As a Part time CFO I run in to situations where business owners are relocating. I always liked the strategy of owning the building you do business in. The way I look at it is you have to pay for facility costs one way or another you may as well build equity through the facility payment.
One mistake I made is with an insurance agency that I have an ownership interest in. I have had this equity interest since 1983. We kept leasing the same office space for years. We paid almost $700,000 in rent in 27 years. If at some point in the process we bought the property we would have probably still paid about the same in facility costs, but we would have enjoyed tax advantages and today we would own an asset that has resalable value. This is the typical falling asleep at the wheel scenario.
Even though the real estate market is down I still believe the right thing for business owners to do is own their building. SBA 504 programs are providing good financing options and believe it or not banks love to do them. The SBA guarantees a large percentage of the loan among other things so the banks are all in on that. However if you cannot finance a purchase today a lease with an option to buy can be a very productive strategy. Through a lease with an option to buy:
- You are not committing to a purchase
- You are controlling the property and it cannot be sold from you
- You can try the property to make sure it fits your business needs before you buy
- You have time to work toward a down payment
- You can lock in a favorable option purchase price in this current real estate market
With the aforementioned advantages of ownership a lease with an option to buy could give you the opportunity to purchase an asset for your facility dollars instead of accumulating rent receipts.
Exploring different avenues when locating can be one of the many valuable CFO Services.