Join us for an exhilarating milestone on the Exit Strategies Radio Show as we toast to our 100th episode! In this special compilation episode, we're cranking up the excitement and gratitude to mark this fantastic achievement. Our mission to empower the community through financial literacy and real estate education has led us to this momentous occasion, and we're just getting started on our legacy-building journey.
In this exciting episode, we're honored to have the incredible Miss Dannielle Dixon Thomas, Agency Owner at Allstate Insurance, as we take a nostalgic journey through past episodes with expert guests. From Dannielle's insightful take on the impact of inflation on insurance rates to Corwin's dynamic conversation about the optimal timing for home buying in a changing market, we've got the knowledge you need.
Don't miss Dan Haberkost's candid advice on house hacking for financial freedom and Brad's expert insights on investment strategies. As we laugh and learn, we're reminded that real estate isn't just about properties; it's about building a legacy.
Tune in to commemorate this milestone and catch up on invaluable tips and perspectives that keep us empowered and prepared for a brighter financial future.
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Contact Number: 843-619-3005
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Hey look, Exit Strategies Radio Show! Hey, thank you all. Look, this is our one-hundredth episode. We’re gonna do it right, we gonna make it rain. This is our 100th episode, guys. And I want to say thank you to you– our listeners. We’ve had guests that’s been dropping by the studio we have none of them with us Danielle Dixon Thomas with Allstate Moncks Corner, Danielle, how are you doing today?
I’m doing well. Corwyn. How about you?
I’m doing incredible. I’m doing incredible. Thank you so much for stopping in on us today. I know that you have a loyal following up there. And I got to I could take just a moment of liberty and ask this question of because look, you in the insurance space. And insurance in South Carolina is ridiculous right now.
Yeah, it’s pretty interesting.
So tell me what you’re seeing if you don’t mind real quick, because I want our listeners to pick this up and glean this from you.
Sure. So what we’re seeing is the impact of inflation. I mean, I know a lot of people are like, Oh, my gosh, inflation. And it is a real thing. And the business of insurance is helping people get back to where they were before a loss. And so I’ve equated it to you go out to dinner, you have a nice meal, you get an appetizer, you’re getting everything right. And at the end, your waitperson brings the check, and you gotta pay. Insurance, we’re the ones paying the check. So some of what we’re seeing is we’re having to pay these large costs that we don’t know the full cost of something until the invoice comes due. And we may have budgeted a certain amount, and it ends up being more than that amount. And if we have not charged the appropriate rates, because we don’t know everything about the insured, we could be ending up in the hole. And so if you pay attention, several companies have gone out of business, because they could not pay the cost to be the boss, like it ended up as like we saw where home insurers were charging a really low premium. And we’re like this is one of people’s largest assets. And if it’s not insured properly, and you’re not getting the right premium, when it comes time to pay for a total loss claim on a home, you’re going to be paying out more than what you weren’t getting in. And you can only pass that on to so many people before they start leaving. It’s a whole cycle. And so that’s what we’re seeing. Right now, it’s tough out here.
It’s quite interesting, coastal areas, which is where you are, if you will not on directly on the coast but close enough that if the wind blows wrong, you feel it. So you know, it’s very interesting to see that take shape. Thank you for that tidbit of information there for our listeners, because I think it’s fitting, I think it’s useful and fitting for them to know, hey, this is why this is what’s going on. They need to reach out to you. So you know your episode was viewed Holly, you know, people always are interested in the inner workings of things. And we know that insurance is one of those inner working things. Thank you so much for taking the studio. We greatly appreciate it. Thank you for being part of the family. For our listeners, Danielle, drop your contact information so people can get in contact with you
Sure thing, I’m on Instagram, I’m on Facebook, Twitter, whatever it’s called. Now, yeah, I have a representation there. I put it that way. But if you look me up by Dixon Agency, LLC, is how you can find me on social media platforms. I keep it easy. And I try to be as responsive as possible. But I do have a response where you have my contact number for my agency and my email, shoot me an email, and let me know how you found me. I like to, you know, give flowers to the people that send referrals my way because it takes hands to wash hands and we each need each other. And if I don’t have a solution for you, I’ll try to connect you to somebody who may have it. The least that I can do is educate you so that you can be an informed consumer. When you’re shopping, you know what you need to ask for and you have an understanding of what you’re paying your money for.
Good deal. Good deal. Well Danielle, thank you. Thank you so much for stopping in. Thank you for crossing the stage on episode 100.
Yes, Sir, you take care, all right. Bye.
But we always have this conversation about well, rates are going up should I wait to buy? So let’s get your opinion on it.
You know, I love this because there are so many resources out there. You don’t even have to listen to one person’s opinion, do a little teeny tiny bit of research and you’re going to see these calculations that will astonish you, you’re going to see, if I waited from last year to this year to purchase. Some people, depending on what they do, they would have saved like $50,000 – $100,000, depending on what kind of purchase, and you don’t think it’s that big of a deal. But when you see those numbers written down in front of you, that’s when you’re like, wow, why didn’t I just do it, there is that hesitation. It’s kind of almost like a little bit like gambling, you’re like, I really kind of want to wait. And sadly, no matter what, our lives will continue progressing, and things will start getting continue being more expensive. I mean, for me as you say, you don’t want to project. But I don’t think waiting is ever a good idea. But, again, do more research. I’m big on research.
You guys do a lot of different programs. Now, for our listeners, you guys are a broker?
We are a lender. So we– Yes. And your listeners understand the difference between a broker and a lender, correct?
No, let’s have that conversation.
Sure, absolutely. So when you get a broker, you’ll have someone that will go a broker is going to, hey, here’s my different options of what you can do. And then okay, this is what you like, this is the lender versus us where we are lending out money, obviously not my own money, we are personally lending out our money. And we’re wanting to make sure the reason why we get very strict, you’ll see conditions when you’re doing a loan, paint, the underwriter wants to confirm that you have been at your job for two years. The reason we do this is because you have to continue transferring the loans out so that you can get your money back so you can continue loaning. And so this ensures that we are telling the people that are buying the loans, we promise you this is a really good client. And that’s kind of where that all comes into play.
Ranch is going to continue to go up. And that usually is more than owning a house. So I would say whatever rates are right now, go ahead and get that house now if you can because with the value is going up, it’s still going to appreciate, so you’re better off buying now whatever the rate is, and then down the road looking to refinance, if you can, to better your position down the road, and you’re gonna have more equity in the property than anyway, you may be able to remove PMI at that time. So I say now is the best time to buy
One of the bigger mistakes that I hear is when people step forward, they say, you know, I’m just gonna wait for prices to drop. Well, that’s not a good idea. So, here it is, we have two tiers, and we already know that the interest rates are going to move like this. And when prices drop, they more or less move like this. If you have a $20,000 price drop on homes, it’s still not going to give you a benefit if we have a 1% increase in interest rates, you’re still going to be paying more monthly, the difference is today, and you might qualify for 280 when that 1% hits, even with that $20,000 price drop, you might be now qualifying for you know 252-40 You’re still not gonna see a benefit from that I think it’s one of the biggest mistakes I see people doing is just not sitting down to talk to somebody, a professional, and let them run the numbers and show them where they can generate some wealth and what they can do. I mean because times are different and you have to prepare in advance financially for where these things are gonna take you.
So what are you telling people for them to be successful at accomplishing homeownership or even selling a home in this market?
Persistence and getting your financial house in order. You know, gone are the days where you kind of go in knowing for sure a seller’s gonna pay your closing costs. So having real strong conversations about getting making sure you have your down payment money, but also making sure you have your closing costs. Also, this is a term I use in my book, I call it eating the manna. So again, if you think about the story, God gave the children of Israel manna to feed them, but they weren’t satisfied with the manna, because they were used to eating the riches in the meats of Egypt, God was feeding them, you walk out your door, food is there. And they were unhappy with that. And so when I tell people to eat the manna, I mean, be happy with what God provides you. In other words, if you find a great house, great location, and the right number of bedrooms that you need, if it doesn’t have granite countertops, don’t walk away from that house, countertops can be changed, paint can be updated. So just be grateful for what God has provided for you and don’t get caught up in all the flash.
Well, the first question is, how long are they going to hold the property? Right? Is it a year? Is it two years? And then the next conversation is about the market. The question that the next conversation is what is the market gonna do? And we don’t know, I do think we, we track and we all track is the number of listings and the velocity of houses going under contract. And you know, we’re hybrid, right around 1000 listings in the Tri-County area, which is, you know, not a lot of houses before COVID, were 5500. So we’re down to low inventory. And so prices are going to continue to go up, they’re going to continue to go up until supply starts to catch up with the demand. And no one knows that. I mean, we don’t know if, if it’s going to be another two years or three years before it slows down. But in national terms, we’re about half a million housing starts off every year, we’re behind the eight ball. So I don’t know what we’re going to do to catch up. I happen to sit on the Charleston County Planning Commission. And so I think we have to figure out a way to be more creative when it comes to zoning. And that is a very, very touchy situation when you started talking about changing zoning and possibly having more density. But I think condos I think townhouses would certainly help first-time homebuyers get into the market, more affordable.
Let’s start with what sellers need to know in this current climate, what is your opinion about what sellers need to know?
Okay, one thing I would say that definitely, sellers need to know is what real estate and selling your home are. Number one, like people like to say it’s not one shoe that fits every foot. That’s true. And it applies to real estate also. So if you’re a seller, don’t assume you know, whatever you saw your neighbor’s house, or whatever your neighbor did, that that will work for your house too. As a seller, it’s important to make sure your house is in good condition. And if everybody can deem good condition as something different. So that’s why it’s good to have a good real estate agent, that’d be your backbone to let you know what’s good and good as in curb appeal, the cleanness of the house, what we can do to make sure we’re bringing people in, you know, declutter, make sure that, when you walk into a house, it’s the same thing as if when you walk into a restaurant, you want something neat, clean, something that you feel comfortable eating your food, and you want people to feel invited, and you want a nice look so that when they walk through your house, or they see your master bedroom, they can see their self sitting there.
So I want to kind of bring you back and take you back to it. And then we’ll circle back around definitely on that because you have a lot of insight to provide regarding now versus then, and kind of, you know, what we quote-unquote, expect. But one of the things is that you list a lot of properties, am I right?
Awesome. So if you had to, or were able to, quote-unquote, give advice– not in an individual setting, but in a mass setting to potential prospective sellers of homes, in the Charleston market, or the Charleston region. What would that advice be?
Well, to get the best price possible, I think I mean, you’ve been in this business long enough to know that in the last 15 years, it changed dramatically, 180 degrees. Before if you wanted to go see homes, you had to come to a realtor’s office, we had those big books with the listings that got updated once a week. And we owned the information that the client didn’t have any information. Well now with the internet and all the portals, the client then the buyers know the same as we do. And so our job is more how to interpret the barrage of information that’s out there on the internet, and how to help our clients negotiate through this is a very challenging market. Because it’s changing, it’s a dynamic market, and new things that worked five years ago, don’t work anymore. So if you’re a seller, and you’re thinking of cashing in at this fantastic seller market opportunity, there are a couple of things that are three very important things. Preparation is one, you need to make your house shine, make all that deferred maintenance, those repairs, so they present perfect, that’s the only way you’re gonna get top dollar for your house. And second, pricing, you have to have strategic pricing. Because even in a seller’s market, you can go overboard and overpriced at home. And that’s not a good idea. And the third one is promotion, you need to be where the buyers are. The National Association of Realtors said that 95% of buyers start their process online. So you have to be heavily on online advertising Pay Per Click, and social media, to be able to broadcast your listing wherever the buyers are, which we don’t know can be next door to you. It can be in Japan, we don’t know.
The young people seem to be given up on owning a house because they are rating what they saw on social media, they listened to the mainstream news. And that tells them, Oh, housing markets are high and things are so expensive, and nobody can and what was me? Well, you know, in North and South Carolina, we do have affordable options. If you’ve got a realtor that’s willing to go hunt for them. Now, we’re not in the Bay Area, bless them. I mean, I don’t want to live there either. But there are options, and you have to stop looking at what you can’t do and figure out what you can. And making the phone call might be the lifeline that your neighbor needed to have a chance at the American dream. I mean, we got to think about all these things differently. It’s the same reason we have to talk about scriptures and we talk about our beliefs so that somebody in the periphery can hear about it and say, I might need to hear this because I’m seeking that too. It’s no different. Realtors are not what you see on Selling Sunset and that buffoon Phil Dunphy on Modern Family because I will say it did make me mad when that was the national ad campaign was built around freaking Phil Dunphy from Modern Family because first of all, he was just kind of a doofus. And he’s talking about how all realtors know the model of a window so you can shimmy in the house. So I have never shimmied through a window. And I wouldn’t. And that’s not who we are. And then you watch him go run around. And it wasn’t professional. It wasn’t showing all of those. Those details that realtors mean, they cry with their clients Corwyn, I know your agents come to you like mine do and they’re heartbroken when something doesn’t go right. And it’s got nothing to do with anything as if: I need her, I need her to win. And like I know, baby I know. And I want to fix this too. But it will never show up on TV because that’s not sexy. And it’s not shocking. And it doesn’t make anybody go tweet about it. It is day-to-day life, which we used to live that pretty well before we had the interwebs. And that turned us into little nasty keyboard warriors. We did a good job back then carrying casseroles to people and showing them care. So that’s what we should go back to is a 9 by 13th life. That’s what I’m writing about.
Oh, that’s the– hold on, so you clicked in. So hold on. I gotta get this one. Did you say 9 by 13?
9 by 13 life, you know what the 9 by 13 is right?
All right, look here, elaborate, please!
That is the size of a casserole dish that is your ticket to the Baptist Church. Because if you don’t have a 9 by 13, how you will make a green bean casserole with chicken tetrazzini and baked spaghetti when everybody’s got one in the kitchen? And if you don’t, then I need to introduce you to Jesus and the church and to the cook and the way we used to cook which was think about what used to happen, right? Somebody had a baby, you fed them, they had a death in the family, you fed them, something changed in their life, you fed them. But it wasn’t even just the food. It was the care that went into the preparation and we took it to the house. And that’s what realtors do every day. They notice when life changes. And then they say what can I do? And you see it with disaster relief like the Realtor Relief Foundation. Look at how horrible Conway I mean, they just go underwater at any given chance. And here’s the National Guard coming in to put in some sandbags and stand around and say Well, here we are in Conway again. And the realtors come in and say let me give you a little bit of money so you can find somewhere to go while we dry your house out because realtors just want to swoop in and help and you don’t even see how that all these little poisonous devices because it doesn’t get people fired up to where they want to leave 1000 comments and make a bunch of little likes and faces.
One of the five pillars of exit is training. Yeah, we’ve come back and we’re all juiced up about doing that and putting that in place for our agents. You know, they keep front of mind, they always need to be learning and growing. So, you know, because we want to provide a level of customer service that is just unparalleled. Sure. And to add on to that, though, from what you’re
saying, what I took away from it is like the same the onboarding process, but in addition, like, there’s so much that exit has to offer that we weren’t even using. And we thought we were using, we thought were the people in the office who were using all the exit stuff. And we go out there, and we’re like, well, we weren’t using that. Yeah, we weren’t using that, you know, there’s just limitless like the amount of training you can do. They’ll make flyers for your listings. And we’re over here, like making flyers from listings, where you can just click a button, and they’re going to do it for you. But David had mentioned the five pillars, and I’m gonna say it right here right now because I’m not struggling. It’s training technology, brand culture, and sponsoring and exits all about all five of them. And so that’s what exit does to put you in a position to succeed. And we can get into depth on them at a later time. But I just want to make sure I got those five out. So, Stephen, everybody knows I know those five pillars.
People were unprepared, didn’t have the necessary cash flow. This time around, I think people will be ready before it even hits the market. Because like I said, that short sellers worked out, or you be getting 1.9 million letters coming to your house, we’ll buy it. Or they are killing me with them.
So you get ‘em too!
I get them too! Listen, I get my phone, And they say that– a matter of fact, let me tell you a quick story on that. And this is for you viewers out there. The guys, the message says, hey, hey, hey, buddy, you gotta warm you up. Hey, buddy. We see you got this house on 123 Main Street. No, we would love to buy it. Press skip, if you want this message to stop, right? I know the game, which is what happens is they have to acknowledge that okay if we send these text messages out, I gotta allow you to stop it. Nah, what you meant to say was stopped: S T O P, not: S K I P, press stop then automatically the system stopped, right? Because about a said skip, skip, they kind of kept hitting me and hitting me. So that’s a little nugget out there. But anyway, a lot of people will keep sending you letters, and with the letters on top of banks wanting to work things out on top, I think it won’t be an avalanche because institutions do not want to get into the foreclosure process. So it won’t be anywhere near as the crash back then there are a lot of laws and guidelines in place because you know, yeah, a lot of Mortgage Lenders or mortgage companies taking advantage of people, Miss document documents, and not putting the correct information. It was a lot of BS going on back then. That’s why you had what you had, you know.
What markets do you primarily practice in the area and other parts of the country? What areas do you like currently?
Yeah, so I’m embarrassed about how many markets I’m still in, and I’m exiting some of my markets. So from Hawaii, right from Hawaii, everyone. If you grew up on an island, everyone else is just the others. Right? So I didn’t know the difference between Virginia and South Carolina in terms of markets, right? I just knew that I was starting in Hawaii. And Hawaii was too expensive for me. After a couple of transactions, I’m like, I can’t cash flow in Hawaii. So almost picking a spot on the map and figuring out where I gonna go to so Texas and Georgia and there are multiple markets in between that I’ve dabbled in, which is a terrible way to be a real estate investor until I found the right team in a market. And so the markets that I have grown significantly in are directly related to I have a competent team like a rockstar team on the ground there. And although I’m licensed, I’m never my agent, I hire someone that knows that market better than I am. Sure, I could be a property manager, I’ve tried to I’m a terrible property manager. So I need to make sure I have a rockstar property manager on the ground. And contractors, if you’re doing value add over the last five years, I’ve shifted heavily into the DMV market, I did almost nothing in this area, although I lived in this area, I could invest remotely, I just happen to be living in a different location, right. So I was always looking at investing remotely. And it was once my kids started to become old enough to understand what I was doing. And rather than showing them pictures and a P&L sheet, which I do, I just knew that they could get more out of hands-on education. And some buying properties that we can drive to that they can you know, go take a look at the renovation, take a look at it before during after with them to work a little bit before the contractors show up. So that it grains in grains in their memory, some of the value lessons that they can learn so heavily in this DMV market over the last five years.
you’re not going to argue with argue, right? Fire and fire just makes irritation and they’re gonna hang up the phone on you. So what we got to do is we got to bring them back to the fundamentals of why did you reach out in the first place? Like why did you show up to the open house? Why did you dial us on that ad? Why did you put your information on that listing that we are advertising? Like something triggered you. So if we get well, you know, we’re looking for a bigger house. Okay. And why are we looking for a bigger house? Well, we have a bunch of kids. Okay, that makes sense. Now, a lot of agents are going to stop right there. Like you barely just got the lid of the jar open and you stop. You’re like, okay, they need a bigger house. They have a lot of kids. How many kids? Yeah, we have three kids. Okay. What kind of house are you looking for? We’re looking for a five-bedroom. Great. Oh, chick, ching, ching, ching, ching, five bedrooms that’s 500 that, oh, that’s 25. Right. They start going into the math and they forget about the prospect. They’ve already gone to the store and bought the $7 gallon of milk and filled up their Escalade three times that they couldn’t afford. And so we’re like, wait a minute, slow it down, What’s the effect that they’re having? Okay, so tell me, do we know what you want? Do you guys want a five-bedroom house? You got a bunch of kids? How many? Three? Okay, why else do we need the house? What else is affecting you? And so instead of assuming let the person tell you the story because when they tell you the story, they tell themself how much pain they’re in. Yeah, right. So they have to say selling isn’t telling. Selling is asking questions and then biting your lip and tongue. And maybe like, the only time that I think like jewelry in your mouth is appropriate, as if you like you put that shoehorn that the kids put through their lip. If you put it in through your lip and you shut the hell up. And you stop talking, then it’s appropriate. Corwynm, all of a sudden, well, rates are 7% in your market. Yeah, but dude, I’m going to lose my wife. Yeah, I’ve already lost one of my oldest sons who thinks that the computer is more important than me. Because I’m always staring at the computer instead of talking to him. Oh, well, is this something that we want to change? Yeah. Okay, well, I guess rates don’t matter as much. Maybe we live 20 minutes away from where we wanted to live. Because that’s where homes are more affordable.
Now we’re moving into the topic of investing, right actually buying and holding property over the long term. And so house hacking is a great way to do that. Especially when I was just getting started. Still working a job. A big reason that I was able to leave my job and get Frontrange Land up and going is because I was house hacking. I bought a single family here in Colorado Springs in 2018. And it was a four bed, three bath split level. I lived upstairs in the master. I rented out the two extra bedrooms upstairs for 700 a month each. And then the basement again, it was a split level. So there was another living room, a back entrance, bathroom storage, all that, and a basement. Beyond that. I rented that for 900 a month. So my mortgage was… I want to say 1500 And I had what is that? 1600 coming in a month? While I was living in it? I’m sorry, that math was terrible. I had 2300 a month?
Yeah. You said 700 each upstairs.
I forgot the other 700. Yeah, so I had 2300 a month coming in on a $1,500 mortgage while I was living in the property. They covered my gas utilities and food for the month along with the mortgage. And that gave me the freedom to go leave my job, get my business up and running, and fail for a little bit. Because all my bases were covered. Did I like having people in my house? No, I didn’t. I didn’t at all. But you know what, I’m glad I did it because it allowed me to get my business going. And I would every year buy another one, move to it and do it again, that’s allowed me to build a portfolio. And it allowed me to take the risk of leaving my job and getting my business going. And so it was uncomfortable. I don’t miss that, I stopped doing that last year, I bought a nice house. And I don’t have anyone in here with me. But again, short-term sacrifices up front can pay dividends in the long run. And so that was well worth doing. And now I have some great rentals too, just from that.
There’s a difference between a regular IRA and a Roth IRA. There are tax advantages to the ROTH that the regular IRA doesn’t have, and then 1031 exchanges. And the last one that I did was this couple, two single-family residences, and did a 1031 exchange into a larger parcel of land in exchange to defer the tax. That’s what the 1031 exchange does. So they paid no tax, and they own now a more expensive piece of dirt, which they will then wait 7 to 10 years that we recommend to people and write it to that 3 to 7x return which is way more than we’d make on the and they don’t have to deal with what we call the T’s: tenants, toilets, termites, and trouble. None of the T’s, nobody waking them up at midnight on Saturday like I got a call from one of my rentals. Brad, I’m sorry to call you so late. No. Yeah. What did– I was half asleep. What is it, Brook? The washing machine overflowed your basement up in Pasco Washington has about three, four inches of water in it. I’ve already called the guys and their emergency crew. It’s going to cost more because it’s the weekend but you want to get the water out before it causes any mold. Thank goodness for homeowners insurance, because he’s covered the $5,600 bill for all the work that had to be done. But I was stuck for $700 or $800, to buy a new washing machine. Tenants, toilets, termites in trouble, we don’t want any of that I’ve got one rental now down to just the one it’s fully paid for. So it’s all cash flow, that one that I can put up with a little a few of the T’s.
So in that situation, as a buyer. That buyer, I would imagine, either had, should have had, or taken the time to inspect the property, which means that there should have been some degree of inspection to understand what the condition of the plumbing was if the issue was even related to plumbing. If they went on vacation, one thing that we tell people is you leave the house and go on vacation, shut the water off to the house.
These are very practical things that people should do. And I think what I’m posting is a little bit more dramatic. Or what I’m posting is the fact that if you know how to use the legal system to protect yourself, you don’t care what the facts are, right? It’s a mere preparation and the mere tools that you’ve used on the legal side tell you to say it doesn’t matter to me what the facts are, what people are alleging, or what they’re lying about, or whether was a representation about whether the plumbing was replaced or not. And so that’s no, we already have enough built in that by using the process of understanding how real litigation happens, that you’re in this class of people, which is the top 1/10 of 1%. And what my company focuses on is how you take those types of strategies that type of tax and financial sophistication, that type of estate planning and offer it to the average real estate investor.
Guys, that was a great show today and we thank you so much for taking the time to listen to Exit Strategies Radio Show. My name is Corwyn J. Melette. Yes, that is me. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for tuning in for today’s episode. Exit Strategies is my baby. It is how I give back to our community. It is how I foster goodwill, spread good news, and trustfully help you get great results. Guys, as I always say to you, as I always say to you, I love you. I love you. I love you. And we gon’ see you guys out there in the streets.