Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fresno Association of Realtors Investors/Exchange Meeting

Prepared by: Kent Sakamoto

I had the privilege of attending the Fresno Association of Realtors Investors Exchange on September 30, 2011. The committee meeting lasted a couple hours as people trickled in and out periodically. The committee discussed an array of different topics pertaining to real estate, investing possibilities, and financing in the industry. I also had the opportunity to meet many new people closely related to real estate who were also willing to take time and explain things to me they felt I might not clearly understand.

I was fortunate enough to build a rapport with Jeanie Miller through out the meeting. Jeanie Miller was born and raised in Clovis, California. Mrs. Miller started her career as a real estate agent in 1977, and later switched over to work for a lender as a loan officer in 1983. She has since retired from a full time career in the real estate industry, but continues to carry her broker license and occasionally invests in the current market. Mrs. Miller caught my attention because she was very reasonable in thought and had no problem speaking aloud in what she believes in taking place in the market. She would often disagree with a comment made, and let that specific individual know. Jeanie Miller made the informational meeting more entertaining.

There were multiple topics discussed throughout the Investors Exchange meeting, but the scope of this blog will discuss only those that the committee members spent an adequate time discussing. The first topic they discussed was heard by a committee member on KMJ talk radio discussing a new re-financing option on mortgages. The refinance option was available to everyone that was making their payments on-time and purchased the property before January 2009. The proposal was for refinancing $100,000 at 1%, $200,000 at 2%, and $300,000 at 3%. It is estimated that if people re-finance and stop these foreclosures, it would free $140 billion annually. Investors would also be eligible for this re-finance. This one was topic that the majority of the committee agreed on.

Tax strategy was a topic that arose that created a stir amongst the investor exchange committee. The topic came about after Tom Hyatt asked the committee if there was a price correlation in properties for investors that determine if the investment should be used for a “flip” or rental properties. Tom Hyatt said you typically don’t see investors buying property $250,000 and up and using them as rentals. He also said that most property in the $50,000-$75,000 is more likely used for “flips”. Those comments caught resistance from some on the committee. Tax strategy was a reason some people, including Jeanie Miller, said might cause otherwise. Jeanie Miller stated that every investor’s portfolio is different, and some investor’s might take on investments for a loss to offset income and use it as a tax shelter. Tom Hyatt and a couple others disagreed. Tom said he never once took on an investment where he thought he might lose one penny. He always had the impression that it was going to be a positive investment. That argument went back and forth for awhile, but most parties held their beliefs closely to their chests and did not budge.

As mentioned in the previous meetings, Fresno Association of Realtors will be hosting a “Landlord 101” seminar October 7th from 8:00 A.M until 12:00 P.M. at their F.A.R. Learning Center. This seminar is directed toward single family investing and is strongly encouraged for those who currently invest in rental property or seeking to potentially invest.

I would like to personally thank Tom Hyatt for allowing me to attend the committee meeting as well as Jeanie Miller for also allowing me to interview her. This meeting is very beneficial to anyone seeking a possible career in real estate because it exposes you to valuable contacts within the industry as well as quality individuals with years of experience to help most anyone get their business started.

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