Buying commercial real estate

Buying commercial real estate involves a wide range of investment factors that are unique to each transaction. Beyond the financial modeling of the investment returns, how the owner decides to hire vendors, spend due diligence funds, and ultimately manage the asset will determine whether any particular property has met their goals. The most important factors for any real estate deal are the following:

  • Investor Goals
  • Investor Experience
  • Type of Property
  • Management
  • Financing/Capital Stack available
  • Need for Creative Solutions

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Land Acquisition

The ultimate return in real estate investing is broadly considered “development," i.e. acquiring a piece of land, drastically renovating or constructing a new building from scratch, and generating a high return on your investment. This process can be greatly successful, yet also presents the biggest risk of failure.

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Debt Financing Document Review

A common part of the capital stack for real estate investments involves obtaining capital via debt financing. Debt is in contrast to equity in that debt is secured by collateral and typically has a fixed (or pre-determined) cost of borrowing (e.g. interest rate) and doesn’t fluctuate based on reported gain or profit upon exit.

Therefore, debt can be a very powerful tool when investing in real estate. I say powerful because with “great power comes great responsibility.” The lender typically has broad, discretionary power to demand responses and outcomes from the borrower, and can force foreclosure if those requirements are not met.

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Distressed Assets

Acquiring distressed assets is a complex endeavor due to the different motivations of all parties, the impacts to the physical property, the financial concerns of a possibly insolvent seller, and the need to complete the process on an extremely abbreviated timeline.

When a seller starts to face a liquidity shortfall, they will often forgo routine maintenance. When larger shortfalls begin, they may reduce staff, cut essential vendors, and defer regularly owed payments. Eventually, these late payments will alert the debt lender who can then force a sale.

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Disposition of Assets

The preparation of a property for sale should be started as early as possible. The intentional planning will involve financial statements, leasing consolidation, and physical improvements. Ronald Rohde Law can assist by reviewing leases and identifying any weaknesses that a potential buyer may object to prior to closing. We are experienced in preparing Estoppel letters and collecting accurate representations from tenants that are necessary to ensure the maximum sale price.

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Evictions are a part of being involved in real estate. It's not a matter of IF, but WHEN. Therefore, it's important to partner with a legal provider who has experienced the full cycle of eviction and possession, and one who has brought litigation to secure money judgments and collected past due funds.

There are key terms that need to be included in leases which can be crucial in the enforcement of future litigation. As more and more tenants have a stronger understanding of their legal rights and their reliance on backlogged court systems, a skilled tenant can remain in a property--rent-free--for months at a time, and Ronald Rohde Law can help you prevent this through the use of ironclad leases.

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Leasing and Operations

The lease is arguably the most important document for real estate investors. When you purchase real estate and its structural improvements, the lease dictates the detailed manner in which you generate income from it. Beyond just the monthly rent, the lease will outline the permitted uses, dispute resolution, timing of repairs, reconciliation of Common Area Charges, and termination.

Many of our clients come to us with existing leases and we assist them in negotiating renewal terms. This presents a different set of challenges as we need to modify existing terms to satisfy both the Landlord's and Tenant’s objectives and introduce new requirements that weren’t addressed in the original lease.

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