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May 23, 2024 | read

131. Mobile Home Parks, Angel Investing, and How to Make Sound Decisions with Charlie Ansanelli

Thomas Castelli

Charlie Ansanelli is a real estate investor and angel investor at RockStack Capital, where he and his team manage a portfolio of multifamily apartments, manufactured housing communities, and business commercial units across the United States.

Today we discuss how Charlie went from entrepreneur to real estate investor, why he chose to focus on mobile homes, tips, angel investing, and tax savings.

Charlie began in the entrepreneurship world in the Bay Area after dropping out of college, both working with others and founding his own companies. After cycles of growing a business, selling that business, and paying back investors, Charlie felt that he didn’t want to continue again with the process of raising capital. Charlie always had a goal to enter real estate to take his retirement into his own hands. He wanted to use his own money and have total control. His first real estate investment was a 31-pad mobile home park in Tuscon, Arizona.

“I was crazy for dropping out of college, I was crazy for not buying a home, but I think you have to be a little bit crazy in order to have a little bit of success in this world. Conventional wisdom leads to a conventional life. It seems like we’re always trying to escape a conventional life, so why do we keep listening to conventional wisdom? You have to challenge things, carve your own path, question things, and be critical.”

Since the first mobile home park, Charlie has added 9 parks of about 600 lots. Charlie has raised capital for these additional deals, but he leads with his own money and is generally the largest investor in each acquisition. He’s now a full-time real estate investor and operator. His 2021 goal is to become semi-retired. Real estate has been very active for Charlie so far, and he wants that to turn passive and gain back some time.

Why MHPs?

The blue ocean strategy – the riches are in the niches! Single family and multifamily investments are flooded with activity and competition right now. Often, the value-add has been maximized or fully realized.

MHPs are more fragmented and misunderstood. The lack of competition leads to better yields. Additionally, the demand is very high for affordable housing as housing grows more and more expensive every year.

In mobile home parks, Charlie is looking to function essentially as a glorified parking lot with a function for utilities. Ideally, the residents own their homes.

Analysis Paralysis

How do you objectively ensure that you’re buying the right asset, at the right price, in the right market?

Investors must remove emotion and silence the voice of doubt. Instead, use a checklist and a process for each component of the market and the deal itself. A full business plan and strategy needs to be created for the asset.

In general, when pursuing acquisitions, investors should have a thesis or general framework for their comfort level to help determine which potential deals deserve to be heavily pursued.

Angel Investing

Like real estate investing, angel investing is something Charlie always wanted to do. Charlie isn’t interested in building a business from the group up at this point, but he still wants to be involved and help startups by backing them with funding.

Charlie likes young entrepreneurs with big ideas and loves the discussion about the business and the potential changes coming in the world overall. Unlike real estate, Charlie is more aggressive and speculative. He’s looking for the home runs that will change the world, and he’s okay to take some risk for that upside.

Net Operating Loss Carryback in the CARES Act

When a loss is generated from rental real estate, the treatments are different depending on the passive or nonpassive nature of the activity. A passive loss gets suspended and carried forward into following years. A net operating loss is claimed against all other income, and the leftover loss is a net operating loss. To claim these carryback losses from rental real estate, the activity must be recharacterized from passive to nonpassive. This involves the real estate professional status and material participation. Now, W2 income, capital gains, dividends, and interest can be offset.

Learn more about Charlie and his work by connecting with him on LinkedIn or by visiting his website: https://www.rockstackcapital.com/

Join our Facebook group, the one-stop shop for real estate investors to learn about tax strategy and stay up to date on changing tax laws: www.facebook.com/groups/taxsmartinvestors