Friday, September 22, 2017

Summer's OVER. Commercial Real Estate Considerations

Image Attribution: Original art created at www.canva.com
Summer's over although the heat didn't get the memo. Kids are back to school. Disneyland is navigable again, The Orange Street Fair is distant memory, and folks are back to work with an eye toward wrapping up their commercial real estate requirements before the holidays - which will be here before you know it. If you venture into some stores - you might believe the holidays are next week!

So, what commercial real estate considerations should you make with four months left in 2017?

Plan for 2018. If you have a landlord - and don't own your location, chances are your owner is busy calculating the operating expenses on your building. After all, in January of next year you will receive a bill for the projected property taxes, property insurance, and common area maintenance charges for 2018. Generally, owners break these into monthly payments and reconcile the over or under payments the following year. This time a year is also a good period to reflect on your business for next year and your potential space needs. If you anticipate any major changes in the square footage you occupy, use this time of year to anticipate and react.

Parking lot, cooling and heating, roof. As mentioned in a previous column, now is a wonderful time to have that roof checked before the rains of winter come deluging down. You should have a really good idea how your cooling is working - as its worked overtime in August - but what about the heating? Fire it up and correct any problems. Many owners deal with parking lot issues - such as spalling, pot holes, and re surfacing in early fall. The rains are a couple of months away and these hot dry conditions are ideal for parking lot repairs.

You've still time to make a deal. We've four months left until we chorus auld lang syne. Plenty of time to search, negotiate, and sign a lease. If you're direction leans more toward owning, plan to be in escrow in two weeks - otherwise, I'm afraid the buzzer may sound before you close.

Great time of year for marketing. Contrary to our residential counterparts who experience their busiest in the spring and summer, our busy season starts now! So, if you are a seller, put that building up for sale and take advantage of the year end activity.

SBA runs out of money - theoretically. Another reason to secure that deal now - the Small Business Association gets a new burst of funds to loan every October. If we have any government shut downs or budget shenanigans, and your loan is not in the approval queue, an SBA loan can get delayed. If your loan isn't approved before October - you could be vulnerable. Speak with your loan professional and insure your loan is on track and not subject to delays caused by a budgeting hiccup.