Thursday, June 26, 2014

Investing With Meridian Pacific Properties

Buying a rental property on your own comes with the risk of being on the wrong side of the deal.  What may go wrong when purchasing a rental is what keeps many would-be investors on the fence.  There's the possibility of buying (paying too much) high, relying on poor numbers during the due diligence process.  If buying a property "As-Is," you also run the risk of getting a property that turns out to be a hidden money trap, needing major repairs.  I could go on, but my goal is not to belabor the point that investing in real estate, especially doing it all on your own, is not a risk-free process.  I'm here to showcase a great RE company that minimizes a number of investing pitfalls FOR YOU, all while offering friendly and quality service.  That company is, Meridian Pacific Properties.

MPP is headquartered in beautiful San Marcos, CA, about 35 miles north of San Diego.  But the bulk of their work takes place in the Memphis, TN suburbs.  It is there that they find distressed properties, rehab them (to the delight of neighbors), put them back on the market, and sell them to investors.  They are very selective about the type of properties they purchase and rehab.  In fact, they go after only residential units and the three bedroom, two bath house, is their bread and butter.  They also look for structurally sound construction such as homes with brick walls versus wood.  Why?  To minimize the amount of repairs you, the investor, will need to do as long as you hold the property.  Remember, Memphis, TN area can get very humid, and homes there are subjected to extreme winter and summer weathering.  MPP looks out for you because they are interested in having YOU come back, as in be a return customer, or do what I am doing here, recommend them to others.

You can go to their website: Meridian Pacific Properties
and learn all about why they operate in the area of Memphis, TN.  They have a science to back-up their geographic isolation.  On another note...did you know that FedEx is situated in Memphis, TN?  The giant shipping and packaging company is good for landlords and undoubtedly, they will be employing many workers who need housing to rent from you, if you own a rental in the area.

In 2011, I had the pleasure of meeting Jeff King (Principal), and his associate, Mike Finn (Accounts Manager), at a Mexican restaurant in San Marcos, CA.  My wife and I were less than one year into our marriage and we were looking to invest.  I wanted to invest in real estate, but could not decide if I wanted to go at it alone, or to work with a company who had the insight I lacked, plus the trust I needed to work with someone else.  Jeff and Mike bought my wife and me lunch, and reassured us throughout our conversation.  They didn't sound like scummy salesmen, pushing any one particular house on us.  They presented (with patience and clarity) the benefits of buying cash flow rental units with MPP.  To make a long story short, my wife and I decided to go for it.  Mike Finn emailed me some property brochures, showing pro-forma numbers, property pics, etc., we committed to one property, signing our sales contract all through email!  Their Docusign platform makes the process incredibly convenient.

Right before we closed on this first rental property, I got on a plane and flew to Memphis from San Diego.  Guess who was at the airport to pick me up?  That's right, Jeff King!  Coincidentally, he was dropping off his partner, Kevin Conlon (Principal) at the airport.  I got to meet Kevin with Jeff introducing me as if I was a man of importance, making me feel pretty good up to that point.  After checking out the property I would be buying (what I was there to do), Jeff was kind enough to drop me off at the hotel.  He invited me to dinner with him and his Licensed Broker in the area, Roxanne Simonetti, who I had spoken with numerous times on the phone to get an idea about what property management would be like.  (MPP now has their own Property Management Company to compliment their existing property sales business)  Another coincidence...Roxanne and I graduated high school around the same time in the same school district, East Side Union HS District, in San Jose, CA.  She graduated from James Lick and I graduated from Yerba Buena.  We joked about the miracle that was our exodus from "the hood."

The evening was delightful.  We ate dinner at Corky's Bar-B-Q, enjoying each other's company and the great food.     

Jeff took care of the bill...what a guy!  The following morning, Jeff picked me up from the hotel and drove me around, touring a couple of the areas MPP looks in when prospecting for properties, namely, Bartlett and Cordova.  The property I bought was across the state line in Southaven, MS.  Remember, all of these areas feed into the city of Memphis.  I got to learn first hand what an outstanding entrepreneur and investor Jeff King happens to be.  He's professional and nice, relating extremely well to the little investor like me.

I don't know if Jeff still gives newbie investors the grand tour and royal experience.  I have since bought two other properties from MPP and did so without ever leaving my immediate area.  Yup.  Just asked Mike Finn for some available property brochures, communicated with him via email from start to finish.  I don't need to fly to Memphis, TN to know that the property I'll be buying is there, and that it will soon be sending me $250-$300+ dollars in cash-flow from rents.  Now that's trust!

The lone suggestion I have for MPP is to create their own Financing company/branch.  New banking regulations have made it difficult for everyone to get conventional financing.  This last property I bought from MPP came with many challenges, not having to do anything with MPP or my credit/financing worthiness.  Working with banks and their myriad new regulations plus processes makes one regret seeking their money.  It's great if you manage it without there ever being any obstacles, but lousy when their bureaucracy gets in the way.  I realize becoming a banking entity probably presents many businesses with new problems to manage, but in the long run, seeing a dwindling supply of cash-only investors, it may behoove MPP to take the plunge.  All in all, I wholeheartedly recommend MPP to all of you...two thumbs up for this great company! 

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