EP9 Todd Jones: Yes! You Too Can Reduce Your Property Tax Bill!

reduce your property taxes

After the mortgage, the second highest expense for real estate investors is often property taxes.  It might surprise you to know that experts estimate that between 30 and 60 percent of taxable property in the United States is over-assessed, which leads to higher property taxes.

Fighting and winning a battle with your local tax assessor’s office might not be as difficult as you believe.  Investors, apparently, do not believe that to be the case as only a small percentage of property owners appeal their assessment.  Maybe it is a case of investors having too many other battles to fight in the day to day management of their respective business, but perhaps there is lack of clarity over how the process will play out, as well as a fear of fighting a government agency armed with seemingly legions of trained professionals and a legal system tilted against them.

Perception is probably not reality.  In this episode, Steven and Eric talk to Todd Jones, shedding some light on how the process works and how investors can contest the assessment.  Todd helps guide us through the sometimes mysterious ways of how property assessors determine value of your real estate and subsequently, the taxes you pay.

Todd Jones is an MAI appraiser and President of the Florida Association of Property Tax Professionals

Todd’s position as an appraiser and Tax Professional allows him to look at a many types of deals all across the State. As a bonus, he talks about an area of investment that he sees as one of the hottest in Florida.

Quotables -
“In Florida, the Statutes require that that assessors extract the costs to the buyer and the costs to the seller from the sales price.” …approximately 15%

Favorite Restaurant (s) -
Yoko’s Sushi Restaurant
Capital Grill
Zudar’s Deli
Holy Hog BBQ

Favorite Book
No Asshole Rule – Robert Sutton

Must Attend
The University of Florida – Bergstrom Center for Real Estate – Trends and Strategies Conference

Counsel to Investors
There are always niche opportunities – learn how to peg values
Hone “imagineering” skills

Todd Jones  –
813.760.0212 – mobile

EP8 – Flood Insurance Changes Coming….How Will the Changes Affect Florida?


UPDATED JUNE 1, 2015 —–> More Flood Insurance Changes


Storms and potential flood issues are of considerable concern for the Sunshine State. The coastal areas are the ones that people assume are associated with flood insurance, but low lying areas throughout the State are also subject to flooding issues.

FEMA has recently created new flood maps that have been put in to place. These new maps are placing more areas into flood zones and that’s creating the need for more Florida flood insurance.

26082_103991646307528_1113589_nYour homeowner’s insurance policies only cover so much. Investors and homesteaded property owners alike should carefully review their policies and need for coverage on a regular basis.

But, change in FEMA maps are not the only changes that have caused alarm in the pas couple of years.  Changes at the legislative level in 2012, referred to as the the Biggert Waters Act, intended to gradually phase-out subsidized rates flood insurance rates for about 20% of property owners.  As soon as the Biggert-Waters laws were passed, there was a public outcry about the changes.  Florida was hit harder than most  states in terms of insurance rate increases and the law threw ice water on a real estate market that was just starting to emerge from one of the worst downturns in history.  But, seemingly, as soon as the law was passed, it went away…or did it?

On March 13, 2014, Congress amended the 2012 Biggert-Waters law with the “Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act.” The 2014 Amendments strive to resolve many of the unintended consequences due to implementation of Biggert-Waters, but many concerns still exist.  Chris Coleman of the Coleman Insurance Agency in Dunedin, Florida join us to discuss how the laws will affect the market and what investors can expect for the future.   This is a show you will not want to miss as making a mistake on calculating flood insurance for the future could prove to hazardous to your bottomline on your real estate investments.

Chris Coleman can be reached at —->

EP7 Darren Wilson: Accidental Landlord Turned Serious Investor in Tampa

Darren Wilson - Tampa Real Estate InvestorDarren Wilson was an accidental investor.  He did not start out to be a professional investor in single family properties, but once he got the taste of it, he didn’t look back.  In the early part of his career, he was in the technology business, but now is an investor full time for himself and Kennedy Investments. Darren and Kennedy Investments recently completed a large value added office transaction in Central Tampa.  They are currently completely upgrading the property, Twin Lakes Office Park (formerly known as Lincoln Gardens), on Busch Boulevard in Tampa.. Learn how he leverages other revenue streams to grow in to owning over 40 properties, mostly single family homes.

Quotables -
“If you want to build a great process…a great product….a great business, start by surrounding yourself with great people.”
“Just do it – At some point you have to stop running the numbers and do the deal.”
“Don’t bet the farm on one deal”
“Don’t buy anything you couldn’t live in”

Recommended Reading -
Class – Paul Fussell

Favorite Florida Restaurant – 
Bern’s Steakhouse – Tampa
Ulele – Tampa

Kennedy Investments
3410 Henderson Blvd #200
Tampa, FL 33609


New & Noteworthy iTunes

Thank you to our listeners. The Invest Florida Show has been up for only one month but yesterday we made the New & Noteworthy section on ITunes. This is an accomplishment. Evidently there is an interest for information on making real estate investments in Florida.   Below is a screenshot of a post on Facebook made by one of our listeners

New and Noteworthy itunes

We hope to provide actionable information on investing with a focus on Florida. Podcasting is a terrific medium that enables learning while still pursuing a hectic schedule. Anybody who invests in real estate can certainly attest to hectic schedules.

We will continue to produce quality shows with informative hosts. Please stay with us and grow with us.


EP6 – Sale-Leaseback from a Seller and Investor Perspective

saleleaseback-1024x361A sale-leaseback is when a business entity sells its commercial real estate property to an investor with prearrangement to lease the property to the seller, typically with a long term lease. The business entity receives the market value of the property and gains liquidity, while the investor earns a return on his investment from a credit worthy tenant with a track record and commitment to the property.

Sale-Leasebacks can be a win-win situation for Investors and Sellers.  What type of sellers should consider this structure? What can investors expect and look out for when taking advantage of these opportunities?.

Check out this episode!

EP5 Dan Pepper – 5 Pitfalls of Conducting Due Diligence on Real Estate

Dan Pepper is a young guy with a lot of experience.  He is a value added real estate investor. While he has invested in many different asset classes, his focus is on multifamily Dan Pepper - Tampa, Floridadwellings.  He is going to share with us his 5 biggest pitfalls of conducting reviews of investment properties.  Due Diligence …the nuts and bolts of real estate decisions.

Check out this episode!



Show notes:

Linkedin Profile

Tip for Investors – Asking questions

Advantages of being being a landlord in Florida

Favorite Restaurant – Sally O’Neal’s 

Meaningful Educational Text – 

Dan’s Company – Palm Communities Apartments