How to buy Commercial Property

Advice on how to buy commercial property, from property searching to funding.

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The first decision you need to make when the time comes to buy commercial property is what kind of premises you are in need of. Looking aimlessly with no real idea of what it is you are going to need could mean that the search takes much longer than it needs to, and you might end up with premises which don’t function as you were hoping.

How to buy commercial property:

What kind of Premises?

In order to decide what kind of premises you are going to need, you will want to ask and answer for yourself a series of key questions. Firstly, decide upon how much space you are going to need per employee. Consider whether you might need additional space for meetings or interviews, remembering that it may seem unprofessional to hold such events in the everyday work space. If you and your business are at the point where you are ready to buy commercial property, you will want to cover all considerations to avoid buying the wrong property. Do you need parking space for employees or customers? Does your business hold stock? If so, you’ll need storage space. You may decide to take more than one premises, using the less expensive location for storage, for example.

When you are ready to buy commercial property, it is best to opt for modern buildings which benefit from good natural light and built-in security systems.

Bear in mind that if your business involves manufacturing that you may require permission to carry out your business at your premises.

Picking a Location

For retailers, it is necessary to be located near to your customers or suppliers, with good visibility from highways.

Business relying more on high tech communications could opt for a more remote location in order to save money.

For producers of goods, it is necessary to be surrounded by good transport links.

Think about where your staff is commuting from. Wherever you buy commercial property, your employees will need to be able to reach the premises easily. A city-centre location will cost more, but the amount of potential employees will be much greater.

City centres also come with higher levels of crime, noise, pollution, and parking charges. Locations away from town will be cleaner and cheaper but will suffer from having fewer local amenities in the vicinity.

Refine your search

Once you have decided what kind of property you want and where you want to find it, you will need to continue the search until you find that perfect building. When you are looking to buy commercial property, you can easily get help from property industry journals such as the Estates Gazette and Estates Times. Both journals publish surveys of different industry sectors and areas. Get in touch with local businesses and organisations like Business Link and Chambers of Commerce to get advice on where to buy.

Always make use of personal contacts. Get in touch with anyone you know to ask whether they know of any property available.

Finance the purchase

In some cases, a very large company may have the cash available to buy commercial property outright without the need of any financial aid. However, in most cases business owners are likely to need to take out a commercial mortgage in order to finance the purchase. Keep in mind that you will need to commit to a mortgage term which will ordinarily be a minimum of around 15 years. You will need to be able to provide the business’ account details and the cash flow projections to the lender before they will hand over any funds.

Ordinarily, to buy commercial property, a business will have to be able to put down a substantial deposit. These are often between 20% and 30% of the property’s value. If you are unable to keep up with the mortgage payments, the property will be put at risk.

Setting up commercial premises

Once you have been to find and buy commercial property for your business, you will need to put aside some additional funds for a series of other costs.

- Decorating

You will most likely want to sand and varnish the floors, paint the walls and ceilings, and perhaps re-carpet throughout.

Removals

You will have to have all of the furniture you already owned removed from your previous location and transported over to the new premises.

Furniture

With larger premises will come the need for more furniture, such as desks, storage, and new computer equipment for any additional staff.

IT Setup

You may want to hire someone to set up computer and telecoms systems.

Stationery

You will want new stationery and other branded items updated with the new address.

Image: Anamnesius

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