Hindsight Is 2020: What To Learn From The Last Decade In Real Estate

By Fuquan Bilal

Hindsight is always 20/20. Now looking back over the past decade, everything that has happened in real estate is pretty obvious. What can we take from it as we move into 2020 and the next decade?

Market Recap: 2009-2019

graph-3033203_1280Even though some cities were already being hit hard by the Great Recession and housing crisis by 2005, some didn’t feel it, and it wasn’t publicly admitted until 2008. Some places still didn’t really see all of the foreclosures coming through the pipe until 2011 due to long processing times and banks trying to hide this shadow inventory and their losses. Later years of back data, including three years worth from the National Association of Realtors, would show just how bad things were.

Yet, by 2011, some markets were already turning around again. That also took some time to roll out around the country.

Few people were spared during 2008. It not only rocked people financially but mentally as well. Today, maybe 10% or fewer of those in real estate were in the business prior to 2008.

The Last Real Estate Boom

money-2724245_1280So, from 2011 until 2018 we saw a fresh boom in the US real estate market. This follows the historical pattern of phases of the market running an average of 7 to 15 years.

The big funds definitely helped fuel the fire by buying up huge pools of single family rental properties. Mortgage lenders shifted to making money easier to get for real estate investors than for regular home buyers. The regulations that created this environment really haven’t changed much. Although we have seen the FHA and government agencies begin to back away from their own subprime style loans in the last couple of years, meaning those with virtually no down payments, easy income underwriting and low credit scores.

The experienced and creative investors found ways to acquire assets at great discounts, and have done it at great scale.

However, over the past few years we’ve also seen a whole new wave of brand new Realtors, TV personalities and investors jump into the game. They’ve kept bidding up asset prices, and inventory has become increasingly more challenging to get. At least at numbers which really make sense. We’ve seen the markets that burst the worst in 2008 once again double or triple in prices.

We’ve had rumors of a new recession and warnings the stock market has been at least 60% over priced for years. Most investors seem to have become totally numb to these warnings though.

The Current Landscape

app-2941689_1280As a whole the economy has been very strong. Yet, we’ve also seen some massive IPOs that have failed terribly, and more concerns about tech companies that are losing billions of dollars. Upwork, WeWork, and Uber are just some of them. The recent exit of Google’s cofounders has also raised some eyebrows.

The retail home market appears to have already hit a new plateau in some markets. Rents and retail house prices are just unaffordable, except for speculative flippers in many markets. Even the biggest luxury brands have been ditching Manhattan’s famous retail rows. There are double digit negative trends out there in some niches and submarkets.

On the upside there are still some affordable cities and channels for obtaining discounts, but investors have to look for them.

There is still a huge appetite for US mortgage debt from around the world, to the tune of tens and hundreds of billions of dollars.

The Next Decade

binoculars-1015267_1280It’s logical to expect the next decade to be much like the last one. At some point there will need to be some type of correction. Then there will be a surge in acquiring distressed assets again.

There are opportunities to cash out, buy right, hold and make great returns in real estate. Providing investors invest by the numbers, and don’t fool themselves by buying into the hype.

Some people will always make money. You just may have to be more disciplined and creative over the next five years than during the past five years.

Investment Opportunities

Find out more about investing in secured debt and real estate, go to NNG Capital Fund


Fuquan Bilal

Fuquan Bilal founded NNG in 2012 with the principal mission of capitalizing on the growing supply of mortgage notes in the interbank marketplace. Mr .Bilal utilizes his 17 years of residential and commercial real estate success to identify real estate opportunities and capitalize on them. To date, he has successfully managed three private mortgage note funds that primarily invest in singlefamily performing and non­performing mortgage notes. His financial acumen and proprietary set of investment criteria enable him to purchase underperforming real estate assets at a deep discount of face and market values, thereby increasing the value of the assets. This, coupled with his ability to maximize the use of leverage, enables him to build strong, secured portfolios with solid passive income flows.


Senior Housing – Big Box vs A Real “Home”

By Gene Guarino

What would you rather live in… a “home” or a warehouse? When it comes to senior housing facilities, there are generally two types: Big Box facilities and Residential Assisted Living Homes.

In general they offer the same type of service, but how they deliver the housing or a “home” experience is very different. The first difference you’ll probably notice is the feel of the facilities. A Big box facility feels like a hotel or an apartment complex. They try really hard to make it “feel” like a home, but it is difficult to get that homey feel in a facility designed for hundreds of people to live there.


Residential assisted living is done in an actual single family home. It is achieved by converting single-family homes into a cozy place for a a group of seniors to live and receive care.

Another obvious difference is size. Big box facilities are big while residential assisted living homes are small. This difference in size plays a big part in the caregiver to resident ratio. That is the number of direct care staff compared to residents. In a RAL home, an average ratio is 10 residents to 2 caregivers. This is very reasonable, as caregivers can give ample time and attention to the residents. In a big box facility, the ration easily reach 20 or more residents to 1 caregiver. Ratios like this make it difficult for caregivers in bigger facilities to give each resident the full time that they need.


Big box facilities aren’t all bad. One of their advantages is that there are more residents to interact with. These facilities also tend to be able to offer a wider array of activities for the residents. With a facility of 200 seniors, it is easy to find a group of people that want to knit together, watch a movie together, or maybe play bridge together. Big box homes don’t offer all the advantages though. Smaller homes offer more freedom to residents and their families. It is easier to arrange for a day out with your loved one at a small home. It is also much easier to stop by, with no need to sign in or show I.D. before you see mom or dad like in a big box facility.

A major difference is the cost of staying at these facilities. Smaller facilities generally charge a flat rate for residents care and housing. That cost will be determined up front based on the resident’s level of care and the actual room they stay in. Big box facilities charge a monthly rate and bill additional services a la carte style. The room rates will vary, depending on size and privacy and then they charge more based on what the resident’s level of care is.

location-3324959_1280The location of these facilities are quite different as well. Small homes are generally in residential neighborhoods. In fact, there might be one in your neighborhood and you didn’t even realize it! Big box facilities are large commercial buildings surrounded by a parking lot. These can be located near a neighborhood, but they are generally located in the busier areas or even the business districts of cities. The differences are clear when it comes to big box facilities and residential assisted living homes. One feels institutional, one is a home.

Be sure to subscribe to our iTunes podcast to listen on the go! [CLICK HERE]


Gene Guarino
Residential Assisted Living Academy™

Gene is the President, CEO & Founder of RALAcademy.com. Gene has over 30 years experience in real estate investing and business. Today, Gene is focused on just one thing… investing in the mega-trend of senior assisted housing. He has trained thousands of investors/entrepreneurs throughout the United States how to invest in and operate residential assisted living homes. For over 25 years he has been educating people on the strategies of successful investing, business and self-employment. He now specializes in helping others take advantage of this mega-trend opportunity.



By Glenn Mananeng

So, you’ve finally decided to sell your house. You prep up the property, do all of the paperwork, get it listed and think that you’re good to go, only to find nobody’s buying your house. Bummer right? Well, you have to back up a bit and think why; is there something wrong with your home? If you’re still clueless as to why your home is not selling, worry not. SellUsHomes has got you covered, and we’re here to help you identify some common reasons why houses just don’t seem to sell.

Undesirable location

navigation-2049643_1280You’ve probably heard that location is everything when it comes to real estate. This can be the biggest obstacle in selling your property. The problem is, you cannot just conveniently move your house. If you are close to an airport, busy road, or highway, this might make it harder to sell your home. Even if your potential buyers are attracted to the house itself, they might not want to deal with these issues.

A bad location is basically up to preference. It depends on your target audience whether they’re families with kids or maybe the elderly. So the question is, can this be corrected? Absolutely!

Remember, you’re selling your property, not the neighborhood surrounding it. Focus on things that you have control over. Focus on the positive, and unique features. Intensify your curb appeal and make it stand out from others. Try to be more open to your buyers and offer concessions such as paying a part of the closing costs or credit towards repairs and improvements. Most investors find that reducing the sales price of the house even by just a bit increases the chances of closing the deal.

Outdated and too personal decor

tiffany-531993_1280This doesn’t just apply to the decor, this covers the fixtures as well. Think of the most likely buyer. If you’re planning to target a much younger audience, you won’t have any luck with your Tiffany lamps and your avocado green shag carpets. You’re offering a home, not a trip back to the 80’s.

We won’t question you with your interior design choices, but consider what your buyers want. If you do some research on how properties that sell fast look like, you’d find that the majority of them have interiors that are catered towards the current trend. A little touch-up can bump the value of your property much higher than you’d expect. Updating your light fixtures, installing a nice clean kitchen top, or even doing a brand new paint job can benefit you a lot. Keeping the decor neutral, reducing clutter and reducing personal items are very helpful.

Maintenance issues

plumber-228010_1280Obvious neglected maintenance and repairs will ward off potential buyers. Buyers want a stress-free purchase. Not a lot of people will be willing to deal with the hassle of repairing a leaky ceiling or addressing plumbing issues. Address needed repairs before you list your home for sale.

Any health hazards that your house might bring to your buyers is not good as well. Dampness and humidity of the interiors can invite molds to form on your furniture and create condensation on your windows. Buyers who have very minimal immunity to these can cause allergies and even serious health problems. Keep a balanced humidity level by providing good ventilation and check the electrical and plumbing systems.

Checking your utilities, and having them serviced, can add assurance that they are working well, and add confidence to a buyer.

Lack of natural light

Most architectural designs promote the use of natural light. This is a major turn-on for a lot of buyers. Nobody wants to live in a house that resembles a cave. Lighting up the interior can give the illusion that the living space looks larger than it normally does. Plus, people feel better when there is more light and brightness.

indoors-3096629_1280If you have the extra cash to install skylights then go for it. However, there are ways to achieve this without little to no expense at all. If you move any furniture that blocks any source of natural light, that would greatly help. You can change the curtains (or remove them) into something with a lighter or transparent material. The introduction or use of glass panels allow light to pass through. Also, opt for a much lighter color scheme for the interiors to compliment any natural light.

Weak broadband service (or lack thereof)

In today’s world, most buyers expect to have a good, stable and strong internet connection. People dedicate most of their time online. Without this amenity in your house, you might be in for longer waiting time.

internet-3471739_1280You don’t necessarily need to have it installed before you place your property for sale. Most telecommunication companies can inform you all about the signal strength and speed of the broadband service. Once your buyers know that it’s possible for the property to have internet connection, you just increased your chances of closing the deal.

Sprucing up your house and making a little effort can be more than enough to increase your chances of a successful sale. However, most sellers find a really hard time in prepping their property before placing it on the market. Don’t be discouraged, because that’s what our team at SellUsHomes is here for.

We realize the difficulties of selling a house can discourage a lot of first-time sellers. That’s why we strive to make the sale as seamless as possible. To learn more, contact us at (734) 224-5947 or email us at info@sellushomes.com



By Glenn Mananeng

Real estate investing is a journey. The earlier you muster up the guts to take that first step, the sooner you’ll reach your financial goals. Beginners in real estate usually start their careers around their 30s or 40s. It may be due to fear, inadequate knowledge about the field, or the lack of capital to start investing. In real estate, there are no age limit nor requirements. Anyone with the right mindset can invest with as little as a few thousand dollars in their pocket. Unique Wealth Education wants to pave the way for young real estate investors who want to start in the business and leave their mark on the real estate world.

How old do you have to be in order to start investing?

If you skip the cartoons and drop your phone down to skip posting your social media drama and think about investing instead, then good for you! That’s one way of being responsible and your first step to being financially independent. Take note that from a legal standpoint, you need to be at least 18 to sign legal documents. There is still hope for ones younger than 18 though cause a guardian who’s over 18 can legally sign for you. However, you won’t technically own the properties you’ve bought until you turn 18.

Perhaps the best time to start investing in real estate would be during your ripe years in the 20s. If you’re serious enough, at this age you must have mustered up enough courage and researched about the basics of real estate. Start early to earn early.

Common excuses of young investors

“I won’t be taken seriously”

This is a pretty legitimate fear but one that can definitely be worked on. Many businesses are constantly on the lookout for youthful individuals since they are generally considered strong assets. There’s a term in the business commonly known as “analysis paralysis”. Feelings of self-doubt can start creeping in right before you even make the leap of faith and causes you to get paralyzed in fear.

One way to combat this is to put in the right time and effort to gain experience and confidence so you can plow through any negative emotions you might have lingering at the back of your head. Don’t stop midway, push forward and it will bring you much-wanted results! Believe it or not, your hard work will serve as your resumé.

“I don’t have the cash”

Another common excuse especially for those currently working or fresh out of college. The reasoning behind this is that most of them are still carrying student debt or loans with no well-established credit history yet. It is true that credit score can be a factor in some real estate investments. However, you don’t even need that good of a score to start investing. Remember, the reason why you thought about investing in the first place is to make yourself financially stable, the better credit score will just be a by-product. Use this as a means to pay off your student loans. Don’t let this excuse rob you of your great potential!

“I’m too young for this”

It can be difficult when you’re young since investing isn’t something that we’ve been taught very deeply at school. You think that most of these young investors were already wealthy to begin with. However, the most recognized investors started from the bottom and they clawed their way up until they finally gained success and became financially stable throughout the years. Just to remind you again, the sooner you do it, the more opportunities you have to make money.

Benefits of starting young in real estate investing

You have more free time

Real estate branches out to a lot of aspects that may be overwhelming for some. It requires a lot of knowledge and experience to know where to invest and learn about different market trends. By starting early, you increase the time frame of you learning more about the important factors in the industry which can benefit you with making the right choices on your hard-earned money.

You get to have tax benefits

A common misconception about earning well in real estate is that the bigger part of your income goes into taxes. This is wrong though as real estate is actually a very wise choice that can help you save taxes. At a young age, you can claim tax deductions in case you have applied for loans. Tax incentives are even offered on repayment for some particular transactions.

You have the marketing advantage

This is where spending most of your younger years on social media pays off. Tech-savvy youngsters have the advantage as they can use a wide variety of online platforms to market their real estate business. No matter what age they are, people are more keen to use online sources in their daily lives – especially when they’re looking to rent, buy, or sell a house.

You can retire early

Investing at a young age allows you to reap its benefits as soon as possible. This gives you the option to tick the boxes off from your bucket list. It normally takes at least a decade (or even less) to achieve what you want when you retire. Imagine starting in your 30s only to retire around the age of 40. You have more time to let yourself grow in the real estate business, and that my friend is a ticket to the comfortable retirement everyone is dreaming of.

Paving the way for young investors

It’s admirable to see you strapped-in and ready to take in your first real estate investment! We might want to back up a bit and think about how we’re going to do this – and we need to do this right. Let’s look at a few pointers before you take off.

Research, research, and more research

Be aggressive with your education. Aside from investing in real estate properties, spend your time and effort in books on real estate investing. For those that aren’t too keen on reading any sort of literature; podcasts, webinars, blogs, and even audiobooks are readily available for a fair price (some are even offered for free!). Make due diligence in your research because if you do, this will take you a long way.

Start small and build yourself up. Although there are a lot of real estate strategies out there, read on what would be the best fit for you. Investing in rental properties can be a good start for young investors. Learn to weigh out the pros and cons of each investment strategy which now brings us to our next point.

Risk management

A good investor knows that with every strategy that they plan to take on, risks come with it. It’s a matter of how you approach the risk and how you manage it. Every individual has their own take in cases of risks or conflict. Luckily for young investors, you will be able to handle it in a different manner compared to your older age bracket. Young ones have a fresh and appealing approach to the business. The enthusiasm and motivation levels are quite high which helps mitigate and manage any risks that come your way.

Remember, no matter how seasoned and experienced an investor is, they definitely encountered risks along the way. Managing these risks are what made these pros hardened and successful in the real estate industry. Understanding what is the worst case scenario in each investment, potential turbulence, and how to handle it if it occurs is key to mitigating risk and achieving success.

Have a mentor

You might be thinking that you don’t know anyone who might have the same interest in the real estate business as you do. People you know are probably out there partying, slaving their time playing video games, or acting out there bachelor/bachelorette fantasies which means you don’t have the helpful and motivating support from your peers.

Use your tools to your advantage. Join local real estate investing groups on Facebook or join similar conversations in twitter and actively participate in them. Your network should include a wide range of real estate investors, contractors, realtors, wholesalers, and property managers. Pick up the phone and don’t be afraid to ask for referrals.

A mentor who deals with “A-Z real deal training” is your best bet. Unique Wealth Education offers such a training program and many more which are facilitated by real estate professionals who work with you from start to finish on locating deals to selling them. Your net worth is directly proportional to your network. Start it right by having the right mentor.

If you feel like throwing in the towel, hold up a bit and let us help you. Try to do a little bit of trial and error and don’t be afraid as we’re here to guide you so you don’t commit irreparable mistakes in the first place. This allows yourself to keep things at your own pace and eventually succeed. If you want to get started but you still have doubts, Unique Wealth Education is here to help you out. Feel free to join our monthly meetup every first Thursday of each month where investors young and old share experiences and make business ventures with one another. Contact us at (734) 224-5454 to learn more.

chicago-1804479 night

Illinois Land Trusts

By Randy Hughes

There is no federal land trust law. Each state either has a Land Trust Statute or trust laws that govern the validity of using a Land Trust to hold title to real estate. In past articles I have covered; Florida, Virginia and California. This issue of my Land Trust University newsletter will detail the Illinois Land Trust (Chapter 760 ILCS of the Code of the State of Illinois) and its benefits/challenges.

Illinois is the granddaddy of Land Trust Law. This is the reason why most Land Trusts throughout the USA are referred to as “Illinois-type Land Trusts.” Chicago Title formed the first Land Trust made in the United States to help a builder develop and sell lots for a suburb of the City of Chicago, Illinois. While Illinois does not have a specific Land Trust Statute, it does have over 100 years of case law that most other states default to when deciding Land Trust cases. As a point of interest, Barak Obama, holds title to his house in the suburbs of Chicago in a Land Trust (his attorney is the Trustee). While I cannot prove it, some say that 90% of the commercial property in Cook County, Illinois (Chicago), is held in Land Trusts. Needless to say, Land Trusts are very popular in Illinois. This fact produces good news and bad news when using Land Trusts in Illinois.

justice-2071539 smallThe good news is that because Illinois Land Trusts have been around so long and used to such a large degree within the State, it is easy to find legal help with Land Trust issues AND title companies are very familiar with insuring Land Trusts. Furthermore, most property insurance companies are also accustomed to correctly insuring a Land Trust (making the Named Insured the Trustee and the Trust).

The bad news is, Illinois law has plugged the benefit’s hole to some degree. For example, Illinois has a law that any transfers of the beneficial interest in a Land Trust are NOT VALID unless reported to the local taxing bodies. However, there is a good lesson in this tale because if you read the law carefully you discover that the law ONLY applies to counties of 3 million or more in population. There is only one county in Illinois that holds that many soles…Cook County! The rest of the State of Illinois is exempt from this law (it always pays to read the fine print).

Illinois law also requires that the Trustee perform certain “duties” to validate the Trust Agreement. I do not want my trustee to have ANY duties other than to hold and convey title (at the minimum). As discussed in previous newsletters, other states (e.g. Virginia) do not require any duties of a trustee other than to hold title.

services-4070150_1280Despite these obstacles, many historical benefits to the use of Illinois Land Trusts remain. The principal attraction of a Land Trust is its ability to confuse and hide ownership of property and ease of transferability. Other benefits are:

1. Insulation from liens and judgments (can be seized or transferred by court order)
2. Ease of transfer of interest (button, button…)
3. Avoidance of probate (allows for one to control the management and distribution of an estate for generations)
4. Ease of management by multiple owners
5. Keeping sales price confidential
6. Fracturing interests for multiple owners (don’t become a general partner… form two trusts)
7. Ease of linkage to other asset protecting entities
8. Confusion/expense to adversaries
9. Flow through tax consequences
10. Limited liability
11. Non-judicial repossessions of real estate sold on an installment contract (buyer can’t encumber the fee simple title)
12. Form 1099 not required for transfers (personal property is not subject to real estate regulations)
13. Ease of operating across state lines

write-593333_1280Other issues to consider when forming an Illinois Land Trust are:

Note #1: In Illinois when a beneficial interest is assigned as collateral for a loan, it must be recorded under the Land Trust and Recordation and Transfer Tax Act. Taxes need not be paid on collateral transfers, only on all other transfers. They also want the trust document or a facsimile to be recorded along with the collateral assignment.

Note #2: Illinois land trust statute (75 ILCS 435) requires that holders of the Power of Direction owe fiduciary duties to holders of the Beneficial Interests. This is not the case in most other states that have Land Trust statutes.

Note #3: Effective January 1st, 2011 House Bill 5282 is now PA 96-1145. The Act adds language to section 1c of the Joint tenancy Act (765 ILCS 1005/1c):

Note #4: In Illinois trusts are generally spendthrift trusts by default.

(735 ILCS 5/2-1403) (from Ch. 110, par. 2-1403) Sec. 2-1403

No court, except as otherwise provided in this Section, shall order the satisfaction of a judgment out of any property held in trust for the judgment debtor if such trust has, in good faith, been created by, or the fund so held in trust has proceeded from, a person other than the judgment debtor.

Where the homestead is held in the name or names of a Trustee or Trustees of a revocable inter vivos trust made by the settlors of such trust or trusts who are husband and wife, and the husband and wife are the primary beneficiaries of one or both of the trusts so created, and the deed or deeds conveying to the homestead to the trustee or trustees of the trust or trusts specifically state that the interests of the husband and wife to the homestead property are to be held by Tenants By The Entirety, the estate created shall be deemed to be Tenants By The Entirety.

hammer-719066_1280The new law also amends section 12-112 of the Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5/12-112). As amended the second sentence of that section now reads as follows:

Any real property, or any beneficial interest in a Land Trust, or any interest in real property held in a revocable inter vivos trust or revocable inter vivos trusts crated for estate planning purposes, held in Tenancy By The Entirety shall not be liable to be sold upon judgment entered on or after October 1st, 1990 against only one of the tenants, except if the property was transferred into tenancy with the sole intent to avoid the payment of debts existing at the time of the transfer beyond the transferor’s ability to pay those debts as they become due.

Remember from my previous articles, it is possible to form a Land Trust in one state to hold title to property in another state. This is a very foreign concept to most attorneys and is confusing to most everyone. Consequently, holding title in an out-of-state Land Trust is a good asset protection technique.

I encourage you to learn more by going to my FREE online training at: www.landtrustwebinar.com/411 and text “reasons” to 206-203-2005 for my free booklet, “Reasons to Use a Land Trust.” You can also reach me the old fashion way by calling me at 866-696-7347 (I actually answer my own phone unlike most other businesses in America today).


Randy Hughes, Mr. Land Trust

If you want to learn more about the wonderful world of trusts, please go to: www.landtrustsmadesimple.com for more information. Or, if you would like to attend one of my FREE Land Trust Webinars, go to: www.landtrustwebinar.com/411 Also, feel free to call me with any questions. I actually answer my phone! 1-866-696-7347


4 Real Estate Investing Strategies for New Investors

By Corey Tyner

Getting into the business of buying and selling homes can be daunting — especially for new investors.

However, just like any other investment, everything revolves around the fundamentals. We’ve created this infographic to guide new real estate investors and help them get started on achieving those long-term financial goals.

There are many ways to buy land and invest in real estate, but we will be going over four of our most commonly used strategies that are favored by seasoned real estate investors because they are tried-and-true. These real estate investment strategies cover most of the properties that you will want to purchase as a beginner, from a quick flip where you buy and sell your house fast, to the regular passive income you receive from a buy and hold.

When you are investing in real estate, you may hear some terms you are unfamiliar with:

  • Lipstick Flip – A “Lipstick Flip” refers to flipping a home with minimal cosmetic updates, to quickly see a return on your investment. Lipstick Flips are a fast way to get into real estate investment, but you need to be more selective when you choose a home; if the market sees homes in the area selling quickly this may be viable, however, if homes are selling slowly, you may want to consider a different type of investment, since it may be difficult to sell your house.
  • Wholesale – Wholesale real estate investments are usually done quickly. You buy low, and often sell low. Wholesale real estate often focuses on distressed properties you would otherwise overlook.
  • Buy and Hold – Buy and hold usually means when you buy a property for the purposes of renting or leasing it out, but you can also buy land you think will appreciate in value. We will be going over how to buy and rent properties.
  • BRRR&R – Buy, Renovate, Rent, Refinance & Repeat. This is the way many people build a huge real estate portfolio because it offers both short term and long term gains. This strategy is best used in areas that are still low but have property values rising quickly due to gentrification or an otherwise fast-improving neighborhood.

Corey Tyner

Corey Tyner is a writer and business owner who helps sell houses fast. He is the founder of Austin Fast Sell Home Buyers and is one of the top real estate investors in Arizona. With over a decade of experience, his work has been featured on Bigger Pockets, Real Estate Agent Magazine, and several other mainstream real estate investor publications.


Assisted Living Explained

By Gene Guarino

What is Assisted Living?

A lot of people think that assisted living means a big institution. In the old days, that’s what it was. What it is today is completely different. When you think about living at home, all of the comforts of home and there are other people in that home. One of the things about the way we do it in residential assisted living is it’s a community. It’s a group of 8, 10, to 12 seniors in a home with peers their own age, living in that home together.

Why you should consider Residential Assisted Living

If you’re at home and maybe a spouse has passed away, you’re alone. It gets lonely. Your kids can’t come visit every single day. They’re not living with you taking care of you either. So having a community of people to be with is incredibly important. It’s not just your physical health, it’s your mental health, your attitude. Residential assisted living looks like a home because it is a home. It may be in the same exact neighborhood the senior lives in now.

Assisted Living is for when somebody has an event, they move into assisted living after that event where they need additional help or monitoring. They need help with their medication, bathing, feeding or whatever it may be. They move there because they have to. And it’s a home setting and that’s specifically what we do with residential assisted living.

It’s not a nameless, faceless situation. It’s a home.

The caregivers know the seniors who are living in the home by name, they love them dearly, they love to be with them. And it can be a fun place to be. It’s not just people sitting around in wheelchairs and getting ready to die and pass away. It’s people who are there living out those last days and many times what the families find is when they move mom or dad into that assisted living home, they come back to life.

All of a sudden they are eating better, they’re getting sleep. The families come to visit and they have a whole new attitude. They now can be the sons, the daughters, the granddaughters and the grandsons again, not the caregivers.

How do we handle death in Assisted Living?

Let’s face it, we’re all going to pass away. The question is when, not if. The manager will see that and call the family. The family will come and they’ll spend the last few days and weeks with them, saying their goodbyes. And then in a very natural way, nine times out of 10, they pass away in the middle of the night. You understand that there’s more than being here on earth. There’s a lot more that’s coming ahead of us. The opportunity to share with other people during that time is incredibly powerful. To be able to care for them during that time is equally important. The families are thankful that we were there to take care of their family member all during that time.

You can also subscribe to our iTunes for on the go listening:

Gene Guarino
Residential Assisted Living Academy™

Gene is the President, CEO & Founder of RALAcademy.com. Gene has over 30 years experience in real estate investing and business. Today, Gene is focused on just one thing… investing in the mega-trend of senior assisted housing. He has trained thousands of investors/entrepreneurs throughout the United States how to invest in and operate residential assisted living homes. For over 25 years he has been educating people on the strategies of successful investing, business and self-employment. He now specializes in helping others take advantage of this mega-trend opportunity.


Junior Liens Who Choose to Foreclose

By Edward Brown

Many lenders opt to only fund first mortgages because they believe that second mortgages are too risky, but is that always the case? Not always. Not all second mortgages are equal.

Many private lenders may choose to fund a junior lien where the first mortgage is relatively small in comparison to the second. For example, a $200,000 second behind a first of only $40,000 on a property worth $500,000 would be an attractive loan to fund for many lenders, especially if they can command a higher interest rate due to the fact that the loan is in second position. However, if there is a foreclosure in the future, the second will somehow have to deal with the first mortgage. This can be troublesome if the first is very large; especially if the second is relatively small in comparison to the first. Why?

In looking at a foreclosure, a lender has to strategize. In the case of the second mortgage, it is imperative that the first does not foreclose out the second as there is usually nothing left over from the foreclosure to pay the second. In California, the foreclosing party gets to “credit bid” its loan. This means that it can simply bid [at the auction/trustee sale] what it is owed. Non foreclosing parties need to come up with cashier’s checks in order to bid. This can be a potential hardship for the second mortgage if the first is the foreclosing party.

For example, if we look at a situation where the property has a value of $1,400,000, the first is $800,000 and the second is $200,000 and the first is the foreclosing party, the first would most likely credit bid its entire $800,000 [it does have the right to bid less than what it is owed, but, if the value is reasonably higher than what is owed to the first, it will normally credit bid what it is entirely owed. The times where the lender bids lower than its entire principal balance is when the lender does not want to own the property and is willing to take a loss just to get the loan off of its books, or the value of the property does not substantially exceed the balance of the first mortgage].

Any bidder at the auction/trustee sale would need to come up with $800,000 at the auction itself or more should any bid exceed $800,000 if the bidder wants to be the highest bidder. In this instance [where the first mortgage is the foreclosing party], the second is not allowed to credit bid its $200,000 balance. It would need to come up with the $800,000 to pay off the first and its $200,000 second mortgage in order to be made whole. True, the second would just get its $200,000 back because that is what it is owed, but, unfortunately, in this case, since it was not the foreclosing party, it has to come up with cash just as any other bidder. Only the foreclosing party is allowed to credit bid.

For this reason, it is important for the second to have a strategy in place. The second wants to be the foreclosing party in most instances, driving the bus, so to speak. Borrowers usually go into default for two main reasons. First, they stop making payments to the lender. Second, the lender’s loan is due, and the borrower has not refinanced or sold the property. In the case where payments have not been paid, junior lien holders have the right to “cure” the first. One can usually do that simply by making the payments to the first. Since foreclosure in California normally takes three months and 21 days, one strategy is for the second to cure the first and start its own foreclosure.

However, this may be cost prohibitive, especially if the first is large and the arrearages on the first are a few months. When the first files for foreclosure, junior lien holders are to be notified. This gives them notice, so they can have the opportunity to cure the first. The second then files its own foreclosure [either because the borrower has probably also not made payments to the second mortgage or because most loan documents state that if a borrower is in default on any mortgage associated with the property, its loan is also in default whether or not the borrower has kept the second current with payments].

One strategy for the second lien holder is to cure the first as soon as possible to allow the second to be the foreclosing party. That way, the second would be allowed to credit bid its loan, but would not eliminate the first; it would have to take the property subject to the first and have to deal with them post foreclosure. However, what happens in the case where the second pays just enough to get the first to stop its foreclosure for the time being, the second starts its own foreclosure, and then does not any more payments to the first and allow the first to start its own foreclosure?

Let’s look at an example and see how this might play out; in our previous example, the property was worth $1,400,000, the first was $800,000, and the second was $200,000. Let’s presume that the borrower stopped making payments on both the first and second mortgages. Both loans have a maturity date five years in the future. If the first files foreclosure, the second could cure the first by making only one mortgage payment to them. Now it is true that most lenders will not immediately file a notice of default after 30 days, but the point here is for the second to make the first mortgage cancel or delay [even temporarily] its foreclosure, so the second mortgage can start its own foreclosure for two main reasons; it puts the second in a situation where in the first does not foreclose out the second, and it allows the second to credit bid its loan at the time of the trustee sale.

Now it is true that, if the second does not make any more payments to the first [other than the one to get the first to stop its foreclosure], the first may start a foreclosure again, but, the first’s foreclosure will be after the second mortgage has completed its foreclosure, buying time for the second to deal with the first [or sell or refinance the property] if the second is ultimately the high bidder at auction. If another bidder outbids the second, the first would get paid, the second would get paid, and the owner [borrower who defaulted] would pocket the difference.

If there is enough equity in the property, either the property will receive a high enough bid to pay off all of the liens, or the second [the foreclosing party in our example] should be able to flip the property fairly quickly or decide to keep the property, as they would be the new owner. If they choose not sell the property, they should very quickly discuss with the first some sort of agreement to either refinance [a new loan to the second who is now the owner] or make payments for a period that will allow time for a new lender. The above information is for discussion purposes only and, as always, one is advised to discuss real estate related issues with a qualified real estate attorney prior to any legal action.

Edward Brown

Edward Brown currently hosts two radio shows, The Best of Investing and Sports Econ 101. He is also in the Investor Relations department for Pacific Private Money, a private real estate lending company. Edward has published many articles in various financial magazines as well as been an expert on CNN, in addition to appearing as an expert witness and consultant in cases involving investments and analysis of financial statements and tax returns.

Income Property Management Expo


Income Property Management Expo offers property owners, managers and real estate professionals a full day of speakers, education, an exhibit hall and the nationally acclaimed Maintenance Mania® competition. Held at Pasadena Convention Center on Tuesday, March 24th from 9:00 am-4:00 pm, admission is free.

Presented by National Apartment Association (NAA) and HD Supply, Maintenance Mania will feature leading area maintenance professionals competing in skill-based games for nationwide recognition and cash prizes. A host of seminars will be presented throughout the day on topics including:

* Surviving Statewide Rent Control
* Soft-Story Retrofit Mistakes to Avoid
* Strategic Property Management to Avoid Lawsuits
* New Laws & The Regulatory Environment Impacting Housing Providers
* Tapping Into a $27 Trillion Pool of Funds for Your Projects
* Unraveling the Mystery of 1031 Exchanges

Scheduled speakers include Dan Yukelson, AAGLA; Dennis Block, Dennis P. Block & Associates; Rusty Tweed, TFS Properties; Michael Brennan, Brennan Law Firm; Alexander Rodriguez, Soft Story Retrofit Pros; Brian Gordon & Vince M. Medina, Lotus Property Services; Tony Watson, Robert Hall Taxes & Associates; Mark C. Turok, Exeter 1031 Exchange Services; Patti “Widget” & Chris Verzosa, Widget’s Way and Skyguard Surveillance; Kaaren Hall, uDirect IRA; and Bob Wess & Elizabeth Reynolds, KW Commercial.

An exhibit hall with 100+ vendors will showcase the latest in property management software, analysis tools, energy systems, lighting, roofing, safety equipment, tenant screening, tax planning, financing, insurance, and legal services to improve performance and reduce maintenance costs. Attendees will also have opportunities to foster new relationships, share ideas, get free advice from legal and financial experts, and learn new strategies to increase their return on investment.

Industry partners are Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles (AAGLA), Greater Los Angeles Realtors Association (GLAR), California Association of Housing Authorities (CAHA), Apartment News Publications, Apartment Age Magazine and Apartment Management Magazine. The Expo will be held March 24th at Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E. Green Street, Pasadena, CA 91101. Hours are 9:00 am-4:00 pm. Admission is free. Parking is additional. For exhibitor inquiries please contact (800) 931-6666 or email RSVP@IPMExpo.com. For pre-registration and agenda updates, visit www.incomepropertyexpo.com.

alton jones


By Karen A. Walker

For Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Officer and master real estate investment teacher and trainer Alton Jones and his wife, Rocio, it’s all about relationships, helping others succeed and being your best self. Every day. Every minute.

But while Jones has helped people succeed in real estate investing beyond their wildest imagination, he doesn’t promise, and never himself expected, overnight success. His experience as a police officer prepared him for that.

He knows first-hand that success takes learning, listening, focus, persistence, a good sense of humor, a healthy dose of humility (did I mention persistence?!) and, most importantly, taking action.

That last step—action—can be the most difficult, but simply doing the right things and repeating until it become second nature marks the difference between success and none.

“It’s one thing to talk about it,” says Jones, “but a totally other thing to actually DO it!”

Did you say police officer?

Jones has been an LAPD policeman for more than 34 years. For the first 16 of those years, he served as a full-time, active duty officer. After that—to this day—he serves as reserve officer.

In the last 10 years, Officer Jones has been honored as a Reserve Officer of the Year. Twice!

“Officer of the Year is a big deal,” explains Jones. “A few officers are selected each year and honored for exceptional service during the year. About 600 people attend the honoree dinner, and it’s really a big deal, with any funds raised going to help the families of fallen officers or others in our police family who need it.”

At his more recent honoree event, the main cast and the creator of the TV series THE ROOKIE attended, which made it extra fun.

People skills

Just as in police work, real estate investing involves good training and good people skills. Relationships matter.

Knowing how to talk with a myriad of different types of people can mean the difference between life and death in police work.

“As an officer, especially on patrol, you have to talk with so many different kinds of people—victims, drug dealers, the mentally unstable, drug users on a high, the traumatized, witnesses, violent or less violent criminals,” says Jones. “Good officer safety skills are critical. You also have to be able to get accurate, useful information from witnesses. Those statements have to be able to hold up in court or identify a perpetrator, so you have to know how to ask a question and which information to pursue.

“In addition, sometimes you have just seconds to assess a situation or persons involved. Knowing how to quickly assess and talk with different people can determine if you come home that day.”

In real estate investing, regardless whether you are fixing and flipping houses, negotiating fair win-win deals, managing contractors, or teaching others your proven system for success, it’s critical to develop good people skills and to build strong relationships.

And to build any kind of relationship, you have to be a person of integrity in words and actions.

Knowledge alone isn’t enough

“It’s one thing to talk about it, but it’s a totally other thing to actually DO it!!” says Jones, who gets his students quickly to action.

Again, the comparison to police work is clear.

In the training process you learn how to talk to different people, what you need to ask and what to do in different situations, what information you need, and so forth. But learning it in a classroom doesn’t make you successful.

It’s a different story when you get out on the streets and you’re talking with real people, or in the chaos of an incident and trying to sort it out.

Same for the investor.

Practice (i.e. taking action) sharpens people skills until the right thing to do in negotiating an opportunity or managing contractors becomes second nature.

Never stop learning: Mentors matter

Alton always says, “It’s OK to copycat, as long as you copy the right cat.”

Jones got into the rehab, fix and flip business in 2009. But he didn’t do it alone. He chose his mentors well. He invested in himself and in his success, and he hasn’t stopped to this day.

Even with the success he and his wife have achieved and continue to achieve… even with his rapid rise to being asked and encouraged by his mentors to become a teacher for others, beginning in 2013… even with his popular books and with the success he and his wife continue to nurture and grow in themselves and others… even with all that, Jones continues to listen and learn from others.

Two of his stand-out mentors are Ron LeGrand and Dan Kennedy.

From his mentors, Jones learned early on that to be successful you must be purposeful in all you do. You must run your business as a business, not as a hobby.

He learned what to do and how to do it.

He also learned to expect uphill battles and set-backs, even after you’ve achieved remarkable success.

It is what it is.

Be prepared. Go forward. Keep your eyes on the prize, on doing the right thing, and on serving others.

Knowledge alone isn’t enough

“The majority of people will tell you ‘no,’” says Jones. “So what? You have to rise above. There’s EGO, but you gotta drop the “e” and just GO!

“In the police department you have to have the will to live. You learn and you have to face the reality every day that there are people who want you dead, but you have to — you MUST — have the will to LIVE. That keeps you doing the right things, following the good skills and training you received.

“In developing a real estate business, you have to have the will to WIN. That keeps you focused on the end goal. It keeps you going forward.”

Good mentors tell you the truth. They also practice what they preach.

The best mentors don’t just deliver knowledge. They don’t teach swimming lessons while standing on the edge of the pool. No. The best mentors lead by example. They get in the pool with you and show you how it’s done. They insist you get into the water and learn how to swim for yourself. And they’ll be with you every step of the way, IF you allow it.

When Jones holds training sessions and boot camps, he tells it like it is. With a smile, he calls himself a minister of truth. He doesn’t deliver what attendees might want to hear. He delivers the reality, the truth.

Rehab 2 Riches

It was an unexpected honor when Ron LeGrand, in 2016, not only praised the system for success Alton and his wife had developed, but when he also strongly encouraged Jones to launch his own training courses on that very system.

Alton’s Rehab 2 Riches courses, bootcamps and more soon followed, to popular acclaim by attendees.

“I believe what we do changes lives,” says Jones. “People who come to one of our events, they’ll make a life-changing decision at that event. Those relationships made at our events can take you from $0 to self-sufficient.”

Jones smiles when he talks in his bootcamps about the importance of building a Million Dollar Rolodex of exceptional resources for your business. “These days there are a lot of people who don’t know what a rolodex is,” he says. But it hasn’t held any of his students back. They still understand the point.

Jones practices in three markets—southern California, Dallas and Memphis. Of all these, however, his preference is his beloved southern California.

For more information, go to Rehab2Riches.com.

Alton Jones says that in this business there are five things you have to do to succeed:
1. Locate prospects
2. Pre-screen prospects
3. Construct and present offers
4. Follow-up
5. Close quickly

Books by Alton Jones include:
• Ask Me How I Know? Four biggest house-flipping mistakes that made me millions, by Alton Jones


Karen Walker is the founder and executive producer of The Mentors Radio Show (TheMentorsRadio.com)