Commercial properties for sale come in all shapes and sizes, and there is no such thing as “one size fits all”. These properties are often designed with a specific type of use in mind. You’ll want to make sure you’re getting the right property to suit your plans. Here are six things to keep in mind as you shop around:
- Location- It’s the old real estate adage, “Location, location, location.” There is no substitute for it. You need to be close to your customers so that they’ll want, and be able, to come to you. Depending on the nature of the business, you’ll also need to be close to vendors and maybe even highways, rails, and/or shipping lanes. It also doesn’t hurt to be relatively close to your potential workforce.
- Physical Condition- The importance of the physical condition of the building cannot be overstated. The wear and tear on a building will give you an idea of how it was used. Older buildings may still have some liabilities such as asbestos or lead paint. You’ll want to be aware of these issues before committing to buy.
- Zoning- Check with local zoning laws to determine if the kind of business you intend to install on the property is allowed. You’ll also want to make sure the property is appropriate. For example, an accounting firm will need commercial office space while a manufacturer will need industrial space.
- Interior and Exterior Limitations- Zoning laws, building codes, and covenants may limit what kind of alteration can be done to a property. For example, a building located in a historic area may have limitations on what kind of changes can be made to a facade in order to maintain the historic “flavor” of the neighborhood.
- Access and Parking- Your customers need to be able to park adequately close to your business. Likewise, you should be sure the building is compliant with accessibility laws such as the Americans With Disabilities Act. Your vendors will need good access as well. A small business that receives a van-load of office supplies now and then will have different needs than a manufacturer who has a steady stream of semi-trucks coming and going at all hours.
- Expansion/Leasing Opportunities- It’s easy to go into a venture with a very rosy outlook, and sometimes that rosiness turns into reality. If your company expands, will your property be able to accommodate the expansion? However, if you find that you aren’t growing as much as you had hoped, is there a potential for leasing out space?