Burt M. Polson | Napa Valley and Vallejo's Commercial Real Estate Broker

Guiding you through the real estate part of your life™

Commercial Sales, Leasing and Consulting

Private Equity Syndication

Napa Valley and Vallejo, California

Do your due-diligence diligently

If you are purchasing real estate, you probably want to know what you are getting yourself into and perform due-diligence.

I purchased a used truck and was able to negotiate what I thought was a good deal--only if I knew then what I know now I would have passed.

I soon discovered after closing the deal that my truck was driven hard during the first few years of its life in the Canadian wilderness by a contractor for the oil business. You can imagine the hidden wear and tear about every inch of the truck experienced. Well, I do not have to imagine--I have become good friends with my mechanic.

Read More

Retail trends and predictions

The news media tells us Amazon is disrupting the retail industry causing stores to close. Retail is evolving, and it is not all negative.

Below are five trends and predictions in the retail industry.

Who wants to shop at the mall?

Our regional mall that opened over thirty years ago at the time consisted of 150 stores including Emporium-Capwells, JCPenney, Sears, and Mervyns. A cinema and video arcade were the entertainment.

Read More

5 avoidable risks for commercial property owners - part 1

“I thought the only risk you had was making sure the rent check cleared the bank,” exclaimed Paula, a friend of mine who is considering investing in commercial real estate.

Jokingly, I had to explain that investors do not just sit back collecting rent checks each month. There are ongoing responsibilities an owner should perform during her ownership to not only ensure a happy tenant but also mitigate risk.

Read More

Shaking up real estate values with the new fault maps - part 2

The Napa earthquake of 2014 likely affected the value of several homes close to the fault with several owners finding it may be difficult to sell at some time in the future.

In part one, we reviewed the new Alquist-Priolo earthquake fault zone map which now confirms the location of the fault running from north Vallejo, through American Canyon up through north-west Napa.

When examining a map, you will find a yellow-shaded area following the actual fault and averages a quarter of a mile in width.  This area is where development could be restricted.

Read More

Real Estate Applications of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act

Mortgage Interest Deductions (For taxpayers who itemize)

  • The mortgage interest deduction for existing mortgages of up to $1 million (for principal residence and second homes, combined) taken out before December 15, 2017, will not be affected. Homeowners may also refinance mortgage debts existing on December 14, 2017, up to $1 million and still deduct the interest, so long as the new loan does not exceed the amount of the mortgage being refinanced.
  • For any new loans as of January 1, 2018, (for principal residence and second homes, combined) the deduction will be limited to interest on $750,000 of principal.
  • The interest on home equity loans will only be deductible if the proceeds are used to substantially improve the residence.
Read More

Shaking up real estate values with the new fault maps - part 1

I recall going on a run at Alston Park in Napa after the earthquake to find a six-inch crevice that opened up across several trails. Previously living in Browns Valley in Napa I pinpointed the location of my former home on the new Alquist-Priolo earthquake fault zone map to find the house is now within the yellow block signifying it lies within the earthquake fault zone. I am thankful I sold when I did.

When I purchased the home, I suspected the fault was in the area of Century Oaks Park based on previous maps, so I always had bought earthquake insurance. I sold the home back in 2011 and had never experienced an earthquake in that house.

Read More

Salvation Army provides housing for culinary students

Substance abuse and homelessness are part of our community in the Napa Valley, and The Salvation Army of Napa Valley’s Culinary Training Academy was established to make a difference in the lives of those needing a second chance.

Lack of affordable housing in Napa is a dilemma not easily solved. Losing a job or experiencing tough times that takes away your earnings potential is a reality that touches us all.

The academy is a program that gives someone who has struggled with homelessness and substance abuse the independence, self-sufficiency, confidence, and dignity to pursue a professional job in local hospitality industries.

Read More

Crowdfunding and syndications

I am excited about the new year.

As I look back to my previous 25 years in celebration of a career milestone, I am excited about cultivating my relationships with current clients and growing relationships with new clients.

I gave a hint in my previous article of a new venture this year--in addition to continuing selling and leasing commercial real estate, I will be creating a new private equity syndication company.

A primer on syndications

A syndication is an organization consisting of a group of investors who pool capital together to purchase investment real estate.

Read More

25 years ago...

I am excited about this week as it marks my 25th anniversary in real estate. December 1992 seems like a lifetime ago, which in many ways rings true when you look at the growth one experiences in themselves and the world around them.

There have been many positive occurrences in my career and business as well as a few learning experiences.

Read More

The tax bill and other readers’ questions

I value your feedback on my articles as well as the questions. There are many topics to discuss today in real estate, but I would like to take a moment to answer a few of your questions. Please be sure to consult with a professional for any legal or tax-related questions.

Cassandra of St. Helena, CA asks

Read More

Secrets of the MLS - part 1

Have you ever considered how the real estate marketing engine runs? The processing and exchanging of information in a multiple listing service (MLS) is a complicated process orchestrated by several organizations. The advancement of technology and the demands of the consumer are asking for change, but the industry is pushing back.

In the complex world of real estate, the key is the control and dissemination of information. Let's expose a few truths.

Read More

How is your property manager performing?

I find myself confronted with a classic example as described in my recent two-part article, "The maintenance money pit." Entering my third month of a new asset management account engagement of a portfolio of retail and multi-family commercial properties has proven challenging.

I am excited to help the ownership improve their investment, increase its value, bring

Read More

The maintenance money pit - part 2

You may not have heard of a “maintenance pit,” but I am sure you have seen a property in one. Deferring maintenance on a property for one reason or another is a bad habit for the property owner.

Issues left unresolved grow and compound causing other problems costing more money to fix.

In part one we discussed the roof and roof elements as well as exterior walls and trim. We will wrap up with the grounds, interior, attic & crawlspace and mechanical, plumbing & electrical systems. My list is not an all-inclusive list of potential items to look for but will give you a good start.

Read More

How cannabis is changing real estate

California will soon be another state legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. No one seems to know the full effects of the new law and to many of us feels like one huge quasi-experiment on the population of the state.

I would like to take a cursory look at the new law and the current and possible effects it may have on real estate.

Read More

Top tech predictions in real estate - part 2

There has been an accelerated impact of technology on our lives that is hard to go unnoticed. As we continue to embrace new technology it will affect our lives in ways we never imagined.

In part one we discussed disruption and collaboration as technology affects the retail and office sectors. This article will highlight transportation, urbanization, certification, and optimization.

Read More

An ACRES Real Estate Services, Inc. Company