Archive for March 2009

Why Lease When You Can Buy?

March 4, 2009

This posting originally appeared on Patrick’s Active Rain Blog on March 3rd at 11:26.

Although I am looking at this from a commercial standpoint, I have to imagine that this certainly applies to residential real estate as well, where many markets have come off even more than the commercial markets.

Over the past several weeks I have talked to a lot of clients and potential clients about their needs.  Most of these people are looking to lease, but I always ask them if they might consider a purchase, especially if it might be possible to get a multi-tenant building/property.

Case in point is a client looking for some land or industrial space to operate a specialized auotmotive sales business.  He needs a particular zoning, a small office, and some yard area.  He also needs signage, and prefers to be along a major thoroughfare.  He has a budget in mind, and there are definitely properties that fit the bill.  So I pitched him a property that is currently leased up, but there is an opportunity to use some additional space on the property for his business.

With 20% down, at current rates, he would actually produce positive cash flow and have a space for his business.  If you have the cash to put down on the property, this is like hitting the jackpot!

Let’s face it, rates are at historic lows, and property values have declined.  Granted, property values will likely to continue to decline (especially commercial values and especially in Austin, as both of these markets haven’t faced a major decline to this point, so some devaluation seems inevitible).  Even if they do, if you can build equity in a property, generate cash flow, and avoid paying rent for your own business, why wouldn’t you explore this option?

For real estate agents, if you have thought about this for a particular client, give it a look and see if it might make sense for them.

For potential lessors, consider whether or not a purchase makes sense for you right now.  It may not only save you money in the near term, but allow you to invest in a market that will likely appreciate in the years to come.  Not to mention the tax benefits of owning property.

Finally, you’re helping out the economy, do your PATRIOTIC duty!

Just my two cents from my (limited) view down here in the trenches.

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What a Trip to La Grange Tells Me About Real Estate

March 2, 2009

This is a Repost from my (Patrick Foley) Activerain Blog today that appeared at 3:24 PM CST.

Today I was fortunate enough to take a trip to La Grange, Texas which is about 70 miles from where I live in Austin.  I say forunate because the weather is phenomenal, and I rode most of the way with my windows down and because I had some time to do some thinking which is always nice.  Along the way I realized how many For Lease signs I saw.

To be fair, today isn’t the first day that I saw a lot of For Lease signs, but it really began to hit home for me.  There is a LOT of supply of commercial real estate in the Austin market.  A TON!  More than I’ve seen, though I have only been around this market for 3 years.  What is even more amazing to me is that people are still BUILDING!

Drive along MoPac, I-35, 183, or any other major throughfare and count the For Lease signs, it truly is amazing.  Now what doesnt’ jive, is that market rates haven’t come down all that much, at least not on the surface.  In reality, deals are being done at way below asking rates, but of course nobody aggregates this data, so it is difficult to get a bead on where the market truly is, especially if you don’t happen to be a commercial real estate agent actively working in the Austin market.  I can tell you for a FACT that rates are way below anything you read in a research report, or see offered by a landlord.  If you want proof, call me on my cell at 832.659.5076 and I will prove it to you.

Bottom line – Supply is up, rates are down (remember that microeconmics class you took many years ago that taught you about supply and demand?), supply is only going to grow, and rates are only going to continue to go down (at least in the short-term).