December 2021

Have you sold any properties in a heated market where buyers are willing to put down hard money on day one? It feels like you have made it, like all of your planning, choice of location, and management of your property has paid off because qualified buyers are jumping over themselves to win your deal. Like who’s the boss now!

But don’t take your eye off the goal. A non-refundable earnest money deposit seems like a no brainer but often comes with strings, which are actually the contingencies you thought you were not having to deal with. Once you’re playing in that space, you have established your property and yourself in a position of integrity. You worked hard to get there and you’re not going to do anything to lose it. Honoring the commitments you make to the buyer’s Letter of Intent is a big part of that, even if it is not a contractual commitment.

Buyers who put in an offer with hard money up front are not planning to go into your deal blind. It’s not an auction. They’ll require you to let them in the property, to see every unit, and that will start right away.

How do they do this? It takes time to write the Purchase & Sale Agreement. That starts after you, the seller, accept the buyer’s LOI, and it can be drug out. Not because that’s the buyer’s secret plan, but because it just takes time to get a contract in place that works for both parties.

Did the LOI have a time commitment? Often not. When the LOI says the buyer gets to see the units, they’ll do that right away. When the contract process drags on for two or more weeks, you the seller are now more heavily invested. It becomes harder for you to give the buyer a deadline.

Idaho Falls, ID – Rents up 28 percent in the last three years, 9% year over year, vacancy at 3%, job growth in 2020 the very best in the country, population growth at 1.3% annually over the last 10 years. What’s not to like?

And don’t count out the extraordinary beauty of this entire region in the eastern area of the state. This is a very desirable place to live.

You like Idaho but can’t touch anything in the Boise area, can’t get the brokers to return your calls? Check out Idaho Falls.

Start with employment. Department of Energy, one of the largest employers, has a large research facility there. That means highly educated people who are not likely to lose their jobs any time soon. Agriculture and health care are also prominent. If you’re looking for a Dallas or Phoenix that is going to grow like a hockey stick, Idaho Falls is probably not your target market. Recession resistance has value too, and stable growing employers help to ensure that.

Inward migration trends, favorable tax structure, and a statewide appreciation for the businesses and entrepreneurs that drive economic activity continue to support the growth of Idaho Falls. And look at the map. Close to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone, two of the most breathtaking areas of the world.

What’s the downside? Population and product. At 61,000 people, there will be fewer buyers of your property when you’re ready to sell, and if your model is to buy 100 unit properties, you may not find too many options. Cap rates are getting compressed in Idaho Falls, as they are everywhere, but still nothing like the big markets in the South and Southeast.

Impossible Thinking
We all have them. Thoughts about the impossible. “Only if I could … Nah, that’s ridiculous.”

What have you not tried because you thought it was too far out of your reach? For me, it was owning huge, mega-apartments. Which for me was anything over 30 units. Then I did it, and have been buying even bigger properties ever since. And raising a million dollars. Moving up from there.

Why do we have these barriers? I can’t answer that. Find a good book like “The Power of Impossible Thinking”. But I can confirm that they exist, that they hold us back, and that we can overcome it.

Take the 4-minute mile. The mile run was a major event in track and field since around 1886. Stopwatch technology was accurate and people had the means to travel for competitive sports events. The mile races were fast but not close to four minutes. Race times dropped but over not just years but decades the 4 minute barrier stood. No one was even very close. It was the impossible barrier. Four minutes became the Holy Grail of athletic achievement, so naturally everyone raced their best and really hoped to break it, but no one did and this barrier stood forever.

Until Roger Bannister broke it in 1956. All those years and someone finally broke it!

What happened next? In one year four more runners broke it. Did they learn new training techniques, shoot themselves up with steroids? No. They just no longer believed it was impossible.

What could you do if you knew it was possible? The list is probably long.

Who We Are

Cardinal Oak Investments acquires, improves, and manages under-valued commercial apartments. We buy B and C class properties of around 100 units in the Southeast and Midwest. We look for properties whose amenities, aesthetics, and appeal have fallen into obsolescence, whose care reflects tired management, and whose location is where a stable workforce wants to live.

And we partner with like-minded investors looking for stable assets that produce good cash flow and strong appreciation.

Founded and managed by John Todderud, Cardinal Oak Investments has acquired properties on both coasts and in between creating annual double-digit returns.

For more information, schedule time with me or contact us.

Please note: Past performance is no indication of future performance.