Commercial Real Estate Pro Network

Commercial Real Estate Professionals who work with Investors, Buyers and Sellers of Commercial Real Estate. We discuss todays opportunities, problems & solutions in Commercial Real Estate.
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Now displaying: November, 2018
Nov 29, 2018

Do you have an 401K checkbook?  Are you self employed?

If you are self employed and do not have a 401k, there is still time to take advantage of the beneficial 2017 tax law to substantially fund for your retirement.

If you are not able to take advantage of a self employed 401k, check out our IRA episode for the options available to you: CREPN #171 - Checkbook IRA with Bernard  Reisz

Bernard Reisz with provides the education, structure and tools to help investors who are looking to take control of their financial future.  

2017 Tax Law Benefits

The 2017 tax code capped personal deductions for state and local taxes expensed on federal tax returns at $10,000.  This will likely increase your tax liability for 2018. However, you can take advantage of the new ways to lower your tax liability if you fund it before the end of the year.

If you are in business and generating profits, you can create a 401k for that business.  When you fund your 401K, it reduces your taxable income. If your company is set up to match, the match is an expense to the business which again lowers its taxable income.

The Qualified Business Income (QBI) Deduction is a new for the 2017 tax law.  It provides up to a 20% tax deduction for any qualified business income up to $315,000.  The amount of QBI reduces for taxable income above $315,000 for married filing jointly. Funding your 401K can help reduce your income and maximize the percent of QBI you are eligible for.  

Solo 401k

If you have no employees, the Solo 401K is ideal for you to maximize your retirement account funding.  The Solo 401k is the ideal candidate for the Checkbook 401K.

Unlike the IRA, a 401K is not required to have a financial institution as a custodian.  You are allowed to be the administrator and trustee. There is no requirement for a custodian.  

The maximum amount you can contribute to your Solo 401k and deduct from your taxable income is $55,000.  If you are over 50 yrs old, you can increase that amount to $61,000.

To contribute the maximum, you must:

  • Have net income equal to or greater than your contributions.
  • Employee deferral: $18,500 maximum.  This can be dollar for dollar of net income your company generates.
  • Employer Profit Share: 25% of company net income can be contributed.  To get the full $55,000 tax deduction, you will need to have $175,000 net income.   If you are an S Corp, you are limited to 25% of the W2 salary.

Either a traditional 401k or a can be used.

Traditional 401K; You receive a current income deduction for contributions.  The account grows tax deferred and is taxed at ordinary income tax rates when withdrawn.

Roth 401K: You receive no income deduction.  Contributions are after tax, but grow forever tax free.  There is no tax due when withdrawn.

Personal loans from your Solo 401K are allowed with few limitations:

  • No seasoning required.
  • Maximum loan percent 50% of the balance, with the maximum loan up to $50,000.
  • Pay back within 5 years with interest to your 401k.

You can set up an entity, LLC owned by your 401K to funnel your investments through.  This is ideal for purchasing real estate and provides significant asset protection.

When purchasing real estate inside your 401K, like the IRA, the loan must be non-recourse.  Unlike the IRA, your 401K can purchase real estate with leverage and avoid UDFI penalties.    

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Nov 22, 2018

You have a checkbook IRA?  Probably not.  A Traditional Individual Retirement Account, aka IRA, requires a custodian to hold your retirement account.  

The typical custodian has investment models to follow and limited products available for you based on your risk profile.  Investments that are eligible to be held in your IRA are limited only in that you cannot invest in life insurance nor collectibles.  

Notice that real estate is not prohibited?  What if you could select higher performing investments beyond your custodians limited options?  

Bernard Reisz with provides the education, structure and tools to help investors who are looking to take control of their investment strategy using a checkbook IRA.  

There are two types of government sponsored tax deferred retirement accounts; Individual Retirement Account; and 401k.  The IRA is for is a non employer sponsored plan while the 401k is an employer sponsored account. In this post, we focus on IRA’s.  

There are two types of IRA’s:

Traditional IRA; You receive a current income deduction for contributions.  The account grows tax deferred and is taxed at ordinary income tax rates when withdrawn.

Roth IRA: You receive no income deduction.  Contributions are after tax, but grow forever tax free.  There is no tax due when withdrawn.

Take control with a Checkbook IRA

Now you can take control of your IRA by using a Self Directed IRA, aka SDRIA.  SDIRA custodians allow your to invest in alternative investments, including real estate.  This keeps the investment inside the tax deferred account, including all income and expenses, as required.  The manager of the account is you, the IRA account owner, or someone you choose.

The traditional SDIRA custodian can be fairly expensive.  They charge fees on assets under management and per transaction.  The checkbook IRA provided through 401kcheckbook  simplifies and minimizes the cost to administer your SDIRA.   

To do this, you will need move your funds to a SDIRA.  The SDIRA creates an LLC that is owned by your IRA. To maintain the tax deferred benefits, the investment, returns and expenses must be contained inside the SDIRA.  

Alternative Investment Options

Now that you have your checkbook IRA set up, let’s take a look at two real estate investment options; equity and debt.  

Equity, ownership is an option to you.  To do so, make certain the real estate is titled to the LLC your SDIRA owns.  The funds for the investment come from your IRA.

Issues to be aware of when using your Self Directed IRA to invest in real estate.

  • Leverage: Your SDIRA can use leverage, however, the loan must be “non recourse”.  
  • Unrelated debt financed income UDFI: As an equity owner of the leveraged investment, your SDIRA is subject to UDFI.  This is the percentage gains associated with leverage, your return on leverage, and is subject to tax. Your SDIRA will have its own tax return, and will pay tax based on the UDFI.    
  • If sold while you have a loan, your self directed IRA will have capital gains tax.  However, if the loan is paid off twelve months before sale, there will be no capital gains tax!

Debt, a loan with your SDIRA LLC recorded on title, are an exceptional opportunity for significant returns.  As a debt instrument instead of equity investor, the SDIRA is not subject to UDFI. All gains are tax free.  So, if you are able to make an interest only, hard money loan secured by real estate at 20%, the entire gain is free from tax.


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Nov 15, 2018

Qualified Opportunity Zones, a late add to the 2017 Tax Code, are designed to stimulate neighborhoods in need of investment.

Kathy  Fettke, author, investor, syndicator and host of RealWealth Show Podcast shares her views on the new tax law.  For investors with capital gains who are looking for a way to lessen their tax liability, this just might be the answer to your prayer.

Markets cycles are affected by supply, demand, interest rates, etc.  When needed, the tax code is a proven tool the government can use to stimulate growth and change the behavior of investors.  Opportunity Zones are the newest iteration for investors looking to lessen their taxes and get a better than average return on their investment.

Have a Capital Gain?

Do you have an unrealized capital gain?  Unlike 1031 Exchange, the Qualified Opportunity Zone is not exclusive to real estate investors.  All investors, who have taxable gains from the sale of stocks, bonds, business, real estate, etc are eligible.  You have up to 180 days from the sale that caused the gain to invest in an opportunity zone fund.

The opportunity zones are in neighborhoods needing a jumpstart.  New investment will likely not be a cash flow opportunity. Instead, over time, the expectation would be for significant appreciation.  It takes time to improve a neighborhood. The goal is to find a neighborhood with momentum that will attract other investors. If you find this, and you can be patient, the reward will be worth it.  

Disclaimer: The information presented is is for discussion purposes only.  

The QOZ details are developing.  It is up to YOU to engage a tax professional for advice on how to proceed and benefit.  

Where are the QOZ?

There are over 8,000 qualified Opportunity Zones in the US.  States had 90 days from the date of the act to apply to the US Treasury for zone status.  To find one near you do an internet search, “opportunity zone map”, or click: ttps://

How Qualified Opportunity Zone Works

  • To qualify, you must have taxable gains.  Ordinary income is not eligible.
  • Taxes on the original gain are deferred.  If you stay in the investment for 5 yrs and get a 10% discount on the tax owed.  Stay in the investment for 7 years, you you get a 15% discount on the taxes due, and 7 years to pay them.  
  • Bonus: if you stay in your new investment for 10 years, the subsequent gain on the new investment is TAX FREE; not subject to Capital Gains TAX!
  • So far, the use of a Qualified Intermediary is not recognized as a requirement.     
  • Your gains must be placed in a “Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund”.  This can be your fund, or in another’s fund, just not a single member LLC.
  • The “fund” must invest in a property located in a designated QOZ.
  • The property must be improved.  You can do new construction, or substantially improve an existing building.  Substantial improvement example:
    • Purchase Price: $1,000,000
    • Land value: -$  500,000
    • Existing Structure Value: $   500,000
    • Investment required to be substantial: $500,000


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Nov 8, 2018

Multifamily Syndication Structure and Fees provide a significant opportunity to make money.  Who better to ask about the numbers than the sponsor of twenty-six syndications, Vinney Chopra.

To buy a large multifamily property, it takes the coordination of several like minded investors.  The General Partner, finds the deal, builds the team, and gets the commitment from the limited partner investors to close the deal.  

Members of the LLC

The owner of the property is the LLC entity created specifically for this property at closing.  Members of this entity are the General Partner, sponsor, and the Limited Partners, investors. The range of ownership depends on the specific deal, but a split range of 20-40% for the General Partner and 80-60% for the Limited Partners is common.  The specific opportunities are spelled out in the private placement memorandum. The opportunities to make money are numerous for the Limited Partners including:

  • Distributions; this is from the operational cash flow.  Distributions can be tied to a preferred rate of return for the LP’s.  This payment can occur as frequently as monthly - quarterly. The LP and GP can participate in the excess over the LP’s preferred return on a predetermined percentage split.
  • Disposition: When the property is sold, the equity gain is split between the GP and LP based on the ownership split.   
  • Refinance: If the market supports it, a refinance can return the investors capital before selling the property.  

So what’s the reward for the General Partner?  Below are the various ways to get paid as the sponsor of a syndication.

Acquisition Fee

The acquisition fee ranges from 2 to 4% of the purchase price.  It is the sponsor’s reward for putting the deal together and raising the funds needed to close.  A good rule of thumb for the capital raise is 30-35% of the purchase price. The money raised will cover;

  • Down payment 20-25% of purchase price
  • Closing cost
  • Annual insurance
  • Annual taxes
  • Syndication Fee
  • Real Estate Legal Fees
  • Capital Expenses deferred maintenance ( more if significant improvements needed)
  • Acquisition Fee

Loan Sponsor “Enhancer” Fee

In order to borrow the funds needed to close the deal, the lender one investor guarantee the loan.  This individual must have a personal net worth greater than the loan amount. The fee for this obligation ranges from a flat fee to a percentage of the General Partnership.

Asset Management Fee

Throughout the course of holding the property, the asset manager is responsible for overseeing the property manager and any repositioning of the asset if a value add plan is to be executed.  A sponsor will also prepare and provide regular reports to investors on the property’s performance. The Asset Management fee is typically 1-2% of annual collected income.

Property Management Fee

If you have enough units, consider creating a property management firm.  This is an excellent opportunity to serve your investors and collect a fee.  Fees range from 4-10% of the total income collected depending on the size of the property.  When you are the property manager, you can negotiate better deals with your suppliers for the benefit of your investors.  

Refinance Fee

While operating the property, if the market supports, there may be the opportunity to refinance and return some equity to the investors.  The proceeds of the refinance are paid to the investors to return their investment capital. When you can return the investors original capital and continue to pay them a quarterly distribution makes investors happy.  The sponsor can charge a refinance fee, 1%, for doing the work necessary to complete the refinance.

Disposition Fee

When it’s time to sell the property, sponsor will charge 1 - 2% of the sale price.  The fee is for the work required to prepare the property for sale. This includes: conduct property tours, gather the broker price opinions from four different brokers, and meet with CRE Brokers.

For more, go to:

Text: SYNDICATION to 474747

Multifamily Investment Syndication


Prior CREPN Radio Multifamily Syndication episodes with Vinney Chopra

CREPN #145 - Why Multifamily Real Estate Investing with Vinney Chopra

CREPN #149 - Why Multifamily Syndication is a Great Option for Real Estate Investors

CREPN #153 - Building Your Multifamily Syndication Team with Vinney Chopra

CREPN #157 - How to Attract Capital & Communicate with Investors with Vinney Chopra

CREPN #161 - Multifamily Underwriting with Vinney Chopra

CREPN # 165 - Letter of Intent & Purchase Sale Agreement with Vinney Chopra

Nov 1, 2018

Real Estate Investing has benefits that are not always recognized by investors.

Tyson Cross is a former Teacher turned Commercial Real Estate Broker and investor based in Portland, OR.  His journey from educator to investor is a common progression for investors; awareness to action.

Invest in What You Know:

Do you understand the fundamentals of the stock market?  You know you need to invest, but where? How? If you have a W2 job with an employer sponsored 401K, that may be all you do.  In this options, the only control you have is the amount you put into your account and which investment fund you select. Your employer contribution and the market performance are out of your control.  

Outside of your 401K, you can choose any traded stock on the exchange.  What do you know about any of the companies on the stock exchange?

Now, think about real estate.  It’s everywhere; big cities to rural towns.  In every city, people need a home, and over time, what happens?  Rent and the cost of housing go up. If you understand this, you understand the upward trend line for real estate market fundamentals.  Your understanding of this makes the benefits of investing in real estate tangible.

Stocks vs Real Estate

Your 401K is essentially a savings account.  Every payday, you buy shares, which over time adds up to a substantial sum.  What’s not so well understood is that when you are ready to take your money out of your 401K, you have to sell shares.   When you sell them, they’re gone! The remaining shares have to increase in value for you to stay even. This is out of your control.

Real Estate is not as liquid as stock.  However if you keep your property for several years, you can borrow against the equity.  The proceeds from the loan can be used to invest in additional properties, or taken as cash.  Neither use is a taxable event.

Don’t forget the cash.  Investment real estate valuation can include positive cash flow from day one.  

Leverage & Control

The increase in value difference between a percent of a small number, your 401k or a big number, a leveraged asset, like real estate.  

Example: If you have $100,000 saved in your 401K and the market goes up 8%, you made $8,000.  Not bad.

If you purchased a property worth $500,000 using your $100,000 as a down payment, and the value goes up 5%, you made $25,000, which is more like 25% return against your $100,000 investment.  

The difference between the $8,000 and the $25,000 is $17,000!  This is the power of leverage.

The percentage increase or decrease in value is directly proportional to the amount you have saved.  With leverage, you benefit from a large number increasing by gives you the benefit of a big asset increasing in value

The Benefits of Real Estate Investing

Real estate provides the opportunity to control an expensive asset with help from leverage, a loan.  You collect rent from the residents and pay off the loan over time. Now let’s look at the benefits unique to Real Estate.  

  • Equity / Principal increase: As the loan balance gets paid down, the difference between the market value of your property and your declining loan balance is your growing equity.  
  • Cash flow; If you purchase your property right, it will income from day one.  This is after your operating expenses and debt service. If you maintain it and keep rents at the market rate, you will always have cash flow that keeps up with inflation.
  • Appreciation; When you sell in the future, it should be for more than your purchase price.  Commercial real estate value is determined by dividing the annual Net Operating Income by the market Cap Rate.  You have no control over the Cap Rate, however, you have direct input regarding the NOI. If you are able to increase your NOI, you will increase the value of your property.  
  • Depreciation; This is a gift from the IRS.  It is an amortized expense tied to the life expectancy of your building.  The gift is that you do not have to actually spend the money to get the benefit.  When you subtract this expense from your income, it reduces your taxable income.

The Risk

There are no guarantees in life.  But, for those who take action, real estate investing is a proven path for wealth accumulation  If you know why you are investing, get educated, get your mindset right, focus, and take action, and you will overcome the risk and be successful.

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