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The broken refinancing process

We’re currently in the process of refinancing three properties, with another due to begin shortly. Think we will end up refinancing another 8-10 during 2018. Over time, as our portfolio grows, I expect we’ll be rolling refis constantly. And, I have to tell you: The prospect terrifies me. The financing process is broken. It’s totally

Small-scale, in-fill development blues

Everyone should read this article in today’s NY Times, which goes into great depth about the problems associated with in-fill development in coastal CA. My experience with the ground-up deal we just completed was similar. No lawsuits, but it did take nearly a year to get permits to add four units to an existing duplex,

My on-going pain in the ass

In general, I find managing apartments to be the most painful thing we do. No one calls up his landlord to thank her when everything is great in the apartment. But when something goes wrong, it’s like you just killed the person’s dog. So, why do we continue to manage, rather than outsourcing? Well, the

Dealing with vacant lots

Yesterday, Curbed described Long Beach’s attempt to beautify the city by placing a $55 annual surcharge on vacant lots. The argument is that the fee will be used to pay for monitoring these lots, which can be magnets for blight and misbehavior. This fee does not go anywhere near far enough. At a time when

Why we’re keeping an eye on oil pricing

One of the mysteries of the present growth cycle is how rents have continued to grow at a rate exceeding wages. One partial / possible explanation is that, in contrast to previous growth cycles, the advent of US-based fracking has kept energy prices surprisingly low, leaving more cash in the pockets of potential renters. So,

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