Coronavirus PSA (&What to Do as a Landlord)

 

In these ever-changing times, we’ve been updating almost daily on our Facebook page. Check us out here.

We’ve been taking in information from some smart people over at the Dr. Joe Show about protocols and how to handle this virus. Something really important is to let others know who is sick. Don’t keep it on the “DL,” everyone needs to know if they have had contact with someone who tests positive so that they can protect others. Keeping that information secret will not help flatten the curve.

Now, a note to landlords: a lot of our tenants will be losing their jobs soon. How can we handle this? First and foremost, make sure to communicate with them and ask how they are doing. See what you can do to help. Secondly, you should talk about how to proceed in light of the current and near future hardships. Work together to deal with rent and mortgage and be open. Perhaps figure out what they can afford and worry about the rest later.

On a final note, we were a sponsor for the annual Marshfield Education 5K. As a result of this no longer happening, we have a lot of unused Gatorades. Since the virus may come with a heavy bout of dehydration, we would be happy to deliver these extra drinks to anyone in need of them.

If you’re feeling the symptoms, it’s Tylenol, vitamin C and hydration.

While practicing safe spacing, we’re available for your conversations virtually. No obligations. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us by calling (781) 319-1900.

Copyright © 2019 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts.

Coronavirus Federal Relief Scams

 

Beware of financial relief scams! During this time of uncertainty, our elders are especially vulnerable to phone calls from scam artists.

Have conversations with the senior citizens in your life about not falling prey to calls regarding government-issued relief acts, like a check that may come in the mail for them. These calls will ask for banking info, social security info, etc. Remind them the government is never going to call and ask for these things.

Be diligent. Cyber attackers are coming in full force with phishing expeditions to try and fool people. Remind our senior citizens not to give out their info or be taken advantage of. They can be trusting and may believe there’s an honest person on the line.

Also consider they may have already been duped and are too embarrassed to tell anyone. We must keep the vultures at bay in this troubling time.

Phones and email lines are always open over at Stiles Law. If you have any questions about financial relief scams, contact us by calling (781) 319-1900.

Stiles Law, with offices located in Boston and Marshfield, Massachusetts, is a firm concentrating in real estate conveyancing and mortgage lending services, representing buyers, sellers, borrowers, banks, mortgage companies, investors, builders and developers in all of their real estate and mortgage transactions. Stiles Law serves all areas of eastern Massachusetts–the North Shore, Boston, and Cape Cod, in addition to the entire South Shore, including: Plymouth, Kingston, Duxbury, Hanover, Pembroke, Marshfield, Scituate, Norwell, Cohasset, Hull, Hingham, Weymouth, Braintree, and Quincy.

Copyright © 2019 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts.

Historically Low Mortgage Interest Rates!

 

Good news: mortgage interest rates are currently extremely low! Connect with your loan professional find out if it’s a good time to refinance your home. When you refinance your home, you can reduce your payment and/or take cash out which can be used to invest in other real estate or in the market with the help of your financial advisor. If you are in need of help, Stiles Law can help you find a trusted loan professional.

If you already have one, please consider asking them to have Stiles Law handle the closing. We promise to handle the process smoothly and efficiently.

If you have any questions about mortgage interest rates or refinancing your home, contact Stiles Law by calling (781) 319-1900.

Copyright © 2019 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts.

Tip 5 Mistakes of Real Estate Investors

 

If you’re interested in becoming a real estate investor, this video will help you avoid a few common mistakes. The first mistake is when investors rush to fill their property. It is far more expensive to remove an individual from your property than having a vacancy for a month or two. Rushing leads to an improper screening of the tenant.

The second most common mistake is the mishandling of the security deposit you receive from the tenant. It is important to do a walk through of the property with the tenant to address the condition that the property is in. The money that is given to you by your tenant is not your money, it should be held separately in an escrow account under their name and social security number. You are simply holding this deposit for what could potentially be a problem.

Another mistake is understanding that this investment is a business, not a hobby. Your tenants are your customers. A book with great pointers on this topic is “Secrets of a Millionaire Landlord.”

With a business comes a team, having a team is a huge part in this investment. The mistake is made when you believe you can handle an investment alone. Having professionals involved is a key role to this investment. Make sure you have your agent, closing attorney, mortgage professional, financial adviser and CPA lined up for each investment you make.

The number one thing to avoid is fearing the investment. Investors sometimes do not start soon enough, but this is where wealth is created. Do not hesitate! A book to help with this step in getting started is “Rich Dad Poor Dad.”

If you have any questions on becoming a Real Estate Investor, contact Stiles Law by calling (781)319-1900.

Copyright © 2020 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts.

 

 

Opportunity Zones

 

This week, we’re answering another viewers question: “We saw your 1031 Exchange video and really enjoyed it, but what is the deal with these “opportunity zones”?”

In 2017 the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (TCJA) was enacted and introduced the concept of Opportunity Zone Funds. As a real estate investor, it is a huge benefit to understand what an Opportunity Zone Fund is.

This act has created certain zones within our country where they have declared that they need assistance. These are areas with depressed markets: The businesses are down, real estate is down, socioeconomics are down. With that being said, it would be idealistic for an investor or someone who has capital gains to pay, take those capital gains and put them in an equity fund and invest in those areas. If they invest in those areas, their taxes will be deferred. If an individual invests in such funds, for 10 or more years, they eliminate the Capital Gains Tax.

So, when you sell and you have capital gains, you can put those funds into one of these “O-Zone” Equity Funds and distribute within a community.

If you are looking for help in understanding these funds and how they could maximize your overall wealth, contact Stiles Law by calling (781) 319-1900.

Copyright © 2020 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts.

Airbnb Update in the City of Boston

 

Recently. the governor signed legislation in hopes to even the playing field between hotels and short-term rentals. This change is directly affecting investors who have bought multiple condo units to then rent out through AirBnB. Through these multiple purchases, these investors have created a sort of virtual hotel where they have been able to run a central office anywhere, regardless of where their units may be. Despite running their virtual hotel, they have not been paying the same fees and taxes as a traditional hotel. This legislation is aimed to address this issue in hopes to achieve fairness across the board.

Recently, in Boston specifically, Mayor Marty Walsh, signed a bill that pulled back the ability to enter short term rentals. AirBnB initially was unhappy with this, and a lawsuit ensued. Since the lawsuit has been resolved, AirBnB is now enforcing that measure. Ultimately, the new law requires that a person who owns a short-term rental will be restricted to only hosting through their primary residence. AirBnB is now compliant with the city, so if an individual has a property that is not registered with the city, the application will not list it on the AirBnB website.

The restrictions are as follows:
1. If you own a house, you are able to rent out a room of your primary residence.
2. If you own a house and you are going away and during that period you would like to rent out your home, you are able to do this.
3. If you own a two/three family, you are able to rent it out, but are limited to only renting out one of the units.
4. You can only be a host for one property in the city of Boston.

These changes are meant to address Boston’s shortage of apartments to rent. Long-term rental properties are now returning to the market. 2,000-2,300 units are now open for long-term rental, so while this may be detrimental to some investors, it has led to opportunities for others to buy condos.

If you have any questions about renting or purchasing a condominium, contact Stiles Law by calling (781) 319-1900.

Copyright © 2020 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts.