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Non-Tech : Investing in Real Estate - Creative Opportunities

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To: John Vosilla who wrote (2701)2/7/2021 6:39:35 PM
From: renovator  Read Replies (2) of 2718
By rights, I should change my SI moniker, as I am a former renovator, I switched careers 14 years ago, to property claims adjuster. The bulk of my claims are in the NYC tri-state area except whenever I go out for an extended storm event.

I can confirm that landlords, small and large, are getting killed in the area. I have had numerous claims in large full floor office spaces where I was the only one in 3200-4000 sq ft surveying damage. The building managers tell me they are technically at close to full occupancy but that very little use is being made of the spaces and even less rent is being paid. As commercial leases end they are not being renewed and there is now a vast overflow of available commercial sub-let space in NYC. However, that is not exactly the case in the suburbs. I just had a claim the other day in a close-in suburban city with a landlord who owns many small retail buildings, some on commercial avenues and others small strip mall locations. He said they have been very successful re-leasing quickly after business blow up since Covid. Restaurants being the exception, but his firm has been reworking those spaces for straight retail or light office professional space.

On the other hand, even in the suburbs, the small residential rental claims I have are a very different story. I have had lots of claims where there is significant deferred maintenance and extensive back rent. Nobody knows when these will be subject to evictions, but it appears absolute that there will be a brutal slash and burn event whenever the protections cease. If that gets pushed out too far there will be a ton of small landlord foreclosures.

An unfortunate part of my work lately is the number of folks who have cut way back on policies or have let them lapse.

To John's point about a bubble--I have been seriously looking to leave NYC anyway, and particularly lately. I have thoroughly researched several markets within 1-1 1/2 hours of NYC, as my work is much more profitable here, in spite of traffic, parking, and every other NYC annoyance--bike lanes! Residential property in North Jersey, Rockland and Orange counties in NY has been extremely active and up a solid 25% across the board in the past year. Very quick market. I have lots of family up around Rochester, NY, where I grew up, and occasionally look that market over and it is similar with lower price points, but extremely active. My niece, a very well paid RN, has been shut out of several properties the first day of the listing by over-ask offers there.

To make matters worse, my wife hails from Austin, TX, and we have considered making that move several times over the years, put off by the serious cut-back in income we foresaw. That city has been on a wild run and standard ranch homes I considered in South Austin 10 years ago went from $200's then to $300's couple of years back and are now pushing $400's. The crappy ones are now close to $300k. Sheesh!

I see smaller, but still significant, changes in markets like Wilmington NC, where I got to know it well after Hurricane Florence in 2018 and note a significant rise in prices since then.
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