Ep. 104 Landlord Tales – Tax Credits on Green or Sustainable Property Endeavors

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cost segregation; tax creditsTax Credits

They sound nice, but real estate investors may think that they are not so easy to come by. Those investors who do happen upon them find usually find themselves bogged down by the IRS’ strict stipulations surrounding them.

Tax credits are, in fact, tools set in place to help investors grow their portfolios and while they may seem complex, they are accessible to any investor willing to do a little extra leg work.

While nobody should be expected to know the entire IRS tax code, real estate investors should be aware of some very helpful tax credits that can be applied to their assets.

Michele Pasquale, of Meridian Financial Solutions spoke with us previously about increasing your bottom line through cost segregation.

This week she discusses some more tax credits that real estate investors can apply to green or sustainable property endeavors.


  • Instated in 2005 Energy Policy Act and renewed annually
  • Potentially set to expire end of 2016
  • Tax deduction for energy efficient additions to commercial buildings +30,000 s/f
  • 3 common components
    • Building envelope
    • HVAC
    • Lighting
  • $0.30-$1.80/SF in tax credits
  • Calculated on energy efficiency of entire building set to ASHRAE requirements


  • Residential tax credit for developers of energy efficient buildings
  • Potentially set to expire end of 2016
  • dollar-per-dollar deduction
  • $2000/unit or dwelling
  • Qualifying factors
    • Apartments, Condos, Town homes
    • New construction or rehab up to 4yrs
    • 3 stories tall or less


  • Tax credit for removal and retiring of building fixtures or components
  • Book value of components can be written off as business deduction
  • Components can not be purchased within same year as tax year filing with deduction and must be no longer in service

Have more questions on these or other possible tax credits? Call Meridian Financial Solutions for a free quote at 561-252-7282



Ep. 103 Reed Goossens: Talking Syndication of Multifamily Projects

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syndication of multifamily projectsLet’s face it, every real estate investor just starting out dreams of landing the huge deals. The question remains though: how to make it to the institutional level?

The answer comes with syndication. Syndication expands the opportunity to make larger deals by leveraging capital from a group of investors.

For singlefamily and small, residential multifamily, the first syndication deal can seem like a large step. There are a lot of moving pieces to keep track of in a syndicated deal that may seem complex to investors used to self-financing.

Reed Goossens knows the power in syndication.

A native Australian, Reed moved to the U.S. after educating himself in real estate investing. As a foreign investor, Reed saw the potential for earning cash-flow in U.S. real estate markets and set about acquiring properties.

Initially investing in small duplexes in tertiary markets outside of New York City, Reed had been using his own capital to finance deals.

He realized the need to scale his real estate investment goals and set about transitioning from residential multifamily to commercial multifamily through syndication.

Reed founded RSN Property Group and has been investing in commercial multifamily properties through syndication since 2011.

In addition to expanding his asset portfolio and investor base, Reed also hosts a podcast to educate foreign investors in the U.S. real estate market

Syndicating Investment Deals

  • SEC has strict rules for syndication under Regulation D
    • Rule 506 (b)  – allows for unlimited accredited investors (earn +$200k/yr. or personal worth of +$1 million); up to 35 unaccredited investors (earn under $200k/yr.)
  • Surround yourself with credible investors; find a mentor
  • Have pitch deck to educate potential investors on deal specifics
  • Private Placement Memorandum (PPM) – after sourcing investors, a PPM is needed
    • Drafted by syndication attorney
    • Outlines how deal is being syndicated under a regulation (e.g. Rule 506)
    • Tailored to individual investments
  • Syndication Contracts
    • Typically, 30 days for due diligence; 45 for larger properties
    • 15 days for financing and 15 days for closing
  • Preferred Returns
    • Limited investors get “x” percent of 1st earnings, decided in contract
    • Future returns split between limited partners and general partners (syndicators)


Reed and RSN Property Group are always on the lookout for value-add investment deals. If you think you have a potential deal, contact Reed at reed@rsnpropertygroup.com.

Reed also hosts a podcast that educates foreign investors on U.S. investment real estate markets- Investing in the U.S.: An Aussie’s Guide to U.S. Real Estate

Like many beginner investors, Reed learned about creating financial independence and the power of passive cash-flow through Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad.

Ep. 102 Michele Pasquale: Deferring Taxes with Cost Segregation

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cost segregationFor real estate investors, it’s all about the bottom line. Investors are always looking at how they can save on costs and expand their cash-flow. While many real estate investors might be aware of certain tax-breaks that can be taken advantage of for investment properties, deferring taxes through cost segregation may be one that investors overlook. Institutional investors are probably aware of this tax advantage, but smaller, individual investors or those just starting out in real estate investing may be unaware.

For Michele Pasquale, the bottom line is helping investors to get more out of their properties. Michele is owner and managing member of Meridian Financial Solutions. By working directly with investor clients and through alignment with CPA firms, Meridian seeks to establish effective, long-term tax-planning strategies resulting in greater ROI potential for investors. Michele brings over 16 years of experience in real estate acquisitions and finance to help investors maximize cash-flow. This episode, Michele shares some things investors should know about deferring taxes through cost segregation.

Cost Segregation

  • Tax-planning tool to help investors defer federal income taxes
  • Allows property owners to accelerate depreciation, resulting in reduced taxable income levels
  • Cost segregation study identifies all construction costs that qualify for accelerated depreciation
  • Breaks costs into depreciation values of 15, 7 and 5 years, so they can be written-off in a shorter time-span
  • Dependent on size and property type
  • For buy-and-hold investors

Cost Segregation Qualifiers

  • T.V. outlets
  • Wiring
  • Distribution panels
  • Dated jacks
  • Sinks and drains
  • De-mountable partitions
  • Floor coverings

When does Cost Segregation Apply?

  • Buying, building or renovating a property
  • Investors can go back 10 years or more on existing buildings and catch up on past depreciation
  • Before building or renovating, factor in cost segregation studies into design plans
  • Tax-planning strategy for 1031 Exchanges and Estate Planning

Tax-deferral, Not Tax Elimination

  • Investors should be aware that costs segregation is a strategy for deferring taxes to increase cash-flow. Taxes are applied at sale.

Contact Meridian Financial Solutions at (561) 252-7282 for more info about cost segregation and get a free estimate for tax-deferral savings.

Ep. 101 Dan Pepper: Increasing the Value of Your Property by Paying Attention to Financial Details

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increase proprty values with financial detailsTime is money. Property managers spend a lot of money on their time and this is true whether they are managing residential, multifamily or commercial properties. Often times, property managers may get caught up in the timing of things, letting their financial records and organization fall by the wayside. Not only does this cause added stress on the property manager, but it can also hurt the value of a property. When it comes time to sell a property or to refinance, proper financial details mean everything in determining how much the property is valued at.

Dan Pepper knows the importance of organizing and recording all the financial details of a property. Through his company, Palm Companies, a combined investment and property management firm, Dan oversees 190 multifamily units with nearly 50 units managed by Palm. With so many factors to keep track of, paying attention to financial details has become imperative in streamlining property management efficiency. This episode, Dan shares what he has learned about managing properties effectively and increasing property value by organizing and tracking financial details.

  • Automated Property Management Systems

    • streamline record keeping, bill pay and rent collection
    • Appfolio – good mid-market, fully-integrated automated system; 80+ units
    • Import photos or scans of bills for services and expenses into an easily accessible database
  • Capitalizing Expenses vs. Annual Expenses

    • Clearly define and categorize expenses that are capital improvements and what are annual expenses
    • Buyers can reconcile their investment concerns with detailed records
    • Lenders can asses precise values on properties
    • If unfamiliar, google search “capitalizing expenses”

Dan and Palm Companies are focused on multifamily properties ranging between 30-150 units in Southwest Florida. They focused primarily on property management ventures currently, but are open to viable multifamily deals. Palm Companies also has an interest in retail investments. Check out their website for more information.

Ep. 100 Gavin Welch: Improve Your Quality of Life by Shortening the Time You Spend on Your Investment Properties

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Full-time real estate investors know more than anyone that there are only so many hours in the day. Finding time to actively land new investments can be hard when its necessary to manage other investment properties. Maximizing time is one of the most valuable tools a real estate investor can have. Shortening the time you spend on your investment properties can greatly improve your quality of life as a real estate investor.

investment propertiesGavin Welch, an entrepreneurial real estate investor, knows just how precious his time is. With seven properties in his portfolio and work commencing on an apartment development, Gavin has a lot on his plate. With a goal in place of acquiring 25 investment properties, Gavin simply cannot afford to spend time on everyday property management concerns for each of his properties. He has implemented a method that allows him to attend to his current investment properties while providing himself enough flexibility to focus on his investment goals.

Limiting Time Spent on Investment Properties

  • Landlording on Auto-PilotMike Butler
  • Google Voice
    • provides automated information for tenants and clients to call in for property info and maintenance requests
  • Limited property showings
    • Schedule property showings and open houses for set days and times cuts down on time spent visiting investment properties
  • Auto pay system for tenants
    • Tenants pay automatically when monthly bill is due. Landlords and property owners don’t need to spend time tracking down payments
  • Passive Marketing
    • Bandit signs circulate property availability
    • Youtube videos provide property details and photos
  • Property Uniformity
    • Using the same materials and paints on all properties greatly reduces time on maintenance and up-keep

Gavin is currently in the market for viable single family investment properties in the Lakeland, FL area. Suitable fix-and-flips or rental property offers may contact Gavin through his website by going to the Contact Us page. Listeners should also check out Gavin’s own podcast, The Real Estate Loop for more investing advice.

Ep. 99 Phillip Smith and Jason Schaller: What You Need to Know About Multifamily Design and Amenities

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Apartment investing is undergoing a profound transformation in regards to multifamily design and amenities. The age of the shoe-box apartment is over. Changing climates in construction, social trends, economic growth and consumer demand have forced apartment investors and developers to re-examine what apartments could and should provide tenants. Apartment investors, whether they are refurbishing existing buildings or developing new complexes, are taking a drastically different approach to multifamily design and amenity provisions. This episode, we are fortunate to have two guests lending their insight and experience to the changing perceptions of what tenants want out of an apartment space.

multifamily design and amenitiesPhillip Smith is CEO of Framework Group, LLC, a multifamily development and construction group based out of Tampa, FL. Phillip oversees acquisition, design and development of multifamily communities. Currently, Framework Group has projects under construction in Tampa, Orlando and Sarasota, with projects under contract in Jacksonville. Framework Group’s goal is to provide multifamily communities with location and amenities that highlight and promote the urban lifestyle. By pushing the envelope of what makes a sensible investment to what meets with consumer demands, Framework Group has become a major figure in and development, offering full-service, high end apartments in Tampa and along the I-4 Corridor.

multifamily design and amenitiesJason Schaller is Managing Director of Property Management for McKinley. McKinley owns and operates a $4.6 billion real estate portfolio, 35,398 apt. units and 21 million SF of shopping centers and office centers around the country. The Michigan-based firm has a special interest in Florida’s I-4 Corridor with much of their Florida portfolio focused on it. Jason currently oversees Mckinley’s line of boutique apartment projects in Tampa, Mckinley | Hyde Park. Jason brings over 20 years of design and construction experience to multifamily design, refurbishing older and historic buildings and adapting them to suit the growing urban lifestyle.


  • Reinforce and promote urban lifestyle
    • bike-share programs
    • Canoe, kayak, bike storage
    • Outdoor kitchens
    • Functioning communal spaces
    • Technological integration
  • Health and Wellness Focus
    • Hot/cold plunge pools and resistance pools vs. traditional pools
    • High-end exercise equipment
    • Classes, training courses: yoga, exercise, massages
  • Pet amenities
    • Green spaces
    • Grooming

Multifamily Design and Development

  • High-end finishing/fixtures
    • Quartz counter-tops
    • Rain-style shower-heads
    • Upgraded moldings
    • Wine glass racks
    • Kitchen storage
    • Stainless steel appliances
  • Individual feel
    • Corridor entrances
    • Lighted unit numbers
  • Space
    • High ceilings
    • Larger rooms
  • Décor
    • Natural finishes
    • Authentic colors and textures

If you are a building owner in the Tampa area and you think it might make a great addition to the McKinley | Hyde Park portfolio, visit the Principal to Principal contact page on their website. To find out more about becoming a resident at a McKinley | Hyde Park project, visit the Apartments page on their website for more information.

Framework Group, LLC provides general contracting services and selective development consulting in addition to project development and construction. To find out more about current and upcoming projects along with services offered, visit their website.


Ep. 98 Adrian Smude: Landlord Tales – One Method of Creating Distance between You and Your Tenants

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landlord talesThe sob-stories; the hard-luck-tales; the down-and-out pleas. There are many reasons tenants might ply a landlord for a special leniency or exemption. Whether these are legitimate reasons or or not, landlords and property managers can end up assuming a lot of extra stress on a property by allowing tenants to take advantage of a situation through emotion. Sometimes, the hardest thing for investors who manage their own properties to do is tell their tenant “no”. It is easy to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, but at what point can empathy hurt your investment? Real estate investors need to know how to keep tenant turmoil at arm’s length when it comes to the viability of an investment.

Adrian Smude may know better than any the importance of managing interaction with tenants. As an investor in single family residential properties in and around Plant City, FL, Adrian has experienced the short-comings of allowing tenants unchecked leniency. Adrian’s start in single family residential investing stems from an unpleasant tenant/landlord experience: eviction. After being evicted from a rental house in college, Adrian ended up purchasing his own single family property and converted into a multi-tenant rental. Wary of the poor experience he had as a tenant, Adrian opted towards a more empathetic approach to landlording. Eventually, he found his tenants abusing their privilege. Adrian had to find a way to separate himself from thinking like a tenant and more as a landlord. Adrian adopted a system that put distance between himself and his tenants while avoiding the hard-line approach. Join us for the first episode of “Landlord Tales” as we discuss holding rental properties in a land trust.

  • Land Trust
    • Property placed in name of land trust. Property owners can designate themselves as trustee, separate from beneficiary
    • Managing property and tenants becomes easier by separating function as landlord from property owner
    • Adrian learned this method from veteran local investors Jack Shea, Larry Harbolt and Mike Warda

Adrian is actively in the market for single family residential properties and mobile homes of up to $120k in areas around Hillsborough County and Polk County, including Brandon, Plant City, Lakeland and Winter Haven. If you believe you may have a potential investment opportunity, contact Adrian at (813) 720-7874.

Sandra Adomatis: Energy and Sustainability Initiatives to Increase Your Bottom Line

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sustainabilityCommercial real estate investors and developers know the term: “Green”. In Florida, it seems that “green” is the phantom criteria for real estate: many have heard of it, few have seen it. The term brings to mind vague notions of sustainability and energy efficiency, but what exactly is it? What is the merit in “going green”? As an effort to shift toward sustainability becomes a rising trend in the nation, Florida continues to lag behind as commercial developers and investors grapple with the nebulous nature of sustainability and green construction.

Sandra Adomatis, SRA, and LEED green associate is an appraiser with a focus on green initiatives and sustainability in real estate. Based out of Punta Gorda, Florida, Sandra has over 25 years of experience in real estate appraisal in the state of Florida. Sandra is a green valuation expert for the Appraisal Institute. Through course development, seminars and literature, Sandra has been helping commercial real estate investors integrate sustainability and energy efficiency into their investments.

  • 6 Elements of a True Green Building
    • Site orientation
    • Water efficiency
      • Low-flow plumbing, greywater recycling, rain barrels/cisterns, energy star rated washing appliances
    • Energy efficiency
    • Environmentally-friendly materials
    • Clean air circulation
    • Operations & maintenance
  • Adapting Existing Structures
    • Lighting
    • Heating/cooling
    • Insulation
  • Energy Modeler/building scientist
    • Assess what existing structures can handle for energy and sustainability adaptations
    • Calcs-Plus (Florida)
  • Green building investment appeal
    • Low-interest, flexible financing exclusive to green buildings
    • Cost-saving on appliances and utilities
    • 2-10% sale premiums vs. traditional structures
  • Resources and Info

To find out more about sustainability options or for appraisal services, visit Susan’s website or email her at adomatis@hotmail.com

Ep. 96 Jillian Bandes: Making a Complex First Invest in Small Multifamily

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multifamily investListeners of the show will remember Jillian Bandes who, in episode 74, discussed what real estate investors should consider about building structure when looking at commercial multifamily investing. The project manager for Bandes Construction covered 6 hot topics on building structure and maintenance that investors should be aware of with commercial multifamily properties.

In this episode, we discuss Jillian’s first investment property….a single family home with an ajacent rental apartment.  She discusses razing the property, dealing with the local code and building officials and her plans on whether to rent the units or live in one and rent the remainder.  The property was purchased through a foreclosure and we cover the online methods now employed by Pinellas County.  Not only is this project about a potential home and investment, but Jillian is  passionate about blazing the trail for urban renewal and redevelopment in St Petersburg’s core and her unit is in the heart of a rapidly changing area.

  • Residential property permitting and zoning regulations differ from commercial properties
  • Property location
    • Choose property in an area you are familiar with
    • Walk surrounding neighborhood
  • If investment property, define target rental market
  • Due-diligence
    • If foreclosure property, know state of title (liens)
    • What is the property zoned for? Is property up to code? Accessory buildings permitted?
  • Work with local and municipal officials
  • St. Petersburg, Florida
    • Undergoing immense urban growth period
    • Investors need accessibility to invest in properties with potential for redevelopment/renewal
    • South St. Pete offers development opportunity and reasonable prices w/ proximity to cultural amenities

Jillian extends a big thank you to Carlyn Neuman of Tampa’s 360 Realty for helping to navigate online foreclosure bidding as well as to Katrina Trump of Bank of Tampa, for assisting with securing financing.


Ep. 95 Bijan Gorji: Making Money with Residential Condos

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investing in residential condosWho is this man and why is he smiling?

This man is Bijan Gorji, a real estate investor based in Sarasota, FL. Bijan is a special kind of investor though. Bijan invests solely in one asset class–one often overlooked by other real estate investors–residential condos.

Bijan believes that residential condos as an investment asset class have been an unfairly neglected market for too long. Where others see problems, Bijan sees potential… and it is paying off well for him. Since moving to Sarasota from California in 2012, Bijan and his wife have acquired a portfolio of over 35 residential condos with plans to continue investing in more residential condos. This episode, Bijan will discuss why he settled on residential condos as his chosen asset class and why it should appeal to investors from a financial standpoint along with providing a brief overview of Sarasota’s real estate investment market.

  • Pros of Investing in Residential Condos
    • Easy property-management compared with single-family
      • Low upkeep costs
      • Ability to self manage properties
    • Tenant profile allows fluid leasing
      • 1-2 bedroom units to working professionals or grad students; no families
      • Tenant turnaround quicker
    • Buy-and-hold investment w/ monthly cashflow
    • Hands-on investing allows oversight over all facets of investment
  • Investing Tips
    • Check HOA regulations for condo before investing
    • Find properties within driving distance if self-managing
    • Finding tenants is biggest issue with residential condos: list on Craigslist, Zillow, Hotpads, etc.
  • Sarasota Market
    • Huge amounts of construction (Multi-family and Single-family)
    • Rents steadily increasing across all sub-markets
  • Inspiration

If you think you have an investment deal or if you have more questions about how to make money investing in residential condos, contact Bijan directly by email at bgorji@gorjillc.com