Your Bigger Picture, and ‘Life Changes’

What does that tag line ‘Your Bigger Picture’ on our business card mean exactly? It includes taking a larger perspective on your home sale, first home purchase, vacation home or relocation, and your investment rentals & flips.Anibal-Affiliates-RealtyNetWorth-Lake-Shannon-duck-in-water-1.1

You see, there is indeed a ‘bigger picture’. After this many years in the business I’ve accumulated many stories – good & not so much – of considering a broader point of view. Its not all money. Its not all ‘I want’. Being such a large and potentially emotionally loaded transaction, I really like to mix in some ‘heart to heart’ moments should they possibly help. And really, a caring ear and some outside eyes that have ‘been there/ done that’ may save some heartache later, and hopefully bring some rewards of great ‘future memories’ yet to be made.

The holidays can bring heavy hearts for some. If not you, I still encourage you to make yourself a bit more informed so you might have a bit of empathy to pass along. Hence, I’m posting up an article that has nothing to do with real estate, and yet, many will need to sell and move at a time of ‘change’ such as passing of a loved one. If that’s you or a friend or family member, rest assured I’ll be as patient as possible, and give extra care through the ordeal of a move. Blessings!

When is it time to sell? For everyone its different. Frequently we begin to consider relocating when:

  • We become ’empty nesters’
  • We retire
  • A major change in health of one or more homeowners
  • Loss of spouse
  • New opportunities

Really, there is the possibility for great strife in moving, even for young and strong.



Assisting with the sale of an Elderly / Retired Person’s home.

When is it time to sell? For everyone its different. Frequently we begin to consider relocating when:

  • We become ’empty nesters’
  • We retire
  • A major change in health of one or more homeowners
  • Loss of spouse
  • New opportunities

Really, there is the possibility for great strife in moving, even for young and strong. So much more are the concerns and emotions as the years go by and we have been in one location longer.

Great care needs to be given in how and who assists in the orchestration of relocating those in our circles of great value, that being a mom, dad, neighbor, aunt, uncle, or dear older friend. You should be ready to give acknowledgement to:

  • Someones increasing physical &/or mental fragility.
  • Their great reluctance to surrender not only the home but so many personal treasured items that may need to be sorted through, sold, donated, or lovingly adopted by others.

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“The house was a symbol of her independence. She was extremely frightened to let it go,” one person said in helping a senior with her real estate transaction.

Nearly 40 % owners over 65 haven’t moved in over 30 years. “For an older person, a home represents their life story.” its been said. Think of holiday gatherings, dinners, or a wall of photos.

There is destination/ relocation planning, tax considerations, seasonal timing to avoid bad weather, coordination of helpers, the list goes on. This is a time to pick a real estate professional with a skill set that fits the situation, think compassion, some experiences with older persons – perhaps an immediate family member(s), and related wisdom is of extra benefit if not sometimes crucial. e.g.:

  • In our office one of my assistants is a retired hospice care nurse – has worked with challenging situation involving medical needs and interaction with the children.
  • My 96 year old mother was recently relocated to a elder care residence after being independent at a Florida condo for many years. We needed to coordinate 3 children in 3 states to assist in the challenging process.
  • We’ve assisted many clients & their family with referrals regarding estate planning, and income tax planning/ filings.

Here are a few suggestions for the children of seniors who want to assist their parents in making a smooth move:


  • Show sensitivity when helping seniors sort through their possessions.
  • Be careful before committing to the sale of your parents’ extra belongings. Instead, your parents might prefer to donate their extra belongings to a charity they respect, such as the Goodwill or Salvation Army.
  • Consider showcasing certain select items at your parents’ next home. The display can also serve to jog fading memories or to spur conversations with visitors.

Buying a house site unseen. Would you?

Yes, I’ve helped folks buy ‘site unseen’. This article is condensed but has some of the basics.

Online photos aren’t enough!
Here’s my ‘must do’ list:

  1. Use a local buyer agent that is on retainer/ agreement with you, not just the seller side.
    • I’d advise using a broker that will give you a referral from a client that used said broker more than once!
  2. Go ‘live’ on your walk thru. Interactive, voice/ video, tour in real time with your agent (broker) ‘on the ground’.
  3. Have an inspector give you feedback. Again, best if your broker/agent is live.
  4. Get your trades person that may do upgrades after purchase to give you pre-offer insights in the same way.
  5. Solicit immediate and local area videos – real time again is great. Good to do this during a busy weekend evening.
  6. View map from above. LOOK for train tracks, land fills, factories, freeways, etc etc…. look look look.
  7. Call: local utility for ‘estimate of usage’ for an idea of how weather tight the home is.

Real estate bubbles, strategies, and the current market

Are we in a bubble market ? Just read from one of my favorite bloggers who boasts: “15 Anibal-Affiliates-RealtyNetWorth-LakeShannon-why-I-sell-lakefront-young-couple-at-sunsetflips currently in progress. 126 flips completed. 15 rentals properties. Follow me to see how I make money in any market cycle.” So here’s the excerpt & my ‘reply’:

  • “…Low-money-down loans have been available for decades, and that is not what caused the housing crash. Really bad loans to people who should not buy houses is what caused the housing crisis. …”
  • reply: I’m presuming this is a ‘cliff notes’ take on the market since we can’t dispense all knowledge in a post. But my quick 2 cents. As a 2nd generation broker/investor/finance degree holder, bad loans where just a part of the problem. We had funds flowing out of other ‘under performing’ investments…e.g: $’s tend to move from CDs to collectables to stocks to real estate, etc. Further, and this makes the topic more of a localized thing, wages must support prices. Las Vegas had speculators running up prices but buyers weren’t all from out of town so prices couldn’t be sustained. Here in NW Detroit suburbs, we are seeing a lot of new industry coming in and hence price strength above what might be healthy in other parts of MI.

The article goes on to say how the market is not at a bubble stage. I think that greatly oversimplifies. So whats the point I’m making? As in Ecclesiastes 3 “To Everything There is a Season.” With-in 30 miles of each other, I have client investments of which 1 area I feel should be liquidated asap as the appreciation has come fast and peaked, the other could be held for a taxpayer that needs deferred income and no cash flow now, but if cash flow is needed move on. In other words:

  • Look at: investor needs (cash, retirement savings, …)
  • Investor tax situation
  • Investor has more time and abilities or more cash to throw at the portfolio mix
  • General economy but also local economic outlook…. very important.

This isn’t like buying a candy bar.

This is not an offer of a guaranteed return. Always do your due diligence before investing.

Let Me Share A Secret. (aka: Realty Relocations & Referrals)

Let Me Share A Secret.

Real estate nationwide relocation referrals moving

Just read a post about ‘The secret life of Realtor Referrals’. It was something like: ‘oh let me “help” you…you’ll get nothing and I get $$!’ kind of an article.

Phooey to that noise. It didn’t, so we shall, discuss ‘the better way‘.

Here’s MY Secret:

When using the referral process, ask:

  1. What will YOU get/give ?
  2. What will I get/give?
  3. What will THEY get/give?

There should be an obvious ‘WIN/ WIN’ situation, or move on.

For 3 decades my philosophy has always been, if I can’t get for you more than what I get in return, I have nothing to offer – have a good day.

  • A typical broker/agent has no mechanism in place to assist you in the referral/ relocation process, except what they’ll get financially from another office.
  • Further, and what the article skipped over, is the ‘relocation companies’ as well as sites like ‘Estately’. These tend to be mechanisms to, for example, simply grab front page search results and sell the leads to agents. Zillow, Adwerx, and Trulia do similar things but in a ‘flat up front fee’ way.
  • Franchise offices ? Here you get a referral from something more akin to an AutoZone auto parts store sending you to another AutoZone. Fine for auto parts. (Our local NON-FRANCHISE auto parts store actually suggests referrals to shops they have no affiliation with! Yeah !) Again, its often a ‘no services added’ fee. Just keeping the profits in-house, right?

How do you suppose these scenarios affect the transaction without producing a better result ? Well, the brokers/agents I speak with usually have the ‘I pay them X% for what?!!!’ The broker/agents that do take referrals tend to place the lead & client in a lower service level than organically derived customers.


Here’s my detailed secret, via (yes, a shameless sell), I offer the upfront ‘ugly’ work that should be done by BOTH the person(s) being referred, and the brokerage/agent that will be on the ‘short list’ given to my customer/client that I’m working to forward a file with. Yessir, service for expected fee – novel eh? A buyer/seller needs to be ‘hardened off’ into reality – no agent likes this up front aspect of the realty experience. Further, agents should be screened….drilled and grilled AND be held accountable thereafter. Accountable is of value we the referral comes from a fellow pro much more so then if it comes from your friend or neighbor – after all, will it matter to the agency on receiving end vs. the result will matter A LOT to both the forwarding agency (in this case US), AND the receiving real estate agency.

So what’s my best sell when someone says ‘well, I can just do it myself and save’. Not really, there is NO cost to my clients getting referred and there can be maaaany rewards. AND, yes indeed, I have multiple times used other offices services in the same way I tell clients to use mine – all for the same reasons ! We used to call that “Practice What You Preach”.

All of my LinkedIn articles:

Its been a great summer

  • Its been a privilege assisting customers and clients this summer.20160816182131
  • Its not too late … Shall we grab a bite and discuss YOUR situation ?

Fireplace Makeover With Details and Before and After Pictures

What these folks did with a large brick fireplace to make it look more modern is quite exceptional considering neither had carpentry experience (so they say).

“Do you have a fireplace that is an outdated eyesore?  Here is how we updated ours without removing a single brick.Picture1[1]

Going to work on houses ? Work on relationship first.

Many times I’ve actually discourage married couples from building new, buying a fixer upper, or ‘taking a shot’ and investing. Why? Because financial stress can devastate a home and I’ll not take a commission at the expense of a marriage. Yes, I’ve even studied family counseling for years because of the stress that comes with large life changes – like real estate transactions! So I found this very refreshing – just saw this article about how these folks have a date night each week with no business allowed.

I think I’ve heard this story before, they like to rehab homes, he can move the walls, she can add the flair, they don’t do TV but prioritize Christ. Wasn’t sure whether to put this on my site or on our real estate page.

When is the time to buy – no really.

Graphic shows when to be a buyer and when to be a seller.


I’ve used basic timing as part of a strategy to quickly add equity & net worth to clients portfolios for decades.

There is more here than just basic info, e.g. your timing will be different based on if you are a 1st time buyer, move up buyer, scaling down seller, etc. Market timing isn’t the only consideration, but it is a big one.

The results are in … EOY 2015 ‘Fixer Upper’ Return On Investment

So what can one actually expect when they purchase an ‘in-place’ real Image1estate investment ? Well here are numbers from picked & rehabbed properties we’ve set up and mange for an active portfolio client.

Active client of ours? Request a copy of the below spreadsheet to compare your investments year to year & within your portfolio. This can assist in planning ‘which to keep’ vs ‘which to cut loose’.

  • Non-clients: ‘Remote in’ installation & setup available, or stop in – you don’t even need to bring your laptop.

Anibal Affiliates Inc Realty Net Worth Fixer Upper results for 2015

In pdf format BOY_Letter_RNW_2016_01_01_sideB

NEXT YR 2016 results

This is not an offer of a guaranteed return. Always do your due diligence before investing.

Client One on One Session Topics Available:

Free Q n A sit down times are the best way to see where you’ve been, Image1where you’d like to go, and explore options for how to get there.

Our typical consulting times for highest and best effect are NOT tax time. This is largely bookkeeping for an otherwise on-going year to year plan.

  1. Beginning of year sessions we use to plan out strategy and most importantly: timing.
  2. Tax time. Good time to evaluate what you have to work with and how to get what you don’t yet have to work with, as well as entity options and buy sell strategies.
  3. Mid year. We sit down at this quiet time and ‘annualize’ your numbers and to date results. Then adjust, plan, and move forward.
  4. End of year. After the books close its ‘too late’ to grasp some strategies uniquely available at this time. That’s why we recommend 12/10 of each year for a year end review.


We explore with our customer/ client base various tax and other aspects of:

  1. Your first home/ Buy or build/ MI-FL vacation home
  2. Move up/ Down size/ Relocating 101
  3. ‘In-place’ cleaned, rented & managed rentals & tax benefits
  4. Use real estate to pay for college Links
  5. Real estate investing in retirement Links
  6. Real estate investments for cash flow Links
  7. Real estate as tax shelter Links
  8. Use real estate investment in your golden years  Links
  9. Diversify Your Portfolio – Purchase Shares in Private Real Estate Investments  Link 
    1. About shared investing 
    2. How it works

Real estate investments – entity selection

Clients should realize pros and cons of the entity they form for their business or investment activity.

  • S corporation?
  • How about an LLC?
  • When planning to purchase several single-family homes … should I form a C corporation?

Answering the question of entity choice is best before transactions are initiated, but remain a valid question at any point. There are issues like income taxes, legal protection, partners, ease of doing business, insurable risk, and access to credit. Cash flow preferences, (now or later),  along with the right entity can even slash your tax burden while providing legal protection against creditors and lawsuits.  The right entity could affect your ability to deduct 100% of your medical expenses,  and save income and self-employment tax.


Choice of Entity Considerations for Real Estate Investors …
Choice Of Entity Considerations For Real Estate Investors. One of the most difficult choices for investors in real estate, either new or seasoned, is determining …
 Choosing the right business entity for your investment real estate is an important decision with many consequences. It is crucial to work …
Sep 12, 2012 – If your business is holding real estate, go with a pass-through entity, …. of the owners, the entity choice for your business is no small decision.
advises real estate funds, private equity funds, hedge funds, limited liability … considerations such as real estate investment trusts and tax-exempt entities.

Choice of Entity in Real Estate Transactions. (With Emphasis On Partnerships. And Limited Liability Companies). Tab le of C onten ts. Page. I. SCOPE OF …

(Speak to your accountant/ lawyer/ lender/ and insurance agent for specific advise – the following is excerpts from counsel received and not to take the place of paid advisers in their respective field of licensing.)


No tax on sale of home ? Rules and exceptions

Well here’s some interesting perks for home sellers looking for tax breaks. No tax on up to $500k MFJ if owned over 2yrs – most of us knew that one, but did you also know:NW$ign

There are several exceptions. Under the old rules, if the home has been held fewer than two years, and if the move is job-related or health-related or there were other unforeseen circumstances, the taxpayer was allowed a prorated portion of the exclusion. The IRS ruled that unforeseen circumstances could include:

  • divorce, legal separation, or death of a spouse;
  • becoming eligible for unemployment compensation;
  • a change in employment that makes it impossible to pay the mortgage or basic living expenses;
  • multiple births resulting from the same pregnancy;
  • damage to the home from a natural disaster, act of war, or terrorism; and
  • condemnation, seizure, or involuntary conversion of the property, such as foreclosure.

End of year tax planning for real estate investors / landlords

Landlord / investors, are you using component depreciation as an option IntegrationCapin your year to year tax planning ? If income will remain flat or decline, you may wish to ‘pull’ your deductions back with various planning techniques.

Another quick tip, you can increase your ROI by 4+% just by using a different entity to hold your investments. 

ACTION NOTE: Buy recommendation

Mid November thru Mid January is typically an excellent time to pick up investments and/or move up as prices are soft at this time of year.

This strategy has been one I’ve followed for 3 decades to the advantage of my client base and myself. Why?

  • Kids are back to school creating busy and less flexible schedules
  • Folks have committed funds shopping for gifts
  • Holiday gatherings keep focus off looking for properties

Move up scenario: plantation-186330_640[1]

  • If you sell a $300k home for $270k, you take a 10% hit = $30k loss
  • When you buy the ‘move up’ house and get a 10% advantage on $450k, that could = a $45k savings.

Investment scenario:A-Retweets-Good-In-Theory-%E2%80%94-But-Not-Always-in-Practice[1]

  • You buy a house, for example, that will rent for $850/ mo., typically costs $65k.  = 15.7% ROI
  • At a 10% purchase discount, you’d pay $58500 = 17.4% ROI
  • Additionally, you now have a quicker ‘equity build’, an equally significant part of investing in property. ‘Equity build’ is the 401k type of gain real estate has, where you don’t pay tax on the gains of appreciation until the property is sold. Maybe not even then ! – but that is a sit down consultation.

Point: this is a good time to ADD to your realty holdings be it Decision time

  • a first time purchase,
  • ‘move up’,
  • picking up an investment,
  • or a vacation property.

This is NOT the time, in my opinion, to sell a home and move to an apartment, or in other ways LESSEN your realty holdings – unless there are other circumstances of an unusual or more complex nature.

Call to sit down and chat further., PA

Get rid of roof mold.

Make your roof last longer. Mold will attach to and push up the granules on your shingles. When cleaning the gutters and getting the leaves and needles off the roof, now is the time to use a weed sprayer with a 50/50 solution of bleach and water to kill it. Take care to not breath the airborne spray. A good organic breather mask is recommended. The mold should turn color or you didn’t really attack it completely. Within a day, it will dry up. If it is still soft, up the beach in your solution.

Anibal Affiliates Inc.'s photo.

Unfortunately, the white mold spots tend to lift off granules and there will be a black spot as shown below. But better to get the mold as soon as possible before it grows larger and creates more damage.


What to do with that bargain Tri-level or Quad-level

You got a great deal, but its stuck back in the 80’s, or 70’s or maybe the 60’s.

Practice your search word skills on Pinterest. E.g:|typed&term_meta[]=remodel|typed

Where you’ll find such ideas as raising the ceiling, opening up the entry/stairs, changing from carpet to tile and hardwood, or moving the kitchen.