JB: Good morning and welcome to Triad Real Estate 911 with your host Jason Bramblett. I am JB and for the next thirty minutes, we are going to talk all things real estate, live from our beautiful campus at I Heart Media in Greensboro, North Carolina. We appreciate you listening, and we invite your calls. If you have any questions or comments for Jason this morning, the number here is (336)553-0796. And we welcome the man with the plan, Mr. Jason Bramblett. Good morning.

Jason: Good morning. Good morning. It is kind of a cool little campus. You have got bean bag chairs and a billiards table.

JB: It is pretty cool. We have got a foosball table out here.

Jason: Yeah.

JB: We never have time to play, but it is there.

Jason: It is there if you need it. Right. You have got Bob watching over you. Right?

JB: Yeah.

Jason: You have got a good old cardboard cutout of Bob at 109 You Pull It.

JB: He is out there in the hallway.

Jason: Scares me to death every time I walk around the corner. Thank you, Bob. The first time I was just kind of cruising. I got here early, and I am like I’ll just get a cup of coffee and walk around.

JB: Right.

Jason: I like to see how people’s offices are set up and I walk by Betsy’s little area and turn the corner, and everything within me was holy smokes, who is that there. It is Bob. Thank you.

JB: Yeah, it is a life-size cutout that you see, and it kind of looks like a real human in the kind of low light there.

Jason: It does. It is the perfect height. About six foot and big old smiling Bob singing to you there. It is good stuff. What a Thursday. Holy smokes.

JB: Yeah. Don’t want to do that again.

Jason: No. It was, I do not know, it was not on my radar. We had the bread sandwiches ready for Flo. The milk sandwiches, I should say. Milk, bread, water, bathtubs full, stuff ready for the animals. Everything ready to go. This one we were just like eating Doritos and chilling and all of a sudden, bam.

JB: Hello.

Jason: It was serious.

JB: That was, like I said, we got more rain in that short amount of time, and that is what created all the issues. I know that everybody has got a story, and you think we have got it bad now, you see these pictures of these poor folks, souls down on the coast, where there are just slabs of concrete left where their house was.

Jason: Yeah.

JB: Unbelievable amount of water that came through our area. And the wind also.

Jason: Right.

JB: It really caused some damage.

Jason: Absolutely.

JB: We know some folks that are probably still on battery power right now. And we are with you, man.

Jason: There are. Absolutely there are, and we are going to dig into a lot of different stuff about storms, clean up, what to do, what not to do. Who should you call? What to be mindful when you are talking to people knocking on your door, wanting to help and all this stuff. Should I call my insurance company? Should I not? The neighbor’s tree hit my house. Now what? It is not my tree. It is my neighbor’s tree. What do I do?

JB: Right.

Jason: No power, no hope, and no end sight for some of you guys. But there is all of that coming up around the corner. Duke Energy is working their tail off, I think, to get everybody back up and running. But it is a process, and from what I understand, being the great northern neighbors that we are in North Carolina, we sent a lot of our people to Florida to help, not realizing that this thing was going to cruise right on up our way.

JB: Right.

Jason: Or at least if it was, it was not, we were not planning for the impact that it had. One of my good friends down in Florida, in the Destin area, Wes, he did a little drive over to go rescue some of his friends that are in Panama City Beach, Florida, and shared some of the video and some of the photos. Holy cow. So, a family of four in this house, and there is no roof.

JB: Yeah.

Jason: It is gone. All the insulation is just thrown throughout the house. I guess they were hiding in a closet. Think about that. I do not know how long it was. Whether it was twenty minutes or if it was an hour or whatever the time frame was, you are sitting in a closet, and your whole world is changing right then.

JB: Right.

Jason: Your roof is gone, you house is gone. It looked like they just took the insulation from the attic and just like a snowstorm in every room. And then there is just no roof. It is just crazy.

JB: No amount of video that you are going to see on any TV is going to tell the, paint the picture of what it is really like when you go through one of those things.

Jason: Yeah.

JB: It just does not do it justice, folks. It is scary stuff, man.

Jason: It does not. Funny little storm thing that we did. My wife is outside videoing it. These trees are swinging twenty feet back and forth.

JB: They are whipping.

Jason: It is whipping out there, and she is doing her best to video this to get an action shot. She videoed and then she looked at her phone and said well, that does not look like anything. She goes now I know why all these news guys got people throwing chairs by them and stuff like it. You have got to soup it up because on video it does not do it justice –

JB: Right.

Jason: -- to what you are really seeing.

JB: The sound, the 3-D aspect of it. It really does not do it justice.

Jason: Absolutely. Well, we are here live in the studio if you have got power and you want to give us a call, you can. It is 882-7874. This show is all about digging in and trying to figure out how to help as many as we can, and we are going to give you as many pointers and tips in the next 22 minutes as possible.

JB: That is good, and before we start, just a quick PSA. Folks, I know we still have some power outages in the area. Please, one thing, kind of my thing, the signal lights that are out, please remember, treat it like a four-way stop.

Jason: Yes.

JB: I got T-boned yesterday by some individuals who do not understand that rule.

Jason: Right.

JB: It is a four-way stop. If you do not know what a four-way stop is, google it. All right?

Jason: Google it. There you go.

JB: All right. Now, I will get off my soapbox.  All right.

Jason: No, you probably just saved somebody’s life right there.

JB: No really. It is a serious situation, folks, but anyway, Jason, let’s get on with it. Let’s lead off with some safety tips. As we mentioned, many parts of the area have got some major issues around here.

Jason: They really do, and so top priority is this – do not touch anything near a power line.

JB: Yep.

Jason: I know that is like saying do not touch the stove burner. It is hot. But guess what? Somebody did it. There is a warning on there. There is a reason why.

JB: Right.

Jason: It is like do not put a plastic bag over your head.

JB: That is right.

Jason: Why? There are warnings, guys. This is not maybe you the adult that is listening, but you have got kids, and kids are of interest. And it is nice out. It is really, man, the weather is amazing. There is no humidity. It is seventy-something it is going to be today, and the kids are going to be foraging through to see what blew through the yard or whatever. Just be careful. It could be a tree limb and or the tree. Here is the thing. If it is leaning against a power line, it is probably broken, cracked or something, it is no longer grounded.

JB: That is right.

Jason: That means when you touch it, guess what you become?

JB: Zzzz.

Jason: You become the ground.

JB: You become the ground. That is right.

Jason: And when you become the ground, that juice that is running through there, that is not going to give you a little tingle. It is going to grab a hold of you and you will physically not be able to let go.

JB: That is right.

Jason: That is --

JB: And then you go away probably.

Jason: And then, yeah. There was some video that I saw on Fox News of some tree limbs leaning against a power pole, and the tree was on fire. That does not sound like a very good plan.

JB: Nope.

Jason: There is a perfect example of not being grounded, and you turn in to Sparky there, and you do not want that.

JB: Right.

Jason: Again, let the professionals handle it. I promise you. You will get your phone charged up soon enough. Okay. That is not a quick charger for your phone.

JB: Right.

Jason: I will promise you. Here is the other thing. Make sure if you are walking in the yard and under trees and all that, look up before you walk under. There is a boatload of broken branches that have yet to fall.

JB: Right.

Jason: I have got a couple in my yard that I am just looking at going oh, that is great. That is thirty feet in the air, and when is that ever going to come down.

JB: I think they call those, what, widow makers.

Jason: Yeah, there you go.

JB: Broken tree limbs that are still in place, but the next little breeze or wind that comes through randomly just poof, it is down.

Jason: Exactly. Right.

JB: So be careful.

Jason: Look up, and again, moms and dads, kids are not going to do that. They are going to be out messing around and whatever. Make sure you check stuff out. It is a pretty good-sized limb that we have just dangling on a little, it is like an 18” round log hanging on a two-inch branch.

JB: Yeah.

Jason: It is going to go at any time.

JB: Yeah, you are wondering about the physics of it all right there. How it is not coming down, but it will.

Jason: Right. Exactly. I was sharing with JB before the show. Unbelievable. We have got at our barn, we have got a little riding ring, and there is a little plastic green chair that weighs like 18 ounces sitting out there for when we watch the animals or the kids or whatever. It is a perfect in line to my neighbor’s house. They have a huge big old tree that fell down, and there is just debris and sticks and stuff everywhere. That stupid chair did not budge.

JB: Sat right there.

Jason: Sat right there through the whole thing. That thing should be in Jersey. But no, it did not. It is nuts. You will see it. I remember when Hugo hit Charleston I was amazed. There was a house down the road. The entire roof is gone, but the family pictures were still on the wall.

JB: Yeah.

Jason: You cannot explain it. It is just odd.

JB: Yep. It is really weird.

Jason: Anyway, be careful walking under trees. You are going to get that phone done, but the branch that has yet to fall is what you need to watch out for especially if you got kids and dogs. Pets, too. Cats, I guess, they are smart enough. They get out of the way, but dogs, at least my dogs not so much. They are just like dopey-dough running around. They do not pay attention to anything.

JB: Right.

Jason: As you are cleaning up damage, if you are volunteer helping and or you are just cleaning up your own damage, it seems simple, but wear gloves. Wear gloves because especially in these flooded areas, some of this water is contaminated, and the last thing you need to do to top off your week of no power and no internet and no TV and all the frustrations in the world, and being camping when you did not plan to, is to have to go to the hospital and get a tetanus shot. Right?

JB: Right.

Jason: Because you grabbed a hold of something that well, it just looks a little funky and then a couple of days later, you have got this stuff oozing out of your hand. Not so good. So, make sure you get some gloves. We do not deal with this stuff often, and so we just have to think a little bit.

JB: Right.

Jason: Think through the process. Is this smart to do? Should I do it? Should I hire someone? Especially working in these flood waters. Again, if you are working in the area or volunteering in an area where it is flooded, and maybe you are pulling debris out of the house, and there is no power –

JB: Right.

Jason: -- well, there is no power because the main line is cut. There is not any power because the breaker is off.

JB: Right.

Jason: The first thing you want to do is go turn off the main breaker in the house.

JB: That is right.

Jason: Because when it comes back on, they are not going to knock on the door and say is it okay to enter. No, it is just going to come on. And if there is a broken line in the house or an outlet or something like that, you are standing in water. Again, we do not want you to be the ground.

JB: That is right.

Jason: Okay? So, if you are a volunteer, if it is your home, whatever the case may be, go kill, if they have not removed the power meter from your house, go to the breaker box and throw the main breaker.

JB: Right.

Jason: That way you want to kill any power coming in because you do not want it to be a surprise --

JB: Right.

Jason: -- when you are pulling debris and or standing in three-and-a-half feet of water or inches or whatever. Now, most of the time, they do a pretty good job. They do a pretty good job of getting the meters off those homes before they do those things. But, again, do not take the chance.

JB: Right.

Jason: If there is any doubt, always turn off the power. I have learned that from doing minor electrical work –

JB: Right.

Jason: -- over the years. I will go kill the whole block just to go change a lightbulb now.

JB: Better safe than sorry.

Jason: Because I am not, there are the seven wonders of the world. The eighth one is an electrician that does not turn the power off and just like changes the stuff. Not me.

JB: Right.

Jason: You do not want to be in the wrong place at wrong time.

JB: Right.

Jason: So, Hurricane Michael here just really packed a punch for us here in the Triad. Many of you are going to be digging out all weekend. Just be careful. That is al.

JB: All right. Well, Jason, you mentioned contractors, and to be careful with whom you are dealing with especially right now because, unfortunately, there are some people that might want to take advantage of people. Let’s dig into that a bit more.

Jason: All storms bring great people out. They really do.

JB: Yeah, the best of us.

Jason: This is where communities, this is where the lines that are there, the fences get put up, sometimes get taken down by the storm, but also it is neighbors become neighbors again and start to help. Where you might not have talked to them in a while, it is just a great time to bring the community back together, and we see it time and time again. When people are really at their best. Unfortunately, it also brings out the worst in people.

JB: Yeah, it does sometimes.

Jason: The scammers come out, and these are the guys that are looking for quick cash, and they are really looking for the helpless and desperate people out there to take advantage of. It is just how they are wired. I do not know. It is probably how they grew up. It is probably, some of them just, you hear this saying, oh they do not know any better. Although I think everybody does really, at the end of the day, know better. It is just you are ignoring that little voice in your head that says do not do that.

JB: Right.

Jason: Anyone asking for cash should be a red flag.

JB: Right.

Jason: Okay? When I say cash, I do not mean write a check, I mean cash money. Benjamin Franklin is out. Cash money. The paper stuff. Also, just as a side note, when there is not a storm, anyone asking for cash at any time actually should be a red flag.

JB: Right.

Jason: Okay? It does not really have to be a storm because there are plenty of scams that go on when there is no storm around. It just concentrated now in one area.

JB: Right.

Jason: It is spread out when there is no storm because there are people getting stuff done all over the place. Here is the thing. In my twenty years of real estate, a person asks to be paid in cash, I am not going to say they are just a flat-out scammer, but here is the thing, they are more than likely defrauding out tax system.

JB: Right.

Jason: Right? Because you pay them cash, a lot of times, the hustler goes like this, well, the price is $1000, but if you pay me cash, I will do it for $800 or I will do it for $900 or I will do it for whatever. Okay? Well, that is all well and good. In theory, you are saving money, but that is revenue that is not going into the tax department. If you get paycheck where your taxes are withheld, you pay more because idiots like that do not pay any.

JB: Right.

Jason: Okay. Think about that. Really you are hurting yourself. It feels like you might be saving, but in the long run –

JB: Right. Temporarily, you think you may have just, but if you think it out, it does not work.

Jason: And we have got plenty of people hustling the system out there for cash, so it should be just a red flag. Here is the other thing, too. If, let’s just say you bring home $1000, and you are in the 30% tax bracket. Okay? You had to earn at least $1300 to get the $1000 home.

JB: Exactly.

Jason: So, there is a little tip for some of you, our younger folks out there. Okay? I know some of you just passed out because you are like wait a minute. There are two different numbers on my paycheck? What does that mean? You have got to look at it first, okay, and then you will see this number that says gross.

JB: Right.

Jason: That is actually the money, the total amount of money that you earned. Okay?

JB: Right.

Jason: And then there is this net number and that is what you get to keep, and the difference is the taxes. Okay? The withholdings, there may be some insurance there or whatever. It is amazing to me. I have coached a lot of young people and they are like you mean I really made that I got to keep this? Yeah, it is called taxes.

JB: Yeah.

Jason: They are like oh. Well, maybe some of you will start voting different, and we will get some of that fixed. It is amazing how many people do not really realize that.

JB: Right.

Jason: Here is the thing. Just be cautious. When somebody asks for cash, be cautious. And there are good contractors out there, but here is the thing. There is just a red flag like I said. If they want cash, it is like why? You do not have a bank account? There is power at BB&T. At least one of them, right?

JB: Right.

Jason: But your chances of getting scammed go up significantly, huge. So never pay them until the job is done and you are satisfied is another way to make sure that you do not get scammed. And here is the thing. If they are switching out something important like a water heater, HVAC system, if they are moving electric or moving water, guess what else they have to have – a permit. Well, they do not. You do. The permit falls on the owner’s responsibility. Now the contractor will go do it. They may charge you more. So, they may charge you the $130 it costs to get the permit. I promise you when you go to sell the house, you will wish you had spent the $130. We just had a gentleman that hired someone to complete his entire unfinished basement, and then we had to go in because they did not get the permit, it cost him about $7000 to go back and tear out everything he needed to tear out, so the inspector could see it to prove that it was done right. For a $200 permit.

JB: Right.

Jason: Now some of you will say well, I am not going to do that. It is just unpermitted and too bad and take a flying leap. And you can do that, but the banks will not loan money on it. They will devalue it to zero.

JB: Right.

Jason: So, if you have a portion of your home that is a bonus room you finished or a basement you finished, and you want the banks to make a loan on that property for full value, a permit is going to be something they are going to ask you about.

JB: Right.

Jason: So, make sure that you have got one. Anyway, if they do not take a check or they do not take a credit card, they also might be a fake business. You would be better off to go buy the materials yourself and pay them by the day or pay them by hour, and that will give you greater protection.

JB: Great.

Jason: All right? So just be cautious. Be smart, and I promise you, you cannot go wrong that way. All right. Let’s do this, JB. Take a quick time out. We are going to come back, and we are going to dig into a couple of other things. But if you need help out there, you can give us a call at the office at (336)553-0796. We have great contractors, and none of them take cash or we baptize them.

JB: There you go.

Jason: Yes, we do. All right. We will be back in a minute.

JB: All right. Stay with us, folks. (in/out music) Welcome back. You are listening to Trial Real Estate 911 with your host Jason Bramblett. We have got a few minutes left. But Jason, before we get on out of here, last week we discussed you Instant Offer program briefly, we promised to dive into it a little bit deeper this week.

Jason: Yeah, let’s do it. So, we have got a little bit of time here. Here is the thing. Jason Bramblett Real Estate, we have partnered with several venture capital companies as well as private equity groups, and what they are looking to do is they are looking to buy real estate right here in the Triad, and they have, and they are. They have been buying for quite some time. These companies, basically they are Wall Street-backed companies. They are companies that have a boatload of capital. They are flushed with cash. One of them has $2 billion to spend.

JB: Wow.

Jason: So not just a little bit of money.

JB: That is with a B.

Jason: Yeah, that is with a B. That is a lot of zeroes. Now, that does not mean they are going to give you, you did not just win the lottery. Okay. Just slow down. All right.

JB: Right.

Jason: Here is the thing we get. First question. Sounds great, Jason, how much are they going to pay me? Okay. Or are they just going to low-ball me? Well, first they are not the guys with the signs on the corners. These are legitimate businesses. These are Wall Street guys.

JB: That is right.

Jason: These are people that are reporting back to either boards and or investors and or stockholders. Okay.

JB: Right.

Jason: They have got, they are mammoth companies. They are buying billions of dollars nationwide, not just here in our area. And they are going to pay a reasonable price. They are not going to pay you retail.

JB: Right.

Jason: You can sell the house for more money not going direct to one of these equity firms. I can assure you that. But here is what they do. It is a business model that is interesting, and here is what they do. Here is the benefit, I guess, to you, if you will. You do not have to show your house. There are not showings. They are not going to come look at it. It is math. The math works, or the math does not. There are no open houses. You do not have strangers looking through your stuff. If that kind of gives you the eh, you do not have to do that with these equity firms. You are going to pay a convenience fee for them to write a check and be done –

JB: Right.

Jason: -- but there are thousands and thousands of people that are okay with that, and guess what? We have got lots of people that have bought them right here in the Triad. Here is the other cool thing. You know that brass I have been telling you to get rid of for 11 years?

JB: Right.


Jason: Guess what? They do not care. You can actually leave it.