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We all know that the real estate market is fickle. Every few years the market cycles through positive and negatives swings that leave property owners sweating. As a business owner, it can be difficult to decide when to buy, lease, or even sell industrial property to maximize the benefits to yourself and your business.
The sale, purchase, and leasing of industrial land can be a much more complicated animal than your typically residential home sale. It can be daunting for investors and business people whose chosen fields and areas of expertise are probably in much different areas than the purchase of commercial real estate. The following is an outline for how to approach the purchase of industrial land for an individual investor or a business owner. This guide is not intended to be comprehensive and should not be substituted for the advice of your own legal, financial and real estate professional as you navigate through the process of buying or selling industrial land.
1. Should you buy or lease industrial land? As a business owner in need of industrial land, you must first decide whether you buy or lease the land you need. Before making this decision, sit down with your financial advisor so that she or he can take a look at the anticipated growth of your business and the current real estate market to decide which option is right for you.
Positives of Leasing:
Leasing helps protect you in the event the real estate market for industrial property crashes.
Leasing also protects you if the neighborhood where the property becomes undesirable for any reason. It is much easier to move out at the end of your lease in these circumstances than it is to sell a parcel of industrial land in a sketchy area of town.
Leasing will not tie up much of your cash reserves, allowing your business to maintain more liquidity.
Positives of Buying:
Buying helps you secure the benefits of an enormous market upswing, as you can sell the property for a profit at the end of your use of the land.
Buying will sometimes allow tax benefits from property depreciation. Your financial advisor and accountant can provide more details about this benefit, depending on your specific situation.
Buying can also help protect you from dramatically increasing rent prices in the future if the market does happen to sky-rocket during your occupation of a property.
Property you own, but do not need to use currently, can be rented out to other individuals or businesses. If you find yourself in this situation though, be cautious about relying on this as a stream of income as tenants can be unreliable when making rental payments.
2. Assemble your team of experts.
Identify the following types of experts to assist you with your purchase of industrial property:
- Real estate
3. Identify possible properties.
If you decide to buy industrial property for your business's use, start with broadly identifying possible properties. Engage the services of a real estate professional familiar with the market for industrial land in your region. Such an individual can help you analyze previous sales of industrial land in the area where you are looking to make sure the price you are considering is comparable to other similar parcels. If you happen to be looking in the region of Minnesota, contact one of the outstanding professional agents at Lakeplace.com or Landbin.com for assistance with your search.
Whenever possible, plan a visit to each of the potential properties you have identified.
4. Do your homework. Diligently.
Once you think you have identified a handful of properties that meet your criteria take a look at the following details to weigh the positive and negative attributes of each parcel:
- Location. Does the parcel give you ideal location where vendors, employees and customers can easily access your business? Ease of access and parking options may be important if you are relying on your customers to come to you. If you require methods to transport your goods or services to others, make sure your prospective property is nearby railroads, airports, and highways.
- Condition of Buildings. Are the buildings in decent condition, or will they require extensive repairs or remodeling to suit your needs? Have a building inspector take a close look at these issues so that you have a clear understanding of the issues you may be facing.
- Zoning: Is the property's current zoning compatible with your intended use of the land? If not, consider how difficult it might be to change the zoning in the future.
- Building Potential. If there is not a pre-existing structure on the property, you must take a careful look at the physical attributes of the property to see if you can successfully build on the land. Is there infrastructure such as gas, electric, water or sewer hook-ups, or are these issues you will need to establish in the future? Are there building restrictions as a result of the property's location? Take a careful look at these issues and calculate how much it might cost to develop the land to make it usable for your business.
- Expansion options. Make sure you consider if expansion might be an option for your business in your chosen location.
- Re-Sale Value: While you may intend for your business to occupy the land for a lengthy period of time, keep in mind plans change. Businesses outgrow land. Businesses fail. It can be important to consider the re-sale value of your property in the event you need to sell it off earlier than you might anticipate.
- Legal Issues: Make sure you take a look at any environmental restrictions that may impact your intended use of the property. Are there any easements over the property? Do you require easements over other parcels of property in order to access your property? Have your legal professional make sure there are no pre-existing liens on the property or former insurance issues that could negatively impact your bottom line.
5. Make Your Decision.
Before signing any contracts on the dotted line, make sure that your financial and legal advisors have taken a look at all of the details to make sure that your decision to move forward with buying, selling or leasing industrial land makes sense for you and our business.
These are but a few of the countless considerations to be made when you are looking at industrial land for your business. Keep in mind the process of purchasing industrial land is longer than typical residential properties, so anticipate that it may be additional months before your deal is closed. Don't be afraid to hire advisors along the way. Their services may be expensive, but you will be glad you have their assistance if you encounter problems along the way. Keep involved with the process. Minnesota is known for its acres of beautiful forests, its lakes and its farming industry; these features also make it an ideal place for businesses to set up shop. Minnesota is an ideal place to live and work, so why not check out all it has to offer your business today!