Real Estate and Investment Advice with Adam Surnow

LLL Adam | Real Estate Investing

LLL Adam | Real Estate Investing

 

If you are someone who does not care about what other people say about you, this episode is a real treat. Load up on some hilarious banter plus some great real estate investment advice from Adam Surnow aka The Cranky Jew. This easily irritated real estate investor talks about real estate fundamentals, investment tips, and some humorous chit chat about the things that really piss him off! Prepare to laugh and learn a lot.

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Real Estate and Investment Advice with Adam Surnow

The Cranky Jew Talks Real Estate

I am with a very talented and unique character. He is one of Los Angeles’s real estate top investment gurus and more importantly, he’s known as The Cranky Jew. With those two combined, it’s nothing but laughs, it’s nothing but learning and we’re going to have a few of both, hopefully. Please welcome Adam Surnow. Who gave you the title, The Cranky Jew? Were you a cranky kid?

Cranky is the child version. I’m easily perturbed as an adult. I’m very easily bothered. I’m a guy who likes to live in comfort and small inconsistency in me maintaining comfort, get me cranky. My girlfriend is the one who was like, “You are a bizarre individual. You easily upset over silly stuff.”

You are very much like the Larry David character on Curb Your Enthusiasm. The small, everyday things bother you. How did you know you were cranky? What were your earliest memories, should I say, of feeling cranky or annoyed?

Temperature is a big thing for me. If I walk into a restaurant and it’s pretty warm in there, I have no problem walking up to their thermostat and adjusting it myself if the person in charge is unwilling to help accommodate my need for cooling down. That’s number one. Number two, a silly thing that would happen. I’m in line for a Starbucks coffee and the guy behind me is too close to me. It’s like, “Do you not understand personal space? Back up a few inches. I don’t need you in my ear.” Just silly thing that I notice. “Breathing down my neck? We’re not intimate, so back up.” As life happens and as I have experienced, I learn more about what I don’t like and what I do like. I’m not shy about being vocal about what I don’t like.

When you’ve been in those situations, have you had the restaurant manager or the Starbucks heavy breather react badly to your position on the situation?

There’s more shock in the fact that I’m saying something. People aren’t excited for me to be like, “You want to back up off of my neck? I’m trying to get a latte here. I don’t need that garlic pasta from last night that you ate penetrating my ear. Please, give me a few inches here.” If you have a problem with that, I don’t know what to tell you. I’m sorry. I think that they’re shocked that anyone will ever say anything.

What does the restaurant manager do? Have you ever been kicked out of a restaurant or have you ended up getting in a fight with anyone?

Yes, I only go to about three or four restaurants where I’m comfortable.

They are respecting the Surnow.

There is a foot massage place that I would go to that’s like, “We’ll give you an hour massage,” and it’s $35 or whatever.” You lay there with your clothes, but there are other people around. I am so particular that when I go, I would always make people wash their hands. I need to see them wash their hands. I need them to turn on the air and bring extra fresh towels. When I show up, the lady looks at me, she goes, “This guy, let me go to the air.” She knows. That is my wheelhouse, to be comfortable and have that stuff. It happens.

They see walk in the door and they know what to expect. They accommodate that before you even have to be cranky and say anything. That’s your perfect scenario.

They’ve earned my business for life.

What situations get you in proper trouble though? What gets you more upset faster than maybe other situations besides the heavy breather and the temperature? The things that get your goat up. For me, it’s traffic and bad drivers. Being a European driver, we’re very nippy and we go. We don’t wait. LA drivers, you have to be patient to drive in LA because everybody’s slow. They’re on Southern California time. There’s no urgency here. The European way is if you don’t go, you don’t go.

One thing in particular is the amount of Uber drivers out there. Every Tom, Dick and Harry in a Prius is somehow blocking traffic somewhere. They double park. They don’t know what they’re doing. It’s a mess. I don’t know if that’s a prerequisite to buying a Prius if you have to be a shitty driver, but that’s how it’s been. That’s my experience. One of the things that do bother me every time is the dinner that goes too long. Here’s a situation where it irks me because I’m prevented from doing anything. We’ll be at a group dinner for a friend’s birthday and I’m there with other people.

Terrible drivers who block roads or double park in long boring dinners are what usually test our patience. Click To Tweet

It’s not just me and my girlfriend or me and family. You have to act like an adult. When I’m ready to go, I’ll ask for the check, like, “Can we get the bill?” I’ll stand up and I get looked at. “This guy is such an ass. What’s wrong with this guy? He’s getting up and standing up. He’s ready to go.” I’ll take flak from my girlfriend who’s like, “You can’t act like that because you want to leave.” I have to sit there and be uncomfortable. We ate, we’re done eating, desserts are done and coffee’s done. “Do I have to sit here until I pass away? At what point am I allowed to leave?” If someone doesn’t stand up, we will be here all night.

You’re the stand-up guy.

I’m the guy who stands up. I was like, “I am leaving. If you guys want to stay, by all means, I’m not offended, but I am going home.”

My dad is that guy. When he’s done, he’s done. He doesn’t give a hoot. Who wants to stay until 3:00 in the morning? When he’s done, he’s done. He’s like, “How much more was that to talk about? We’ve gone through the checklist of conversations, your kids, your parents. Work and vacation. What else is left? Are we just doing chit-chat now?” He doesn’t do chit-chat. He feels like he’s done enough chit-chat through entree or should I say appetizer, entree, dessert and coffee. Occasionally in Europe, the cheese trolley. That pushes him over the edge.

Exactly, the experience is complete. We came, we met and we served our purpose. I’m going home. You want to stay here and chat for the next ten hours? Great, but I’m done. I’m out. That’s my capacity.

Besides your girlfriend getting quite annoyed with you, thinking that you’re rude, does the rest of the table or the rest of the guests look at you with that, “How rude,” look?

There are people like my friend’s spouses, relatives or cousins. They’re like, “We can’t believe that he operates like that.” The difference is I don’t care. I don’t care what these people think. It’s more important for me to be able to live my life than to have to bend to accommodate these people who I’ll never see again. What difference does it make to me? I guess that’s not how everyone feels and so I look like a schmo or a jerk because I’m the only one doing it.

Do you think everyone’s got a little too pissy and a little too hypersensitive and so you are still pretty much how people were back in the day before everyone got all the pressures about everything? Do you feel it’s a little out of control now or you are being you? It’s not even about the hypersensitivity or being too pissy. It’s not even about that.

It’s not about being pissy. It’s either may be bad manners or selfishness. I do things like that to make myself comfortable. I don’t fare well outside of my comfort zone. If I can do something or bring something up or discuss something that makes me feel more comfortable, I’m more pleasant to be around and I’m more comfortable internally.

Even if it’s at the detriment of everyone else’s discomfort.

It’s all about me.

It’s your way or the highway we’re talking about here.

I have noticed or people around me have noticed if I’m in a bad way or if I’m uncomfortable, if I’m miserable, it affects the rest of the group. I have some friends that are okay. They know how I operate and so we’ll have a quick dinner. I have no problem getting up in a movie that sucks and walking right out. Why do I need to donate two hours of my life? If by minute nineteen I don’t want to do it, I’m out.

How does that bode well in relationships or friendships? As the girl in the relationship, I would be like, “You’re leaving me in the bed?” After a while, you either have to say like what you said and accept you for who you are and say, “That’s how he is.” If he needs to get up and leave, “I’ll see you at home,” or stay and do what you want to do. Is there that constant resentment over, “I hate leaving dinner parties early all the time? Why do I have to leave early because you want to?”

LLL Adam | Real Estate Investing
Real Estate Investing: For most people, living life as you want is more important than to bend to accommodate people who you won’t see again or won’t be making any difference in your life.

 

I think it’s a compromise. That’s tough for a relationship. It’s a compromise.

You don’t compromise.

I’m getting there. I’m learning to compromise. Otherwise, I’ll be alone. I’ll be that old angry, alone Jew by himself. The Old Alone Jew is going to be the new nickname.

Where did this start? Were you were one of many siblings? How many siblings do you have? Did you come from a big family?

Yes, I have two younger sisters, but we grew up with my cousins. We have a huge extended family. It’s big. Our Thanksgiving is like 62 people or something.

Are you used to be in that scenario and childhood where it was never about you and now it can be about you? You’re making it about you or was it always you were the firstborn superior child, firstborn spoiled so you got your way a bit more? What’s the therapy play here? Were you cranky as a kid or you got worse as you got older?

No, I was cranky as a kid, but I got worse as I got older because I started to be able to make my own decisions. As a kid, your parents direct you. They were like, “You’re going to Hebrew school or you’re going here or you’re doing this.” I didn’t have much choice. When I became an adult, I get to choose what I want to do or say or where I want to go. A great example is you don’t have to go to every wedding you get invited to.

Are they not going to be pissed off?

You can get invited to 50 weddings. Because you’re invited, you’re obligated to go. I feel like we lose choice. It’s like, “You should go because that person is this or whatever.” What if I don’t want to? I’m happy to provide a gift, no problem, but no, I didn’t do it. I got to sit there and talk to people I don’t know all night and say, “I do the same. How are you doing? It’s terrible to see you again.”

What is your excuse when your friends go, “Why are you not coming to my wedding? You went to this guy’s wedding, why are you not coming to mine?” Do they know that’s it’s a matter of, I don’t feel like it? I’m trying to figure out the brainpower and the way you work these things out. I’m trying to get deep here.

Let me know if you figure that out. I’d love to see the inner workings.

Every therapist around the world is going, “He’s just perfect.”

You can save me a lot of therapy. Let me be clear. For a good friend or a close family member, it’s a no brainer, but through an acquaintance or somebody maybe you’re not so close with, that’s nice that they invited me, but I think I’m going to take a pass or whatever. I think that you find that relationship line and draw that boundary. Certain people get offended if I don’t show up or I say something. There have been times where I’ll say something that can be taken offensively and then I got a call that my buddy’s wife. I’ll often put my foot in my mouth.

You’ve got to do damage control.

Know what you know and what you don’t know. Click To Tweet

Yes, that’s not the fun part. That’s what I say about relationships is like, “You guys are living together? The move-in is much better than the move-out.” That’s like, “We landed in Vegas. We’re on our way to the hotel. A lot different vibe than Sunday morning, you’re driving to the airport to leave Vegas.” It is a different scenario.

There is a whole different mood, whole different vibe altogether. Talking of crossing the line, where has that been a moment where you even you’ve said, “I crossed the line there. I was a little too rude. I was a little too confident sharing my discomfort with everyone else.” Has there been a couple of lines crossed that even you could admit?

Yes.

Can you give me some stories or examples?

Most of the time, it’s amongst the wrong company. If I would act as though I was with a group of really close friends, but maybe there was this one close friend and the rest were acquaintances or something. I can’t think of an example off the top of my head, but I say something that he’s laughing at and loving and they are not laughing. Then I was like, “What’s going on here? What happened? I don’t think that this took.”

This thing didn’t go down too well, maybe like a ton of bricks.

It’s like back paddling. It was like, “Wrong crowd.”

We know to stay away from you when we see you in the traffic. Are you the guy that screams out the window, “What’s going on?” Are you that guy or are you talking to yourself the majority of the time?

I’ve got to do a little meditation to stay calm when driving and not freak out, especially here in LA. Unless someone does something pretty substantial, I’m usually pretty cool about it. It sucks to sit in traffic, but we have Howard Stern on the radio and we have an interesting podcast.

That’s not going to help you with all that moaning.

A bunch of dick jokes. It keeps me occupied.

It keeps you from getting yourself worked up probably. Have you figured out besides meditation, because you can’t sit there and close your eyes while you’re in traffic, obviously? Have you figured out ways that’s a trigger point for you and that you go, “Adam, you’re going to get rolled up, this is going to send you over the edge, do this right now,” whatever it may be? Do you find yourself in a conscious place where you’d know it’s a trigger spot and you’d tell yourself to stop or is it just verbal diarrhea? Once you get to that point, you can’t stop. It keeps flowing.

Yes, it’s one giant Lexapro every single morning. I have to call myself out when I’m getting to that point where I’m getting frustrated or upset and realized that, “You have no control over traffic, number one, and number two, what is being upset going to do? Is it going to make the cars move any faster? Don’t let this ruin your day. It’s such an insignificant thing.” That’s how I transgress into a better state of mind.

Does it ruin your day when one thing annoys you? Are you one of those that hold on it or you can flip a switch quite quickly? You can get it all out and then you’re good to go twenty minutes later.

LLL Adam | Real Estate Investing
Real Estate Investing: Instead of buying a home, put your money into something that is going to give you cashflow.

 

It depends on the scenario. A fight with a girlfriend, I’m good at shutting that off. Certain business things as it relates to work and finance, it’s harder to shut off. I’m in-between stage. I’m in between stage. There are some I can’t, some I can. I’m learning as I go through life how to get better at having a right or the correct balance for that.

Talking about business and finance, which is the industry that Adam is in. We work together in our real estate world. Adam is on the investment side of things and the money guy, as I like to call him. Let’s tell the readers of the things at work that annoy you. Let’s start with what gets your goat up. What things happen on a daily basis that annoys you? For me, it’s incompetence, working with other agents or working with people that are stupid. It drives me insane.

One of the main things that grind my gears is a good way to say it, is when I’m dealing with individuals that are know-it-alls. I’m a big believer in know what you know and know what you don’t know. I know that there are things I am not good at, but I recognize that and I don’t pretend to be good at that. I delegate that. I put myself into a situation where I trust someone else to handle those items because that’s not where I shine. When I’m dealing with somebody who pretends or puts off a persona to be an expert in all aspects of the business, that annoys me because chances are they know very little about a lot of things versus the lot about a couple of things. That’s one of the things that becomes a challenge in my day-to-day.

How do you like working with Jane and me? We do look at you like a little cranky brother. Little cranky bro, let’s make sure we get him the money. Let’s make sure we get him the money back should I say, because you bring off the money, but bring the money back and get you a good profit and a good return. If we feel like we’ve achieved that, then when we feel like we’re in good Adam mode. You’ve got two other siblings. Are they sisters or brothers?

I have two sisters. It’s the same dynamic at work as it is at home. We love each other, but we can fight like cats and dogs. We don’t always have to agree, but we trust each other. I try and do my part and I know that you guys are good at your part. I have to trust that that happens. Sometimes, I’m like, “What are these dingbats doing?” It works out. Other times, I know you’re not listening to me or I’m not listening to you.

It’s true. There are occasions where we do ignore you. We look at each other and we go, “Should we ignore him? He’s having a moment. We’ll give him a minute.”

It’s all about understanding how each other operates. Give him a matzo ball soup and some air conditioning, in ten minutes he’s going to feel great.

He’s going to be fine. It’s all about the temperature and doesn’t make him sit down for too long a period. We know the attention span we’re working with. Women love to yap and go into detail on and I can see the look in the face from you, where you’re like, “Wrap this up.” You got one foot out the door already with you. I know when you put up, you have your computer bag. I know that’s the sign.

That’s it. That’s my sign off, “All right, I’m out.”

We could be in full conversation and he’s gone. We’ll turn around me and Jane are in full chit-chat mode. Let’s get the lessons or better have some education. How are the markets? How are the interest rates? Let’s get a row with all the business. Is it a good time to buy a house? Is it a good time to invest in anything? Give us layman terms, please. Adam is very good at what he does and half the time, it’s a whole different weld of terminology, the world of finance. Give me layman terms, please, for us layman folks.

I think that interest rates are low. They’ve dropped a little bit too recently, which is nice. It depends on what your goals are. If your goals are to own a home, that’s okay.

Let’s start with that. Should I keep renting or shall I buy? Explain to the readers how it works, the interest rates. When the interest rate drops, does that mean the economy’s doing well? Does that mean it’s time to wait a minute? Give people the basic, general overall feel of the economy when interest rates go up and down? What are the signs to look for?

If interest rates go down, it means that it’s cheaper to borrow money. If interest rates go up, it’s more expensive to borrow money. With low-interest rates, you could borrow money for less money. If you borrowed $1 million, we’ll call it, maybe it costs you 3.8%. Next year, maybe that same million dollars will cost you 4.5%. Your payment becomes higher for that same loan. Now you’re able to afford a more expensive home with that payment. For instance, if you said, “I want to buy a house. I can afford to pay $5,000 a month for my mortgage.” Maybe that buys you a house that’s $1.3 million, but next year if interest rates go up, it may only buy you a house that’s $900,000. That’s the difference in how interest rates affect you as a buyer.

I think inventory is different in different parts of town. I’m familiar with LA. I’m not super intimately familiar with other markets or parts of the country. If your goal is to become a homeowner and you want to own a home, it’s a great time to buy because your cost of debt, your cost of the loan is less. If you’re looking to invest, I’m one of the few people. There’s another guy named Grant Cardone, who’s a real estate guru guy. He’s one of the only other people that I’ve found that believes that what I’m about to say next is, “I wouldn’t buy a home. I would take that money and put that investment money into something that is going to cashflow for me.” In other words, if I had $200,000 I was going to put as a down payment and I could afford my mortgage payment every month. If it were me, I would take that and put it into a duplex or a four-unit apartment building or something that is going to rent and produce income for me because to me, that’s a better long-term investment to make money on.

Try and team up with people who have done the things that you want to learn to do instead of learning by yourself and making mistakes. Click To Tweet

The argument might be, “Aren’t you paying a fortune and throwing money down the drain by renting yourself every month? You’re not getting that rental back.

That’s correct. You’re not getting that rental back. What you’re getting is tax benefits from owning real estate. You’re getting income from a rental property, one of which you could move into one of the units if you wanted to. You’re building an appreciation in an asset and paying down debt. It’s a little bit different. That’s not the play for everybody, but for people that are interested in investing in real estate, I would say that that’s a good strategy as opposed to buying a house. There’s more than one way to skin the cat. Everybody is different. It’s unique to your situation. I’m a big believer in doing what you can now to set yourself up for success in the future as it relates to income. Having cashflow and having these properties that are sending you checks every month and not having to work so hard when you’re older. I don’t want to work this hard when I’m 70 years old.

Can we even drop that to 50 or 60?

In eighteen months, I’d like to retire. I got to figure out what I’m retiring from.

LA, as they say, is the most under-housed city in the country. There’s a lot of people here and not a lot of inventory. There’s more demand than there is supply. In those circumstances, sellers are in a very great position to probably get a lot more money from their assets, their properties than in a buyer’s market. Do you think that buyers are overpaying here in the LA market, hence another reason for you promoting the stay renting theory?

Yes and no. You know from all the business that you do and the people you represent that one of the challenges is if I own a home here now and I bought it twenty years ago for $300,000 and it’s worth $1.9 million, I can go sell it and make my money. I got to overpay for the next house I buy. As an individual, I need to make the best decision for myself. That’s with the help of people like you. I think that there is less opportunity for developers now because the market has become so hot.

Everybody is a house flipper, have you noticed?

Yeah and that is one of the things that I would caution folks against is trying to do everything yourself. If you want to get involved in a house flip, there’s a great opportunity out there. There’s plenty of larger scaled companies that do them that would allow people, regular folks, to invest alongside them, which we accommodate as well. I would caution people against going out and doing it themselves and trying it, unless you have a lot of money to burn and you don’t care if it works or not.

What are the biggest mistakes you see people make that think, “How hard can it be?” What are the top three mistakes people make over and over again?

They’re not educated well enough on what can go wrong and how to fix that. Somebody buys a house and was like, “I’m going to repaint. I’m going to move to two walls.” When you open up the wall, there’s asbestos in there. The roof you didn’t know had holes in it and is leaking. Your foundations all screwed up. Now, this person who had no construction experience and just wanted to try it out has all his money at risk. Now he has to put more good money after bad to get out of the deal. Either they didn’t do the right inspections or their workmanship wasn’t good, so they hired a general contractor and the general contractor screwed up. They can’t get a hold of them. The whole construction process is its own business. To not have any experience and to try dive into it yourself is pretty scary. It elevates the risk profile of your investment tremendously. I would encourage people to try and team up with a group that’s done a bunch of them or someone that they know and trust that’s in the business or a reputable company. To go out there and try it out, you got to get really lucky to be able to make that work.

What I’ve found as well is that the biggest mistakes I see people make are they don’t buy well to start with. Unless you get such an amazing deal, which there’s very few in LA anymore, most people due to the internet and Zillow, Redfin and all these online sources are at people’s fingertips. They are not relying on one real estate agent anymore to give you all the information and accurately. Now you’re taking guesstimates and estimates and they are not true numbers. I find that people aren’t getting as good a deal as they may think on the buy-side.

The biggest mistake I see people make as they completely over capsulized because they personalize the remodel. Nobody wants a fish tank in the entryway. Nobody wants it. They haven’t wanted a fish tank six foot by six foot for the last 100,000 years. Nobody wants shocking pink painted walls. There are certain personal things people do and put in a house that’s supposed to be flipped and should be neutral that they do because they like. They go spend a fortune on some cosmetic thing that is unnecessary and does not make a difference to the end selling price whether you have it in the house or not.

You have to keep in mind when you’re doing home. You’re not building your own home. This isn’t your dream home. Unless, of course, you’re in the super high-end market and you bought a piece of land for $20 million. You’re spending another $20 million on the home and you’re going to sell it for $100 million. That’s a different story. For the typical guy trying to flip a house or a person trying to flip a house, you’re not building everything state of the art and beautiful and high end and that you would want. You have to stay general and as neutral as you possibly can.

Not only that, but also know your demographic of when and how much you’re going to sell it for before you start the work. If you buy a $500,000 house in that area, no matter how many upgrades you put into it and how much work you on doing at it, the cap in that area or that street is $800,000. Don’t spend more than $300,000. The basic math people forget about.

LLL Adam | Real Estate Investing
Real Estate Investing: When the interest rates are low, consider refinancing your mortgage and get your monthly payments down. Go back to your lender or loan officer. You are allowed to renegotiate.

 

All of your money is made in the buy. If you’re buying correctly, you’re okay. If you’re overpaying for your acquisition, that’s when things get tricky and your margins get real thin. As you said, it’s not easy to steal property. It’s got to be through relationships and people like you who have a tremendous amount of off-market projects that come past your desk. That’s the relationship side and the acquisition is worth its weight in gold.

I believe that sometimes you make more money by sitting in the house that you have and fixing it up over time but fixing it up well. What I see a lot of as well as people do these Band-Aid repair jobs. “I’m going to sell the house in five years. I’ll do a quick fix on that plumbing.” What happens is they’ve done all these little Band-Aid repair jobs without a permit, without somebody who’s being licensed. Then they go to sell their house. Sometimes, they don’t even know they’re going to have to sell their house and something happens in the family or your life. Things happen sometimes. The unexpected events which force you to have to sell your house for whatever reason and now suddenly, you’ve got these houses on the market. You think you’ve hung onto it for five, ten, fifteen years.

You should have an amazing amount of appreciation in this house. You’re to get a nice return out of it and then suddenly the new buyer starts doing inspections on this house because of all your little Mickey Mouse Band-Aid jobs you have done. Instead of doing a proper plumbing repair and a proper electrical repair, now they come back and you’ve saved yourself a couple of thousand dollars here and there. Now, you’re left with a $20,000 plumbing bill because it was not done to code, was done unpermitted, and without a licensed contractor and now you are paying ten times more than what you should have done to start with.

There are areas where you can dial it back and areas where you shouldn’t. You need to know those before you get into a project. It was like, “Where can I value engineer this budget? Where should I spend the big dollars to make sure that the house is secure and sound and I’m not exposing myself to potential liabilities down the road?

It’s the fundamentals, I would have to advise like plumbing, electrical, HVAC and foundation. Those things, once they need repairing or if they’re done incorrectly, are super pricey items that are hard to go back and redo afterwards. A roof, you can fix a roof, you can put a new roof on every night. That’s not the end of the world, but the workings of the house are where you see people cut corners all the time and it comes back and bites them in the butt.

I know people firsthand who have not gotten a sewer line inspection and realize that, “Our sewer’s 80 years old is the line that takes us from the house to the street.” You have to replace that and it’s like $18,000 or $30,000 even sometimes. When you’re doing a renovation, that’s a huge number to try and work into your budget if you didn’t have it. That could be 10% to 20% sometimes of your entire construction budget.

Be mindful of all of those aspects and always think about what happens if I have to sell the house tomorrow? How’s it going to look? Always keep that in the back of your mind, I would say.

That’s how I look at every single investment. Anyone can divvy up or split up the upside and say, “This is going to be great. That’s awesome.” If everyone’s making money, that’s awesome. No problems, but how do I get out of this thing? When I go into a project, the first thing I think about is if I need to sell this tomorrow, how do I get out? At what number? How does the process look? What am I doing to salvage our investor money and not lose money? I’m okay if we don’t make money, but I don’t want to lose principals. How do I protect that? What does that look like?

Is it rentable? The market’s changing. You can never predict how the market is going to be from six months to twelve months or however long. If you’re going to buy whether it’s your primary residence, the house you want to live in, or like Adam’s saying, an investment property, always say to yourself, before you buy, God forbid I can’t sell this and I need to get out, can I rent it? Is it in a decent area? Is it near a school?” Ask yourself those questions.

What is my cost for this property? What can I rent it at? Does it cover itself? Is it going to cost me some money? Another thing that’s worth mentioning that I think a lot of people don’t realize or don’t think about it. During a downturn, people can easily get concerned and in fear about the housing market is going down. My house isn’t worth what I thought it was worth. Unless you’re looking to buy, sell refinance or you lose your income, it doesn’t affect you. If you bought your house for $1 million now and in three years, the housing market isn’t where it is, but you’re still employed, you still have your loan. You’re not looking to refi your loan or you’re not looking to buy a place or sell, what difference does that make what your house is worth? It doesn’t affect you unless you’re looking to be in the market. People forget that and oftentimes get themselves all worked up. Yes, they own a home but they’re not in the market to do anything. Here’s what the value is. You can afford your mortgage, you’re paying for it and you’re employed, it’ll come back.

Hopefully, your rate is locked in and you’re good to go. Bear in mind, if your rate isn’t locked in and the interest rates are low, now is the time to think about looking at a refi. Maybe you can get your monthly’s down. People always forget that because you’re locked into something. I get into that, whether it’s a small $9.99 Netflix subscription every month or whatever you have on auto-pay. You are always allowed to renegotiate and you’re always allowed to change it up. When it comes to your big bill of the month, which for most people is your rent or your mortgage, obviously, your rent is non-negotiable once you sign a lease agreement. If you’re in a house and you’ve got a locked-in rate, go back to your lender, go back to your loan officer and say, “What’s the situation?” It might be a $250 penalty to change it. That’s it, but it could save you $500 a month.

That’s exactly right and interest rates move. Even if they move a little bit, it can save you tremendously on your monthly payment.

We could talk for hours and hours and we’re going to have Adam back on soon. If you have any suggestions or have any specific topics or specific conversations or questions that you have for Adam, you can always send them our way and we’ll forward them on. Otherwise, Adam, why don’t you start out your social or your website or any information if people have any questions for you?

If you have any questions for me, my Instagram is @MyCrankyJew or @ASurnow. I’m happy to interact with anybody or answer questions. All I can share with you is my experience. I hope it was worth something.

If it wasn’t, you’ve got some crankiness. You got a little bit of crankiness in your day-to-day.

If it wasn’t, keep watching. Somebody eventually will be able to relate too.

Thanks so much to Adam for joining us. We’ll have him back on again soon, as I mentioned. You can like and send any comments your way, @LaLaLandedPodcast on Instagram or Facebook at La La Landed and of course, at LaLaLanded.com with all information. Once again, thank you so much for joining us and a big thank you to my special guest, The Cranky Jew himself, Mr. Adam Surnow. It is always a pleasure, Adam.

Important Links:

About Adam Surnow

LLL Adam | Real Estate InvestingAbout ARS Management Inc.

ARS Magagement Inc. was founded in May 2014 by Adam Surnow. Since inception, ARS has focused on acquiring well-positioned long term hold investment properties as well as single-family home development opportunites in Los Angeles, CA and Houston, TX. Since 2014, ARS has successfully purchased and currently manages five long term hold commercial properties and completed almost a dozen single-family home developments.
Adam Surnow

President, ARS Management Inc.

Adam brings over 10 years of commercial real estate experience to his role at ARS Management Inc. As President of the company, Adam is responsible for sourcing new opportunities, developing JV relationships and managing investor capital. He is also responsible for underwriting deals and keeping a close eye on current market conditions. He works directly with investors, lenders and joint venture partners to ensure the successful completion of each project.

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