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  • Chris & John

Ep 45: Important Legal Considerations with Dustin Cohen, Residential Real Estate Attorney

Our ambition with this show is to share perspectives from all sides of real estate, so today we decided to get into the legal side of things. Our guest is Dustin Cohen, a residential real estate attorney working in the Long Island area whose practice represents everybody from homeowners to investors. Our conversation with Dustin covers many important considerations which could give investors get a sense of the expertise and experience that attorneys have, while also helping them know how to choose one. Dustin informs listeners about the many pitfalls of buying, selling and investing he sees regularly, suggesting newbies get their feet wet by passive investing rather than getting burned on expensive fix-and-flips.

From there, we move to the topic of COVID-19 and how it is affecting the deals Dustin is working on in Long Island, and how the courts are handling collapsed deals and deposit qualms between sellers and recently jobless buyers. Our conversation covers some best practices too, and Dustin speaks about how may investors could warn their attorneys earlier before making rash decisions which can lead to frantic workloads. We talk about unforeseen problems too, and Dustin warns of a few huge hits that can come out of nowhere to investors in the form of stop-work orders and sellers with bad credit. The show gets wrapped up with some advice from Dustin about best practices investors and lenders can implement to keep relations smooth and deals flowing! Learn some of the important legal aspects of buying, lending and investing with Dustin today!

Key Points from This Episode:

  • Introducing Dustin and his law practice representing a range of clients in real estate.

  • The value of buying and holding over fix-and-flips which can be pricey.

  • How lenders are pulling money due to COVID-19 thus putting investors in trouble.

  • Dustin’s perspective that investors should educate themselves due to many pitfalls.

  • Getting one’s feet wet by passive investing.

  • The COVID-19 addendum: returning down payments to syndicators who lost financing.

  • The power of attorneys to shape cases despite legislation; buyers versus sellers.

  • Unemployment and infrastructure blocks: reasons for collapsing deals in New York.

  • Assignable contracts and whether wholesaling is really illegal.

  • Whether a wholesaler has to be able to buy the house they are wholesaling.

  • Getting a stop-work order through renovating a property without first having a permit.

  • Unforeseen judgments against shady sellers that can ruin originally good deals.

  • Why investors shouldn’t rush into deals to make a quick buck now.

  • Best practices: good relationships, mastering service delivery, and underwriting properly.

  • What investors could do better to make attorneys’ lives easier: communicate.

  • Stress Dustin feels when investors inform him of plans last minute in a competitive market.

  • Illegal basement conversion and trying to compete with people who are willing to break laws.

  • What people should consider when vetting a new attorney: their area of expertise.


“My practice runs the gamut from your first time homebuyer to guys that are doing this for a living.” — Dustin Cohen [0:02:58]

“The contract is only as strong as the person that’s willing to enforce it.” — Dustin Cohen [0:16:21]

“One of the most common misunderstandings is that if you were just renovating the existing structure, that you don’t need a permit, and that is not the case at all.” — Dustin Cohen [0:29:22]

“The competition is crazy here.” — Dustin Cohen [0:41:58]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Dustin Cohen

Dustin Cohen’s Email

Dustin Cohen’s Phone Number

LI Real Estate Revolution

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