In Shutdown? In DC? Want Lunch and Convo? Read This!

In Shutdown? In DC? Want Lunch and Convo? Read This!

One of my good associates sent me the enclosed invitation to a potluck for those who are impacted by the government shutdown. 

In times like these, we need community – unity – conversation, laughter, and it is always good to add food to the mix.  This is an opportunity to sit down with other “fellas-in-a-ship.”  (In church we call it FELLOWSHIP.)  LOL!

I am looking at my schedule to determine if I will be free to join and bring a dish.  Forward this post to all that you believe may have been affected.

LGBT Clergy?

LGBT Clergy?

When I first heard about LGBT Clergy, I was floored and thought. “May it not be so.” Then, I met a fair amount of local clerics who either identify as LGBT or are in extreme support. Some were in the pews. Some where in small gatherings.

As a recovering “Super Pentecostal”, I was raised with more than fire and brimstone – exorcisms (“casting out devils”), speaking in tongues and the like. While I do enjoy a good tent revival or “Devotion Service” from time to time, my beliefs have changed a bit.

I was able to experience the Holy in quiet and contemplative services of say the Quakers to the pews of “high church.” I was astonished at the vast amounts of information I learned about our church leaders and their both public and private affirmation of the LGBT community.

I have come to believe that there are organizations that really love God as much as I do and do not hold to all of the beliefs, customs, and rituals that I grew up with. After talking with another pastor friend of mine a while ago, I understand that the following organizations are friendly to the LGBT community.

If I have any of the information incorrect, let me know. I will remove. If you have additional information to add, let me know. I will add.

WHY SHARE THIS, JONATHAN? Well, life is short. There are tons of men, women, and children that I have met over the years who are on the spectrum and want to connect with God, the Holy, Christ. Churches want to grow and identify with those that are not churched or want to reconnect. This is a community that has been overlooked, abused, and neglected.

May this be the year that this community be conned to God – Christ – again. PAX CHRISTI.

New Year Quote on Vocation

New Year Quote on Vocation

A pastor friend of mine challenged me about finding an fulfilling my Vocation. Often, most people think about this a ministry within a church. Can it be that it is something that you may be able to do outside of church?

Here is what Frederick Buechner said, “Vocation is the place where our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.”

So, may this year be the year that your gladness needs the world’s need!

Prince George’s County Opportunity Zones Conference in Largo, MD (Nov. 7th)

Prince George’s County Opportunity Zones Conference in Largo, MD (Nov. 7th)

Good morning! In reference to the previous email message below, Prince George’s County have several designated “opportunity zones,” in which investors will receive tax breaks for investing in communities that are in need of redevelopment.

That being said, the County will host a free two hour opportunity zones conference in Largo, MD on Nov. 7th:

Prince George’s County Opportunity Zones Conference

If you’re interested, register ASAP, as space is limited!

End Game REI Advice

End Game REI Advice

by Tod Snodgrass

There are (at least) five stages of real estate investing maturation: bird dog/property scout, wholesale contract flipper, fix/flip (buy/rehab/sell), buy & hold, note holder. Not every Real Estate Investor (REIer) gets involved with all five stages.

For example, “newbies” often start out as bird dogs (property scouts) in order to learn the ropes of how to identify and qualify potential investment properties; after some success, the next logical step is to try your hand at being a wholesale contract flipper. The next step up the REI food chain are fix/flips. Here you wind up temporarily owning the property, during the time you are rehabbing it, and before selling it (hopefully for a profit). You will probably be required to bring money to the table, i.e. say 25% as “skin in the game” required by the hard money lender to be able to acquire the property.

Eventually, many REIers wind up owning rental properties, collecting rents, etc., a.k.a. “buy and hold” since it provides passive income that we all need in later life as we head towards retirement. However, after several years of acting in the capacity of a landlord, many REIers tire of the four T’s associated with rental property management: trash, tenants, taxes and termites.

Once you come to that point, you have some key decisions to make about what comes next with property you own. For example, you can undertake to do a 1031 tax free exchange. However, that means you are effectively transferring the “4 T’s” issue from one property to another. You can sell the property for all cash, but that may trigger a major tax payment to Uncle Sam and your state government.

Which brings us to the “owner financing” (or end game, note) option (assuming you have no debt on the property): You put it on the market for sale, and offer payment terms to the buyer: Good sized down payment with monthly payments spread over several years. You are essentially acting as the bank. You receive a first position note/deed; the buyer receives a grant deed to the property. Obviously before undertaking such a sale, it is strongly recommended that you enlist support and advice from professionals who can help you get the best deal possible for yourself: a realtor who is very familiar with non-owner-occupied investment properties; a real-estate savvy CPA; maybe a real estate attorney.

Two advantages of taking back a note, via owner financing, include:

1. Limit your tax liability (by undertaking to do an installment sale vs. all cash sale)

2. Maintain needed cash flow via the monthly payments from the buyer of your property

Conceivably, you can accomplish both with owner financing. For example, take the down payment (DP) amount involved. Done the right way, you very well may be able to secure a sizable DP with limited tax ramifications to yourself. This can be accomplished by carefully adjusting how much DP money you receive. You first need to start with the Adjusted Tax Basis (ATB).

The ATB is arrived at by adding up all the costs you have incurred with the property during the entire time you have owned it, less deprecation you have taken against the property. Roughly speaking, you can take a down payment from the buyer for an amount that equals the ATB (DP, payments, repairs, etc.), less deprecation.

Example: Selling price: $500,000. ATB: $200,000. Depreciation: $100,000. DP: somewhere between $100,000-$200,000. Balance the buyer owes you: $300,000 ($500,000-$200,000 DP) spread over say, 15 years at say 9.9% interest. Net result: Depending on how the numbers shake out, you may very well be able to keep a good chunk of the $200,000 down payment tax free. (NOTE: If you want to pay less in taxes, then reduce the DP and increase the amount you are financing.) Subsequently, the payments you receive (on the $300,000 note for 15 years at 9.9% interest) should equal about $3,025 per month. Yes, you will have to pay taxes on the monthly payments you receive from the buyer, but since it is spread over many years, the tax bite in any one year should not be too draconian.

Risks: It always possible that the buyer will run into trouble and quit making payments to you. Should that happen, you can always foreclose (take the property back), and sell it to someone else. NOTE: Should that occur, you get to keep all the monies he has paid you to date: the down payment and all the monthly payments he made over the years.

What happens if you need cash, sometime during the 15 year term of the note? No problem. You can sell the note at any time—possibly at a modest discount from face value—for cash if you need the money sooner.

Another advantage to offering seller financing: Potentially higher selling price. By making it easier for buyers to purchase your property, this can serve to increase the pool of available buyers, which in turn can result in a more money in your pocket.

What We Do: Quickly provide short-term, first position, private capital funding, in smaller amounts, on a cash-on-cash investment basis, to real estate investors.

Contact info: Tod Snodgrass,, 310-408-7015

Reminder: Everything You Need To Vote in Two Weeks (Re: Flexing our political muscle in 2018)

Reminder: Everything You Need To Vote in Two Weeks (Re: Flexing our political muscle in 2018)

Great Tuesday!  Two weeks from today is Election Day, when you’ll be afforded the opportunity to flex your political muscle in this critically important election year.   However, in some states, you now have the option to vote early!
As a friendly reminder, listed below are several resources that you (and/or those you know) can use to register to vote, confirm your registration status, obtain IDs (if you live in a voter ID state), report problems encountered while trying to vote, etc:
Election Protection – 866 OUR VOTE (Purpose: Identifies & removes roadblocks that prevent people from voting at the polls)
Election Protection Telephone Hotline: (866) 687-8683
Early Voting Calendar (Purpose: Find out which states offer early voting, and when) – From League of Women Voters (Purpose: “One stop shop” source of election related information)
Natl Voter Registration Day (Purpose: Update your registration – change in marital status, change in address, turned 18 yrs old)


Campus Vote Project – State Student Guides (Purpose: State-specific voting/elections info for college students) (Purpose: Access to state specific guides to verify your voter registration status, request an absentee ballot, determine polling place location, etc.)
Spread The Vote (Purpose: Obtain govt issued photo IDs for eligible voters)
VoteRiders (Purpose: Offer free voter ID info, help citizens get IDs to vote – especially in states with stringent voter ID laws)
Forbes article: “Meet The Women Who Lead The First African American-Owned Real Estate Crowdfunding Platform”

Forbes article: “Meet The Women Who Lead The First African American-Owned Real Estate Crowdfunding Platform”

In June 2018, a historic event occurred, in which the first black owned SEC-approved real estate crowdfund was birthed into existence:  Tulsa Real Estate Fund (TREF).
That being said, the below Forbes magazine article highlights two black women, who are leading the TREF to ensure its long-term success:
Meet The Women Who Lead The First African American-Owned Real Estate Crowdfunding Platform
“Monetizing Gentrification” presentation this Saturday @ Everlasting Life Restaurant (Capitol Heights, MD)

“Monetizing Gentrification” presentation this Saturday @ Everlasting Life Restaurant (Capitol Heights, MD)

Good morning!  Like many cities across America, the District of Columbia has experienced (and continues to experience) a phenomenon of rapid redevelopment of its neighborhoods over the past decade or so, especially neighborhoods with a solid history of neglect & disinvestment.

Regardless of what you might call this phenomenon, you can learn how to make that same phenomenon, work to your financial advantage.  That being said, the below mentioned event will take place this Saturday afternoon in Capitol Heights, MD:
What: “Monetizing Gentrification” presentation
When: Saturday, Sep. 8, 2018 from 3-5 PM
Where: Everlasting Life Restaurant – Capitol Heights, MD
Cost: $15.00 (advance), $20.00 (day of event)
Visit now for more information.
African American Film Festival

African American Film Festival

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, DC, will host its first ever film festival in October.

If interested, or know someone that may be interested, visit for more information.