Building Homeownership With Opportunity Zones, With Chris Knoppe

Can Opportunity Zones help build home ownership opportunities in certain locations around the country?

Chris Knoppe, president at CBUS OZ Funds, joins the show to discuss how a combination of renovation and new construction can rebuild neighborhoods and create a path to homeownership.

Watch On YouTube

Episode Highlights

  • Pairing renovation and new construction with single family, multi-family, and mixed-use strategies to propel neighborhood revitalization.
  • Lessons learned from three years of running an Opportunity Zone fund.
  • The case for building new single-family homes in Opportunity Zones.
  • How Opportunity Zones encourage concentrated, long-term investments.
  • A rent-to-own exit strategy.

Guest: Chris Knoppe, CBUS OZ Funds

About The Opportunity Zones & Private Equity Show

Hosted by OpportunityDb and WealthChannel founder Jimmy Atkinson, The Opportunity Zones & Private Equity Show features guest interviews from fund managers, advisors, policymakers, tax professionals, and other foremost experts in Opportunity Zones and the broader private equity landscape.

Listen Now

Show Transcript

Jimmy: Welcome to “The Opportunity Zones & Private Equity Show.” I’m Jimmy Atkinson. Can Opportunity Zones help build home ownership opportunities in certain locations around the country? Joining me on the show today to discuss this topic and more is Chris Knoppe, president at Cbus OZ Funds. And Chris comes to us from Columbus, Ohio, this morning. Chris, great to see you. Thanks for coming on the show. How you doing?

Chris: Hey, Jimmy. Great to see you as well. Always a pleasure being a part of your program. Doing well. It’s a beautiful spring day in Columbus, Ohio, and we’re busy as ever.

Jimmy: It is indeed, I’m sure. And glad to hear that. It’s a good problem to have, being busy as ever. Chris, I think a lot of my audience of high-net-worth investors and advisors is probably likely already familiar with you and Cbus OZ Funds because you’ve been a partner on several of my OZ Pitch Day events in the past. You’ve presented your Cbus OZ Funds a handful of times, but for those who may be unfamiliar, can you tell me about Cbus OZ Funds, and what is your role there?

Chris: Yeah, I’d be happy to. So, I’m the president of Cbus OZ Funds. I’m a partner in the business, along with my two brothers, Brian and Sean. So, we’ve been real estate investors and partners for over 15 years now. We all grew up in Columbus. We have a staff of about 15 full-time office workers here that supports our activity. We are really local market experts, and so our Opportunity Zone Fund, the series of funds that we launched after the passing of that legislation, really focuses on the urban revitalization of the neighborhoods around downtown Columbus. So, that’s what we’ve been spending the better part of our last few years really concentrating on. But we do property management, we do renovations, and we do new construction as well. So, we put all of those expertises, as well as acquisitions, of course, and what might become more important later this year, distressed acquisitions. So, those are all things that we pour into Cbus OZ Funds every day.

Jimmy: That’s great. And I think that’s one of the differentiators for what you guys are doing compared to what a lot of the other OZ funds are doing around the country, is something you just pointed out in your last response, is that you do some renovation as well. Renovating existing buildings can be difficult within the Opportunity Zone framework, because you have to be able to double the basis in the building in order to qualify. But you’re able to kind of blend a mix of renovation with ground-up construction to meet your substantial improvement or new construction requirements under the regulatory framework of Opportunity Zones. We’ll talk about that in a few minutes here on the program, but first I wanted to kind of start with this broad topic, this broad question, get your thoughts about, do you believe, Chris, that Opportunity Zones are critical to building and restoring the housing supply in this country? We have a huge housing shortage, as my listeners and viewers are well aware. I’ve brought it up I don’t know how many times on this podcast over the years. Everybody’s kind of aware of the fact that there’s not enough housing in this country. There’s not enough affordable housing in this country, for sure. And so, are OZs helping to tackle that issue? And why is it so important?

Chris: Yeah, that’s a great question. I’d say an example to underline the topic is many of the neighborhoods that we invest in that are surrounding downtown were once thriving neighborhoods. You know, back in the ’30s and the ’40s and the 1950s, these were the thriving neighborhoods. But in the past five decades, incrementally, the population has decreased. There’s a lot of reasons for that. There was the flight to suburbs, there was freeway systems that cut through the neighborhoods, all sorts of things that changed nationally, you know, that affected cities nationwide. And, you know, once jobs started leaving and people started leaving the neighborhoods, just the economic downward spiral continued. And, you know, at the same time, the population’s growing in our metro area. We’re the fastest-growing city in the Midwest. And yet, you know, there’s not enough housing. And so, you’re left with these certain areas of the city where the population has continued to decline, and the housing stock has suffered as a result of that.

And so, there just hasn’t been the attention of investment into these neighborhoods. And where Opportunity Zones come into play, by selecting these census tracts as OZ neighborhoods, you’re driving concentrated level of investment in exchange for the tax incentives that are offered. And so, that has really propelled our activity in these neighborhoods. It goes right along with the fact that there’s a great demand for housing, but many of the houses, were, they’re just, they’re not, they weren’t worth fixing before, just from an economic standpoint. And so, whether they get demolished and a new home is rebuilt, or whether they’re able to get renovated, and we do both, the level of concentration that drives opportunity investment is really what makes it worthwhile for an investor to participate in that activity. Because if you’re just gonna build or renovate a one-off home that’s in the middle of a large neighborhood that is otherwise suffering from blight, and losing population, that’s gonna be a losing investment. But if you can do a hundred of those projects in a concentrated census tract, you know, the neighborhood will look entirely different, the housing stock becomes more and more attractive, and you’re adding new housing units that were otherwise disregarded in the broader market. And so, I would credit the Opportunity Zone program with allowing that to happen. It’s really long-term, patient capital. And so, if you pair that with the right operator, who has the right expertise in the local market, you can really engage a complete turnaround in the trajectory and economic vitality of these neighborhoods.

Jimmy: So, clearing the blight, this housing stock that had fell into disrepair, that was old and underused, and maybe not worth fixing up, Opportunity Zones came along, and finally it was able to make a potential investment in those neighborhoods pencil in a way that it wasn’t before. Is that what you’re saying basically?

Chris: Yeah. Not only do the OZ incentives help, there are local programs that can help as well. You know, property tax abatements for renovated projects, or newly-constructed projects. Those have also been vital in assisting with these efforts. And then just the level of concentration that Opportunity Zone investing drives, that’s the other part of it. So, you’ve got the incentives, and then you also have just the pure designation of certain areas that drives investment at scale. And that’s really what’s needed to get the neighborhoods over the hump, to where they’re on an upward trend instead of a downward trend.

Jimmy: How important has Ohio’s Opportunity Zone tax credit been to what you guys are doing? Also, Ohio’s kind of unique. I don’t think there’s another state in the country, correct me if I’m wrong, that offers a tax credit. If you do Opportunity Zone deals within the state, Ohio offers, I think it’s a 10% tax credit, is that right? Maybe tell us a little bit more about that, and tell us how crucial that’s been for you guys and other developments in Ohio’s OZs.

Chris: Yeah, yeah. For anyone that doesn’t know, it’s an incredible program. So, the state of Ohio offers a income tax credit, and I’ll explain in a second why that’s important even if you don’t live in Ohio. And it is the only state that does this, and I am surprised, with how successful it’s been, why other states aren’t trying to copy it, but good for Ohio. If they remain the only one offering it, that’s all the better.

So, any investor who invests into what’s called an Ohio Opportunity Zone Fund, and to be an Ohio fund, you need to invest exclusively in Ohio Opportunity Zones… So, us being concentrated in central Ohio, around the Columbus metro area, we qualify for that. Any investor that comes into our fund, they receive a, or they’re eligible for, a 10% state tax credit. So, if you invest $100,000, that’s a $10,000 tax credit you get. There’s an application process that we work with our investors and our attorneys, we submit that for them. It’s a pretty quick turnaround. So, within usually six months or so, they’ve received their 10% tax credit, and that can either be used to pay their Ohio State tax liabilities for up to six years, or it can be sold. Or both. They’ve now enhanced the program to where somebody can use part of the tax credit themselves and sell off the rest.

So, it’s been interesting to see that market evolve. There’s a secondhand market now for these tax credit certificates, and it’s becoming more liquid, which means our investors are able to net a higher percentage of a tax credit if they sell it. And so, we work with financial advisors and CPAs and attorneys who have clients that are high income earners, who need these… They don’t need ’em, but they want these tax credits.

So, if we have an investor from Florida, or from Arizona or California, and they’re investing in our Ohio fund, they receive this tax credit. They might not have Ohio income tax to use the credit, but they can sell it and get cash. So, they’re getting a cash bonus in year one. They’re usually netting 85% of face value, so the 10% tax credit turns into a year one bonus return of about 8.5%.

Jimmy: That’s pretty impressive. So, it’s almost akin to if you make a $100,000 investment into an OZ fund in Ohio, your net investment is actually only $92,500, I guess, if you’re able to get back $8500… Well, $91,500. Sorry, math wasn’t my strong suit. You’re actually only investing, you only have $91,500 out of pocket, but you’ve got that full $100,000 going to work for you. That’s a pretty impressive return there right out of the gate, that must help investors quite a bit, I think. And, yeah, I’m surprised more states don’t offer that. In fact, some states have decided to not even conform with the OZ legislation at all, and then Ohio’s gone completely the other direction, saying, “Hey, we’re all in on this. Let’s help juice these returns even more, and drive even more revitalization into our downtrodden neighborhoods all over the state of Ohio.” I think it’s great what Ohio’s doing, and I wish other states would follow suit.

So, you mentioned, you know, part of what’s crucial to restoring these neighborhoods is doing a mix of renovation and new construction, with all forms of housing, too. I think you’re doing single-family, multi-family, and some mixed-use as well? Tell us a little bit more about your strategy there, what you guys are doing in and around the Columbus area, and what’s the mix look like exactly for you? How much renovation are you doing versus how much tear-down and new development builds are you doing?

Chris: Yeah. I think pairing renovation with new construction, it’s fairly unique from an operator standpoint, but it really makes a lot of sense with the OZ strategies and the urban revitalization strategies. So, to take you through the life cycle of some of our investments to date, our second fund, which we opened up in December of 2019… So, that fund was our first external fund. We started with an internal fund as the program was first rolled out, made sure our model was able to match up, you know, from a legal and tax standpoint. And once we tested that and had a good thesis, we brought it to external investors. So, that was in December of ’19. That fund, to date, has completed 50 projects, and those have all been renovations. And so, that fund is specializing in the smaller housing projects. So, think single-family homes, duplexes, you know, up to four units.

So, the renovation piece, and doing that to scale, is clearing the blight. And that’s really, I think, step one of neighborhood stabilization. You had some government money come in during the large financial crisis of ’08, and they were typically demolishing blighted properties. So, you have pockets of vacant lots, but then you also had just homes that were still boarded up, not necessarily from ’08, but just since then, boarded up. And that type of atmosphere invites crime. You know, it invites illicit activity if there’s a place for people to hide and do things they’re not supposed to do. So, step number one’s clearing that out, and you can only really do that through demolition or renovation. Demolition is a quick fix, but it takes away a housing unit instead of replacing one, so renovation’s preferred if it can be done. So, that’s what that fund has done in the last three years.

Return-wise, it’s been great. We’ve tracked a 42% growth in equity in that three-year period, so that’s tracking with our targets. And then the next phase of that, we’re gonna continue to rehab buildings. But we’re now starting our first round of new home construction. And so, once the neighborhood is stabilized, and you have population growth rather than decline, you really can support from an economic standpoint new construction. So, the typical home builder model is you build a house and you sell it. But in order to do that, because of the high cost of home construction, you have to have a fairly high resale price. And so, from day one, in an Opportunity Zone neighborhood, you’re usually not gonna have that. And that’s why the only new homes being built in these neighborhoods in the last few decades have usually been financed by low-income housing tax credit programs. And so, those are long-term rental properties that are subsidized through federal and state funds. But to do it in a non-subsidized way, the Opportunity Zone capital has allowed us to do that. And that’s primarily because it’s long-term, patient capital. And we’ve teed it up, so to speak, through the renovation process. Three years of rehabbing houses in the neighborhoods, you’ve eliminated a lot of blight already, and we’re continuing to do it. And now, some of those infill lots that’s the result of demolitions can now be put to productive use with new housing being built.

And so, how that factors into the OZ framework for our investors is that they start off as rental properties. And so, we’re building homes with a long-term timeline in mind, to where, you know, they’ll cover their costs, but they’re not gonna be a cash cow, so to speak, from a rental standpoint. But we believe in the equity growth that will happen through mortgage pay-down and appreciation over time. And as the neighborhoods continue to improve, we will offer the tenants of those properties, the residents, the ability to purchase those homes. So, that’s the final, I would say, evolution, or lifecycle, in our fund, and also in what I would say urban revitalization, is that converting more of the renters into homeowners. And so, that’s something that we’re proud that that’s part of the activity that we’re doing. And we also think it’s good from an economic standpoint and it’s good from a neighborhood standpoint to increase the homeownership.

Jimmy: Yeah, I think that’s great. I think that’s one of the unique things about what you guys are doing. Not a lot of other Opportunity Zone Funds, I don’t think, have that type of structure, where they’re renovating and building new housing units and then giving the tenants an opportunity to purchase down the road. They’re either just a pure new development play in an area, and then they’re renting it, or what have you. But the other thing I’m picking up on, Chris, that what you guys are doing is you’re not just demoing and then building new multi-family buildings, new residential buildings, because if you just do that in a blighted area, it’s just gonna be this nice, new building in an area that’s still blighted. You need to kind of clean up the blight first, clean up the boarded buildings, renovate them, and then you can start building new construction. Some of those infill areas, too, that were, you mentioned, had been torn down earlier, I like what you guys are doing there in Columbus. I really do. Let me ask you this, though. Building new single-family homes in Opportunity Zone neighborhoods, not a lot of people are doing that. What are some of the challenges there that you face?

Chris: Yeah. It’s certainly not easy. Otherwise, a lot of people would’ve been doing it, or we wouldn’t have the housing shortage that we have to begin with if it were easy to make the numbers work. But, you know, construction was always expensive. New construction’s always gonna be more expensive. And as I’m sure countless of your show guests have discussed, with the supply shortages, material shortages, labor shortages, you know, prices have just gone up and up and up. We’re starting to see some stabilization of that, fortunately, as we move further and further away from COVID. But, construction’s expensive. And that really doesn’t matter if you’re renovating or building, although building, it’s a lot more obvious because everything is brand-new materials that need to be sourced through the supply chain, and labor is at a shortage as well. So, the good news in our market is that Columbus is growing pretty rapidly. The downside to that is the construction teams throughout the city are maxed out. You know, so there is a labor shortage. We’ve got a giant Intel plant being built. We’ve got Ohio State University that continues to build and build and build. New innovation district campus being built there, new hospital towers being built as part of their medical center. Nationwide Children’s Hospital has big projects going on. All very positive things happening economically here in central Ohio. But the downside of that is you’ve gotta fight for crews.

And that’s not a new problem. That’s kind of like saying, like, a ship captain’s biggest struggle is navigating currents. I mean, that’s what we do for a living. You know, we have been doing it really since coming out of ’08, when a lot of the construction workers left the industry and didn’t come back. So, there’s creative ways to do that, and we’ve done, I think, a pretty good job of getting some very loyal contractor teams to do great work for us.

But costs are a challenge to building. And specifically in the OZ neighborhoods, what we’ve done, we, you know, we do have a home-building business, and some of those houses that are built are for sale. Those are outside the Opportunity Zone Fund. And then within the fund, the model is to build ’em for rent and eventually sale. But in both cases, costs versus affordability is something that needs to be given a lot of attention. And couple years ago, we started looking at how can we shrink our floor plans to build a less expensive house? You know, so that’s one big thing that we focused on. We started doing it really before the most recent inflation spike. And so, I’m glad we got a little bit of a head start there. We just thought naturally it made sense to try to offer a product that wasn’t as expensive, because as home prices continued to go up, that seemed to be the constant topic. It’s like, wow, it’s just expensive for people to buy. And I say that in a market that’s still below national average. You know, we’re relatively cheap, but, you know, nationwide, there’s this problem.

So, smaller houses. Starting to look at, you know, how we can make ’em more efficient, how we can eliminate some of the more expensive parts. You know, maybe somebody doesn’t need a garage. They’re okay with just off-street parking. Maybe you don’t need the basement. You just build it on a slab. So, we’ve been experimenting with that. The first round, we started at the extreme end, where we were building 1000-square-foot houses, two bedrooms, one bath, no parking, no basement. And, you know, we offered some of those for sale, and they’ve had lukewarm reception. And so, we’ve been tweaking the model. We made it a little wider, a little bigger, added another full bath. Typically always including garages now. And so, it’s just, you know, we’re entrepreneurial by nature. That’s how we operate. That’s why we do…we’re able to blend so many different strategies together, but we’re now, I think, at a recipe for success, to where we can still build the big house, and sell that to somebody that wants that. But more importantly, for the Opportunity Zone Fund, we can build a more efficient, very desirable home, but a little more cost-effective. So, that’s what we’ve been doing.

And we’re also, we came up with a new duplex design that is being built in our…we’re now on to Fund III. We’ve raised about $9 million in that fund to date. And it’s completed several projects already, but we’re now just getting into the, what I would think is the exciting stuff. So, talking about new construction, but also back to how we’re pairing that with renovation, Fund III is renovating a 20-unit apartment building that we bought last year. Once our crews are through that, we have a 18-unit down the street that we’ll be renovating later this year as well. And then at the same time, we’re building, this summer, getting ready to build six of the new duplexes on a infill site that I was just referring to. And so, those were designed similar to the smaller single-family homes, but adding a second unit. And so, we’re really excited to be able to bring that type of construction and concentrated effort, or concentrated investment to the neighborhoods, and just start adding housing units where there’s currently none.

Jimmy: No, I think that’s really important what you guys are doing, and others like you are doing in Ohio and around the country. You mentioned that Columbus housing, still below the national average. That might change, though, over the years. You mentioned that Columbus is one of the fastest, I think you mentioned it is the fastest-growing city in the Midwest. The Ohio State University helping out a lot with that, and that new Intel plant going in is gonna help out with that considerably as well. Give us more of the bull case for Columbus. What else is there that you like about Columbus, Ohio as an investment case?

Chris: Yeah. So, really what’s driving the population growth, I think, is… You wanna look at two things in any investment decision if you’re looking at city demographics. And so, it’s going to be demand and supply. Demand comes from population growth and income growth. Supply, obviously, is how many housing units are there and how quickly are they being added to the existing inventory. So, Columbus is growing, we’ve covered that, and has continued to grow. We’re expected to add over a million residents by the year 2050. So, for a metro area of just over 2 million, that’s quite a bit. We’re, I think, the 14th-largest city in the country. We’re gonna continue probably in that place or move up a couple notches, if I had to guess. But, that being said, we have some stability here and that comes from a very diverse economy. We’re not just linked to one industry or even a couple industries. And as the state capital, of course, we have a lot of government jobs. So, we have city and state government jobs, have a ton of healthcare here, a ton of education. There’s something like 50 universities within our eight-county region. And so, that brings a ton of young people too.

And the old Columbus of 20 years ago, a lot of people would come to Ohio State, being the, I think, third-largest university in the country. They would get educated and then they would leave. They would go to Chicago or New York or something like that. Now they’re staying. And so, that’s the difference is that the city has a cool factor. And so, we have one of the top millennial concentrations in our population right now, which has also led to a thriving startup scene. So, we’re seeing venture capital, we’re seeing startups, and that’s why job growth can happen here, as countries are relocating their…or, sorry, not countries, companies are relocating their headquarters here or adding second headquarters here because we have so many young, highly-educated people in our workforce, and the cost of living is lower. You know, the California struggles, of all the tech companies out there, and having to build whole campuses just to house their employees and how much they have to pay people to support that cost of living, it’s not a factor here in Columbus, not nearly as much. So, companies are realizing that. And, like I said, there’s every industry here. We have banking, insurance, retail, manufacturing, healthcare, you know, you name it. And there’s no one segment that makes up more than, I think, 17% of our economy. So, pretty diverse there. We don’t have the booms and the busts. It’s just steady growth.

So, some of the cities that have seen an influx of housing being built over the last 5 to 10 years are now even in a depreciation mode, and they’re seeing rents drop. So, some of the hot Sun Belt markets are seeing that. We’re not seeing that here in Columbus. It’s still very steady growth, so that’s a good thing. So, that’s more about the demand side of things.

On the supply side, we’ve been underbuilt, and, you know, there’s probably a few reasons for that, but the short story is we have an outdated process, from a zoning approval process, and that has restricted supply. And so, you know, while it can be frustrating for larger developers that are trying to build massive projects or, you know, the 300-unit apartment buildings, getting those through requires a million variances to the zoning code, which has limited supply, and that has supported pricing here. And so, from an investment thesis standpoint, the lack of supply has really set us up for I think a very stable or growing housing market in the years to come. So, that’s what we’re seeing. And with our size projects, there’s less of that type of development risk to it, because it’s either an existing property that’s being renovated or it’s a smaller, new-construction type of home or duplex that doesn’t require that higher burden of pre-development, due diligence type of stuff.

Jimmy: One other item that you mentioned a few moments ago, Chris, is that you’re building to potential home ownership for your tenants down the line, a rent-to-own type of model. Which I think is great. It gives the tenants who are leasing from you for a number of years the opportunity to build some equity, and eventually own the housing product that you’re building. But also, how important is that with regards to your fund’s exit strategy? And if your tenants don’t end up being good candidates to purchasing your properties from you 10-plus years down the line, what other exit strategies do you have in mind in order to get the capital back and the gains back to your investors?

Chris: Yep, great question. We’ve called OZ capital patient, long-term capital, but it’s not forever capital. You know, there is a return aspect to it. So, the way that we view that, there’s, as I’ve mentioned, our fund investment strategy is to do a whole lot of smaller projects, where we’re building a portfolio over the 10-year fund life cycle. In the case of Fund II, that’s doing houses and duplexes, we already have 50 completed projects and another 20 in the pipeline. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if we have a couple hundred by the time that the 10 years is up. And so, thinking through how that exit strategy works was part of our up-front due diligence with that. We have flexibility in either selling and/or refinancing the properties. And most of our investors have indicated a desire to stay in beyond 10 years, while some, of course, want that money back right at 10 years and one day, because that’s where they get their tax-free exit. Totally understandable.

So, we don’t have to do it all at once is the short answer, and we can do it through refinancing and selling. But, if you have rental properties, you do have to think about tenant turnover, and when a property is even gonna be eligible to sell. If you wanna maximize your price by selling to a homeowner, you know, usually that property needs to be vacant. You could sell it to another investment company, like, as a portfolio of sale. That would be another option as well. In the last decade, that has become more and more common, actually, since there’s more and more people investing in single-family homes from larger capital infusions.

So, we can do it a variety of ways, but selling houses to our tenants, and allowing them that opportunity for home ownership, I think is the best way. So, we can do that by what we call a lease purchase program. So it’s, you know, we can lease them the house, they have the option to buy it, and they actually can earn a credit towards their purchase that can be used for down payment or closing costs, you know, however they see fit, by making on-time rent payments to us over the course of time. And so, timing those programs up to where we’ll start to have some investors mature, hit their 10-year deadline, and they wanna come out, we’ll have the liquidity to do that through selling some properties, refinancing some properties, and then, of course, there is the portfolio sale option as well.

Jimmy: Good. All good things to keep in mind as we get closer and closer to that 10-year mark. I guess you guys have been doing this for a few years, so it’ll be here before you know it, I think, Chris. And hey, look, it’s been great catching up with you today, learning a little bit more about Columbus, Ohio, and what you guys are doing within the Opportunity Zones there. Just a couple more questions for you as we kind of wind down our interview today. You guys are doing great work in Columbus. You guys have a lot of real estate development and renovation experience. Curious, in your point of view, Chris, what are some of the most powerful trends that you think will unfold across the broader private equity real estate industry over the next few years?

Chris: I think what’s been evidenced in the last year or so, you know, it started really with interest rates spiking as a reaction to inflation, you know, that made a lot of business models nervous, you know, if not unsustainable. And so, investors, whether it be venture capital or private equity, you know, who’re just real estate-focused, there’s, I think a little bit of a feeling of flight to safety at this time. You know, there’s just some uncertainty in the market. And so, I think that’s probably the biggest thing. And then the second to that is adjusting return expectations in light of interest rates. And so, that’s something that, you know, the market has been operating on low interest rates for so long now that it’s really taking some time for sellers and buyers to get on the same page and adjusting to that. And, you know, there’s been cap rate compression for so many years and, you know, now we’re starting to see it slowly go the other way. You know, I think it’s probably gonna continue to go the other way a little bit as long as rates stay above the intermediate historical averages.

So, those two things, which I think pairs pretty well for housing. You know, housing is, especially in the right markets and the right type of housing, it’s proven to be a very stable, income-supported type of investment. So, I feel very, very good still about housing, especially the single-family and multi-family housing in the Midwest. The Midwest is now, consistently, Midwest cities are at the top of the rent increase charts, whereas it used to be the Sun Belt cities, and now you’ve seen those cities decline, and, you know, the stability of some of these markets is starting to show its value. So, yeah. I’d say, you know, trying to… Risk-adjusted returns. As interest rates go up, you have to reevaluate what’s an acceptable risk-adjusted return. And you also have to evaluate what’s your downside. You know, for many years, people haven’t really considered downside because everything’s been going up. So, now you have to look at that safety aspect of the investment.

Jimmy: Great thoughts, Chris. Hey, really wanna thank you for sharing all of your insights today with my audience and myself. Before we go, where can our audience of high-net-worth investors and advisors go to learn more about you and Cbus OZ Funds?

Chris: Yeah. So, the Cbus OZ Funds website is There’s a contact form on there. There’s some links to learn more about us. There’s some video segments of topics we’ve discussed in the past, if you wanna get to know us better. But feel free to fill out that contact form. That’ll come to me and our investor relations team, and we’ll be sure to get back to you. You can also find us on all the social medias. I’m on LinkedIn. Our company has a LinkedIn page. We have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter pages. Wherever you like to have fun, you can find us there, so…

Jimmy: Awesome. And we’ll make sure to link to a lot of those resources in our show notes for today’s episode, which will be available at And also, please be sure to subscribe to us on YouTube or your favorite podcast listing platform to always get the latest episodes. Chris, it’s been great. Thanks again so much. Appreciate your time today.

Chris: Thanks so much, Jimmy. It’s been fun. Thanks for having me.