Timing is everything for Gorelick Real Estate Advisors
Jeff and Allison Gorelick’s timing couldn’t have been better to enter the residential real estate market in northern Nevada.
The duo left high-powered jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2009 Jeff worked as an attorney and Allison was a developer with a large construction company and founded Gorelick Real Estate Advisors right when residential real estate prices were tumbling far and fast.
“We were looking for a lifestyle change,” Jeff Gorelick says. “We have two young boys, and it seemed with the world changing as much as it did in 2008 that 2009 would be a year to look for greater priorities.”
The couple scouted several markets, including Boise and Denver. They chose Reno due to its proximity to family still living in the Bay Area and its plethora of opportunities in residential real estate. Despite owning a house in Truckee, Allison Gorelick had never visited the Biggest Little City. But once the Gorelick’s started scouting real estate investment opportunities, Reno became the clear choice.
“It took us two weeks of being here before we knew we were never going back to the Bay Area,” she says.
In December of 2009 the Gorelicks made their first purchase, a house at 720 Plumas St. that shared a lot with six small apartments behind it. Since then they’ve assembled 125 units in their portfolio, primarily in the Old Southwest and northwest Reno, and the vacancy rate across their portfolio is less than 4 percent.
Most recently, Gorelick Real Estate Advisors purchased the old Casson Apartments at St. Lawrence Avenue and Forest Street. The 62-unit property is in the midst of a renovation and will be rebranded as Midtown Commons. The couple had targeted the complex early on due to its proximity to Midtown Reno and waited several years before the owner decided to sell the property, Allison Gorelick says.
Gorelick Real Estate Advisors expects to nearly double its inventory by year’s end with several large transactions. Since the couple has self-financed all of its purchases, it’s been primarily smooth sailing from the get-go for Gorelick Real Estate Advisors.
“The first couple of years, especially 2009 through 2011, there weren’t a lot of investors in the market and we were really able to pick and choose,” Allison Gorelick says.
That’s not to say there wasn’t a learning curve. Jeff Gorelick says one of the main lessons learned was trying not to call the bottom of the residential real estate market, as well as determining when to buy a property and what product mix to purchase. Some of the company’s early property purchases experienced market depreciation as real estate values continued to plummet and only recently have seen some rise in value.
Despite the lack of bank financing or investment partners, the Gorelicks still had to keep a close eye on expenditures to avoid over-extending their capabilities, Jeff Gorelick says.
“You can’t grow like magic you have to grow within your capabilities,” he says.
Allison Gorelick says the company may take on some traditional financing in 2013 if it purchases additional large properties. Gorelick Real Estate Advisors employs five, including a full-time property manager and several maintenance workers.
Jeff Gorelick feels Midtown Reno will be at the heart of a regional economic resurgence and will become a prime location for new workers in information technology and software development.
“Those companies will be much more major employers, and if that happens we will be well positioned and we will continue to grow to meet those needs and provide the kind of product they are looking for,” he says.
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