By Jake Stenziano
We recently sold a property in Louisville, KY. This is rare for us since we like to hold our assets for the long term. So, what happened? It came down to values-based decision making. Technically, we are leaving the Louisville market, but, in my opinion, the market left us. This was bittersweet for me because I really liked the asset and I hate to sell. Here are the three main factors that lead to this values-based decision:
- Mandated acceptance of section 8 vouchers and other forms of Government assistance.
- The Kentucky Supreme Court upheld CDC eviction moratorium (our home state of Tennessee did not).
- Increase in crime and lack of will to combat it.
Three strikes and we are out. The question that I had to ask myself was “Do I have property rights, or not?” These changes had taken away my rights as a landlord. I did not want to end up like the countless stories I’ve heard coming out of California of property owners carrying hundreds of thousands of dollars in delinquencies because the state took away their ability to evict for non-payment rent. George Washington said “Freedom and Property Rights and inseparable. You can’t have one without the other.” I value freedom and property rights and therefore, it was time for us to walk away.
This wasn’t the first time that I’ve done this in my life. Back in 2010, I had an economic awaking and realized that I wasn’t a good fit for the state of New York. I noticed that many states had lower property taxes, did not charge state income tax, and had better climates. I started to discuss this with fellow New Yorkers and they said I was crazy and that “They will get you one way or another,” whatever that means. My next step was to rank the 50 states by lowest state income tax, property tax, and weather. I then settled on my new home in the state of Tennessee, and the move immediately granted me a 5-figure increase in net take home pay, and started it my real estate career.
I challenge everyone who is reading this to realize the opportunity that we all have as Americans. There are 50 states for you to choose from for investing, or for calling a place home. Was it a difficult decision to pack my things, leave my family and a place that I called home my entire life? Absolutely, but when I look at my decision through the lens of values-based decision making, it was the right one for me.
Many people feel stuck, but you need to realize, this is an opportunity for you to shop the same way that you do when scrolling through deals on Amazon. Find places that will align with your values and act.
The states, cities, and counties need producers more than both of us probably realize and we should reward places that align with our values. If I would have continued on in Louisville, KY it would have been my fault. They showed their cards, and they mean business. So many people bitch and complain about their local leadership, but if you can’t change it, I only see one option. In my opinion, it was time to let that ship sink and simply leave. You need to take responsibility for your situation. If you are in an abusive relationship with your state, its ultimately on you, not them. They have communicated how they feel. Know when to hold em, and know when to fold em.
Lastly, people said I was crazy for leaving NY and blah blah blah. Trust me when I tell you, I’ll say it again, it was one of the most difficult decisions at the time, but the best decision that I’ve made in my entire life.
I would like to share our core values that we have created for our companies These core values guide all of our decisions, and define us as a company. They give us clarity, and allow us to act swiftly when either an opportunity or a problem arises.
I challenge you to begin creating core values for your business, if you haven’t already. If a situation arises that is not in alignment with your values, then you can take action and continue to live by those values.