many of them that will only back up videos etc if you go back into the software and find each and every thing that it didn’t backup and configure it so it will. What a pain in the A** that I don’t have time for. I like it easy and Crashplan is easy.

So that’s it for now. More getting you up to speed with landlording business technology later if our members respond that they like this kind of stuff.

Monday, August 10, 2015

This Week Disc 2 - Landlord Training

Don’t forget and accidentally drive to the wrong place! We are at Jersey Lilly’s across from Lewis Gale Hospital now.

This week we are in disc 2 of Robert Sherman’s guru training session. This is where we start getting into the meat and potatoes of the training.

I was impressed. Robert has some great ideas. I especially liked the idea of creating a list of costs for all common items that a tenant can damage and having them sign with the lease agreeing to those costs. That would prevent a lot of future arguments. 

Some people that didn’t come to the meeting asked me didn’t I get antsy  sitting there listening to the CD the whole time. And the answer is slightly but it was well worth my time. The CD is set up nicely where it has breaks throughout and every time there was a break we had a short discussion which broke it up nicely.

Some valuable information is coming out of this training.

We’ll see you there!

Monday, August 3, 2015

How Come THAT Idiot's Rich And I'm Not!

Hi Everyone,

We secured a new location for our meetings. They will  now be held at Jersey Lily’s Roadhouse Grill, 1650 Braeburn Dr., Salem, VA 24153. This Jersey Lilly’s is off Electric Rd across from Lewis Gale Hospital.

Message from our President Andy Stowasser regarding the upcoming meeting this Tuesday Aug 4th:

"One thing that everyone has requested over the years is to have a national speaker come speak to us. That is prohibitively expensive and so not reasonable. But what do we really want? Their presence? or their knowledge?

Well since we have a great sound system (once we figured out how to use it) why not employ that?

So next Tuesday what we are going to do is to play a CD on Landlording. I have purchased a CD set from an real estate investor on landlording and it is very good. There are four CD"s and they are about an hour long each. CD one is a bit slow as it is a preview of what is going to be taught, CD's 2 and 3 are great and 4 is again a bit slow. But there is a wealth of information there. He has some of the same principles as Jeffery Taylor (believe he was using them before Mr. Taylor was) So 8/4 is CD 1.

His name is Robert Shemin and he has written several books, the most notable one being "How come THAT Idiot's rich and I am not'.

I have also figured out how to play videos through the laptop and sound system so that will also be an avenue of information going forward.”

So come on out to the meeting this week. Should be a lot of good information.

See you there!

Monday, July 27, 2015

This Week Nothing. We Got Kicked Out

This week our guest speaker will be no one. Because we have been kicked out by the Brambleton Deli and are struggling to secure another location again. And once we do (I have no idea when that will be) I will do several hours more of work changing where we meet all over the internet. If we were getting paid for all of this bouncing around this could be a real money maker for us. Too bad we’re all volunteers.

We were told last week that we had several members in our group that would not eat and would just get water or nothing. The waitresses told us they only made $282 in total sales the previous week and “Ben” was mad. Amanda asked them if that was our notice and they said no. They said they wouldn’t do that to us and just throw us out with no chance to secure another location. But when Carla talked to Ben he said we’re done effective immediately when she asked if we had a couple weeks to find a place. He wouldn’t have us in there for even one more day. Which was a very nasty, mean spirited thing to do.

That’s pretty bad business I would say. Actually it is pretty shocking. That level of unprofessionalism is something I would expect more from a company like the Water Authority than a private business that has a good reputation… I thought. I guess he didn’t realize that there are 550 members of this group and all of us know and understand how a good professional business who values their customers operates. I will never eat there again there are plenty of other choices in Roanoke.

They clearly weren’t counting all of the alcohol that we drink in the bar afterwards as well. Ohh and I guess Ben didn’t consider the fact that the waitresses wouldn’t give anyone a menu or ask them what they want to eat. I have never been to a place that didn’t ask you what you wanted to eat. That was a first for me.

This was the process I personally went through each time there. And I was told by several other members they experienced the same. Each meeting I tried to flag them down to bring me a menu. Sometimes that took a while. Then I had difficulty trying to get their attention to order from that menu since they wouldn’t come back even though they knew I wanted to order. I would then get my food which was good. But every single time they wouldn’t bring silverware so I had to try to get their attention again for that. There were also difficulties keeping drinks full.

The waitstaff were nice. They just seemed to be highly inexperienced and weren’t trained to know that when a group is in a room you go to every single person and give them a menu and ask them what they want to eat. And beyond that, trained waitstaff also up-sell people and ask them if they want dessert or if they would like a mixed drink or something.

My point in telling you this is I can understand both sides of the argument. Ben clearly hasn’t done his job training his waitstaff. However I do know that there are some people that come to the meeting and get nothing. There would have been significantly less if they asked everyone what they wanted.

We need to do our end of things which is to eat in the restaurant since they are providing free space for us to meet. We have a couple of options. We can charge significantly more dues to cover the costs to meet in a hotel conference room or something in rows of uncomfortable chairs with no tables, food or drink or we can meet in a restaurant.

We decided to keep the dues down and have our meetings in a restaurant. There is NO restaurant that wants to give us free space to have our meeting without making some money off that space on their food and drinks.

Those of you that just want to get a water or something and prevent the restaurant from earning some money for that space that they give us to pay their rent / mortgage and other expenses don’t need to come to the meetings. Sorry I’m telling you so bluntly but that’s just the way it is. I can tell you for a fact that all of us officers that are doing this free volunteer work every week to keep the group going will quickly lose interest in doing so if we have to continually find a new place to eat due to complaints from the restaurant that there is a large portion of the group that isn’t getting anything. 

So those of you who won’t buy anything, shame on you for making us have to do all of this work to find another place. And Ben the head honcho of the Brambleton Deli, you should consider training your waitstaff properly. It’s not their fault they don’t know what they are doing. It’s yours!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Agressive Collections


We’ve got a great meeting lined up this week. Our speaker will be the very man who showed me how to correctly fill out my first garnishment. This man’s name is Spanky “The Collector” Macher.

This Armenian gentleman will be showing us how to effectively collect debt by every legal method out there that doesn’t include sending Bobbie Knee Caps or Johnny Knuckles.

Learn the how to procedures of debt collection as well as the pitfalls that you may experience. Learn the law from the creditor’s side of things and strategies the creditor can use to effectively collect debt.

Come on out, it will be a fun meeting!

See Ya Later, Alligator…

Strange QR Code Popping Up All Over Town

I’ve seen this strange QR Code popping up all over town. Strange because it’s nothing but a giant QR Code. Don’t know what it’s all about but it has some really interesting things in it pertaining to Roanoke City Council at their next meeting stealing property from some people and the sheer magnitude of job loss that we have experienced over the past few years in another article. Use your QR Code reader on your phone. If you don’t have one there is an app called RedLaser which is a great really fast reader. And if you don’t have a smart phone this link is where the QR Code takes you.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Dirty And Potentially Illegal Tricks Roanoke City Government Plays On Unsuspecting People At Tax Sales

Dirty Tricks People Play For The All Mighty Dollar

The tax sale is Tomorrow Wednesday July 15th at 12PM at the Roanoke City Civic Center. This message is a reminder to those of you novices that don’t know what you’re doing. The city WILL take you for a ride and you need to know and understand that before you bid. Be very careful making a deal with the city because they feel like they are above the law.

Roanoke City has a tax sale of real estate every 8 months to a year. I’ve attended every single one for the past 10 years or so and have purchased a few properties from these sales. I’ve learned allot of lessons over the years and the city has taught me that they can not be trusted and are willing to stoop to low levels that are shocking and most likely illegal.

It is important to expose this corruption within so those who are leading this city have an opportunity to resolve the issues and terminate the city employees who are taking part in this. I am expecting some changes to be made this year regarding disclosure as some people high up in the government ranks were shocked last year when I exposed the scams that were taking place amongst low level government employees. But I can tell you for a fact that they did not terminate any of the employees that were responsible and I could name each one of them.

Below are a few issues that I have personally witnessed or have been a part of. I’m sure there are many more.

Sales Advertised With Guaranteed Clean Titles Are Not Guaranteed Clean:
Roanoke City advertises in their tax sales that they are giving you a property that has a clean title and is free of all claims. I purchased a property back in 2007 that had a serious title problem. Years before the property was sold with the wrong lot information, it was mixed up with the lot next door. Which means the person next door actually is the owner of the property. No title company would insure it therefore no bank loan could be obtained as a result of the title problem and ability for the next door owner to lay claim to the property. I contacted the attorney working for the city at that time and he told me that’s your problem and sent me packing after paying 35K for the property. So lots of money and work for my attorney and we were fortunately able to get a clean title.

Property In SE Roanoke Torn Down Just A Couple Days Before The Sale And The Contracted City Attorney At That Time Contemplated Not Telling Buyers:
Roughly 5 to 7 years ago I was driving around last minute, a couple days before the sale, and saw one of the houses that was advertised for sale being demolished. When I got to the sale there was a photo of the house not demolished. I overheard the same attorney as before with my title problem talking to the guy in front of me. He was telling him that it was demolished but they seriously considered not telling the buyers as they don’t legally have to do so. I was shocked. It’s Unbelievable that anyone would even think about doing that. I’m sure that most people already did their research by driving around and viewing the properties long before I did and when they were looking at it it was there.

City Rezones Property And Hides That The New Owner Will Have To Convert It To Another Use:
Every once and a while the city rezones properties across the city. I think the last time they did it was in 2006. The law is that if a residential property is vacant for at least 2 years than it loses it’s CO and has to revert to a single family house. Almost every house at every tax sale has been sitting vacant for at least 2 years. It takes 2 years of non payment of taxes in order to be able to sell the property to get their tax money.

When a multifamily house is sold at these tax sales and you look online on their GIS you will see that they will leave the property listed as a multifamily even if they are going to force the property to be reverted to a single family due to sitting vacant for too long. Most people do not know these laws. Fortunately I have been doing this stuff for long enough to know what the city will pull on people as they have attempted to do the same thing to me or fellow investors I know.

If the property was rezoned as single family and sat there for 2 years the city will not let you keep it a Multi family. They will force you to get a permit and revert it to a single family house which could bankrupt someone who was not expecting those additional costs and just getting started out in investing. I have seen it time and time again.

There are MANY examples of the city hiding this information at the sale. As a matter of fact, Not a single time have I ever heard the city disclosing this information. Unsuspecting buyers pay big bucks for these properties thinking that they are able to continue operating it as a quad or triplex or duplex and then later find out that they have to dump many more piles of cash into it to bring it to the cities new requirements. Often they don’t have the money to do so and the deceptive practices that the city takes part in end up ruining the rest of their life due to that bad investment.

Take the property at 608 8th St SE that was sold at a tax sale many years ago. And the house is still sitting just as it was. The only difference is now the neighborhood gets to continue to look at that eyesore because the government hoodwinked the buyer who significantly overpaid for the house because he thought he was buying a Quadraplex. I bid on that house but couldn’t justify more than 5K due to the knowledge of the games that the city plays with peoples lives. This poor guy got in a bidding war with other novice investors and ended up sinking 20K into the property before any work was done.

Or look at a couple tax sales ago and the property at 1509 Chapman Avenue. Which appears to be a duplex to the novice however it was rezoned a single family house and will be required to be converted by the novice investor. Wow, wait until they find that out. And guess what. That property is back up for sale again. I wonder if the city gave the poor person their money back.

I’m willing to bet that I would hear some city employees defending their non disclosure of this information while stating that they legally don’t have to. I would find it hard to believe that they legally would not be required to disclose something of such significance. However if they aren’t required to do so they still have moral and ethical behavior that we should be able to count on.

If you are reading this and you agree with what they are doing and are saying in your mind that an inexperienced investor should not be warned  about this as they should have done their due diligence, than you have something very seriously wrong with you. Yes, I am calling you out specifically. You need to get help. You are an evil heartless person and need to go back in your hole. That’s right… I said it!!! The world would be better without people like you.

Now don’t get the impression that there was some big slip-up and the city “forgot” to tell the auctioneer. This happens at EVERY tax sale. And at EVERY tax sale the city pays it’s code enforcement department with tax payer money to be at the sale over in the corner taking notes on who the next owner will be as their attack will follow the new unsuspecting owners purchase. 

City Has Detailed Knowledge Of Serious Problems With A Property And Hide This Knowledge From Buyers:
Another property went up for sale at the past tax sale that had a huge fire in it a few years back. The city condemned the property after the fire and boarded it up. This property was 819 Campbell. The only reason I know that it burned is I own a property behind it. You can’t easily tell from the outside that this property was destroyed. I am being told that this year they will disclose information regarding fire damaged properties. I wonder if they will disclose which properties that are multifamily that they are going to force to be turned into a single family. Or any of the other dirty things they have up their sleeve.

I bid on this fire damaged property because I specialize in extensive rehabs. However I was only willing to bid at most $3,000 as it would take a substantial amount of money to rehabilitate it. Most people couldn’t do it.

Even though there were a number of the code enforcement staff and management in the building, they all decided to deceptively hide the fact that they condemned this building due to a bad electrical fire in the basement. I have been told by an unnamed city employee that they have, in their possession, a file on this property that includes all of the pictures of the damage etc but were unwilling to disclose it. It’s the law that things like this are disclosed by Realtors and knowledge of something like this and not disclosing it is FRAUD.

I have been told through the grapevine that in most cases they will not allow someone to back out of money owed to the treasury department but will make exceptions when friends of the city are involved. In this case the unsuspecting bidder of this property backed out which leaves the city offering the property to the backup bidder which was me.

So I contacted the auctioneer to purchase the property. But in doing so found that the new attorney used by the city who is responsible for the tax sales has a “friend” that he was trying to give the property to and they are not interested anymore in selling it to the backup bidder which is standard procedure. NICE, again this kind of corruption these days should be expected from our local government. The end result is the property didn’t sell as this message went out last year and we ended up exposing what was happening. There was a day and time where you could count on and trust in what government does but I’m very sorry to say that that is a time that has come and gone…

You may be saying… Dallas, if you have the knowledge of this, why don’t you stand up at the tax sale and warn people. Well, my answer is that I did. Both me and Dan tried to tell the auctioneer, city employees and other buyers at the sale that the city was advertising an incorrect higher Tax Assessed value of every property but we were quickly shut down as the auctioneer referenced his communication with the city attorney regarding people speaking up at the sale. He then restated that they are correct tax assessed values. The reality is that they were last years higher tax assessed values and no representation of todays assessed value.

So what do we do about it? Actually I don’t know the answer to that. That’s why I’m writing about it. It can serve as education to novice and moderate investors.

Monday, June 29, 2015

This Week We’re Talking About The National Landlord Convention And Some Interesting Things We Learned

About a month ago several of us went to the Mr. Landlord national convention. There were about 300 landlords there. There were speakers for 3 days starting around 8am and lasting with round table events every night until about 10pm. Lots of great information!

This meeting the special guest speakers will be yours truly and Spanky Macher. If Carla, David and Carole are at the meeting they will help out as well. I haven’t talked to them to confirm yet.

It’s going to be a relaxed presentation. None of us have the time to prepare anything so we will be winging it as usual. I took a couple pages of notes and will go over what I found interesting. Even after doing this stuff for so many years I ended up learning some great ideas and I have a plan in place for tightening up my property management and being more selective with my tenants based on a few more criteria we will talk about.

We will also talk about things that landlords on a national basis are doing such as getting rid of rent grace periods etc. and the reasons why. Why to have a crime free addendum and what it is. Why to get all of your tenants email addresses. Ideas for getting more ancillary income out of your rentals. Nevada LLC’s and why not to have them. Which state is good. Things to do to change a neighborhood for the better. Customer loyalty programs and how to tell if your prospective tenant has drama in their lives. As well as a long list of websites that can help you operate your business.

If you learn anything that you want to remember you should bring a pen and piece of paper. We have no handouts. Either the pen and paper or you can type what you want to remember into your phone notes.

So come on out. I can guarantee you will learn a few things at this meeting that you will benefit from.

Remember we have a new location. See below. All of those that don’t read these emails, I guess we’ll see you next time when you get it figured out.

New Meeting Location

At the last meeting we said to read your email. That was to not be rude and talk about how bad it has been for us in Franks while we were in there.

Since we have been there we have had many complaints from our membership about the food. I can say mine was good but I got the exact same salad every meeting.

We also were promised by the manager that the wifi worked well before we took the place. We have known from the start that it didn’t and are extremely limited to what types of meetings we can have as a result. She has been unresponsive in getting that problem resolves. The speaker last night called before he came to confirm that they had wifi. She told him it did and it worked well. He told me he would have brought a personal hotspot if he knew that that wasn’t the case. He was embarrassed having to keep stopping his presentation time and time again. Must have been difficult for him but he managed to get through it.

We also have had the issue of extreme heat in the restaurant for the past month. If you recall it was kept extremely cold as well during the winter  They were aware of that issue from the start but didn’t do anything about it. The last 2 weeks were particularly bad. We have several older members of our group that can’t go anymore due to that level of extreme heat with no fans causing them health issues. We are rapidly losing membership as a result of the restaurant and have to make an emergency change.

I’m not trash talking all of the Franks. Like I said I personally have had great food there. However there clearly are some management issues at this particular one. The lack of response to our issues helps define that.

Our new summer / early fall location will be the Brambleton Deli. Our member Carla Bream set it up for us. There is good wifi and their AC works. The only issue we have there is it will work well for the summer / early fall but it’s about the same size as Franks so it isn’t a long term solution. Our late fall, winter and spring numbers are too high to be able to accommodate a room of that size. The owner is OK with that.

We have our location as Franks all over the internet. I will get started working on changing that. It will take time because it’s literally all over the place. If you notice something I haven’t changed please go ahead and submit the change to the website / newspaper or other publications.

The address of the new location is:
Brambleton Deli
3655  Brambleton Ave., Roanoke, VA 24018

Same time, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

They also have a full bar which is something that several of our members missed from both Shakers and El Rodeo.

Monday, June 22, 2015

This Week At REI Speed Networking With A Moderated Group Discussion Afterwards

It’s been a very long time since we did any form of group networking in REI. We are an educational business group and our members have a lot to offer that you may not be aware of. I know most of the people in our group but not all. And I know what most of our members have to offer from various conversations I have had with them.

There is another source of making or saving money that our group isn’t taking advantage of which requires networking. Some of the REI groups are set up specifically for that purpose only. They don’t usually last very long from what I’ve found though as a result of that being the sole purpose.

Did you know that our member Jerry Everett was a builder and can rebuild one of your rentals if you had a fire? He can handle the really big jobs. And Jerry has a lot of rentals out in the Salem area so you have questions out that way he’s your man. 

Did you know Robert Young owns a towing company and he can tow abandoned cars away from your property to be held in impound at no cost to you? Your tenants have to pay him to get it. And that he is an expert in commercial real estate and eminent domain issues.

Did you know that John King owns a company that can do any kind of repairs on your mower, weed eater, etc or sell you a new one? And that he also has a hauling company that can bring you dirt, gravel, mulch or whatever you need. Including spreading it.

Did you know that Taz owns a finish carpentry business and can custom build cabinets for you for less than Lowes? He has done several specialty wood working related things for me over the years that my guys weren’t capable of doing. He also did the cabinets for the REI flip that several of us did together.

That is just a very small example of benefits that you can take advantage of by being a member of REI of Virginia. Some people say it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Ever heard that saying? Once we have the new website up we will have a page that members can log into to get peoples contact info with a little short bit of information on what they have to offer. It will be hidden behind a login so your info won’t be available to tenants or anyone just going to the website.

This upcoming meeting will make or save you money within the next year. Could be a lot. It all depends on you. To take full advantage of this meeting bring a bunch of business cards.

Now this isn’t the time to just say what you have to offer. It is also the time to tell REI of Virginia members what you need from them to build your business if you are currently growing it. Is it that you need a connection for a good low cost plumber or you need a source of good wholesale deals?

Everyone gets 90 seconds to talk. If you talk a little less that is fine. I know some people are shy. A little more is fine too. This isn’t to stress you out. It’s so everyone gets to know everyone. I contact people in our group all of the time for this or that. There’s a huge benefit that many people are missing due to not knowing each-other and this will help solve that.

The president of TRIG which is the real estate investor group down in the Tidewater Virginia area told me about it while we were having some drinks after the Landlord Convention. And she said it was extremely beneficial for their group.

Come on out. This will be a fun meeting!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Senator John Edwards at REI of Virginia This Week

Hi Everyone,

This week I’m pleased to announce our guest speaker will be incumbent democrat Senator John Edwards who is running against republican Nancy Dye who we had at our meeting and Commonwealth Attorney Don Caldwell who is a democrat running as an independent.

People are questioning what Don Caldwell’s motivations are and if what he was doing was to intentionally weaken Edwards.

I’m not sure what Mr. Caldwell’s intentions are. I spoke with him a few months ago regarding a few robberies of my office where the city botched the court case and only charged the criminals for burglary of my brothers office and not mine and he told me at that time the rumors were true and he was thinking about running. 

Senator Edwards has helped REI of Virginia far more than any other politician including the currently elected republicans. None of them have gone to bat for us more than he has. He has been the key man in Richmond who has fought for us to end the ability for the Water Authority to bill a landlord for a tenants unpaid water bill. It’s been a tough fight and Senator Edwards has been there every single year for us from the start.

Come on out and we’ll hear from Senator Edwards about where we currently stand with the Water Authority issue and what plans he has for the future for our area.

See you there!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Tough Times Ahead. Prepare Yourself To Profit Off The New State Of The World And Our Coming Economic Conditions.

REI Members,

I thought I would write a little something to show you what I’m seeing happening in the World. I’ll throw a few facts down for you and you can decide if the end result is what I see as our future. Have a look on the internet and you will see that all of what I’m about to tell you is true.

You can prosper tremendously from future economic conditions if you are prepared for them before they happen. Certain industries have dramatic gains during war or during deep recessions. Other industries fail. History repeats itself and you can determine how to position your portfolio if you research what has happened in the past.

A series of events:

We have now confirmed that the Chinese hacked into US government computers and stole the personal data of millions of Federal employees. And it wasn’t just some Chinese hackers. It was the Chinese Government!

Just a couple weeks ago we were flying a spy plane 15,000 feet over this new island in the middle of the ocean that the Chinese are building. They are building it in 300 feet deep water!!!. No one has ever done that. We are trying to find out why they are doing it. We think it is because a quarter of all global shipping has to go through that area which is rich in natural resources. China would have a cut off switch for the World at their finger tips by securing this location. A lack of natural resources means limited ability to manufacture products. Limited ability to manufacture products can mean limited ability to re-supply for war.

The Chinese government caught us doing the flyovers and they sent a message repeating over and over telling us to not fly across their territory. To not make this terrible mistake. To please go back. Our position is that they cannot control the waters in the middle of the ocean because the ocean belongs to everyone, not them.

Also, the Chinese for the past 10 years have been building the largest Navy that the World has ever seen. Doing so with all of the money we are giving them for being one of the few countries willing to implement what we consider to be human rights abuses on their own people, including their children.  They work these poor people to the bone to get products cheaply to the United States and the rest of the World. And they have been artificially devaluing their currency, the Chinese Yuan, so the cost of goods remains low preventing other countries from competing with them on a manufacturing basis.

Putin of Russia said yesterday that Russia is not planning on attacking the United States along with a statement that they have gone a long way into developing of some equipment that will destroy our missile defense technology. So why would they do that if they weren’t planning on shooting missiles at us?

Also, remember back in late March 2015 when there were 1,500 special ops who were doing a multi state training program in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas and Utah? And the news was saying that they were skeptical of what they were doing down there. They suspected that the U.S. was preparing for future Marshall Law on the people.

Well, I did some research and found out the real reason. I found an article in the Moscow Times. On March 13th a Russian general said that Russia was offended that the US Congress in February voted to give military equipment to the Ukraine so they could protect themselves from Russia. And that Russia was going to send modern military weapons to Mexico and infiltrate them across the boarder into those specific states where there are already gorilla groups that will take those states back and make them a part of Mexico again. He said that those states have amnesty as a result of us buying them from Mexico during the Mexican American War for 5 million dollars. And that Russia will help force those states to break back off of the United States. This news was something that the White House decided not to let the American Citizens know about.

So that is why in Late March we sent the 1,500 special ops down there for training. And after the general said that, in early April, Russia warned the U.S. to not drive a UN convoy across the boarder of the Ukraine and Russia and in doing so we would be declaring war. He continued to say why does this UN still exist in the first place if the Cold War was supposedly over. So Obama decided that we should continue as planned and have our convoy along the border.

How about this? There has recently been all of this talk about becoming buddy buddy with Cuba. To open up our trade with them. And people have been saying that Obama is an idiot for wanting to team up with Castro who to this day is continuing human rights abuses.

The reason why our government is talking about becoming friends with Cuba at this precise moment is because Cuba will be used as a landing strip / refueling zone for Russia and China if we break out in a full scale war. Cuba is very close and is the perfect place for something like this to transpire. They need a place like Cuba on their side because otherwise they would have to do a landing on one of our beaches and take the beach like we did in on the well known D-Day, the Battle of Normandy. The D in D-Day stood for Designated Day although it should have stood for Dead Day. It was a blood bath for the American military. Castro knows why everyone is trying to buddy up to him. He understands that he is essentially like a swing vote in the game of Survivor.

About a month ago a photo came out showing Putin of Russia, the President of the Chinese government Xi Jinping, Venezuelan president Nicholas Maduro, Castro of Cuba, and several muslim Sunni country heads all together displaying their friendship. That photo helps lay out who will be on who’s side in the upcoming WWIII. The Sunni’s used to all be our friends. Saudi Arabia is Sunni in leadership although their people are Shia. From what I understand, the Sunni’s are the wealthy muslims and Shia are the poor. Obama traded alliances and teamed up with the Shia countries in the Middle East. We are now no longer allies with the Sunni’s.

WWIII is right around the corner. We are firmly in the first few years of posturing before the war. This war will be much different than previous wars. Americans are so used to us taking our war to their country. This war will be both on their soil and ours. They will take a beach like we did in Normandy after using Cuba as a starting point. And they will then use their new position to start spreading their line of control. Further and further into the U.S. Chinese and Russian tanks will be driving down our roads and they will be bombing from our sky.

China alone has 1.3 Billion people. Yes million with a B. We only have 300 million. If every American was a far superior and exceptional fighter every American could kill 2 Chinese. Just a small dent in their population and every American could be completely exterminated.

This isn’t the movies. The good guy doesn’t always win in the end. This is scary stuff. You can call it alarmist but there are some things that have been happening in global politics that are scary recently. Teams are being formed. Who’s on Who’s side.

Interesting things are happening right now for those of you who are keeping abreast of global politics.

Regarding economics, the United States will have another recession next year. We have a recession on average every 6 to 7 years. From what I understand we are already there. To compound that, over 700,000 Baby Boomers will hit 70 years old in 2016. They will be the first wave required to sell a portion of their retirement stock every year. The following year another 700,000 will turn 70 and they will start to sell off their stock doubling the amount of people required to sell each year. The problem will compound upon itself year after year. Let alone next year is a presidential election year which always is particularly hard on Wall Street.

It is expected by experts that the United States will have another housing crisis starting somewhere within 2016 - 2017. So there will be some great opportunities for good buys for those who are in it for the long haul and want to buy at the bottom. Once you hear the pain on the news and the ignorant media saying don’t buy real estate you need to start buying. When the market gets to a point where everyone is saying Buy, Buy, Buy you already missed the boat.

Big interesting things happening in the World right now. We are in a stock market bubble, a government bubble and on the edge of a potentially devastating war. A little research on how various industries perform during historical similar economic conditions will make you a very wealthy investor. Those who are positioned wrong can lose all of their wealth. Fortunes will be gained while fortunes will be lost.

Fortunately those who are reading this email are interested in a particular investment that fares very well as a hedge against extreme economic conditions. A good “Cash Flowing” buy and hold strategy with a strong debt to income ratio will make an investor wealthy in both good times and bad.

And that is why I’m such a strong proponent of having a large portion of low income property in your diversified portfolio.

The End…. For Now.

Mold, Asbestos and old Heating Oil Tank Spills at REI This Week

Hello Everyone,

This week our guest speaker will be Carroll Hale, of an environmental based company called Green Earth Naturally LLC.

Carroll will be with us to talk about some of the nasty little conditions you can inherit with a house you purchase. Including things like Mold, Asbestos and leaking Underground Petroleum Tanks.

Getting unbelievable deals on properties typically is associated with dealing with some nasty problems that most people are scared of. Come on out to the meeting to get educated on these potential types of opportunities so you can fully understand the scope of the problems and know how much it will cost you to take care of it. After all you have to know the cost of taking care of an issue like this before submitting your bid so you can subtract it plus a large premium for dealing with the problem from your offer.

I can tell you from past meetings, there is a huge opportunity in purchasing properties that have contaminated ground with oil spills. No one wants these types of properties. A portion of a penny of every gallon of gas that is sold goes into a Virginia fund called VPSTF. And this fund pays for these types of cleanups.

We had a cleanup on the REI flip that we did together a couple years ago and the guy we used waived the $500 deductible. It was a good win / win for all.

See you at the meeting!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

This Week Tom Roe…

This week our special guest speaker, Republican Tom Roe, who is running against Democrat Steve McGraw for the Roanoke County Circuit Court Clerk.

Tom has been endorsed by Bob Goodlatte, Morgan Griffith, Greg Habeeb, Ralph Smith and many others. Tom is currently an attorney for the firm Spigle, Role, Massey & Clay and has been practicing law in the Roanoke Valley for 30 years.

The Clerk of Court is responsible for recording deeds and other real estate related documents, issuing marriage licenses, processing divorces and name changes, handling criminal, probate and estate matters and maintaining court records and other records as provided by law.

Last week the landscaping company was a no show so we talked about that very cool landlord master key deadbolt and discussed other topics such as how to profit from the 2016 expected housing crisis and stock market crash, etc. This week we will also have a group forum where we will talk about various subjects in the remaining time. I don’t expect it to be long with Mr. Roe so the majority of the time will be a forum. Bring your questions.

Come on out for a fun educational evening with like minded people.

We’ll see you there!

Monday, May 18, 2015

This Week Landscape Design

This week we will have the people from WDR Land Designs at our meeting. They will be there to talk about landscape design on your personal property or to create curb appeal for your flips or to increase the rental value of your property.

We’ll see you there!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

NOT FOR YOU! You have been voted to pay for it…

We need your help!

A couple weeks ago I put a message out to this group of 550 people that we really need help from the members and need you to show up at a city council meeting in support of us attempting to persuade the city council to not give themselves and the city employees another 4 million dollar raise by increasing taxes on the citizens.

Guess how many people showed up at the meeting? Out of 550 people that were asked for help…. 3 showed. Me and Roger who were asking and our buddy and former REI CEO Dan Cullather. THAT’S IT!

This will be the final meeting. The city council has increased the size of government in almost every area and they are giving themselves another huge raise. They just finished giving every single city employee a big raise. Now another. In a time where regular people aren’t getting raises. They are lucky if they even have a job. I don’t see this unlimited amount of wealth out there that the City Council can tap into whenever they want.

At the last meeting, the city council was under the impression that us 3 guys that keep complaining about everything aren’t an adequate representation of what the citizens want. There were several plants that they had there that were literally begging for higher taxes because they love this city and what they have done for it. 2 of them were begging to put all of the tax burden on small business. The council decided that there are more people that want taxes higher than want them to remain the same or drop.

It sure would be nice to be able to speak to the council and look into the crowd and ask how many people agree with what we’re saying. And a wave of people all stand up.

You don’t even have to talk. I understand that most people don’t like talking in front of groups of people. Or talking while they are currently being broadcast to a television show that is recorded. But Dan, Roger and myself aren’t shy. We will stick up for what’s best for investors in Roanoke. But we really do need a little support to look like we aren’t the only people who care.

I have been requested by several members in our organization to send out a reminder of the upcoming city council meeting that we need your help at. So here it is.

The meeting will be held at 2pm at the city council chambers. The last one was at 7pm so everyone easily could go. This one is at 2pm.

You know where the Roanoke City court house is? If you were standing in the road looking at the front door it’s the building to the right. That is the municipal building. You walk in the front door of that building and on the right is the Treasurer, in front of you is the Real Estate Tax office, And to the left is the Real Estate Valuation office with a set of elevators right next to it. Take that elevator up to the top 4th floor and you are at the city council chambers. It starts at 2pm, and if for some chance you wanted to say a few words you need to get there at least 15 minutes early to sign up to talk. If you change your mind and don’t want to you can always say I pass.

We hope to see you there!


Ronald Reagan Quote

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it." - Ronald Reagan

A Knock It Out Of The Park Meeting This Week At REI

Hello everyone,

We have a great meeting lined up for this Tuesday. We’re going to start off the meeting with a few minutes to Republican Harry Griego who is running in a primary against Republican incumbent house member Chris Head. We always invite both parties if one would like to speak so I will be sending a message to Chris to see if he want’s to come out and give a few minutes as well.

After that we’re doing something we never have done before. We’re going to have a meeting on tenant applications. I’m sure some very informative conversation will come out of this meeting. Please send a copy of your application to Andy Stowasser at What Andy is going to do is set up our varied applications on the new REI computer so we will be able to see them on the presentation screen.

This will allow everyone to see what information is important to other investors in deciding on a resident. Mine for example I call a garnishment application. I don’t personally care if a tenant smokes in my low income apartments or if they have pets. I see that as an additional revenue source. So I created mine so I can fit 3 people on 1 front and back printed sheet of paper. And it is primarily focused on obtaining information to determine income and garnishment possibilities.

I also wanted to make it clear that there will be an application fee and they will not get it back if we decide that they don’t qualify. And if they want to know why they are required to send a written notice to me requesting an answer.

Good stuff people! This is the kind of meeting that ends up drawing out some really interesting information.

We’ll see you there!

BTW, If you haven’t paid dues yet please do so. We really need to work on getting some funds together so we can start doing things. We need at least 60K to do something like getting involved with flipping properties of which we can hire our own members as contractors for the job. Or we can do training programs for fellow landlords on various aspects of rehab very similar to what Andy is doing right now with his personal flip he’s doing.

We are all volunteers and no one is getting paid anything. Dues are only $100. Not much to ask considering the massive amount of volunteer hours we put in to try to keep this thing going. If any of us decided ww have had enough of it the group could very easily and quickly dissipate and at that point landlords and investors are back on their own without this great resource there for you when you need it. You can bring your dues to the meeting OR the dues payment address is:

REI of Virginia
3959 Electric Rd Suite 110
Roanoke, VA 24018

Thank You!

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