Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Virginia Eviction Process This Week At REI

Hello Everyone,

This week we’re going to have a presentation on the Virginia eviction process. I can’t think of any part of this business that I dislike more than filing for eviction on non paying tenants that refuse to get out when you have already terminated the lease…..But it has to be done. And it has to be done in a timely manor. 

Those of us that have done hundreds of evictions over the years have all learned some hard lessons. The purpose of this meeting is to prevent you from having to be taught these same lessons. 

Regarding filling out the paperwork, if it’s not filled out correctly you could be leaving money on the table and even worse you could have the whole eviction overturned. There is also a process, that when used, you can get paid on at least half of all of the evictions you have to file. Without garnishments. 

Come on out this week to pick up some tips that will save you time and money when dealing with bad or non paying tenants. 

See you there!

BTW, check out the video in the link below. Lead Safe Roanoke has more funding now. Which means you can get new windows and doors on your properties that qualify. Marla makes things real easy so this is not a program with a lot of hoops to jump through. Just a few. I have used it several times already and once this year. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Deal Or No Deal This Week at REI

Hello Everyone,

We’ve got a fun meeting lined up this week. Our CTO Frank Erhartic is going to lead a presentation that will show you how to determine if you have a real estate deal, or you don’t. 

There are many different formulas that can be used in this determination and I’m assuming that Frank will be discussing them for both deals on rentals and deals on flips. And I’m sure there will be plenty of audience input. 

Going to be a great meeting. Y’all come on out!

See you there!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

New Laws For Landlords This Week At REI of Virginia

Hello Everyone,

We have a super important meeting this Tuesday. Every year we have a meeting shortly after July 1st when new laws go into effect. This year attorney Darren Delafield is going to be our guest speaker. Darren will go over all of the laws that passed that are going to effect landlords.

This one is real important to ensure that your company maintains compliance with the new laws. Reschedule any other plans you may have. 

See you there!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Open Forum This Week At Our Real Estate Investors of Virginia Meeting

Hello Everyone,

This week we do not have a scheduled speaker so we will be having an open forum. Those of you who have been to these know that these types of meetings can be a lot of fun. This is where we talk about what you want to talk about. We will have several topics of discussion. This type of meeting can be highly informative. 

BTW, Spanky Macher, author of the book Slumlord Millionaire, asked me to let everyone know that he will be bringing books with him and if you would like an autographed copy he will be there to sign it. He didn’t sign mine which is irritating. 

Come on down for the weekly entertainment and learn some tips and tricks to operate your business efficiently so you can keep your money in your pocket where it belongs. 

See you there!

Monday, July 3, 2017

No REI Reminder For This Tuesday Considering It Fell On Independence Day. Reminder Of Why We Care Below..


There will be no meeting this week due to our meeting falling on the day recognized back in 1776 that the United States became an Independent Nation by breaking free from England. Just 3 years prior we had our first big display of resistance at the docks in Boston (The Boston Tea Party) when we dumped their tea in the ocean. No taxation without representation. 

Interesting when you compare the amount of representation America had prior to the American Revolution to the amount of representation that landlords get today in Roanoke City. The entire city would fall apart if it wasn't for us. Property taxes pay a third of the entire city budget. Landlords own well over half of all property in the city. Many neighborhoods the number sets at approximately 85%. However the city does not send a representative to our meetings as they do to every tiny neighborhood association and the few business associations I know of. And when you ask them to do something for landlords as a whole they act like it’s a big deal and they don’t do it. One of many examples is a requested seat on the Water Authority Board by any landlord so we have representation. Representation Denied!

They themselves are the enemy of the city. A parasite holding it back from what it could be. Their actions have caused Roanoke City to skip across the bottom in the housing market since the 2008 housing crisis. Which in turn has hurt every single homeowner in the city. Including owner occupied homeowners. And jobs which are largely supported by the housing industry or something that supports the housing industry. They even hurt themselves by hurting us. When you drive investment dollars out of the city you lower the value of every single property in it. Lower supply of investors creates a high supply of homes for sale due to the limited number of buyers. Which drops the value as there are only X number of dollars that will be spent on X number of houses. It’s simple supply and demand economics. 

That same supply and demand economics has a trickle down effect. And when those houses skip along the bottom just above the 2009 bottom when most other places have already reached their 2008 bubble levels, they hurt themselves as well. Their treatment of investors in Roanoke City hurts their tax values. And their radical anti business philosophy has brought us to today with their several million dollar budget shortfall. It’s only going to get worse as I will bet you any amount of money that when they read this email they will not contact any officer in our group to ask if they can team up with us to Make Roanoke Great Again. Because they don’t care. They want to continue the corruption selling tax payer owned buildings to their friends for 10 bucks. Which they just did again a few more times.

May God bless America. May God bless Roanoke and the surrounding areas. Our founding fathers fought and died for our Liberty. Which includes your property rights. And all other God given rights that the government seems to think these days are privileges granted by them.  Sorry guys but no one made you God. You’re a measly politician. That’s all. A CIVIL SERVANT. We are not your servant. 

Don’t give your rights back to a power hungry government for any reason. Give them an inch and they take a mile every single time. Demand your freedom as you were not put on this earth by God to be under the thumb of any special group of people. Your Liberty is non negotiable. 

Molon Labe… 

Happy 4th to everyone! Except those who hate this country. You can leave. 

See you next week..

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Do's and Don'ts on a Rehab To Rental

Hello everyone,

This week we have our officer / good friend, Sue Brocker, as the guest speaker for the night. Sue is going to lead a discussion about the do’s and don'ts of fixing up properties for rental. 

We’re going to go over some of the start and mid way photos of the REI rental rehab and will talk about what we are doing, why we are doing it and how far we are taking it. Not quite to the degree of a flip, but quite a bit away from the bare minimum necessary to rent it. 

It’s going to be a fun meeting. 

See you there...

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Highland landlord who says city violated his Fourth Amendment rights dismisses lawsuit

Roanoke City is guilty many times over doing illegal warantless inspections of properties. Going to be real bad for them when someone sues. Or they get a class action suit. They under no circumstance have any right to even ask a tenant if they can inspect a property when they have been told by the property owner they can't. State law clearly states an inspection warrant is required if either the tenant or the landlord denies access. No big deal for them to get it. But they have refused to do so and have broken the law repeatedly.


St. Louis County 'Rental License' Ordinance Is Unconstitutional, Judge Says


Bad governments with uneducated elected officials who swear to honor the United States Constitution but don't even know or understand what it says. Or even care enough to read it or take a class on it. Pure lazy ignorance.
One after another... Cities illegal actions getting judicially shut down nationwide.


City orders man to stop letting grill smoke cross his property line.


State Appellate Court Strikes Down Groton Law

Roanoke City actually tried to unconstitutionally do this to landlords. They paid squeaky wheels to go down to Raleigh NC and study their illegal "PROP PROGRAM". What stopped them wasn't that it was unconstitutional and illegal as they don't even know what the Constitution says. What stopped them was the Dillion Law that Virginia has preventing them from becoming a rogue city.

State Appellate Court Strikes Down Groton Law http://www.ithaca.com/news/state-appellate-court-strikes-down-groton-law/article_2cc25848-5203-11e7-8948-e73c9aab6d94.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=user-share

Monday, June 19, 2017

For-Profit / Non-Profit Partnership Real Real Estate Tax and Estate Planning Strategy

Hello everyone,

I was contacted by a guy who is new to the Real Estate speaking circuit who will be driving out to our meeting to give us an interesting presentation. 

Alan Bardwell, of Irvington Sweetwater LLC, will be talking to the group about a tax / estate planning strategy that he is an expert in putting together. This strategy is for sellers of assets that appreciated, such as real estate, who would like to avoid 99% of capital gains and have immediate access to 100% of the sale proceeds without having to do a 1031 exchange to do so. With this strategy you also have no deadline or requirement for a subsequent asset purchase as you would have with a 1031 exchange. 

This technique includes your for profit company partnering with a non profit company which he says will make you exempt from 99% of capital gains taxes. An added benefit is you will retain control of the assets and activities of the partnership within your family from generation to generation without incurring inheritance or estate taxes.

I’m wondering if Alan is taking about setting up a Foundation to do so. I have been told that Foundations are the tool of the wealthy as you can transfer several million dollars to a Foundation every year and not pay a dime of taxes on any of the money you use to do so. All a Foundation requires is that you use those assets some time during the year for a cause. Such as owning a mega yacht that you take disabled kids out once in a while on a fishing trip. Who knows... I’ve been looking forward to this upcoming presentation by Allen.

Cancel your plans if you have any as there just may be that nugget of information you need in this meeting to knock it out of the park. 

See you there!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Ridding Your Rental of Nuisance Wildlife...

Hi Everyone,

This week our guest speaker will be Theresa Tyree of Smith Mountain Lake Wildlife Control. She will lead a discussion on removing nuisance wildlife legally, safely and QUICKLY from your property. Snakes, ground hogs, bats, raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes, moles, squirrels... you name it. 

Theresa will give a bit of advice, offers home inspections, and answers questions. 

Come on out… it should be an entertaining meeting.

We’ll see you there!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Drone Based Photography In Real Estate, This Week At REI of Virginia.

Hi everyone,

This week our guest speaker will be Mark Turner. Mark owns a company that is doing drone based photo and video which has taken off in the major real estate markets throughout the country. 

These photos, and or video, can be used for both the sale of your flips or to attract a higher end tenant at a greater price point for your rental.

These breathtaking shots aren’t only suited for million dollar mansions as it doesn’t cost much to have it done. Drones are also beneficial when purchasing a property and checking the roof condition. Or checking a leak on one of your houses you already own from the ground to keep your contractor on point to identify the problem rather than just say the whole thing needs to be replaced.

We’ll see you at  the meeting!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Discover The Power Of Self Directed IRA’s This Week At REI

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We’ve got a very special meeting this Tuesday. People from Equity Trust will be flying in to Roanoke to talk to us about Self Directed IRA’s. We spent a little money, for the first time ever, sending out a mailing to landlords that didn’t appear to be on our current mailing list. Equity Trust did some marketing as well. So we expect it to be a decent sized meeting. Hopefully with some new faces. 

For those of you who don’t know, a self directed IRA is an investment vehicle, with tax advantages, where you can personally invest in assets you know and understand the most. For example, with a self directed IRA, you don’t have to do the standard investment into the stock market or by buying some mutual or index funds. A self directed IRA allows you to invest in real estate, promissory notes, tax liens, private businesses, precious metals, etc. 

You also get some huge asset protection benefits with money you have in an IRA. For example, if you got sued and lost, a person can not dip into your IRA retirement money to pay the debt you incurred. And lets say one day something drastic happened and you ended up having to file bankruptcy. Self directed IRA’s are afforded protection under federal bankruptcy laws to ensure your assets are secure. They also pass along after death with little to no tax implications. 

There are even self directed IRA’s out there, only with a handful of smaller companies, where you can invest in real estate that you personally own. It isn’t a law that in order to be a qualified person to invest with it can’t be you. That is a “rule" that the big companies have for some unknown reason. 

This is going to be a fantastic meeting on an interesting retirement account / investment vehicle, so cancel any plans you had and come learn about this powerful tool to add to your portfolio. 

We’ll see you there!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Auction.com at REI of Virginia This Week!

Real Estate Professionals,

This week our guest speakers will be the folks from Auction.com. Pretty much any town, on any day, anywhere in the United States, you will find several properties available on Auction.com. 

Our guest speakers from Auction.com will be talking with our group this week about how the bidding process works for the various types of auctions. Some are online auctions, some are live, some are foreclosures, others are bank owned REO’s. 

When looking for good deals, it’s important that you throw everything into the mix. Look on the MLS, talk to wholesalers that you can trust, bid on websites like Auction.com, and go to local auctions such as trustee sales advertised in the paper, tax sales, etc. You should be on the mailing list of all of the auction companies that sell properties locally such as Woltz, Walker, Counts Auctions, etc. Look them up online and get on their lists. 

Come on out to the meeting this week to add auction.com to your list of good sources for deals.

We’ll see ya there!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Building Codes And Why They Are Needed This Week At REI

This week at REI our guest speaker will be Roanoke City Building Commissioner, Neil Holland. Neil will be talking about building codes and the reasons we need them. Not to be confused with property maintenance code which is a completely different department. 

Neil is in the permit office. I would say overall that the building inspectors under Neil are pretty easy to work with and do a great job at guiding you in the right direction when you have issues you are trying to get resolved. Unlike the code enforcement department, these building inspectors are highly qualified and fully understand the building codes which makes them easy to work with. His staff doesn’t seem to have the power trip complex that some of the code enforcers have. Which leads to a much more pleasurable experience when working with the city to make modifications to a property. 

The primary complaints I hear from members pertaining to the Building and Planning department are that they put too many unnecessary roadblocks in the way, preventing businesses from efficiently growing their company. Which leads to economic growth, jobs, higher taxes for the city, etc. 

I asked Susan Lower, Director of Real Estate Valuation, some questions pertaining to the GIS and how it misleads people in some areas. Some of these things that are misleading can literally bankrupt a person who is just getting started out. Susan forwarded the questions to Neil Holland and Ian Shaw as it appears that they are in charge of these things. Neither of them replied.  If you would like to see the details of these GIS issues, see the emails below. 

See ya at the meeting…

Hi Susan,

Andy was saying that you had some questions pertaining to anything bad related to the new eTrakit system. As you know I have always been real happy with the city GIS. You do a real good job with it and it’s miles beyond most towns. Roanoke County is playing catchup. There are some irritations with the new system though that could be resolved. One thing is it should connect directly with the eTrakit system rather than make you hit the link and retype in the house address. I am computer savvy but many as you know aren’t. I can imagine them getting to that page and then trying to figure out where they go for the information they were so used to getting. No reason not to connect it directly to Code Enforcement and make it so the address transfers as well.

Enough with the nit picking though and lets get to the larger issues. The city has been attacking people that have open violations. They say for compliance with something they are trying to gain compliance with they have to have every single violation in closed status. Nothing open ended. They will years later go after you saying that this or that was not closed. But you know for a fact that it was closed as you met the inspector out there and he or she said it’s done. They just forgot to go back later and mark it as closed. Then they forget a few years later that they ever had that meeting with you. 

This system does not clearly show if something is open or closed.  Sometimes you will see a date in the closed tab and sometimes you won’t. Sometimes there is something in the compliance tab and sometimes there isn’t. Sometimes there is nothing in either of them even though the issue is closed. Sometimes there is a rental certificate on the house but it is not listed on there as having one. My suggestion is that it should be made so each column HAS to be filled out by the person inputting the data. And if it’s not filled out than it is not complete. I would like to see every open violation highlighted or some real easy way to tell if it is an open problem or closed. I buy junker houses and invest my money in the city to fix it up and increase tax values. I like to know what I’m walking into without big surprises. 

Talk about a mega surprise. I also don’t like that the city will put that a property is a multifamily property on this GIS and then turn around and tell people later that it’s not and we should have checked with them to determine if it was or wasn’t. That’s seriously messed up and I think you know why as the expert in real estate valuation. We buy property based on the income it produces. It’s not worth anywhere near what we paid if it all of a sudden is required to be converted to a single family. Not only the cost of conversion so but also the lost income. This type of thing leads a lot of newbie people who buy at the city tax sale straight into bankruptcy. Yes, The city bankrupts the person. They put all of the little amount of money they have into buying a house and think they are going to make X number of dollars in rent so they will be able to afford the investment. They check the GIS and it confirms that it is officially a multifamily house. Then BAM, they get slammed when they try to do the right thing and go down to get a permit. The evil people there tell them they have to convert it to a single family house in order to get the permit. Can you only imagine the taste someone gets in their mouth for the city when that happens to them. Months later the house still sits there vacant, boarded up and unable to be fixed as they don’t have the money to convert it to a single and the house is so big it doesn’t make since to do so in the first place. I’ve found that typically the tax assessed value will match what you typically will see for a multi as well. So there is literally no indication even for the experienced investor. The simple fact that it says the word multifamily on there I’ve found to mean absolutely nothing. That causes bankruptcy for innocent people who are just starting out investing their money in the city. So it’s very bad and urgent that it’s changed. 

Also I’ll look at properties now and there are page after page of violations since there are so few per page. My work has now more than tripled as there is not enough information on that first line and I have to literally open each and every violation and see what it’s all about and if it’s closed or not. It’s not even organized by date so there is no way to even look at the most recent date assuming that the other older issues have been resolved. Or if it was a rental certificate or not. I have to see if a place has a valid certificate or not. Or if it ever has had one. Some of that information in the second page is relevant. So a property has 6 pages of notices. I have to look at each and every violation and open them all up. Takes an unnecessarily long time. Didn’t take all of that work with the first system. 

So the things we would like for you to talk about at a meeting are the new functionalities of this system you have. It looks like it does a lot more and I would like to know all of the ways we can utilize the new system to be efficient, etc. What this contractor stuff is all about. About getting permits right there on the system. What is projects? Scheduling inspections through it. What is the purpose of the properties search on there. I put my properties in there and nothing comes up. Maybe that is work in progress. 

Good stuff! Just have some suggestions for refining. 

Best regards,


Hey Dallas and Happy New Year!

Thank you for your nice comments on our GIS. We do try to have correct Real Estate information and current maps available to you for view each day. Our team works hard to load our system daily so on the next day the new data entered is live in GIS.

And for your comments on the Trakit system (our new permitting system), I honestly do not know enough about this system to help you and your group. Our team is still in training on this system and we learn something new on this each day. We still print a paper copy of a new permit to take to the field for review. I feel like you need to invite Neil Holland and Ian Shaw or somone from the permiting department to speak to your group to address the questions you have listed below. We have a "read only" version of this system and I am simply NOT qualified to speak on this.  

Andy had asked me to address your group with the real estate presentation we did for City Council on Monday. This presentation is more about the percentage of increase in the real estate assessments. And since you have several new members in your group he also asked me to speak about navigating in GIS. I will bring Tracey Leet our GIS coordinator to help facilitate using the tools in GIS.  

I am copying Neil and Ian on this email, so they are aware of your concerns in Trakit. I look forward to speaking with your group regarding GIS and our Annual Reassessment Presentation.
Best Regards,

Susan S. Lower, SRA
Director of Real Estate Valuation

Monday, May 1, 2017

How To: Driving For Dollars This Week At REI

Hello Everyone,

This week I'm pleased to announce that we have special guest speaker, Alex Steady, of the Lynchburg Real Estate Investors Association. Alex is one of the organizers for his group in Lynchburg. He will be speaking about how a wholesaler can effectively use the "Driving For Dollars" technique to find and get contracts on below wholesale deals. 

Good stuff guys and gals. Come on out and get some advice from a fellow investor on getting deals. 

See you there!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Is It A Myth Or Is It Reality?

Hello everyone,

Can you really become a multimillionaire by buying low income properties for just a few thousand dollars, fix them up and then get them rented and have all of your money back to spend on another within a few short months? Our guest speaker, Spanky Macher, has proven that you can. 

We are proud to debut Spanky’s first publication of a book called Slumlord Millionaire. This innovative book shows you how to buy property, starting out at any level, and build a substantial portfolio. 

Understand that buying in low income areas does not necessarily mean that you are a slumlord forcing people to live in substandard living conditions. As a matter of fact, the low income areas of many towns have rental inspections which would make it impossible to be a slumlord, even if you wanted to. 

Learn how to make millions from the expert who was able to catapult Macados Restaurant into the real estate business, how he made both his mother and brother wealthy and built a real estate empire of low income rentals for his children, with little to no money to start. 

Meet the author, Spanky Macher, and be one of the first in the Roanoke Area to get the book that will teach you how to do it yourself. 

There will be an hour presentation from the author and then 30 minutes for question and answer. 

Come one, come all. If this is your first meeting at the Real Estate Investors of Virginia group, the meeting will be free...

See you there!

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