New Hot Pick from Reed

LOCATION:  76-90 McWhorter Street, Newark, NJ 07105
SQUARE FEET:  14,000sqf
FEATURES:  Prime real estate property for sale in the heart of the Ironbound just two short blocks away from Penn Station. There are two buildings with multiple apartments and multiple garage spaces in the back.
WITHIN VICINITY OF:  Two blocks away from Newark Penn Station
ASKING PRICE: $2,000,000.00
Please contact if interested

Keller Williams Mid-Town Direct Realty welcomes the Robert Northfield Team

PRESS RELEASE, February 11, 2014

The Robert Northfield Team, Essex Counties #1 ranked real estate agent joins Keller Williams Mid-Town Direct Realty.

“The world is changing, people want more from their real estate agents. The Keller Williams Mid-Town Direct Management team gets it,” said Robert Northfield. “From the positive attitude and entrepreneurial spirit to the investment in technology, Keller Williams Mid-Town Direct Realty provides the environment and support which allows for a superior home buying & selling experience.”

“Robert and his team represent the very best in the real estate industry, his results speak for themselves. I am very pleased that he has joined us in our Maplewood, NJ office,” said Reed Kean, managing director of Keller Williams Mid-Town Direct Realty. “This is a wonderful expansion for our office and just another way we are insuring that Keller Williams Mid-Town Direct Realty will continue to be the market leader in the Essex and Union Counties.”

The Keller Williams Mid-Town Direct Realty office and Robert Northfield’s team work tirelessly to achieve a standard that we live up to each and every day, this move is another example of their constant pursuit to do more and better work for their clients.

About Keller Williams Mid-Town Direct Realty
Located just a few steps from Maplewood’s NJ Mid-Town Direct Train Station, the beautiful office of Keller Williams Mid-Town Direct Realty, LLC. is ideally located in the Township of Maplewood, just 30 minutes from Manhattan via the Midtown Direct train line, 12 minutes from Newark Airport, in the heart of a top selected bedroom community by the NY Times, offering an exceptional variety of homes in all styles with an incredibly diverse community that embraces the Arts and More. Come out and see our beloved town, have a bite and hop back on the train to NY Penn Station.

Are You Ready to Be a Landlord?

Renting out property can be a substantial source of income when done right. However, one of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen people make, when getting into commercial real estate or property investment, is renting out property when they are unprepared for the responsibility of being a landlord. This mistake inevitably ends in a disaster of an emotional or financial nature—sometimes both. Though it’s difficult to truly prepare yourself for being a landlord, knowing some things up front can help you decide whether or not you’re ready to take that step.

First of all, it’s humanly impossible to be a part-time landlord. Being a landlord takes time, and a lot of it. You might know friends who supplement their income with freelance work or off-hour jobs, but being a landlord is not one of them. Your tenants might be the nicest people you could possibly hope to find, but that point becomes entirely moot when the toilet stops working at three in the morning. When you step into the shoes of a landlord, you accept that you will be taking calls 24 hours a day, whether you want to answer them or not. If you don’t have the time to take calls or run over to your property to deal with middle-of-the-night emergencies, you are probably not ready to be a landlord.

Also, renting out a property is a business, first and foremost. Being a landlord, like being a business-owner, requires flexibility and patience, tempered by a firm attitude and iron will. Sometimes tenants will be a day or two late with the rent because of those small crises that emerge from time to time, as anyone who’s rented a business space or an apartment has learned. That’s where the patience and flexibility comes into play. Sometimes tenants will be a week or three late with the rent for six months in a row, at which point you will need to stop being flexible and draw upon that iron will to chase down and/or evict that tenant.

Overall, owning and renting a property costs a great deal of time and money, so you’ll need to be prepared for that, as will your bank account. Having a vacant unit is expensive, as well as advertising vacant units in the right places. When a tenant moves out, you’ll need to spend the money to clean up the place before a new tenant can move in. However, if you possess the funds, the time, and the patience, you’ll find that being a landlord can also be one of the most financially and emotionally rewarding things there is to experience. Still interested? Contact me and let me help you find the best property for you to start.

Property Investment: Getting Started

If you’ve been looking to get involved with property investment but have found it to be a daunting prospect, or you’ve been unable to locate information on how to begin the process, you need look no further. I can’t promise to make the process look any less daunting, but I’ve compiled some helpful information on what you can do to make it somewhat easier to achieve.

To begin with, the most important fact you need to keep in mind is that investing in commercial real estate, or any other kind of property for that matter, is not going to make you rich in a week. On average, you won’t start to see a substantial growth in profit until you’ve been investing for a few years, so if you can’t deal with that, avoid property investment at all costs. It may sound harsh, but it’s best to get out of the game before you’ve got a substantial loan out in your name and a building full of tenants and you suddenly realize this isn’t what you wanted.

For everyone that made it past that paragraph, the next thing you’ll need to do before you even start property-shopping is to get your financial affairs in order. After all, you could come across the best opportunity for you personally next week, and it won’t mean a thing if you can’t front the costs to acquire it, or if you can’t get a loan. An opportunity means nothing unless you are able to take advantage of it. To ensure your success later on, take the time you need to make sure your accounts are structured in such a way that you’ll be able to seize those opportunities whenever you find them.

Lastly, pay attention to the commercial real estate in your area when you’re getting started! I cannot state this firmly enough. Commercial property costs and mortgage rates vary from locale to locale, so ignore broad sweeping statements about the state of commercial real estate in the nation. Instead, spend your time doing research on your local area and costs of property in your own area and the surrounding towns and cities.

These few simple tips should help pave the way for anyone curious about getting started in investment. For supplemental reading, if you haven’t been following my Expert Commercial Real Estate Advice series over the past few weeks, I’d advise giving those articles a read (though I’m admittedly a bit biased about that), or contact me via the form on this site, on Facebook, or on Twitter if you have questions!

Spotting Deals in Commercial Real Estate: Part Three

This series of articles aims to reveal useful tips for anyone interested in investing in commercial property. The number of “hot deals” being pitched at any moment is astronomical; these articles intend to explain what makes a deal great, and how to discern a deal that’s actually great from one that just appears that way.

Today’s helpful hint for identifying the best opportunities in commercial real estate investment is to make sure you take the time for due diligence and do thorough research on any property you consider. This may seem simple, but you’d be amazed at how many people want to skip this part of the process when they’re in the market for a new investment property.

It might not surprise you to hear that many a seller has proved to be less-than-forthcoming when disclosing the pros and cons of the property being advertised. Rather than taking a listing at face value, you’ll only be acting in your best interests to thoroughly research any potential investment before making a final decision. This is different than researching a potential business location, which I’ve discussed in the past, and requires a little more in-depth investigation. Keep your accountant and contractor on speed dial, because you’ll need them.

If you’ve learned your lingo, as I mentioned last week, you’ll already be thinking about the NOI of any property you consider. Along with that, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor if you run your own numbers and have them reviewed by your accountant to make sure those calculations are accurate. Even if a property is 100% occupied, you’ll want to be certain you factor in vacancy rates. By the same token, you’ll want to look into more than just physical defects—which your contractor will be able to point out once he tours the location. Investigate the property’s zoning, parking laws, and any unpaid taxes on the location; any of these could present huge obstacles in the future which make turning a profit exceptionally difficult.

We all know that life is full of hidden gems and obstacles. However, by doing thorough research on any potential investment property, you’ll find yourself spotting hidden gems more readily, and avoiding obstacles before they have a chance to present themselves. Still not sure where to start? Contact Kean Realty today and we can discuss the best property investment opportunities near you!

Rejuvenated Newark: Invest Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

In the time since Cory Booker took over the mayorship of Newark, it’s become an increasingly, almost exponentially, in-demand area for commercial investors and new businesses looking for a location. There have been a substantial amount of changes to the area at Mayor Booker’s urging, including the Riverfront Revival project and the new Schools Stadium, but for the sake of this article, I’ve chosen to focus on three improvements that have brought Newark to the forefront of local cities in which people should be investing: the renovation of local parks, the transformation of the downtown area, and the city’s new loan program for small business entrepreneurs.

Since Mayor Booker took office, Newark has renovated, expanded, and opened new city parks covering over 40 acres of land. These new and improved parks include improved City pools, professional-quality football and soccer fields, new baseball diamonds, restored basketball courts, state-of-the-art playground equipment, and more. Not only does this breathe life into the city and the economy, but if you’re thinking about relocating a business or opening a new branch, it doesn’t hurt to have nearly 20 different renovated parks in the same city to consider when choosing your location. Parks can freshen up the view from an office complex or provide foot traffic past a brick and mortar retail store, along with provide opportunities for team-building outings, like company-wide baseball or soccer games.

Along with renovating and improving these parks and recreation centers, the downtown area of Newark has seen a steady transformation into a desirable destination, especially after it played host to the 2011 NCAA Men’s East Regional Final, the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals, the NBA Draft, the Dodge Poetry Festival, and the Newark Peace Education Summit, among other events. Similarly, the construction of Teacher’s Village, a dedicated section of Newark which will provide over 200 units of housing for area educators and their families, along with three charter schools and over 70,000 square feet of retail space, is proof of the rejuvenation coming to downtown Newark; an increase of families living in downtown Newark means more traffic to storefronts and area businesses and thereby more income for those businesses, making this a perfect time to invest in Newark properties.

Lastly, to encourage new business in downtown Newark and the surrounding areas, the City of Newark partnered with the Brick City Development Corporation (BCDC) to form the Grow Newark Fund. The Grow Newark Fund, in partnership with the Grow America Fund, works to encourage creation and expansion of eligible underserved, minority- or women-owned small businesses. This Fund has provided over $13 million in funding to local businesses, including a restaurant row by the Prudential Center as well as a pediatric dental facility. BCDC also offers a city-wide Technical Assistance Program for aspiring entrepreneurs to learn the principles of owning their own businesses as well as receive assistance with opening or expanding.

If there’s anything plainly evident from just these select developments, it’s that the rejuvenated face of downtown Newark stands on a precipice, poised to become one of the most lucrative opportunities for investors in the state. But, as is the way for most opportunities, it won’t stay on that precipice for long. If you’re interested in the investment opportunities that are currently available in Newark, send me an email or give me a call today. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by.

Expert Commercial Real Estate Advice, Part 3: Preparation is Key!

Though the old saying encourages us not to count our chickens before they hatch, when it comes to buying commercial real estate, taking care of certain matters in advance will save you time and frustration later on in the process. This is especially true if you know you’ll be applying for a loan, which is often more complicated and time-consuming when buying commercial real estate compared to residential. Rather than waiting until you’re ready to go through with the deal, it’s best to get these matters squared away early so there are no surprises further down the road.

If you know you’ll be applying for a loan, before you even tour your first commercial property, it’s best to do some research on different lenders in the area, and choose the best one from which to borrow. Knowing the interest costs and satisfaction rates specific to each lender will then help you decide which is best for your needs. Choosing a lender in advance might take some extra time, but it’s most beneficial to you as a borrower to do this early, or you might find yourself scrambling to find a lender at the last minute.

It’s also imperative that all your financial records and information are in order and readily available, as you’ll need to provide all of that to whichever lender you choose. You’ll find that preparing all of this information and having it on-hand when you go in to apply for a loan often times works to your advantage in proving to the bank that you’re an acceptable financial risk. Conversely, not having this information available when applying for a loan can severely damage your chances of being approved.

Overall, it’s best to have your financial arrangements mostly taken care of before you begin the negotiation process. If possible, once you’ve narrowed down properties, you’ll want to find out how much money you’ll need up front, as well; commercial real estate upfront costs are often much higher than residential. Taking this simple advice to heart will make the buying process move along much more smoothly and both you and the seller will appreciate this when it comes time to sign on the dotted line!

The 1031 Tax Exchange, Put Simply

In researching this article, I discovered that it’s incredibly difficult to find a basic rundown of the 1031 Exchange, also called a “Tax-Deferred Exchange,” that isn’t part of some kind of gimmick trying to sell you software or services promising to help you complete the process. The descriptions that aren’t, are instead full to the brim with jargon. Thus I set about writing a basic brief of the 1031 Exchange that anyone can understand, whether you have history in investment or have only recently become involved or interested in investing.

The 1031 Exchange, or “Tax-Deferred Exchange,” as it is commonly known, received its name from the Section of the Internal Revenue Code to which it refers: Section 1031. This Section details the process by which capital gains taxes can be deferred, and the circumstances under which this process must occur. Put very simply, it’s a strategy and method of selling one qualified property, then acquiring another qualified property, so that the entire transaction is treated as one exchange, rather than a sale followed by a purchase. Since it is considered an exchange and not two separate transactions, the recognition of any capital gains or losses, and therefore recognition of any capital gains taxes that might be due, is deferred.

Of course, there have to be restrictions on something like this, or else there’d be a 1031 free-for-all going on pretty much all the time.

The properties sold and acquired:

  • cannot be an investor’s primary residence;
  • must be held for productive use in a trade or business, or for investment;
  • must be of “like kind,” which means they must be of the same nature or character, regardless of whether one is a better quality or lower grade than the other;
  • lastly, cannot be stocks, bonds, or similar properties.

As far as the “like kind” distinction is concerned, physical properties are generally considered to be of like kind whether they’ve been improved or not, with the exception occurring between a physical property in the US and physical property outside the US. Similarly, personal property whose primary use is within the US and personal property whose primary use is outside the US are not considered to be of like kind.

There are a remarkable number of stipulations and qualifications regarding what is and isn’t included in the value of the property, and how this exchange is physically conducted, but this is a simplistic overview of the whole of the code. More information can be found from the Wikipedia entry regarding Section 1031, or you can read the entire section of the tax code, if you’d prefer to do so, online at

Take a Chance on Property Investment

If you examine the behavior of any successful entrepreneur in history, you’ll quickly see that one quality which sets them apart from those who have been less successful: they see everything as an opportunity. Where most people might see a situation in a negative light, assessing only its potential to fail, these individuals consider its potential to succeed, and all the benefits that might accompany such an outcome. One such opportunity that continually presents itself is property investment, which may appear a risk to some, but can be exceptionally rewarding when managed correctly.

What makes property investment such a worthwhile opportunity? Any number of things, in truth. Consider, for example, the number of tax laws that provide boons to those investors who inspire new economic growth, as well as increase opportunities for employment in whichever area they have chosen to develop properties. In addition, other tax laws offer financial incentives or rewards for those investors using their properties to offer housing for employees, or those who purchase commercial properties. These tax laws not only encourage people to take a chance and invest in local properties, but as a result they also stimulate the economy so that everyone is able to benefit from the choices made by any individual who commits to investing in a certain area.

As any small business owner knows, keeping an eye on taxes is critical, but so is keeping an eye on expenses and income. However, many small business owners still rent the properties in which their offices are located, despite the fact that rent, in and of itself, amounts to a substantial expense that delivers no real financial returns. Consider the fact that if you purchase a property in which to locate your office, and choose to make space available to other tenants, the aforementioned tax breaks coupled depreciation deductions and the rent from other tenants, can substantially boost your income. Rather than paying out thousands of dollars per year for a space that isn’t yours, consider investing that money into payments on a property that will pay you back in the long run!

Though investing in property can be daunting at times, and it does present a financial risk, perhaps it’s time to revisit your views on property investment. Choose to see it as an opportunity, take a chance, and see how great the rewards can be. Ready to get started? Check out my listings for opportunities near you!

Spotting Deals in Commercial Real Estate: Part Two

This series of articles aims to reveal useful tips for anyone interested in investing in commercial property. The number of “hot deals” being pitched at any moment is astronomical; these articles intend to explain what makes a deal great, and how to discern a deal that’s actually great from one that just appears that way. Today’s tip on spotting a great commercial real estate deal is simple: learn the language. Though most people have a passing familiarity with the majority of terms used in the industry, some of the most important terminology used when negotiating or assessing a property requires you understand it more thoroughly so you can best decide which deals are truly excellent.

For example, you’ll need to know the phrase, “Net Operating Income,” which is commonly abbreviated as NOI. This is the overall cost of owning a property; it can be calculated by taking the gross operating income for the first year (all the rent and other income you expect the property to generate, like parking fees or laundry machines, minus the rent from any unoccupied units) and then subtracting the cost of operation for the first year (mortgage, insurance, utilities, etc.). Ideally the NOI should be a positive number, and even more important, high enough that if any unexpected move-outs or emergencies occur, you’ll still be making enough to cover those operating expenses.

There are many more terms used in commercial real estate that can be confusing, but delving into all of them in detail could fill an entire book (and trust me, plenty of books exist on the topic!) The best thing you can do to help yourself learn is spend time with other people who buy or sell commercial real estate, or browsing sites that discuss buying and selling commercial real estate, and don’t be afraid to ask someone, “What does that mean?” There’s no embarrassment in asking the question, and someone who’s knowledgeable won’t mind explaining the term to you in a way that makes sense and helps you understand it better. Also, if there’s any terms used on my listings that don’t make sense, you’re welcome to reach out via the “Contact Us” section of my site for more information.