What is an Estoppel Agreement and When Should You Use It?

blog Feb 28, 2023

Have you ever tried to purchase a multifamily property and found that the owner ran the business on the back of a cocktail napkin? How can you make heads or tails out of the financials well enough to take it to a lender, let alone your rich Aunt Mabel?

We all know (at least my clients do) that when you start the financial due diligence process you put on the hat of a forensic accountant and start to rebuild the financials using third party documents that verify the information (i.e., bank statements). But what do you do when that owner gives you the same excuse you hear so many times “I have several properties and I commingle the funds from all my properties”. I call BS on that one.

But here’s what you do. Pull out your handy-dandy estoppel agreement. Fancy term, I know, but very effective nonetheless. An estoppel agreement is a legally binding document that serves to confirm the terms of a contract or other agreement between two parties. It can also be used to...

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Equity Stripping and the Asset Protection Method

blog Feb 14, 2023

Equity stripping is an asset protection method that involves transferring assets from one entity to another. This method can be used to shield certain assets from creditors and tax authorities, thereby protecting them from seizure or liquidation. In this blog, we'll explore both the pros and cons of equity stripping as well as how to effectively protect your assets with the asset protection method.


What is Equity Stripping?

Equity stripping is a strategy for transferring ownership of assets in order to protect them from creditors and tax authorities. Assets are transferred from a company or individual's name into another entity, such as a trust or limited liability company (LLC). This transfer creates a legal barrier between the owner and the asset, making it much more difficult for creditors or tax authorities to gain access to those assets.


The Pros of Equity Stripping

One of the biggest advantages of equity stripping is that it can provide significant asset...

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Why You Should Use a Public Insurance Adjuster as a Multifamily Owner

blog Feb 07, 2023

I recently conducted a podcast with Public insurance adjuster Andy Gurczak. You can check it out here

For those of you that don’t know, a public insurance adjuster can provide several benefits to a multifamily property owner when filing insurance claims, including:

  1. Expertise: Public insurance adjusters are trained to understand the complexities of insurance policies and claims. They can help ensure that the claim is filed correctly and that the owner receives the full amount they are entitled to.
  2. Time Savings: Filing an insurance claim can be time-consuming and complicated. A public insurance adjuster can handle the entire process on the owner's behalf, freeing up their time to focus on other important tasks.
  3. Negotiating Skills: Public insurance adjusters have experience negotiating with insurance companies. They can work to ensure that the owner receives a fair settlement for their claim.
  4. Independent Representation: Public insurance adjusters represent the interests...
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What Would Warren Buffet Do? How to Leverage Multifamily Mortgage Maturity Defaults to Make Investments in Multifamily Properties

blog Jan 31, 2023

Here’s the scenario. Everything’s on the way up. Prices. Occupancy. Rents. Investor Capital. All the right things are on the way down. Cap Rates. Expenses. Vacancies. Delinquencies. Multifamily investing has never looked better. 

Raising private money is easy. Everyone has it because the government has been giving it away like it isn't worth anything (Editor’s Note: Last statement to be read with sarcasm). So, investors are on a buying frenzy of historic proportions. Prices continue to rise, as do rents and dreams of massive paydays at the closing table; especially for those GPs who care more about acquisition fees than whether their syndication is a good deal or not. It feels like 2008 all over again.

And then cracks in the armor start to appear. The first of which is when the customer base (a/k/a tenants) start to wise up and say, ‘hey, we can’t afford to keep paying the next investor group a 9% preferred return like we have for the last...

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The MultifamilyOS™ Program: An Investment Worth Making

blog Dec 21, 2022

With interest rates on the rise, multifamily investors and property owners alike are feeling the effects. This is why now more than ever, it’s important to make investments in yourself that will not only help you succeed in today’s market, but also help you prepare for a future of profitable investing. Enrolling in the MultifamilyOS mentoring program is one such investment that can have an immense impact on your success as a multifamily investor.

What Makes the MultifamilyOS Program Unique?

Charles Dobens, the Multifamily Attorney and founder of the Multifamily Investing Academy has developed a comprehensive mentorship program called “MultifamilyOS” that helps investors understand and navigate the multifamily asset class. There is no other multifamily mentorship program on the market that offers so much value for its price point. The MultifamilyOS offers access to experienced professionals who have been through the process...

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Understanding Multifamily Lingo: “Income Reducers”

blog May 29, 2020
Income Reducers: What are they? The difference between the Gross Potential and the Gross Collective are categories of rental income that we call Income Reducers. Income Reducers bring you from Never Never Land to Reality in terms of understanding how you are managing the property.

There are two types of income. There's what we call rental income and other income. So we look at the rental income separately than all the other income because the rental income is comparable to other properties down the street. 

But the other income is usually unique to that particular property. That is why we break up rental income and the other income. And we have the other income within that category. We have two other categories : good income and bad income. But we're not going to talk about the other income right now. All we're talking about is the rental income. 

When we break down rental income, we start at the very top, which is the Gross Potential. This is never, neverland. This...

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Understanding Multifamily Lingo : “ALTA Survey”

blog May 22, 2020
This is among the provisions found in a Purchase and Sale Agreement. You need to ask for the gold standard - The ALTA Survey! This is in Article 5 of the Purchase and Sale Contract - this will become important when doing your Title Insurance search.

The ALTA survey is what you find in Article V of the Purchase and Sale Contract. You have to understand how important this survey is. But before we get into the details, let me show you that ALTA means “American Land Title Association”. 

If you go down to Texas, they don't use the ALTA. They use the TLTA or the “Texas Land Title Association”. You need to understand what is the gold standard in different markets predominantly across the country. The gold standard for the serving is the ALTA survey. And, the other thing that you have to understand is that not all surveys are the same. So when you see an ALTA survey, you could see another one called a Boundary Survey. 

A Boundary Survey is inadequate for...

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Understanding Multifamily Lingo : “RUBS”

blog May 15, 2020
What is a Ratio Utility Billing System?

What is RUBS? It's called the Ratio Utility Billing System. It's not a company. 

There are several companies that have this service or have created their own service but the general generic term is a RUBS system. And so, if you have a property that is an all bills paid property and you want to get away from it, you go online and you find a company that does RUBS and then you give them the information about your property and they'll give you a quote. They'll tell you what they can do for you. 

So, it's a method of allocating utility costs in apartments and other multi-family properties or multi-unit. The actual utility bill for the property is distributed to each resident based on an allocation of their usage, an allocation formula. Factors in the formula combine like the number of occupants. 

You see, this a lot especially with water. Water gets a lot of RUBS type of situations. If it's a one-bedroom, the water is going to be...

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Understanding Multifamily Lingo : “HVAC is ABP”

blog May 08, 2020
This one can be seen in a property package, which says HVAC is ABP. But what does that mean?

Well, HVAC is ABP means Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning is All Bills Paid. This is versus tenant-paid. 

As we all know, we don't like to do all-bills paid. There are things that you need to know what to do when you're looking at the financial statement. 

If you see utility income on that statement or on the income section, that means that the tenants are paying up for a portion of the utility. You need to take your finger right down to the expense line item for what the utility expenses are. If you see the utility income is $60,000 you follow your finger down to the utility expenses. I can almost guarantee you, it's not going to be 60,000 bucks for the expenses. It's probably going to be closer to 100,000. 

In any type of a situation where you're billing back the utilities to the tenants, you’re never going to get a dollar for dollar payoff. Usually about...

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Understanding Multifamily Lingo : “Rent Concessions”

blog May 01, 2020
Rent Concessions are an example of an "income reducer". Here are examples of Rent Concessions and why they are income reducers!

Rent concessions are what we call an income reducer. Income reducers are those things that bring your report from the gross potential income down to the gross collected rent. Everything in between is what we call an income reducer. Rent concessions are an example of an income reducer. Typically you don't like rent concessions. 

There are properties that offer rent concessions but don't report it. I caught somebody doing this one time when I just did a Google search on the address of the property. A Craigslist listing popped up, showing that they're giving away $200 free rent for the first month. I went to the seller, I said, "Hey, you're giving away 200 bucks." He goes, "Yeah, yeah." I said, "It's not showing up in your books." "Oh, it just started doing that. It hasn't caught on yet." But he never disclosed that they were doing rent...

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