Land, Land a Go-Go

Posted: March 6, 2019 in Uncategorized

It’s been awhile ,, but I’m back! Ready to write about the REAL stories of commercial real estate happening in Denver and in the Denver area and some in Las Vegas.  

Recently, went under contract on a piece of land in Aurora CO. My client was/is looking for land to build a daycare,event center, church concept. We identified a piece of land with 2 parcels, each parcel was about 3.77 acres. 

Listing agent mentioned there were a few offers coming in and the owner preferred selling both lots for $3 a sq ft. Otherwise the lots would be sold separately for $5 a sq ft. WHAAAAT????  Both listing agents have been land specialists for over 20+ yrs. , but something didn’t sound right. If you have multiple buyers all wanting to buy just one of the lots, why not mix and match the lots to accommodate the buyers you have. But NOOOOOO,  the lead agent push for my client to buy both lots. It was puzzling why this agent would not maximize his clients take by selling to 2 buyers. 

The other oddities / red flags are listed below

+ Selling agent was pushing for a bargain and sale deed 

No survey, no original sale docs for the property, Plat used by title had a different address

Asked agent for address of land (not on any of his flyers) and when the agent/lawyer countered the given address was taken out and TBD was used.

+Land Titles rep (LD) wrote me an email stating it was perfectly fine to have a TBD address to open escrow.

+Critical documents from owner and his law firm were incomplete, and completed just a week ago. These docs were originally from 1980, 1975. 

Incomplete HOA termination docs were presented. The listing agent after being questioned a few times admitted he was aware of an HOA easement. 

=Lot 2 had a fire dept easement that rendered the property useless for any use. Listing agent only disclosed the benefits of 2 curb cuts approved for Lot 2. Curb cuts are not a benefit is they are for an intruding fire dept easement. 

+ Owners agreed to a 2 yr owner carry, BE CAREFUL WITH THIS!!! Owner carry financing saves $$$ thousand of dollar in fees, but could cost you client much more.

It is not the responsibility of the commercial land agent to do your due dilligence, HOWEVER< if asked it is ethical and REQUIRE for the agent to disclose info known by the agent. Colorado requires all agents to work in good faith. Having law firms from the real estate company OR seller tender incomplete documents, having direct due diligent questions not answered or ignored is wrong. As i discussed with the title company, having partial documents given to title by a law firm most often has more intent to deceive. If an owner forgets a paper, it can be consider a mistake. Having a paid legal professional tender an incomplete document is improper and when you consider the agent and owner withholding info, it appears the partial document tendered was a more educated/calculated withholding and deception 

There were other issues with zoning and the city of Aurora. Aurora deemed the land to be zoned M1 M2 M3. However zoning docs from the agent/owner showed the city of aurora considered this land Multifamily use / ResInd , mixed use. However Dan at the city of Aurora cited an undisclosed document to substantiate his findings of M1 use, EVEN THOUGH ithe city of Aurora website specifically identified this are as city center ‘core’ or ‘peripheral’ area. The good new is although Dan has not substantiated his policy reference to using M1 zoning, Dan mentioned this land was going to change its zoning from M1 in a few months,, maybe this is from his secret policy doc. 

Dan went a bit further before disclosing the zoning was slated to be changed. In Aurora, churches can be built in ANY zoning. All zoning allows for accessory use for all uses. This allow up to 25% of your use to be outside the scope of the zoning for normal activities not cited in the zoning. For example, if you own a home, you can use a room or up to 25% of your home for office use, salon, within the overrights, (no lights sign, etc). 

My client was told they could not have an area for receptions for weddings, celebration events and this was not allowed!!!???! This problem was resolved after i spoke with the zoning dept. and it seemed we had these issues taken care of to moved forward with the purchase. 

But we needed to terminate due to the liens, restrictions in the title commitment (Sch. B exceptions) Hidden within the 20 exceptions were uglies that were known to the agent but not disclosed fully, even after he was directly asked about this. IN the end, there were 2 HOA restrictive documents, 1 of the HOA was taken off title, but there was a 2nd HOA restrictive doc. 

There was another problem specifically to Lot, a fire department easement. The agent was well aware of there being 2 curb cuts approved for Lot 2 and had to have known this was for a fire dept easement. FOR THE LIFE OF ME, not sure how this agent could state with a straight face this was a benefit to a buyer!!!!

In the end, we terminated the deal BUT, I continued to work with Land Title to try and remove the fire dept easement and other issues. I mentioned that it appears from their survey, there was a difference address for the property when the owner purchased it and the address was changed at his closing 10+ years ago. If this is the case, there could be argued the fire dept easement and HOA lien did not survive the address change and the lot description may have changed. The end game is to get the title company sufficient info so they can remove the liens from the Schedule B.

Lesson

When buying undeveloped land, it is wise to give your self at least 10 days to 2 weeks for you due diligence and maybe a week or 10 days longer for off record issues, such as zoning, easements, ground hogs, fire dept issues. Yes, ground hogs!! This same client identified another property off of Chambers Rd in Aurora that we put in a contract. While talking to the storage company who neighbored this other property, I was asked what i was going to do about the ground hogs. By talking to the neighbor, i found out there was an endangered ground hog on the property being purchased by my client. My client would have had to move these ground hogs before developing the property. The selling agent said he was aware of this, but did not tell me until he was asked. 

Keep your eyes open! Real all of the title commitment Schedule B exceptions and open all of the attachments. Ask the agent your questions, and follow up with your client by putting your questions (and your clients questions) in an email. Send this email to all parties asking the listing agent to verify your email, his answers, etc. 

If there is an owner carry offered, you need to be extra careful since you will not have a bank reviewing the title ,docs, etc.

Have the owner provide a survey, original purchase docs,and other pertinent documents. Verify lot description from original docs, verify/ask agent the where he received the docs tendered, make sure docs are complete. 

Take copies of all flyers with claims of use, zoning and verify.

I learned if an agent gives you an address and then he or his law firm changes the address to TBD, you might consider countering back to change back to the address previously given, EVEN IF THE TITLE COMPANY SAYS AN ADDRESS IS NOT NEEDED.  With each decision that is made, think about what would a judge say to you if there was a problem. The listing agent will say,  ‘he didn’t ask. instead ask and be able to say ‘he didn’t tell me’ . 

 

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Motion ,,, the book that explains the beginning of creation by Kenny D.

Artificial Intelligence or Arrogant Imbecil?

Posted: July 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

Trust me, I have over 25 yrs in commercial real estate

Effective immediately, all agents practicing commercial real estate that

 

Universe, life and the timing of future relations

Posted: June 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

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Every action creates an equal opposite action. E=mc2 is the mathematical equation that supports my claim. Science and technology have enhanced and improved our lives. We live longer, do more things, travel more freely, and generally have information at our disposal. Our lives have been altered from the time we are born until the day we die, but at what cost?

If you measure your accomplishments during your lifetime,, in this world,,  you may have many accomplishments! Nobel peace prize, possibly inventing a procedure, system, or device to help human kind.Maybe a medical procedure to extend life, cure illness, or maybe you have joined the peace corp to educated those that are uneducated. Others may donate money to build a school, water treatment plant, or other service or device to impact a village, town or city. We hold those that help others in high esteem, to innovators we support them by buying their products. Seems that the actions of those that help our world, help to make our world a better place, but can this be all good? Can there be some “evil” opposite action for our living longer or using devices to enhance our experiences??

+++ Kenny D’ism insight on this to follow+++

As with all experiences in this world, we have choices. Believing technology and science is “evil” is indeed one of those choices,, but one I chose to consider. Our lives and our experiences have evolved tremendously over the past 100 years. It appears this is a normal phenomenon, one in which our true nature begins to separate from the indigenous life forms ( cats, dogs, monkeys, etc), and our true identity begins to reveal itself.

We have cycles of life and experience “life” with what appears to be temporary bodies of this Earth. Our differences from ALL of the other animals of this world is becoming more apparent. Our abilities to communicate, invent, develop,, the way we live, colonize and aggregate, travel, are very different than that of any other animal on this planet. It is just a matter of time until we all realize this!! Science can try and deceive by stating evolution takes millions of years, but just look at how the human has distanced itself from all the other animals of this earth in the past 100 years. Religion tells us we are “god like” and give this as a reason for our being “different”. In either scenario,, we are becoming very different then other animals of this world, living longer lives, and reaching out to the heavens to find our true identity.

Since we chose to pattern our existence to be like the animals of this world, and since we empower this reality, it has had an affect on each of us. Science and technology are from our world, where ever that may be, and the integration of science and technology into our current reality has affected our true inherent consciousness or reality. If you think about it, science and technology are the absolute opposites of the realities of this world. Merging them together is causing a disruption in the normal integration of the levels of life or consciousness.

It is easy to see if you look for it! Seems in the old days, more times then not, when a spouse died, it seemed that the other spouse would perish very soon after. With a plague, a colony of people might all die from this infliction. There were many wars where many would die from the altercation. People died in “clumps”. Alike people, whether they were couples, a family, a city or a country, would die from an infection, altercation, or other event. Now that we have science and technology, very few groups of people perish at the same time.

Science and technology are wonderful “upgrades” to our world, but they come with a price. We cannot continue to live in a world that is dominated with science and technology and have the same realities. It seems that people would die together so that they could return “together”. Science has allowed us the choice to remain in this reality for sometimes 20 to 50 years longer than we should.Dying has become more personal and the likelihood of you dying with your loved one or with your family are almost zero.

As you pass through this life and into the next, you are destined to live without your “soul mates” or you may live with them in a father – son or grandmother – granddaughter relationship. The love of your life, who died 30 years ago, may conceive and your spirit may become the child this person. the dynamics of a previous husband – wife relation, now a mother – son relation, due to the ‘timing’ created by our mimicking the realities of the indigenous species of this world, is a difficult trine of the spirit.

There is much to support this ideal. Greek, Roman and Egyptian stories are full of the divine dying together and of the “evil” not dying together. Dying in battle was revered, killing yourself because your loved one died was celebrated. There are many other stories in which the subject matter discusses couples that were deceived with only one dying. References to the timing of death, as it applies to another loved one or loved ones, is a very prevalent subject matter.

More couples have large age differences, there has been an increase in deviant behavior with humans. These are other increasing variances from our indigenous friends of this world.

There is much more to talk about, but maybe this article will open your eyes to see what is happening “right before your eyes”!

Fear is an emotion that can block the door to your real truths. Think about what I have discussed here and refute it with what you believe in your world. Opening doors invites knowledge and insight to who we really are and these doors ARE going to open whether you want them to or not. Let’s all learn together.

 

Kenny d

 

Getting what you ask for vs. getting what you need

Posted: April 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Your asked to feed the tigers at the zoo. Raw meat is given to you for the task. To feed the tigers will require putting your hand and arm into the cage to place the raw meat. While putting the meat in the cage, the tiger bites off your arm. Blood lose almost kills you but you survive. Your given no compensation for the lose of your arm since your arm was used for food to feed the tiger with the raw meat. You are not entitled to any compensation or recourse because your arm is considered food and the contracts you signed for employment do not differentiate feeding raw meat and your arm.

Work a commercial real estate deal without the experiences of a commercial agent and you are risking lose.

With any new activity or task, there is an element of danger from lack of experience. Experience teaches through trial and error. You don’t touch the stove after your mom cooks dinner. Holding a nail while someone else swings the hammer is not a good idea. Working a commercial transaction without experience and without a commercial agent can be very costly.

Have heard many clients state they feel comfortable with their electrician, HVAC tech,engineers, architects, contractors, lawyers, etc. and that they do not need anyone else to help them with their commercial transaction. The problem is all of these professionals are accountable for EVERY WORD AND SUGGESTION THEY MAKE! They are in a position to do exactly what you ask for. All of these professional carry liability insurance to protect them from lawsuits, improper advice, and oversights.

These individuals are conditioned to do only what they are told and limit their creativity. They will suggest exactly what is asked from them and will not cut corners or provide alternatives to get the job done since this will only expose them to possible legal recourse and also cut their pay for the services they are providing!

You will discover suggestions by these professionals are done  to “add to the cost of services” rather than to save on unnecessary services. For example, many lawyers will charge a client to “draw up a contract” when in most cases the standard Colorado Real Estate Purchase Agreement is adequate with some changes or an addendum or Exhibit. Title Companies provide much of the due diligence needed to find problems with a property and ordering an ALTA A survey should provide the necessary info to alert a lawyer of a problem with a property, yet clients are charged considerably for work done “by the hour” to research information that has already been acquired.

Contractors, architects, HVAC, and electricians have no incentive to streamline work needed on a property. Asking OR not asking the right questions could cost you $50,000 to $200,000 more in fees to complete work you need to be done on your commercial property. For example, we recently needed to have capacities of 2 HVAC units increase to accommodate a class “A” use for a client. Was told that 18 tons of A/C would be needed by the architect. Contacted a HVAC company who quoted a cost of $61,000 to replace 2  five ton units for 2 nine ton units. This about killed the deal, but this was the cost for what we asked for.

The quote sounded way out of line and I called the HVAC company. He insisted that to refit the apertures, and re enforce the roof and add the additional electrical for the HVAC  units would be expensive. The $61,ooo was almost half the price of the lease payments for the full term of the lease!!! Need to figure out something or would lose the deal!

The next step was to talk to the architect.

After chatting with the architect, who was very knowledgeable on the city requirements for class “A” use, came to find out the tonnage was based on the sq footage of the leased space. After asking  many questions, came to realize the new bathroom and areas where there would be no congregation, and closet space were not counted at the high rate of occupancy. IN other words, by taking out the new bathroom space and adding a closet, the tonnage requirement dropped from 18 tons to 15 tons.

With this new info questioned the HVAC guy to determine why it was costing so much to increase the tonnage from 10 to 18. Seems the labor and costs to re enforce the roof were adding quite a bit to the bid. Asked what was the highest amount of tonnage we could add to the existing 5ton ducts without incurring the expense of extensive electrical and re enforcement of the roof costs. The cost went down from $61,000 to $19,000 and I found A/C wall units that could be used if the tonnage needed to be increase by 2 to 4 tons.

At first, it seemed that the HVAC guy was trying to rip us off. $61,000 to upgrade 10 ton to 19 tons was a very high quote, but we were getting what we asked for. This gentleman did not ask why or what we were using the lease space for and he gave me exactly what I asked for. Seems that more and more companies only give you what you ask for which is many times NOT WHAT YOU REALLY NEED! There are only a handful of people that will take the time to find out what you  need and in many industries, there is too much risk to the company to suggest an alternative solution to your needs. Any employee that suggests something other than what you are looking for could lose their job if they are wrong and any business owner could lose his creditability or risk being sued if what is suggested does not perform or meet up to city or fire codes.

There are standards in all industries for electricians, architects, engineers, lawyers, plumbers, HVAC techs etc. and within these standards the industry has almost “hard loaded” profit margins that dictate prices to their clients. For example, there have been too many cases where my clients were told they needed fire sprinkler systems by contractor or city official when they were not needed! The additional costs to install these systems and the downtime to get this work inspected, etc. is disturbing and a re distribution of your allocated funds (or stealing!). What is more upsetting is the people doing the work, electricians, plumbers, contractors, architects, engineers will not mention anything about the additional work not being needed because it would cut their profit margins and work. Checking and questioning what seems to be incorrect is a full time job and no one can catch all of the superfluous spending, but having key people to keep an eye out can save you thousands.

In summary, something as seemingly simple as asking for what you want is not as simple as it seems and the difference from getting what you ask for as opposed to getting what you need could cost you tens of thousands of dollars more than what you need to spend. Paying professional such as lawyers, architects, engineers, and other professionally licensed techs are necessary for almost all projects and if they are utilized properly they could save you thousands of dollars. But keep in mind there responses and ideas are always going to be limited because of the liabilities they can incur. Cutting costs by omitting work or services is not a high priority in these industries since it increases the chance of a lawsuit or claim against their liability insurance AND LOWERS THEIR PROFITS! (Except for architects, engineers, and lawyers, since each time there is a correction or change, they can charge more).

Having an experience consultant or commercial real estate agent who has experience in real estate transactions is advisable. Unlike the above listed professionals, commercial agents can speak freely and assist in directing questions to save money and suggest ideas from previous transactions that could save time and money. Most times, the cost of a commercial agent are paid for by the seller or lessor and other times their fees are dramatically less than those of a lawyer, architect, or engineer.

 

Technology creating time and dimensions

Posted: January 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

Technology creating time and dimensions.

Lawyers, Leases and Agreements

Posted: January 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

Commercial real estate is tough. Better have your “A” game on or it could cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Knowledge is power when approaching a commercial real estate deal and if you do not know the ropes, you will pay a higher premium or possibly lose all you have brought to the deal.

But with anything you do for the first time, there is a learning curve. Even with the internet to help with the mechanics and processes of commercial real estate, a well place action or call can make or break a deal, or save you thousands or cost you thousands. If your new in commercial real estate as an real estate agent or business owner, it is easily determined. There is a language all its own in commercial real estate. The questions you ask,, or don’t ask, the comments you make or don’t make tell how seasoned you are in the commercial arena. Determining how experienced you are sets in motion how the other agent is going to move forward with a commercial lease or purchase.

In most transactions, you cannot expect the opposing seller or buyer to educate you on what you have left out as far as due diligence. Each player has there own process of determining if a commercial property will perform for the specific use of the buyer or seller. Zoning, occupancy, lease rates, city moratoriums, variances, new regulations that affect your business use is not the concern of the opposing party. Agreements are made and contracts are drawn up to accommodate what has been agreed to and ONLY what is in writing. Lawyers are summoned to write the lease or purchase contracts covering what was agreed. Additional information in contracts is added by lawyers or property owners  to cover the “what ifs”  and if these “what ifs” are not scrutinized, they become the basis to settle disagreements in the future.

Commercial Lease and Purchase contracts are pretty standard and there are many but in the Denver metro area, there are about 4 or 5 versions of these contracts used in some form or other. One lease form is about 8 to 10 pages, there is another that is 20 pages, and another that is about 26 pages long. Although the content can vary, the size of the lease can tell you a lot about an owner or commercial real estate firm. Longer leases attempt to spell out about every scenario that can occur and the long length of the lease is usually due to all the legal things that can be done to you for breaking your lease. Shorter leases generally have arbitration clauses which outline how disagreements will be mitigated. Spelling everything out in a lease can be good or bad. Short leases or purchase contracts can be just as powerful as a larger lease. What I trying to explain here is when you are reviewing the lease, get a feel for what type of person would tender a lease of this type and compare it to the owner’s personality to get an overview of what type of person you are working with.

My experiences in the Denver commercial real estate forum has been from one end of the spectrum to the other. Great feel good deals where both sides have a win-win to the little deals that are a pain in the ass and you leave shaking your head saying “REALLY?”. The one common denominator in all deals is the communication and knowledge of both parties. If you are going to take on a commercial real estate transaction and depend on a lawyer to cover your ass,, your new diet program will yield short term results! (you’ll end up losing your ass and paying for it!). For the most part, commercial real estate transactions that end up in court or arbitration are due to one side of the transaction not completing proper due diligence and forgetting or leaving something out that was critical. LAWYERS CAN CATCH THE LEGAL FANDANGO, but it is the responsibility of the buyer, seller or their agent to research the incidentals, zoning, new regs AND THEN include them in the lease or purchase contract.

When you forget or chose to ignore important tenets in a commercial transaction, the lease or purchase contract is a document that can remind you of items you may have forgotten but you need to read this agreement! Leaving the contract to a lawyer as your due diligence is a recipe for disaster! Most times the lawyer is not involve in the negotiations of a commercial deal, or any deal for that matter, and after negotiating you would tell your lawyer all that you have agreed to. Most commercial contracts are final at signing and unless there are provisions for “outs” once you sign, its yours.

Lawyers can alter a preliminary contract so that the wording of the contract reflects what you have negotiated. Next a lawyer will review the full contract to change any wording in the lease that could be in deference or could compromise your specific requests. For example, if you agreed to have exclusive use of a public bathroom in a commercial building, this agreement might an exception you negotiated and some clauses in the lease agreement might need to be amended to reflect your exclusive use, that the costs will not be access, that others in the building will not be able to use these bathrooms. You may need to also have wording that you could use the other bathrooms in addition, etc.

It is when you forget to address or negotiated something that you could find yourself in hot water. Reading the full lease agreement will alert you and protect you from making a mistake. You or your agent is reading the lease NOT AS A LAWYER, but to look for items you forgot to address. The longer leases are very good at reminding you of things you may have forgot, shorter leases may not help you with finding forgotten items. Lawyers look over contract and change wording to match the changes you made and enforce them so there is no question of your intent. BUT if you forget an item, the contract cannot be amended to protect you and you will be at the mercy of the other party.

This is why it is advisable to have BOTH a lawyer or legal council AND a commercial real estate agent when pursuing a commercial real estate transaction. For most, commercial real estate is not their field of endeavor. Those that have bought, sold or leased commercial real estate, usually do not have the time to do proper due diligence since they have their regular job or career. Others that do not have experience can get a quick education from the internet, but will not have the experience to understand all the variable to address and NOT to address. MANY commercial real estate agents will not work with a client that is not represented by an agent! This is not because they are rude (although most commercial agents are), it is because they are covering their butts from mitigation after the deal. Having someone whose field of endeavor is commercial real estate work with you just makes more sense than relying on your brother’s wife’s father’s cousin who sold a home last week.

Ultimately its all on you and you will be the one who gains or fails from a commercial transaction. If you are one of the blockers, you cannot see the whole field of play. If you are the quarterback, you can see more of the playing field and adjust the play to best fit the situation. The offensive coach sits above the field and sees the full playing field. Be the coach. Sit back and watch how all the players are performing without involving yourself in the plays. Then make your decision.

Kenny D