Author: Jeff Breglio (34 articles found) - Clear Search


Keys to Title #1

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Title closings and title insurance are very important real estate investing topics that don’t get a lot of attention. Along with the real estate purchase contract, title is something that you will need with every transaction. Next month I will cover the contract.

The first thing you need to understand is that your title company (or attorney) is really an insurance sales company: they sell title insurance on real estate transactions. The underwriter (who you might not even know about) is the title company’s insurance company—the company that actually insures the transaction. As insurance agents, title companies are heavily regulated by the state, including their fees. Most investors choose a title company not necessarily based on costs, but on experience doing investor transactions.

So, the first key is to choose a title company and escrow officer that are highly experienced working with investors! Investors use techniques like seller financing, wholesaling, private lenders, etc. that require knowledge and experience beyond processing the closing. Without experience, the title company may not close the transaction correctly.

Split closings are another important thing to understand about title. In Utah, we’re allowed to have split—where the buyer and seller close their side at different title companies. But, a title c
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Partnering v. Syndications Part 2

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In our last blog, we covered the considerations that determine when you might be engaged in a partnership or a syndication. And, if you fall in the syndication category, then you’ll need to comply with SEC regulations. Or, if it’s an actual partnership, then you do not. That is an important question to answer and not always as clear cut as you might think. There are a lot of variables and uniqueness to your specific deal that can make a big difference in the answer.

In today’s blog, we are going to cover the legal structures of these two types of investing techniques. Let’s start with a syndication.

A syndication is almost always an LLC structure. But, before that, you will also need a Private Placement Memorandum (PPM). This is a business plan with the terms of what you’re offering that will be giving to potential investors. You may also need a Subscription Agreement. This is an investor’s pledge to contribute to the deal at the stated terms before the syndicators actually need the investment. Then at some point the Subscription Agreement is “called,” and the investor will wire funds at that time, completing the exchange. Then, of course, there is paperwork to be submitted to the SEC and to states in which you are raising funds.

Now let’s talk about the operating agreement for the LLC.
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Partnering v. Syndications Part 1

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This 2-part blog is going to cover the differences between partnering with others to engage in real estate investing versus putting together a syndication. These two techniques may be similar—and often confused—but they are very different! And you need to understand each as a separate investing strategy.

NOTE: There can be some subtle legal nuances to the discussion below. It’s meant as information and educational. content only. If you even think the SEC rules may apply to your deal, you should seek legal counsel to make a determination before proceeding.

Not only is it important to understand the difference from a structural standpoint, but also from an SEC compliance standpoint. True “partnerships” do not need to be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission or other state securities office. While a syndication (almost certainly) will need to jump through SEC filing hoops. Because failing to register a project with the SEC can create very serious financial and criminal consequences, we’ll cover the SEC portion in this blog and the structural differences in the next blog.

All offerings of securities must be registered with the SEC. Private offerings, like the ones you’ll see in real estate investing, have exemptions from the complicated and expensive filings that companies going “public” face. But even with private offerings
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Wholesaling for Beginners #5

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While we’ve only covered the basics of wholesaling (and there are A LOT MORE ISSUES to understand), you’re well on your way to completing your first wholesale deal. The easiest way to wholesale is to just assign the contract. It’s clean and simple and doesn’t cost anything or require any other documents.

But, if you’re working with bank, like REO properties and short sales, they will not allow you to assign the REPC. Some sellers and agents also that won’t allow you to assign the contract because they may think it’s somehow fraudulent. Or, maybe you’re looking for more privacy in your transactions. Then you many want to consider using a disposable LLC or real estate trust.

When you assign a contract, the named buyer actually changes, so the bank and seller will see that at the closing table. But using a disposable LLC or trust as your initial buyer (on the initial REPC you sign with the seller) will allow you to pass on the right to buy the property WITHOUT changing the named buyer.

The process is similar. But first, you set up either an LLC that will be use
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Wholesaling for Beginners #4

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This is our fourth blog on beginning wholesaling. If you haven’t read the earlier ones, make sure you go back and do so.

Before you start out on your first wholesale deal, there are some things that you should take into consideration. First is privacy. We touched on this in our last blog: keeping your wholesaling fee and final buyer private. Many wholesalers will use trusts for privacy purposes. We’ll discuss this more in the next blog.

You should also be aware of seasoning issues. FHA loans and some other lenders will look at title transfers occurring within three months before a retail sale (your post-flip sale). This could affect things if you do a double close (more on that below). If they see a couple of title transfers close together, they could ask questions or delay loan approval until the property has been in one owner’s name a certain length of time.

Also understand that your wholesale fee is an “add on” fee that your buyer will pay at closing, like paying an invoice. It is NOT an increase in the purchase price because that will also affect the price the seller is getting. This is a common mistake on the assignment part of a wholesale deal. Yes, the fe
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Wholesaling for Beginners #3

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Now that you’ve read the first two blogs on Beginning Wholesaling, you know what it is and some of the licensing issues. But if you want to become a wholesaler, you will need to understand the core transaction. In the simplest of terms, wholesaling is about “assigning” contracts.

Yes, you will need to learn how to market for properties, run number to determine the deal, negotiate with sellers and sign a purchase agreement. But that is something that all investors do and applies to just about any type of investment transaction. What wholesaling does is extend that one more step: assigning that purchase agreement to another buyer. You will then also need a list of potential buyers who will take the deal.

So, the process starts with you (or preferably, your wholesaling LLC) signing a real estate purchase contact (REPC) with the seller where your LLC is the named buyer. Your LLC will then “assign” that REPC to another buyer. This assignment is done for a fee. This fee is your compensation for finding and contracting the deal. In a common transaction, you will use an assignment addendum that transfers all the rights under the REPC from you to another buyer. Simply, this just swaps out the buyer so the new one can close and buy the house. It’s that easy, but let’s take a closer look.

First, can you assign all contracts? The answer is that all cont
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Wholesaling for Beginners #2

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In our previous blog, we explained how wholesaling has become a major real estate investment strategy and thousands of investors are engaging in it. But all that notoriety has brought the practice to the attention of state real estate governing boards. This blog will discuss some of the licensing and other rules regarding wholesaling.

The first thing you need to understand, is that wholesaling is when you get paid to find a seller of a property and then find a buyer to purchase it. That sounds a lot like what real estate agents do: connect buyers and sellers for a commission. Because it looks like you’re acting as an agent, real estate licensing agencies all over the country are taking a close look at the practice.

So, the first thing you need to confirm is how your state handles wholesaling. A few states have banned the practice altogether. In those states you cannot wholesale a deal unless you are a licensing agent. Other states allow non-licensed individual to wholesale but have some regulations. And other states have said nothing at all. Further, all these rules can and probably will change over time.

Utah falls in the middle. You do NOT need a re
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Wholesaling for Beginners #1

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Wholesaling! The big new (sort of new) real estate investing strategy. Wholesaling has, in fact, been around forever. Investors and non-investors have been able to assign contracts as long as there have been contracts. Many states (including Utah) have standardized forms to assign the contract. But it’s been more recently, in the last 4-5 years that wholesaling has become its own cottage industry within real estate investing.

Wholesaling is the strategy of finding a great deal and locking it up by putting it under contract. The wholesaler is the buyer and the property owner is the seller on that agreement. But then, instead of the wholesaling actually purchasing and closing on the home, she “assign” or passes the contract—the right to buy the house—to another buyer for a fee.

It is possible to assign a fix & flip project, a buy & hold project, a seller-financed deal, residential or multi-family deals, or a commercial deal. Wholesalers are generally very good marketers and negotiators. In other words, they are good at finding deals, negotiating great terms, and getting a signed purchase agreement. So that’s where they focus their time and energy.

Wholesaling is way you can get involved in real estate
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Understanding Short-Term Rentals #4

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OK, this is our fourth blog on understanding rentals. If you haven’t, go back and read the previous three for a better understanding. We covered the possible local laws restricting short-term rentals, how they are taxed at the federal level, how to hold title and how to save money on the self-employment tax.

This article is going to discuss another surprise tax that many investors don’t understand: sales and lodging taxes. These are the taxes all hotels have to pay, and they are at the city, county and state levels.

Short-term rentals, like those offered on services such as Airbnb and VRBO, have always been required to collect and remit sales and lodging taxes. Historically, the large vacation rental websites viewed these occupancy taxes as the responsibility of the host or homeowner responsibility, not the platform.

The platform was positioned simply as an advertising website or marketplace, and transactions occurred directly between homeowner and traveler. These taxes, however, were often overlooked and not well understood by homeowners and hosts.

As the short-term rental industry has continued to grow, these lodging taxes are increasingly part of the industry narrative and becoming much better understood. Short-term rentals are now ubiquitous, which has sparked pushback in some communities, with a new and heightened focus
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Understanding Short-Term Rentals #3

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In the last blog, we learned that the rent from short-term rentals is considered ordinary income (like flips) and not passive income (like long-term rentals). That’s a big deal because ordinary income is subject to the self-employment tax of 15.3%. In this article, I’m going to teach you how to hold title to the short-term rental and how to save on the employment tax.

First, you want to hold title (who “owns” the property as listed on the county land records) in an asset-holding LLC, like a “series” LLC. If you’re unfamiliar, go back and read the blog, “The Series LLC” from September 18, 2020. This LLC is taxed either as a sole-proprietorship (single member) or a partnership (multi-member). It is NOT taxed as an S-corp. (no S-election!!)! This is important. And ALL your rental properties should be owned like this!

So, there is no difference in how you hold title or own your short-term rental. Own it just like all your other rental properties. But, because this rent is taxed differently than the rent you collect on long-term rentals, you going to structure the “renting” part differently.

The first thing you will need to do is set up a “property management” LLC. This is NOT the LLC that owns the rental! This is set up to do nothing more than manage the short-term rental (you can also use it manage your long-term rentals and deflect lia
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