The Ultimate Guide to Buying Commercial Property

Commercial real estate has long been a highly sought-after investment opportunity. The potential for substantial returns draws investors in, but it's crucial to understand the increased responsibility that comes with it. If you're considering buying...

Commercial real estate has long been a highly sought-after investment opportunity. The potential for substantial returns draws investors in, but it's crucial to understand the increased responsibility that comes with it. If you're considering buying commercial property, this guide is here to help you navigate the process and make informed decisions.

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What is Commercial Property?

Commercial property refers to real estate used specifically for business purposes. It includes buildings that house businesses, land for profit generation, and residential rental properties. Some examples of commercial property are malls, office buildings, manufacturing shops, and grocery stores. The performance of commercial property often reflects the business activity in a particular region or economy.

Types of Commercial Property

There are five main categories of commercial property: office spaces, industrial spaces, retail spaces, hospitality spaces, and multifamily properties. Office spaces can be further classified as Class A, B, or C, depending on their quality and competitiveness. Industrial spaces are used for manufacturing and distribution, retail spaces for selling products and services, hospitality spaces for hotels and motels, and multifamily properties for residential purposes.

Buying Commercial Property Vs. Residential Property

Buying commercial property offers unique advantages compared to residential properties. While the investment costs may be higher, so are the potential returns. Commercial properties often have more straightforward pricing and fewer emotional factors to consider. Additionally, commercial real estate investors have access to triple net leases, which can further reduce risks compared to residential properties.

How to Buy Commercial Property in 7 Steps

  1. Identify your motivations for investing: Determine why you want to invest in commercial real estate and what you hope to achieve. Different investment strategies include land banking, development, fix and flip, wholesaling, owner-occupied, BRRRR (buy, rehab, rent, refinance, repeat), and passive investing.

  2. Consider your investing options: Commercial real estate encompasses various property types, so it's essential to determine which type aligns with your investment goals.

  3. Secure financing: Before you start searching for properties, secure financing to know your budget and facilitate a faster deal. Explore different financing options, such as commercial real estate loans, small business loans, and seller financing.

  4. Align yourself with the right people: Real estate is a people business, so it's crucial to build a team of professionals to support your commercial property purchase. Consider hiring a commercial real estate agent, attorney, and certified public accountant (CPA) to ensure a smooth transaction.

  5. Find a property that meets your criteria: Search for properties that align with your investment goals and criteria. Stick to your criteria and avoid properties that don't contribute to your long-term objectives.

  6. Perform due diligence: Analyze the property thoroughly by running the numbers and assessing potential risks and rewards. Ensure the property aligns with your portfolio and will benefit your investment strategy.

  7. Close the deal: Once you find a suitable property, make an offer with a contingency clause, allowing an inspection period. Proceed with the due diligence process, including insurance setup and document review, to finalize the purchase.

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Is Buying Commercial Property A Good Investment?

Buying commercial property has proven to be a smart investment for those who understand the market. Commercial real estate offers higher returns on investment compared to residential properties. Additionally, owning commercial property can lead to stronger professional relationships, flexible lease terms, limited business hours, attractive financing options, and equity appreciation.

To make the most of commercial real estate investments, it's crucial to work with an experienced commercial real estate broker who can guide you through the process and help you find the right opportunities.

Buying Commercial Property Tips

Transitioning from residential to commercial real estate investing requires some adjustments. Here are some tips to help you succeed in the commercial real estate market:

  • Learn the language: Familiarize yourself with commercial real estate terminology and concepts to communicate effectively with potential partners, tenants, and lenders.
  • Find a market: Analyze different markets and consider investing outside your local area to find high-performing markets.
  • Work with a mentor: Seek guidance from an experienced commercial real estate investor or professional to gain insights and advice.
  • Visit properties: Take the time to visit potential properties to assess their suitability for your investment goals.
  • Protect your assets: Ensure your existing assets are properly protected and research different types of liability insurance and business structures.
  • Invest in self-education: Continuously learn about commercial real estate through podcasts, YouTube videos, books, and networking with experts in the field.

Finding The Right Commercial Property For Your Business

If you're a business owner looking to purchase a commercial space, it's essential to consider your company's needs and future growth. Evaluate market conditions, financing options, and potential returns just like you would for an investment property. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential tenant and assess the suitability of each property for your business operations, including factors like parking and room for expansion.

Underwriting Commercial Real Estate

Underwriting a commercial deal involves analyzing numerous variables beyond a residential property. Factors such as market conditions, gross profit percentage, capitalization rate, price per square foot, and cash on cash returns all play a role in evaluating the profitability of a commercial property. Developing a spreadsheet and a systematic approach to underwriting will help you make informed investment decisions.

CCIM Certification

Consider pursuing the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) certification offered by the CCIM Institute. This certification provides comprehensive coursework on commercial real estate investing, taught by industry leaders. It can enhance your knowledge, credentials, and potential for success in the commercial real estate industry.

In conclusion, buying commercial property can be a rewarding investment when approached with the right knowledge and strategy. Take the time to understand the market, secure financing, assemble a capable team, conduct thorough due diligence, and make informed decisions. With a solid plan and the right resources, you can navigate the commercial real estate market successfully and reap the benefits of this lucrative sector.

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