Sunday, February 26, 2017

Marketing Yourself To Private Money Investors This Week At Real Estate Investors of Virginia

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Hello Everyone,

This week we have another knock it out of the park meeting with an interesting topic.

We all know that you’ve got to have access to money to make money. If your credit is good and you already have a house with equity or something to get a line of credit on, than you can go the traditional route and get your money from an investor friendly bank such as our sponsor, the Bank of Botetourt. Money from a bank typically has the lowest interest rates.

If you can’t get a bank loan another viable option is to use private or hard money which is an equity based loan most often secured by your deal that you’ve found. These types of loans often don’t rely much on your credit so they are an option for most. Hard money usually comes from a company or private investor who professionally loans money for a living. These loans typically carry the highest interest rates. However, I have seen some hard money lenders recently that have had very favorable terms that are pretty close to what you would often get from a private money lender.

A “relationship based” private money lender is typically somewhere in between the cost of the bank loan and the hard money lender. They don’t typically loan money out for a living. They have extra personal money to lend. And their motivation in many cases would be to either pull their money out of the volatile stock market before an upcoming crash or simply to make a better interest rate than they would by having someone else manage their money in the traditional investments.

The subject of the upcoming meeting will be about marketing yourself to private money lenders. Which will include information pertaining to putting together a brochure that you can give to a private lender to get them to invest with you.

Going to be a fun meeting so cancel any other plans so you can make it to REI this Tuesday. Bring your friends with you as your guest.

Monday, February 20, 2017

We’re Not All Going To Die Because Of Mold… Confirmed

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Hello Everyone,

I was at the Home Show, that our member Dave Urgo runs, and Dave introduced me to a guy named Andy Brady of Green Home Solutions. Andy is interested in teaming up with Landlords and Flippers to assist with any kind of mold related issue.

These guys use some high tech machines that put off a mist of enzymes in the air that will actually eat the mold. As you know back in the day the mold guys used to tell us that they had to completely gut the place and you would end up with a mega bill that wasn’t with it. And if you didn’t do that you are all going to die. LOL.

The prices that Green Home Solutions charges are very affordable. You can now buy those houses that have massive mold issues, get it for a huge discount, and get Andy to come in and get rid of all of that mold for next to nothing.

And this is why its such a benefit to be a member of our group. We actively search out these kinds of opportunities that you can take advantage of. When you know the right people you can turn major disadvantages into advantages for you that will make you lots of money. When other investors don’t know what you know or who you know you have the ability to pay nothing for a property and then get it fixed up for next to nothing. The other guys and gals are thinking they have to rip it out down to the studs and start over and their price is going to reflect that.

Andy showed me some before his machine, and after his machine photos. It’s absolutely amazing what these enzymes do without having to tear the place apart to do it.

Andy is also a good guy to have on your side in a tenant dispute regarding mold. And I’m sure if you threw him a few bucks he would go to court with you as an expert witness if needed as well. As you know mold is the next big thing that the previous federal administration had targeted via the EPA which is currently being gutted and rebuilt to be fair. Andy has a much more realistic outlook about mold and what to inexpensively if you do have an issue. And he will be on your side from the start to the end which is important with such a litigious society that we currently live in.

Come on out and hear about this new enzyme technology and meet a young man who is gunning for our business.

See you there!

PS: PS: PS:
A reminder to everyone who hasn’t paid dues yet. We are now coming to the latter half of February and dues were due on January 1st. We’re not going to twist your arm if you don’t pay at this upcoming meeting but I’m just letting you know we’re getting ready to start twisting and make you call out Uncle, Uncle, Uncle while we’re at it ;-)

The same as last year, we’re going to bump it up to $150 for anyone paying after February. Dues to this group are VERY CHEAP at $100. They are cheaper than your other groups. So pay NOW please. Look below at the several possible ways to pay. You will save much more than that measly 100 dollars in what you learn in our meetings so stop being so cheap. You will save way more than that if you use our group discounts at Lowes, Home Depot, etc. You will also earn thousands of dollars every single year as a result of our group if you take full advantage of it and network. If you don’t know how to do that you can ask me and I’ll tell you. I didn’t have that totally figured out myself the first few years due to being so antisocial but I have it figured out now.

Let me remind you that we are all volunteers so it’s not like you’re personally helping us out or anything. You’re helping out the group as a whole. Helping us work towards developing an organization that will always be here for investors even if the current officers decide they are tired of doing free work and quit. We are working towards the group actually earning enough income to pay someone to manage it. I sure would like to be able to come to the meeting one day and kick back to just listen without having a single bit of the daily effort I currently have to do to keep it afloat. And I know the other officers would like the same.

This is a lot of work to keep it going and we need you to help us out with this tiny yearly amount so we can get it up on it’s own feet and off our backs.

Ohh, and if you want to help out and become an officer of the group you are also more than welcome to do that as well. We always have boatloads of projects that we don’t have time to accomplish. Right now, in particular, we are looking for someone who is interested in the political aspects of Real Estate and legislation. We need someone who will work with our assistance on rewriting some laws, word changes, etc that we can submit to local legislatures to attempt to make some statewide changes that will benefit small business in our industry. That person, if they wanted to, could also be in charge of looking at some of the local issues we have and potentially talking with attorneys to see what grounds we have for various lawsuits to defend our members who have good cases that we want to take. There isn’t a lot of prior experience with any of this required.  We can help guide you and bring you up to speed with what’s currently going on. So if you’re interested, please let me know.

See ya at the investor meeting!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Save Your Life And Give Your Tenants A Place To Drop Off Rent… This Week At REI

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Hello Landlords,

There previously was a misunderstanding on the dates that Scott and Tammy from the UPS Store were to speak at our group. They are lined up for this Tuesday meeting for sure.

If you are having tenants mail their rent to your personal house: Let me tell you… you are nuts! Landlords are killed all the time. Several landlords have been killed right here in Roanoke. And when a landlord is killed it almost always has to do with an eviction. So be smart and let your home be your safe place that you don’t have to worry about stray bullets flying past your couch as you watch TV. Or some punk throwing their shirt off and yelling at you in the front yard that they want you to come out there and give them a beating.

This week our guest speakers will be Scott and Tammy from the Electric Rd UPS Store. These guys are entrepreneurs in the truest form. I’ve been using them for almost 2 years now to collect my rent for me and it’s turned out to be a great service that I wouldn’t do without. I don’t waste my time or endanger my life by physically running down tenants to collect my rent anymore. I’m in control of my business these days. I don’t let tenants control it. Several of my tenants want to have a place to physically hand their rent so with the UPS Store they have the option to either mail it to me there, or physically hand it to them at the store.

Try doing that at the post office. As crazy as it sounds, if you get a P.O. Box, and your tenant brings their rent payment to the post office, they will still mail it to Greensboro; even if they are standing no more than 5 feet from your box. It’s hard to do business with idiots like that.

Scott also offers all kinds of other services or "custom services” that are specially designed to help your very specific business need.

At this meeting we will also talk with Scott about developing some fill in the blank software for REI of Virginia that will help members put together highly professional quotes for the bank that will automatically calculate the numbers that they like to see in making a loan decision.

We will also talk about their help with your business cards and creation of brochures.

This is going to be a fun meeting that will include lots of out of the box thinking regarding what types of services investors in our area need.

Come on out to keep your eye on the prize in 2017. Your regular attendance to REI meetings will help you grow your company and reach your financial goals. I promise you it will. I personally attribute my continual focus on investing as being the reason that I have been able to obtain a large highly lucrative portfolio over a relatively short period of time.

To do this successfully, you have to associate yourself with like minded people. Step back and have a look at the woods once a week rather than dealing with the day to day BS. That dedicated focus on real estate industry education will force you to fulfill your goals and objectives.

2017 is going to be YOUR big year.  That is ONLY if you make it YOUR big year. We still have years to come of low prices so it’s still a buyers market here in our area. The city has not and is not likely going to do anything to increase property values as they don’t recognize there is a problem. Get them while the getting is good.

Come on out to our meetings and have some fun while you’re working on your first few million in equity. Be there… or be square!!!

Monday, February 6, 2017

This Week Our Special Guest Speaker Will Be Roanoke City Councilman, John Garland.

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Hi Everyone,

We’ve got a fantastic meeting lined up for this Tuesday. Our special guest speaker will be City Councilman John Garland.

Last time John was with us was during our City Council Debate. Most REI members voted for John Garland & Michelle Dykstra and John is coming to talk to us about what he has been doing to help us.

Historic preservation, historic rehabilitation, tax credits, economic development and code enforcement are going to be some of the topics that we will discuss.

I have had several conversations with John since he was voted in for council and since then we have seen many examples of how the city is extremely difficult to deal with. When we first started talking John explained to me how his personal experience working with the city has been very easy. But I think since then he has been given enough other perspectives that he may have changed his mind.

One of our friends who came out to our meeting once, Darryl Thompson, is currently getting attacked in court by the city for having beautiful antique amusement park rides on his land.

Just a few weeks ago a pizza shop was to open in the West End of Roanoke and the city jumped in the way and prevented it from happening. Corbin Prydwen, the person who is opening it, has always done very high end work and is largely responsible for the dramatic positive changes that have happened within the neighborhood over there. The highly qualified building inspectors also looked it over and were happy with the work as expected. They determined that everything was done safely and to code.

But the city decided to throw up a road block and complicate things requiring architectural drawings as well so they can look it back over for a while. They have stated that they needed to have those by law. I don’t know for sure if that is true as I have personally caught a few of them lying to me in an attempt to satisfy their objectives several times. Regardless, if it is the case that an architect is required by law, for all change of use of a building, even when no walls are moved, than they should have an architect on staff that will help people through the process to the degree of even holding their hand and doing the drawings themselves. Just like the Zoning Department will do with the complicated zoning appeals. They are very good about giving you a helping hand to get through it when needed. And they will write the entire appeal for you if they agree with what you’re doing.

This isn’t rocket science guys. It’s real easy to think out of the box, determine what types of problems exist and develop good positive solutions to fix them. But the city for so many years now has not been interested in going outside the boundaries that they have historically created for themselves. And it appears that the lower level management is incapable of change. Or they are being told by the upper management to hold their ground and circle the wagon. I don’t know.

Then for icing on the cake, just last week Grover Price’s Hope Center, a non profit that helps inner city children in NW Roanoke, had to shut down. They were being attacked by the city and threatened that they would chain the doors and shut them down. Chris Chittum, Roanoke City Planning Director, who is the top guy over all of the departments down there that pertain to zoning, permits, code, etc, replied to the news video below. He didn’t seem to know exactly why the Hope Center was being attacked so he guessed.

Have a look at this video. It’s pretty sad. And not just because the city did this to the children or a non profit. It’s sad that they would do that to ANYONE.
http://www.virginiafirst.com/news/local-news/non-profit-the-hope-center-closes-its-doors-due-to-building-permit-issues/649084888#.WJTUL6Qx5gI.facebook

These are ONLY issues that I am personally aware of. I’m sure there have been several businesses per week that have had road blocks set up. Some of which decided that they will just do business elsewhere. Those that didn’t and had to attempt to push through it were the ones that already had too much invested in the city to easily or cost effectively back out. No wonder why so many people say Roanoke City Hates Business.

I’m told every week by someone that they will never buy another commercial / residential rental within the city limits. That they would rather spend their money in towns that value their investment dollars.

It’s real important for the city and neighborhood groups, some of which are doing the whining, to fully understand what happens to the value of property when they drive off investment dollars by nit picking businesses to the degree that they force them out. And attacking businesses is not the way you get the business to do what you want them to do. Obviously positive relationships are required.

Those of us who are buying these low income beater houses and fixing them up to make them nice places to live are an extreme treasure to the city. We are willing to spend our hard earned investment money within the city limits which in turn ends up raising the tax assessed value of every surrounding property including the one we fix up. Further lining the pockets of the city. We should be treated with utmost respect.

When they city runs us off the economic impact is tremendous. No wonder why we have been skimming across the bottom ever since the property values dropped from the recession. We never got that big return like everywhere else did. Several areas such as Tampa Florida are not only back to pre recession levels but they are much higher.

Fewer and fewer people having a desire to buy city property and then set themselves up to go through the attack by the city causes the values of all property to drop. And one would ask why people try to duck and dodge the permit process even though the property that they are working on they fully intend to fix up to code, without a permit. When investors are driven off and don’t want houses in a given area due to the problems associated with ownership, it creates a higher supply of those houses, which in turn causes the values of them to decrease as a result of the limited handful of people bidding on them. And when those values drop, so does the tax assessed value and the money that the city has to work with.

It’s a nasty circle. But it doesn’t have to be. The city does have the ability to fix the problems they have instead of trying to foolishly act like they are perfect and everything they do is right. Fortunately they still do have investors willing to stick their hand out and forgive them for what they have done in the past. Investors willing to jump on board and work together in a positive manor that will result in increased property values for all. But the city has to realize that they must listen to us and compromise is required. It’s not my way or the highway as it has always been with them. Otherwise change will never happen and nothing they do will work. ALL parties have to be willing participants.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we ALL believe in operating safe businesses. As landlords we obviously don't want to get sued. We also like to keep our tenants as it’s a pain to rent to someone and then a few months later have to clean the place back up and do it all over again. And no tenant is going to stay long in a house that is in bad shape. It’s real important to us to keep safe, clean and habitable environments for our residents.

But this isn’t something that I have to tell you. You already know that. I have to explain that time and time again to the city as for some crazy reason they seem to believe that if you complain about a rogue code enforcer going beyond what they legally are allowed to do than you must be a slumlord. The simple fact that they even think that is quite shocking and offensive.

As a former board member for Roanoke City Neighborhood Advocates, I have even heard people say REI of Virginia in it’s entirety is a slumlord group. All 850 people… Are you kidding me??? This only comes from a small handful of these sick minded people that want to blame everything on the landlord. The level of ignorance and hate out there is quite shocking. I have been to several of their very own homes that are riddled with code violations.

They don’t seem to realize that our houses get rental certificate inspections every 4 years. We also often get Section 8 inspections as well as insurance company inspections. My houses in the low income areas are the NICEST houses there largely due to all of these inspections.

The primary legitimate complaints that these people have are all very easily solvable and pertain to what the tenant does. Such as a tenant having outdoor storage. A tenant leaving an inoperable vehicle in the driveway with the tire off for a couple days because they aren’t wealthy enough to buy another one immediately. A tenant putting a couch on the porch because they feel that its perfectly acceptable to do so. A tenant not keeping the grass cut at exactly 10 inches and not a millimeter higher.

These issues mainly pertain to different socioeconomic status. They hate poor people and the way they live. It’s as simple as that. And they blame that hate on Landlords not doing anything about it to force these people via the lease to live the way they want them to live. As if they were in a neighborhood association. They think they are better than you at running a rental business even though they have never done it before and they have no idea about fair housing laws, what the judges do and don’t care about, etc.

I have been to most of the various neighborhood group meetings across the city. They most often consist of anywhere from 2 to 15 city employees on the clock including neighborhood police, code enforcement, a deputy, and on rare occasion a city councilman, etc. Several of them, such as code, or a neighborhood cop and a deputy are scheduled to be there at every single meeting. I have been to several where the city employees far outnumber the neighborhood association members.The typical group has from 2 to 15 total people in attendance who live in the neighborhood.  Several consist of no more than 2 to 3 people that get together once a month. A far cry from our massive group of heavily taxed citizens / business owners. I’ve found that in many cases these people are not an adequate representation of he neighborhood as they are hated by almost everyone in it. It’s not only the landlords that they complain about. They are busy bodies and they spend a great deal of their days turning in other owner occupied neighbors as well for any city infraction they can find.

The city also sends employees to regularly attend some of the other business groups such as the Williamson Rd Business Association and the Downtown Business Association. But they never decided that it was important to send regular people to the largest group of property owners in this region and likely the entire state. Even though we own on average 63% of the entire residential areas of the city. In some areas it is reported as much as 85%.

All of these problems that the city has are fixable to a thinker capable of developing solutions. But these types of insurmountable problems probably are best off solved by someone who has actual entrepreneurial business experience rather than the bureaucrat who has worked for someone or the government their whole lives. Those people are trapped in a world that makes them brain dead.

Fixing the problem requires listening and understanding that there is one. Not just listening to the squeaky wheel that is yelling and screaming but listening to all of those involved. Attacking small businesses and landlords will never be the solution. Throwing up road blocks won’t be either. One has to understand that when someone is opening a business there already are plenty of other things that they are thinking of and trying to figure out. The last thing they need is the city trying to make them beg to grant them the special privlagdge of being able to earn a living.

Yes, that’s right, I said it. Government get out of the way!

It’s going to be a fun meeting. Cancel your plans. Come on out and spend an evening with some good like minded people.

See you there!

Open Letter With One Of The 2 Heads That Run The Water Authority. A very angry man...

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This letter is to inform you, if you care, what the laws are pertaining to the Water Authority, what they have illegally been doing to landlords lately, and what they currently can and can’t do.

On a side note the city has refused to allow REI of Virginia to have a representative seat on the Water Authority board which consists of 3 city appointed people. We should be permitted to have at least 1 seat on the board when we are getting attacked and forced to pay the delinquent bills of the tenant. Their refusal to allow this only creates more animosity. I’m sure the Water Authority said they do not want to have 1 person out of their 13 person board challenging them. So what….

Hi Mike,

I talked with Mica today there at the Water Authority and she told me that she was fining me $100 for illegally turning on the water at 2115 Salem Tpk and refuses to turn the water on until I pay her fine. I looked back at my records when getting back to the office and that was a Section 8 tenant that lived in that house and I was paid through October so she lived there through the end of October. Mica told me she turned off the water on October 10th. I don’t know why she would have done that but regardless it’s none of my business what she does really until it effects me like it has now. I didn’t even gain possession of the property until the end of the month so my guys clearly did not turn on water. This girl as you will see in our records is notorious for not paying her bill. Over and over almost every month for the entire time she lived there I got a letter from the Authority saying that she hadn’t paid and I was going to get a lien for it. And apparently she kept paying late time and time again as she never got her water cut off as far as I am aware. I’m not sure why the Authority would try to accuse my people of turning on the water illegally. Surprised, I asked them and they didn’t.

At the time when talking to Mica I didn’t know what she was talking about regarding dates and everything because I was not sitting in my office. Regardless, I would like to be sent the exact law that states that the Water Authority can fine a landlord $100 and refuse to turn the water on for the tenant illegally committing a crime against the Authority. Or even a law that states that the authority can put these types of fines on landlords and not go by the legal process that has been laid out by the state.  I have never seen that anywhere in the law. Or anything like it. When I asked Mica how many gallons were used to try to determine what happened she wouldn’t tell me. She just continued to press for the fine staying that that is what I’m going to pay, not the water usage. Bully customer service you have there that have been trained by bullies obviously. I’m very curious if this is something you are now doing to all landlords. Mica falsely told me that the Authority is not governed by state regulations and implied that they can implement any policy they want. She told me to talk to a manager but I’ve historically found that when you talk to a manager at the Authority there is never a different result. They will parrot exactly what the customer service rep said. You can listen to the recording as you have before for verification.

It’s looking like now after my new tenant talked to Mica that she will probably be backing out since she can’t get the water turned on. If she does I’ll have a month or two of lost rent damages against the Water Authority and possibly more. No one can legally live in a house without water so clearly she has no option than to break the lease. I wouldn’t try to hold someone to a lease without being able to have water as I don’t do scummy things like that. And the way I see the law, the Water Authority does not have the legal right to do this. If she breaks the lease that I have with her, at no fault of hers, I’m going to have no other option than to seek damages which will include lost rent as well as anything that happens to the house such as broken frozen pipes, break ins, etc,  from the Authority forcing it to remain vacant.  As of right now I’m out one day of rent at $900 a month which is $30 a day. I can’t charge her for the first of February as she was not able to stay there.  If we get further down the road without resolution and I end up getting foreclosed on due to not being able to pay that note as a result of this action that the Authority is taking, which I see as being illegal, than I’m going to have to seek future damages as a result of my credit being tarnished and my business not being able to grow as a result, the full cost of the equity in the house that I lost, etc. The damages I will suffer will be tremendous. This is something that we are going to need to immediately resolve. Time is of the essence.

This is real interesting that these types of things happen to me considering the fact that most properties I own are multifamily and I pay the water so there are no issues. I only have a few single family houses. I hear these complaints from REI members continuously and am wondering if the Authority is now taking the stance that they will do whatever they wish without regard to the law. I can only imagine what the landlord who operates all single family houses has to go through in dealing with the Authority. I wouldn’t think that that would be something that you would push for Mike. Especially considering how much leeway the state has already given the Authority to bill a landlord for their customers unpaid bill. To push it even further than the law allows is shocking.

I also would like for you to send me the laws stating that the Authority is authorized to accept a fake lease from someone for my house at 1910 Moorman and turn the water on, then put a lien on my property for that when they don’t pay it. Don’t you think the Authority has a duty to at least check what my last lease looked like so when you get a couple page internet lease you will instantly recognize that it is fake?  The Authority historically has been real good about calling any time a tenant turns on the water. ONLY on my real leases. They told me they only call when a lease looks like it is subject to fraud. So all the times the Authority called me on my 20 something page lease that they thought was fraud I said yes so my legit tenant could have water. But they decided on the couple page one they clearly pulled off the internet that it’s legit so they didn’t need to call and find out on that one. The Authority always has known exactly what my lease looks like. They have several copies of it.

I was told by the lobbyist for the state municipalities, John Lain, lobbyist for the Water Authorities and municipal water, Preston Bryant, and the attorney / lobbyist for the Realtors association, Chip Dicks, that the Western Virginia Water Authority broke the law on every single lien that they put on anyones property in our area as well as all charges that were billed to landlords as the process wasn’t handled by what was required by law by having the form signed. They all said that if that form is not signed by the landlord than the Authority is agreeing to not take part in the lien program. They said the language for that is crystal clear. I believe that timeframe would have been all liens from 2012 to now when the Realtor, Apartment Association, Builders Association bill was passed. REI of Virginia members have been waiting to see what you are going to do about that. We naturally would expect this would be handled ethically and once the Authority was notified of this by John Lain that they would do the right thing.

From what it appears, with this new stuff regarding the fines that are being pushed through customer service, the Western Virginia Water Authority has decided to double down and take this stuff far out of the realm of what is legally allowed. What’s your opinion on this Mike? Is this a matter of rogue management that is making up their own rules and passing them on to the staff or is it something that the Authority really is standing behind?


Best regards,


Dallas

__________________________________________________


Dallas, good afternoon.  Quite a list of issues in your email.  As they jump around a bit, I have tied to consolidate them.  Please let me know if I miss one or more.  Also, please excuse the length but again, your email does touch on quite a few points.     

1. The Authority takes meter tampering and theft very seriously.  We have had an administrative compliance fee for many years to recover the cost of such issues as 1) investigating meter tampering and /or theft, 2) compensating the rate payers for unauthorized usage, 3) repairing or replacing damaged or stolen infrastructure or 4) unauthorized discharges of wastes to the sewer system.  This charge appears on our schedule of rates and has been adopted and re-adopted by our Board of Directors a number of times over the years.  For meter tampering, which includes turning service on without authorization, the fee assessment for the first offense varies between $100 to $500 depending upon the amount of damage.  A second offense is $500.  Additional offenses are $500 and/or referral to the Commonwealth’s Attorney for prosecution.     
      
Most often, this fee is assessed to customers who turn their service on after being disconnected.  This generally involves customers cutting locks and activating service or bypassing the meters with hoses or pipes.  Other instances when the fee is assessed include property owners activating service for themselves, or their guests, without signing up for service or in the case of rental properties, maintenance contractors using water to clean units before being rented again.  Please let your membership know that if they need water for cleaning or maintenance, the proper procedure is to either a) call and activate service or b) let our staff know that they would like the property to be listed as “revert status”.  This means the service automatically reverts to the owner’s name and is not actually turned off.  This allows for cleaning and other uses.  When the property is rented, the service goes out of the owner’s name and into the new tenant’s.  The owner receives a bill for any consumption during the revert period.

Finally, Code of Virginia § 15.2-5114. Powers of authority, items 2 and 10 provide the basis for this fee and indeed most of the Authority’s business policies.

2. With regard to 2115 Salem Turnpike specifically, the last tenant discontinued service on October 10, 2016.  She left in good standing and received a deposit refund.  I am not sure why you decided to disparage her.  Her forwarding address appears to be valid so I will ask staff to send your email to her and ask her to confirm when she actually did leave and if she has any documentation such as a deposit refund or property inspection form.  You may of course provide such information yourself to support your position.  As Nica related to you, after the tenant discontinued service October 10th, there was no consumption until October 26 & 27, then no consumption after.  This usage alerted our staff to follow up, which they did on Nov 2nd and found the meter active.  The most likely explanation is that your maintenance contractor, who would have had access to the property and likely the knowledge to restore service, turned the water back on.  In listening to your conversation with Nica, you offered to pay for the water consumed and agreed to check with the contractor.  That seems to be an admission that, at a minimum, you suspected your staff used the water.   

Since you made threats to sue the Authority, staff contacted me shortly after the conversation Wednesday afternoon.  As the new tenant had a past debt and was not prepared to pay on Wednesday anyway, as a good faith gesture, I asked that the fee be suspended so that your concerns could be addressed.  The new tenant started service on Thursday.  With regard to the telephone call itself, Nica remained calm and professional while you ranted, threated, and bullied her.  I believe we have discussed previously that type of behavior is unacceptable.  You may yell at me all you want but not the staff, who are just doing their jobs.  With regard to your statements about loss, I would be quite surprised to find that you prorated the new tenant’s rent based upon this event.  I am happy, however, to forward any claims you may have to the Authority’s attorney for review.      

3. I am not sure why we are re-litigating the 2013 lien at 1910 Moorman.  It was handled appropriately and in complete compliance with both the Authority’s regulations and state code.  I would remind you that the Authority is the party that lost $120.14 not you.  Further, if fraudulent leases are such a concern for you, the code provides a notification process where you can send notice to the Authority when you rent properties.  If the individual signing up for service does not match your notice, then problem solved.  Additionally, you are authorized to deduct final utility bills from the tenant’s deposit.  In summary, the tools are available for landlords to act proactively in these matters, they just need to be used.      

4. I spoke with John Lain after the meeting in the fall.  John’s version of the meeting’s discussions differs quite a bit from the account in your email.  I would point out that “not liking” a point of law or disagreeing with it is not the same as it being illegal.  We have followed the law in both letter and spirit and have no plans regarding outstanding liens.  I will however forward your email to John Lain, since he is mentioned prominently, and let him decide if he wants to respond to you.   In any event, the point of disagreement in the code is being removed through the Senator’s bill.  We support the bill as it both endorses the Authority’s long standing use of leases and makes the program easier to implement.      

As you are well aware, Gary and I have reached out to your organization on multiple occasions to settle our differences only to be rebutted each time.  You did not even bother to show for the meeting that the Senator arranged with us last fall.  While I understand the reality of having a whipping boy to help with membership drives and fundraising, Gary and I are still willing to talk,  if you have the courage.   

Michael T. McEvoy
Executive Director Wastewater Services
(540) 283-2904
www.westernvawater.org

________________________________________________________
Hi Mike,

My email does not jump around at all. It states a few clear and concise points. Sorry I should have numbered it for you.

1. I’m sure you do take meter tampering theft very seriously. I also take it very seriously when I have your and my customers walk out and not pay me thousands of dollars and then not pay their water bill so I get a lien on my house on top of the damages inside, lost income and court costs. And you are more than welcome to charge the tenant for tampering / stealing your water as I already clearly told you they were in possession of the property the entire month. You have no legal ability to charge the landlord for the theft of another person. I have no need for turning on water after a tenant moves out as my contractor wipes off countertops with a gallon of water and uses a self contained power steam mop and a little generator for power to run it and vacuum, etc. I have no need to pay for power OR water in between tenants.

And #2 and 10 of Code of Virginia 15.2-5114 does not give you authorization to implement a fee to a landlord for theft by the tenant. And note that #10 that you referred to also states that “Such rates, fees, rents and charges shall be charged and collected from any person contracting for the service or the leasee or tenant who uses or occupies any real estate which is served by or benefits from any such system.” The landlord is not "contracting for the service”.  We also are not the "leasee or tenant". You have no legal ability to institute such a fee to the landlord and it needs to be immediately terminated. You’re references that you gave do not say what you’re saying they do. This is an outright violation of the law.

2. I have every single letter the Authority sent to me time and time again of the tenant at 2115 Salem Tpk not paying their water. I’ve never in my life got so many letters from you in a years period of time from one person. If she left in good standing, than why is it that you are telling me that she turned the water back on while she was in possession of the unit? And no, this tenant was Section 8 and I gained possession of the unit at the end of the month. As a matter of fact, I never even got full possession as I never got the keys back and had to tell the Section 8 office that if she is out than she has to let me in the unit. My contractor had to drill the locks out.

And as I told you that you read over, when I was talking to Nica I was not in the office and also didn’t have the benefit to ask my contractor if some reason he didn’t do as we always do. But when I got to the office I instantly noticed that the dates she provided prove who was in possession of the unit. And when talking to my contractor, he did it as we always do. Gallon of water, self contained stem mop, vacuum and generator. Paint brushes are kept in plastic wrap so they don’t dry before being able to clean them up if painting goes beyond 1 day which is rare. Yup we have been doing this for many years and do have a good system down. I will never deny anything without all of the facts as I have no reason to lie to anyone about anything. If water was in fact used by my contractor I obviously would have no problem paying what was used. But it wasn’t. I don’t have a reason to lie as you have accused me of as a few gallons of water is insignificant in cost. Did you guys try to implement this fine because you are finding that some landlords will turn the water on? Is this hundred dollar fine to try to get around the $25 dollar minimum lien limit from them using a couple gallons of water that’s stated in 15.2-2119 Section E? Why don’t you just secure your water and put a lock on it if you are having problems? Seems pretty natural that a company would do that. The power company locks their boxes. Do you not want to pay the expense of locks? You have to invest in your company at least to a small degree.

And I don’t know what you’re talking about ranting, raving and bullying. Why don’t you provide a copy of that voicemail for everyone on this email rather than trying to act like I was bullying her? You have my approval to do so. I was obviously shocked to hear that she was trying to impose an illegal fine on me. And obviously I denied several times that I am legally responsible for that as she kept threatening me that I had to pay it or the house would be shut down so it could not be rented until paid. Sorry but I do not agree to that. She threatened to shut my business down and you’re crazy if you think I’m not going to tell her she has no legal right to do that and I will sue if I have to. Email the recording please so everyone can hear your false accusations. Anyone would defend themselves that is being illegally victimized by the Authority, told the house will be shut down unless I pay your extortion fine. Never once did I bully her. I told her I will sue the Water Authority if I have to as you have no legal right to do this to anyone.  Sorry but that isn’t bullying. It’s simply stating the truth.

And Nica broke the law in the name of the Authority by refusing to turn the water on for my new resident. I suggest you look at Virginia Code 15.2-2119 Section I. “Unless a lien has been recorded against the property owner, the locality shall not deny service to a new tenant…” The Authority can not just do whatever it wants to do to people. I’m sure you’re used to talking to people that don’t know the law but you can not bully me as I do have a pretty good understanding of it. You are not above the law and you do have to work within the boundaries that you have been given. Nica also told me that the Authority doesn't have to abide by state regulations. That’s an example of an extreme lack of training because I’m going to assume the best from her that she wasn’t lying but rather was misinformed by your management. It’s important to train your staff the law so your customers aren’t getting taken advantage of. It appears that they are being given marching orders by your management to break the law. Is that getting passed to your management from you?

And I don’t have any idea what you’re talking about regarding this statement either.  "I believe we have discussed previously that type of behavior is unacceptable.”  We have never had any conversation even remotely resembling this. Actually the last conversation that we had pertained to some sort of  “landlord program” that your staff told me that they were putting me in. As I recall that conversation was after the Authority sent me a bill for service at a property. Then later talking to one of your agents that told me as I recall that this landlord program was a new thing you were doing to automatically turn the water on in the landlords name after all tenants. And that the landlord didn’t have a choice as the Authority set this new program up and that is the way it was going to be. You listened to that voicemail and apologized for their inaccurate information. Please don’t confuse me with someone else Mike. Who are you thinking you are talking to? How many other landlords have been bullied into this “landlord program” that you have your customer service reps pushing?

3. I’m also not sure what you’re talking about the Authority lost $120.14 from your customer and that I didn’t lose $120.14. You’re right. I lost WAY more.  I lost a couple thousand from them. Let me make myself real clear. You have no legal right to turn the water on for someone who is not my tenant. The person you turned the water on for has the same last name but in NO way where they even authorized to be in my house. The real tenant, of which I have and showed verification from my eviction and my lease to your management, obviously got their relative to turn on water. It is the Authorities responsibility to either get a copy of the REAL lease or at minimum contact me to find out if the person is a tenant or not. The lease they sent me is clearly an internet lease. The Authority has MANY copies of my lease as they have seen it year after year, time and time again. I received no contact from the Authority at all about this. And when talking to your management, they told me that they ONLY contact people if they feel the lease is fraudulent. So you guys contact me almost every time on my REAL lease but on that obvious fake lease you decided that it was OK? And why before, in the email between you and me, that you said why didn’t you contact me Dallas I would have taken care of it for you, regarding this lien? Were you trying to get me to not have a problem with the Authority breaking the law so frequently so you could continue to take advantage of other landlords? We have talked about this already Mike. I suggest you check your sent emails.

4. “Not Liking” a part of the law has nothing to do with what that we are talking about right now. What we are referring to on this point is the Western Virginia Water Authority continually breaking the law, on many occasions, and putting liens on landlords properties without getting the written or electronic authorization form that is required by law. This law was rewritten to be understandable and I’m sure you have read it several times. If the Authority chooses not to get this form filled out than they are agreeing to not participating in the lien program. I have an entire room full of many people, in the meeting we had as a result of Senate Joint Resolution No. 75, that all stated that the law clearly outlines these obligations of the Authority. Those people all will also verify that your very own lobbyist stated that the Authority broke the law and those liens should not have been placed. It doesn’t really matter to me if you feel like he was being nice to you when he was talking to you as he clearly stated to the whole group, it is not his responsibility and he has no power or control to be able to get you to comply with the law. All he has the ability to do is to let you know what it says if your attorney didn’t guide you on this matter. I have evidence that the Authority illegally put liens on landlords property and billed landlords for tenants delinquent bills without having this authorization form. As well as collected money from these illegal liens at the sale of properties.

Yes, I do suggest, that before you continue to debate 15.2-2119 with me, that you get your attorney involved. It is important that you have them read the law over and give you direction on how to proceed. We all just want to do the right thing Mike. And I think you can reasonably understand why landlords want to be treated according to the law. Did you realize that we were told by several lobbyists on this issue that, throughout the state, there is no single Authority that is having problems like you guys are? That they have had to make a little clarification here and there on the law but every time it was immediately resolved. It’s just us here, under the Western Virginia Water Authority, that can’t seem to get things resolved. I think it’s due to that Customer Is Always Wrong philosophy that I keep being told by everyone that the Authority here has.

BTW Off topic, the 150K in losses per year that you told our group that you have as a result of nonpayment…. That is a drop in the bucket compared to us. I ALONE have on average $50,000 per year in judgements that will never get paid. And I don’t even have very much property compared to most people I know. Our losses are to the tune of several million every single month...

In summary:
A.) 2115 Salem Tpk - The Authority has no legal grounds to extort a landlord to pay a self imposed fine or shut down the house until paid, for theft of the public water they cleaned, when this theft was by a tenant or someone other than the landlord or his or her management. This policy must be immediately terminated and any income that the Authority has made from this illegal bullying tactic over the years must be returned to every landlord. 15.2-2119 Section I  tells you the process you must follow in order to deny service to a future tenant. You did not follow that process.

B.) 1910 Moorman - The Authority has no legal grounds for turning the water on in a landlords house without the landlord filling out written or electronic authorization form defined in the legislation that was designed for you to follow. Then to top it off the Authority didn’t even call or get a valid lease or anything. Inexcusable. The Authority must remove all liens it has placed since 2012 on all landlords property where the water was turned on for someone who is not a tenant. 15.2-2119 Section A explains this process and describes how the Authority verifies who is and isn’t a tenant.

C.) Generality regarding All Liens placed since 2012 without the required Written or Electronic Authorization Form - All monies from 2012 until now, that have been collected by the Authority based on threats of placing a lien need to immediately be given back to the landlord. All money from liens that the Authority got paid as a result of a sale of property must be returned to the rightful owner. All liens since 2012 need to be vacated and no liens may be placed back on properties until the Authority follows the laws that the state legislature have set in place. See 15.2-2119 Section A

A. For water and sewer services provided by localities, fees and charges may be charged to and collected from...
“ (iii) a lessee or tenant, provided that the lessee or tenant has written authorization from the owner of the property to obtain water and sewer services…” There is a form that must be filled out and the entire law is essentially a contract that the landlord would have to sign. That’s why it starts with information from the landlord and ends with preparation instructions and what you were supposed to file with your liens.  That’s the only way they were able to get around contract law which doesn’t allow you to send a bill to someone that belongs to someone else. Mike, Did you file that authorization form with your liens? I don’t see how it’s possible since no landlord in our entire organization of 850 landlords has filled it out or even been asked to. Were you sworn under oath that these illegal liens do in fact exist and what contract exactly did you record?

 The law also says “A locality providing water and sewer services may establish, by adoption of a resolution, that water and sewer services may be provided to a lessee or tenant pursuant to provision (iii) without obtaining an authorization form from the property owner.”

Also please note Section F where it says to mail the property owner to the "address listed in the written authorization form” a duplicate copy of the bill. Section G & H also refer to the required written authorization form. It’s literally throughout the entire legislation.

You’re acknowledging that you have adopted this resolution by not having this authorization form filled out. In which case you are not participating in the lien program.

I know you are angry that you guys have illegally put all of those liens on landlords property and charged them when you have agreed to forgo this lien program due to not participating in the authorization form program that was outlined for you. That anger has lead to your hostility calling me both a liar and a thief. But that is to be expected, as I was saying, I also have experienced the same as everyone else has with your organization.  The customer is always wrong. Sorry to tell you that I’m not wrong Mike. A room full of the very people who actually wrote the bill verified that. Including your own lobbyist. We have been waiting for you to do the right thing and it’s now been several months of inaction on your part which seems now to be in "bad faith".

Please take care of these things at your earliest convenience.

P.S. I am also now officially giving notice per Section I  that any time any tenant that I have becomes 15 days delinquent, I immediately be sent a notice of this to dallas@powmarcom.com for my records and to give me an opportunity to at least attempt to get them to pay. Fortunately most of what I own, I pay my own water bills. I’m one of your best customers as I always pay my bills on time for all of my LLC’s. I’m certainly not treated that way though. That’s Ok because I still like you Mike.


Best regards,



Dallas

Thursday, February 2, 2017

REI Project House ~ Bids Needed ~ Volunteers Needed ~ Free Pizza & Refreshments ~

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Hello Everyone,

We will be at the REI Project House, 1018 Forest Park Blvd, Roanoke, at 11:00AM this Saturday February 4th. If you would like to come by to view the house and possibly bid on some of the work to be preformed, please stop by. At about noon, we will be starting demolition and yard work. If you would like to volunteer to help, we will be supplying free pizza and refreshments.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, January 30, 2017

This Week A Unique Investment Opportunity In Memphis Tennessee

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Hello Everyone,

This week we have a webinar that we set up that offers a unique investment opportunity in Memphis Tennessee. Our guest speaker will be Liz Nowlin from www.MidSouthHomeBuyers.com. This company is currently managing over 1,500 units in the Memphis area.

Their proposal appears to be that you purchase a completely renovated property from them that is already rented. They say theses properties cash flow and they have all kinds of guarantees that they won’t be vacant longer than a certain period of time, etc. They also have financing opportunities.

Come on out and listen to their pitch on this unique concept.

See you there!

How To Determine Market Rents & Judge What Your Tenant Can Afford.

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A quick Landlord how to on rents... I would say the best accurate place these days to determine what your place should rent for is: https://www.rentometer.com/

Rents should be checked on a regular basis as they typically go up every year. But don’t be surprised if your phone isn’t ringing off the hook during the dead of the winter. The worst 3 months of the year to rent a place in our area are December - February. The rest of the year is typically fine with more than enough people to relatively quickly find a good tenant that passes your criteria.

Rentometer gathers their data from ads that were placed on Craigslist. They have a log of several years of rent in any given area so they often can find properties right around yours that were for rent.

One thing they don’t do is determine if it was a multifamily or not. And you should not have the same rent for your 3br single family house as I do for my 3br triplex. Those of you that have single families should have their rent right up next to the red. I rent my multifamily units above market rent so I like to keep them up by the red as well. But most of what you will see towards the green will be a multifamily houses, apartments, or landlords who are behind on the times and are not trying to get a fair rent for their property. 

The prime time for finding new tenants is between the 13th of every month and the 25th. That is the time frame that you find good quality tenants. Those who like to take extraordinary risks look for places form the 25th and the end of the month. That time that everyone else already has a place. That 25th through the end of the month is also full of those who have been having a hard time fining a landlord who will rent to them due to evictions or a string of bad crimes.

Then between the 1st and the 12th or so you have two types. One is the person who is currently being evicted. They are typically the real nice ones that seem to be awesome people as they have to work a lot harder and find a sucker that will rent to them. The other type looking at that time is the tire kicker. They are going to look ALL month long until they find that perfect place. They want more pictures and want you to jump through a whole bunch of hoops to later tell you that they are looking for the Taj Mahal and your place doesn’t fit the bill.

I’m not saying that different types of people don’t fit into all other parts of the month. I’m just talking in generalities that I’ve learned over the years. If you are not getting a lot of good quality leads in the 1st through the 12th time frame, don’t worry about it. No need to drop your rent as that time of the month is bad for quality potential residents. But if you’re not getting good leads between the 13th and the 25th of the month, than there is something wrong. Either your rent is too high for the condition of your property, or you are not keeping your ad renewed on Zillow and Craigslist, you have a bad property manager showing it, or some other random error you have that you will need to immediately get worked out.

Now you’ve found a good potential tenant. Lets determine if this tenant makes enough money to be able to afford to live in your place. I have historically had my numbers right on the bitter edge of what a person can afford. So close to the edge that if something happens such as their car breaks down or they have some other type of unexpected expense, they will get behind on their rent and will not likely be able to get caught back up unless they get assistance from one of the local agencies that help with homelessness prevention.

That right on the edge number is rent equaling no more than 40% of their total monthly income. I have seriously considered changing my number to rent totaling no more than one third, 33%, of their total monthly income. With 33%, a person can typically take a hit such as the loss of a job for a couple weeks from getting fired or being out sick, a car break down, or something else that sets them back. They at that level will be able to brush themselves off and get back on track on their own without assistance. It may take a little leniency on your part to give them time to catch up but they will be able to do it if they are actually trying.

A person isn’t truly comfortable unless their rent or mortgage payment equals or is less than 25% of their total monthly take home pay. Think about this for yourself as well. Add up your own total take home income and multiply it by .25. You will be very comfortable with your mortgage payment equalling no more than 25% of your total monthly take home pay.

When rent or the mortgage is less than 25%, it takes just one weekly check to cover the cost of shelter. It then will typically take one more check to cover all other expenses. You or your tenant will then have two checks a month that are able to go toward savings, vacations, going to the movies, eating out, etc. If a person can not pay their rent and they are in that 25% range, then they either lied to you about their income, or they are extremely irresponsible people that have some sort of drug, gambling or spending problem.

When determining what the total monthly take home pay is, you are looking at the “verifiable take home pay” not their total gross monthly income. You can include things like food stamps as that’s just like cash in the pocket. I would be very careful including income such as child support as that often ends up not lasting consistently over a long period of time.

The 3 formulas look like this on a person that has a total monthly take home pay of $1,900.

For 40% $1,900 X .40 = $760
For 33% $1,900 X .33 = $627
For 25% $1,900 X .25 = $475

The number at the end is the maximum amount of rent that they can afford for each of the formulas. You then determine if your rent is above or below the maximum affordable rent for them. If your rent is above what they can afford than send them away. If it is below than their financials check out and regarding that aspect they will be a good selection. As long as the rest of their background checks out fine.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

City Real Estate Taxation & Roanoke City GIS Functionality This Week At REI

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This week we have special guest speaker Susan Lower, Director of Real Estate Valuation for Roanoke City. Susan has been to our meeting as the speaker a couple times in the past and each time it has been fun. Susan really truly is a nice person and easy to talk to. I guess that’s a needed quality when you are the one who is in charge of determining the property values which directly relates to how much in taxes you are going to have to pay.

The city this year had a budget shortfall by 4 million dollars. They have rapidly grown in several of their departments and haven’t been able to keep up with it. As well as the last couple of pay raises they gave to every single city employee that cost millions.

The city is saying that the primary reason for the budget shortfall is due to a lack of sales tax. AKA business is hurting. Which leads to higher unemployment.

Now as we all know, the tax assessed values in most areas did not decrease in proportion of the loss we had after the bubble popped in 2008. And since then locally we have been skipping across the bottom. But it just so happens on the budget shortfall year…. from what I’m told….  this year, overall, the value of property went up. Susan I’m sure will have statistical information to verify this increase. It may have increased a very small amount. But it never was allowed to comparatively decrease after the housing crash so the city could continue to grow during times of economic despair for so many. 

Susan is also in charge the city GIS. She does an outstanding job with it. It’s far better than the surrounding areas however Roanoke County is quickly attempting to catch up. There have been some recent changes on the GIS which have some different functionality. Susan will also teach us how to get the most out of the city GIS, to do your research when looking for deals.

It’s going to be a fun meeting!

See you there...

Monday, January 9, 2017

This Week Open Forum And REI Rehab Opportunities and Brainstorming. 

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Hello Everyone,

This is the big week. This will be the week where we will have a moderated group forum that will consist of random topics. Due to the wide variety of topics, these are the types of meetings where most people will walk away with some great info. Landlording tips, buying, selling, rehabbing, wholesaling, negotiating, it’s all on the table for discussion.

We also plan to have a brainstorming session with the group regarding the REI rental rehab we are purchasing. Things we are juggling around are ways to get members trained in rehabbing to rental quality, how to on fixing their own units, what to do regarding paying members in our group that have particular skills to do one aspect or another. We will need a fair priced paid painter, carpenter, possibly a plumber, electrician, etc. We will also need someone to manage the project that should get paid to do so. As well as someone to be the property manager for all of the properties we buy in the end.

And we will need investors who want to cash out REI by giving REI of Virginia Inc a loan against the rehabbed and rented property with a first mortgage on it in your name to be a super safe investment. We will use that money to buy another and develop a portfolio that will continually have training opportunities, income opportunities for members and investment opportunities in the end. There will be no personal cosigner. The property will be your security. And the value of the property will be significantly more than what we borrow which will be no more than what we have in to it. We’re doing this by using tried and true methods that help eliminate risk. The same methods that we teach our membership.

If you are unable to attend the meeting but are interested in any of this than feel free to shoot me an email with your thoughts.

See those at the meeting that can attend! If you have questions about any aspect of investing, this meeting is the place to bring them.

Williamson Rd Area Business Association Pushes For A “Road Diet” Turning Williamson Into A 2 Lane Road & New Tax Potentially Coming For Landlords In That Area.

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The Road Diet: The WRABA has been working with the city on a plan to somehow miraculously help business by turning this busy road into a one lane road on each side. They are especially interested in the area between Orange and Angel Avenue.

They didn’t mention the Road Diet in their email blast but it’s known that those are their intentions. Back in 2015 the city had a meeting that used Williamson Rd as a project in a Road Diet including the development of strategies on how to defend the idea. See Below:

FHWA Home / Safety / Road Diets (Roadway Reconfiguration) / Road Diets Newsletter
On October 29, 2015, FHWA partnered with the Virginia Local Technical Assistance Program (VA LTAP) to provide a Road Diet Workshop in Roanoke, Virginia. Over 30 people, including engineers, planners, and transportation safety specialists from state and local agencies participated in the event. Topics of discussion ranged from Road Diet benefits to feasibility and evaluation.
The workshop included a field exercise where participants implemented a Road Diet on nearby Williamson Road. Mr. Mark Jamison, Manager of Transportation for the City of Roanoke, provided background and crash data for the location. Each group provided a reconfiguration of the roadway and were required to present and defend their plan. Overall, the workshop was a great success with many positive responses.

WRABA says it is important to hear from you and have offered this contact info for your correspondence. wraba@wraba.org or via US Postal Service at WRABA, Williamson Rd Improvement Committee, P.O. Box 7082, Roanoke, VA 24019.

It is important that people attend their meeting for support or opposition or they will proceed with their plan. Their meeting is January 17, 2017 at 1:30pm at the Holiday Inn off Hershberger Rd.

New Taxes For Landlords In The WRABA Area: The Williamson Rd area has special zoning that they set up that includes several entire neighborhoods down Williamson Rd. This area is huge and is from Williamson Rd over to Plantation and down to Hollins. They have been allowed to charge a special tax to businesses in this zone.

But WRABA decided to not stop there…. We have information that they now are waiving their finger in the air trying to find all landlords to include in this tax so they have more money for their business. You are a landlord therefore you are running a business and will be held liable for this tax by WRABA. Pure unadulterated greed!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Group Forum / Possible Hard - Private Money Conversation - This Week At Real Estate Investors of Virginia

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Hello Everyone,

This week, if not as planned, we will have a moderated group forum that will consist of random topics. Due to the wide variety of topics, these are the types of meetings where most people will walk away with some great info. Landlording tips, buying, selling, rehabbing, wholesaling, negotiating, it’s all on the table for discussion.

There is a strong possibility that we will have lender Jim Sexton at our meeting this Tuesday to talk about expanding your investments to warp speed using hard / private money. If not this week it will be very soon. I don’t have confirmation just yet as I wasn’t in on all of the emails regarding this.

It’s been super high stress for the past few days for me so I’m not totally in the loop of what's happening.

I’m getting ready to need to start doing some deep breathing or some other stress relieving tactic because a person can only take so much before it drives them crazy. When it rains it pours. It’s pouring right now for me and I’m not seeing the light on the other side yet.

This past Friday my sister in law turned up dead. There is an investigation going on as there is a high likelihood that it was a murder. I sent a message through the bad guys friends that he better not see me out at the bar or anywhere as I will go after him. I was told he has had a lot of death threats since she died.

This guy was known to mercilessly beat her. A few months ago he beat her so bad he closed up her eye and she had to stitch her own face so he didn’t get in trouble. I don’t know why some of these women will get with a loser and stay with them after something like that. I was taught only a sissy will lay a hand on a woman.

So all day I watched my poor little 2yr old nephew and 5yr old niece after mommy died so my brother could take care of some things and put a GoFundMe up to get money together to cremate her and have a service. Him and her family don’t have much and it’s already stressful enough to have to deal with her death as well as having to try to figure out how they will financially give her a proper goodbye.

Those poor kids have to grow up without a Mom. I can’t even imagine that considering I’m a mommas boy. My brother is pretty torn up as well. I caught him several times trying to hold back tears because he didn’t want to cry in front of me.

Then today for the icing on the cake, I took my girlfriend to the hospital again. As you may recall, she had a double mastectomy from an extremely rapidly spreading type of breast cancer. She’s been battling cancer for several months now. Taking trip after trip to MD Anderson in Houston Texas. That is statistically the best cancer hospital in the United States and when you have something life threatening, it’s not the time to be cheap. You just do what you’ve got to do and deal with the financial circumstances later.

We were in the emergency room last week from an infection she got. It’s very serious as it’s in her chest wall right next to her heart. She was put on an IV antibiotic last week rather than the 3 super powerful pill form antibiotics that she was taking to try to knock it out. It had seemed to work but all of a sudden she started going downhill again. They now are going to keep her in the hospital for 3 to 4 days on an IV antibiotic while they will likely try to do some other things like opening her back up and cleaning her chest out, reinserting some drainage tubes that fill up with this bloody fluid several times a day, etc. If that is unsuccessful the surgeon in Houston said she needs to get an emergency flight back to her so she can do surgery again.

What a nightmare for her to have to go through. She was crying all day today. I think she’s worn out from all of this fighting. She’s a tough girl though and will pull through.

I look at all of these things that happen to people…  and wonder why it always happens to the best people... The ones with the heart of gold. The nasty mean people like me will live forever! It doesn’t matter what I do or how bad I abuse my body. I’m immortal...

Monday, December 26, 2016

~ Educational Meeting This Week At REI ~ 15 Minute Real Estate Market Research… Then Get The Leads To Come To You!

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This week at REI we have a fantastic speaker lined up. Every year at Christmas we have our friend, real estate guru, Keith Boley, fly in from California to come speak with us.

He has had some outstanding speeches in the past and I expect no less this time around. Keith really knows his stuff and it’s great for us to hear the California way of doing things which is a little different than what we do.

The topic this week that Keith will be teaching is how to research ANY market in 15 minutes and then how to get all of your leads to come to you every day. He is saying this is going to be a great eye opener for most of us so I can’t wait to hear it.

This Tuesday December 27th, 6:30PM Sharp at Corned Beef and Company, Downtown Roanoke… Don’t miss it!



Friday, December 16, 2016

Roanoke City Rules With An Iron Fist! Fix Your House Or I'll Kick Your Teeth In...

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Code enforcer tells person they are giving criminal violations to that they will Kick Their Teeth In. Nice and professional code officials we have here in Roanoke Virginia. Little Bully code enforcer. The city should be ashamed of this.


video

Thursday, December 15, 2016

MLS Secrets Revealed That Will Make You Rich… This Week At Our Real Estate Investors Meeting... During Our Christmas Blow Out!

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Hello Everyone,

It’s guaranteed to be a fun meeting this week at REI so mark your calendar. REI of Virginia is in the spirit of giving, so those who attend, are going to be the ones who will be getting.

Yes, it is true. We don’t make much money with these cheap dues we charge but we also haven’t spent much money over the years so were going to unload a little and give some back to you. 

1. First thing we’re going to do is buy you dinner.
2. Along with dinner a couple drinks from the bar will be on our tab.
3. And we have a whole bunch of gifts for everyone ranging from gift certificates to Lowe’s, Home Depot, Sheetz, and various restaurants.  The plans are that no one leaves without a gift in their hands. This is going to be an Entitlement Party where even the losers get rewarded! That is as long as we don’t get a lot more people than we are planning.

So we’re going to wine and dine you... And then we’re going to educate you. And the value of the education we’re getting ready to give you at this special event is going to far exceed any kind of money we could spend on you. This hands on style education is going to make you a very wealthy individual if you listen and do as you will be taught this week. I’ve been using this method since I started. It has worked for me, it has worked for Andy, it has worked for Dan, it has worked for EVERY SINGLE property owner I know that has millions of dollars in their portfolio. And I can promise you that we did not become successful by dumb luck. You’re getting ready to learn one of our Secrets that Works, and we’re going to prove it works.

This powerful method is hands down the EASIEST way to obtain properties far below value. There are a lot of ways of finding extremely discounted properties but most of them take a lot of work. This one doesn’t! All it takes is some time and patience. Slowly replicate this method 3-5 times a year for 5 years and you will be a very wealthy individual. I promise you that.

You think you can handle that? Just 5 years of part time work and you can retire… You can't put a price on the value of what you’re going to learn at this meeting. AND you’re getting it for free. Not only are you getting it for free but we’re going to buy you dinner and drinks. AND we’re going to give you a prize for being a Special Person. AND we’re not going to try to sell you anything at the end!

WOW, What guru class will not try to empty your pockets and your bank account and get you to borrow money to pay for their valuable information? I can tell you what guru… The gurus who have been there and done that at your State REI Group. That’s where you learn how to do this stuff. Not from some clown who “SAYS" that they became real estate millionaires. This is the real deal guys and gals.

Big things are happening right now in REI. We’re going to give you a real world example that our group just did on buying property this way. And this purchase that REI is making is going to give opportunities to all of the members in our group at every level of real estate. From the beginners to the advanced. 

This is how it goes down. All 2016 paid members get in free. You can also bring along your spouse free as well. If you haven’t signed up for our meetings yet, you are still welcome. For $100 you can participate in our Christmas party and get this valuable information that we’re going to give the group. That $100 will also buy you 2017 dues for our meetings and access to next years Christmas party as well. What an unbeatable deal!

So mark the calendar and cancel your plans as the REI of Virginia, 6:30 pm, Tuesday meeting, at Corned Beef & Co, Downtown Roanoke VA, is where you’re going to need to be. Beginners and Experienced welcome.

See you there!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Free Insulation If Your Tenant Qualifies… This Week At REI

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All REI Members,

This week we have another fun meeting lined up that will help you learn how your tenants can get their rental nice and cozy for the winter by using the TAP Wetherization program. As you may know, most of these old houses in the city aren’t well insulated and this program does a lot to help keep their utility bills low so your tenants can afford their rent…

Our special guest speaker will be Rick Sheets with TAP. Rick will teach us the ins and outs of the program.

Great stuff guys. Don’t miss it!

New Smoke Free Policy The Government Is Pushing For That is for Public Housing And Supposed To Carry Over to Multifamily As Well. Is this right to control people to this degree? Should we institute a no picking your nose ban too?

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This proposed rule would require each public housing agency (PHA) administering public housing to implement a smoke-free policy. Specifically, this rule proposes that no later than 18 months from the effective date of the final rule, each PHA must implement a policy prohibiting lit tobacco products in all living units, indoor common areas in public housing, and in PHA administrative office buildings (in brief, a smoke-free policy for all public housing indoor areas). The smoke-free policy must also extend to all outdoor areas up to 25 feet from the housing and administrative office buildings. HUD proposes implementation of smoke-free public housing to improve indoor air quality in the housing, benefit the health of public housing residents and PHA staff, reduce the risk of catastrophic fires, and lower overall maintenance costs.

http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/healthy_homes/smokefree

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

TAKEN WITH RESERVATION… AKA I’ll still take you to court unless it’s all paid.

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Lets get right to it without any fluff. By law you are supposed to give a tenant a taken with reservation letter or receipt within 5 days of any payment you accept that is not a full payment of what is owed. Yes that is a MAJOR pain in the you know what as some tenants like to make several payments of 150 here and 200 there. Each and every payment made has to have a letter or written receipt saying “taken with reservation” on it.

However now with the new law we are allowed to notify the resident that all future payments will be taken with reservation in our pay or quit notices eliminating that burdensome task. You may need a copy of this law with you though as this is not something that Roanoke landlords have taken advantage of therefore it may be something that the judges are unaware of.

Here’s the relevant section of the Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act. Pay attention to the words written termination notice which is a 5 day pay or quit notice:

§ 55-248.34:1. Landlord's acceptance of rent with reservation.
A. Provided the landlord has given written notice to the tenant that the rent will be accepted with reservation, the landlord may accept full or partial payment of all rent and receive an order of possession from a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to an unlawful detainer action filed under Chapter 13 (§ 8.01-374 et seq.) of Title 8.01 and proceed with eviction under § 55-248.38:2. Such notice shall be included in a written termination notice given by the landlord to the tenant in accordance with § 55- 248.31 or in a separate written notice given by the landlord to the tenant within five business days of receipt of the rent. Unless the landlord has given such notice in a termination notice in accordance with § 55-248.31, the landlord shall continue to give a separate written notice to the tenant within five business days of receipt of the rent that the landlord continues to accept the rent with reservation in accordance with this section until such time as the violation alleged in the termination notice has been remedied or the matter has been adjudicated in a court of competent jurisdiction. If the dwelling unit is a public housing unit or other housing unit subject to regulation by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the landlord shall be deemed to have accepted rent with reservation pursuant to this subsection if the landlord gives the tenant the written notice required herein for the portion of the rent paid by the tenant. 

Your 5 Day Notice Should Include Something Along These Lines:  
Any and all payments made towards rent and all other fees and costs, will be taken with reservation, and will not constitute a waiver of the landlord’s right to evict you from the dwelling unit.

You must notify them also that this will not constitute a waiver of your rights to evict them as there is another code section below that includes that, as required in a written notice, from the point where you have already been granted possession and are in the process of waiting for the deputy to show up for an official eviction. 

B. Subsequent to the entry of an order of possession by a court of competent jurisdiction but prior to eviction pursuant to § 55-248.38:2, the landlord may accept all amounts owed to the landlord by the tenant, including full payment of any money judgment, award of attorney fees and court costs, and all subsequent rents that may be paid prior to eviction, and proceed with eviction provided that the landlord has given the tenant written notice that any such payment would be accepted with reservation and would not constitute a waiver of the landlord's right to evict the tenant from the dwelling unit. However, if a landlord enters into a new written rental agreement with the tenant prior to eviction, an order of possession obtained prior to the entry of such new rental agreement is not enforceable. Such notice shall be given in a separate written notice given by the landlord within five business days of receipt of payment of such money judgment, attorney fees and court costs, and all subsequent rents that may be paid prior to eviction. If the dwelling unit is a public housing unit or other housing unit subject to regulation by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the landlord shall be deemed to have accepted rent with reservation pursuant to this subsection if the landlord gives the tenant the written notice required herein for the portion of the rent paid by the tenant. Writs of possession in cases of unlawful entry and detainer are otherwise subject to § 8.01-471.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Paying Taxes This Year? This Week We Discuss How To Offset That Income To Reduce Your Tax Burden…

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Do you have taxable income from Rental Property that you will have to pay taxes on this year? If so, come to our meeting this Tuesday to hear about how you can offset that income with an income producing asset.

Yes, you read that right.  Do I have your attention now?  How about an 8% tax free monthly cash flow in addition!  Our Strategic Wealth partner, J. Andy Ingram, is bringing us another unique strategy to help you keep more of your income and help you produce more of it with value added tax benefits. 

Andy will be bringing in the VP of San Francisco based ATEL Capital Group, Brian Sumner.  We will be discussing how you can uniquely re-position rental income into another real income producing asset that offers tax advantaged cash flows, passive income offsets and ownership of an investment that is NOT correlated to traditional equities markets.  This unique strategy also provides inflation and interest rate hedging capabilities with a focus of Principal Protection. 

This is what REI of Virginia is all about. Teaching you how to both make and save money in our industry. How to operate your business efficiently with the least amount of headaches.

Don’t miss this meeting guys and gals.

Also, please note that there is only 2.5 weeks left to get into the Industrial Property trust that was presented last week before it closes.
 

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