Renting Versus Owning

Many of my acquaintances pushed me to buy commercial real estate from the start. Although I know they meant well, their lack of experience as business owners and real estate investors made me skeptical of their advice. I remembered reading that commercial real estate is a different business. When you choose to buy a space rather than lease, you are essentially acquiring a second business. Not all business owners have the time, experience, and knowledge to manage this. It can be a risky move that may end up jeopardizing your original business rather than serving as a sound investment. With that in mind, I decided against buying a property while I worked on making my sewing classes more engaging and appealing. I have no desire to get rich off of what I do, but I did want to make sure that I wasn’t operating at a loss either.

Now that I’ve become more comfortable with the operation of my business, and the success of my sewing classes has increased profitability, I feel I am ready to commit to a second venture without any detriment to my original one. That is why I’ve made the decision to stop leasing and start looking into buying a commercial property. Before arriving at this decision, I sat down with a real estate expert to analyze my situation and weigh out all the pros and cons of renting versus owning.

Here are a few things I believe everyone should know before transitioning from leasing a commercial space to owning one.

The Risks

  • Trendy locations tend to change from year to year. What may be considered a “hot” area right now can quickly fall out of favor after the hype has died down and a new “hot” neighborhood goes under development. This means that you may not be able to make the return you were hoping for on your investment.
  • Buying a property can tie up a large portion of your assets, leaving you with very liquidity. Should you business encounter any setbacks, you will be left with very little wiggle room as it takes a great deal of time to sell off a property.
  • Once you own a property, you will be solely responsible for any necessary repairs. These can often come unexpectedly and take a heavy toll on your cash flow.
  • If you plan to rent out the property, you need to also keep in mind that tenants may miss payments or cause trouble, resulting in loss of income as well as legal fees or other expenses.

If you choose to proceed, remember to do your due diligence before signing off on any deal. It can be more expensive to have a larger commercial property inspected or appraised, and you may also need to pay for environmental analysis and other additional evaluations of the property. Factor these things into your budget, and be prepared to walk away in the event that you discover unexpected issues and are unable to resolve the matter through negotiation. You will most likely take a financial loss but it is better than finding yourself stuck with a problematic property.

Time To Grow

Life is one continuous growing experience. Even now in my later life, I find myself constantly having to learn new things and adapt. With the growing popularity of my sewing classes, I have decided to expand my business to accommodate the growing number of students signing up. I could have never expected the response I received from the community. As it turns out, the art of sewing is not lost. Many people are interested to learn but simply don’t know where to start. While it is possible to teach yourself at home, it requires a bigger investment of time and energy. Those who sign up for my classes typically bring a friend or family member and turn the experience into a fun activity that they can do together. That makes me very happy as I feel that is the best environment for learning a new skill. Sewing can bring an immense sense of accomplishment and pride, and it’s nice to see that it is being viewed as something enjoyable rather than tedious.

Back to what this means for my business… I feel the right move at this point is to relocate to a bigger space. My classes have been cramped lately, and I want those attending to feel comfortable and have fun. The current location no longer suffices for my needs or those of my students. I’ve been keeping an eye on commercial real estate properties in the Northwest Arkansas area. So far there is nothing that seems to fit the bill.

I’ve been working with a wonderful real estate agent who has extensive experience with the sale of commercial properties. She has been absolutely helpful in navigating me through the process of purchasing a property. Up until this point, I have been renting a small space in a plaza located in the suburbs. This will be my first time buying commercial real estate, and I have found that there are many differences between this experience and the experience I had buying a home. I am looking forward to being able to make the move, but I am also very nervous. It is a huge investment and sometimes I wonder what I’ve gotten myself into, but I know it will be worth it in the end to pursue something I enjoy and feel so strongly about.

Here are a few things I’ve learned during this process that I’d like to share with anyone else who is thinking about buying commercial real estate. Whether you are looking to invest in an apartment, offices, or land, you should:

  • Find trusted and experienced real estate professionals. This includes finding a Realtor, lawyer, and accountant to assist you, There are many aspects of purchasing commercial properties that are different from residential transactions. An expert will be better equipped to help you successfully complete the transaction with minimal hassle.
  • Expect the process to take longer than a residential real estate transaction. Give yourself enough time and prepare in advance for the trans

A Sewing Blog

Sewing is an essential skill that seems to have been lost over the years. What was once passed down from mother to daughter is now viewed as a hobby at best, which is a shame. Basic knowledge of sewing can be just as important as knowing how to cook or clean, and it is by no means only a “woman’s job”. Anyone – male or female – can benefit from knowing how to do a few simple things such as reattaching a loose button or hemming a pair of pants. It can help you to save money and prevent things from going to waste. Many people are perfectly content to throw out an item that has been ripped or has come undone at the seams, despite the fact that these minor issues can easily be corrected. To me, it is upsetting that we have become so wasteful. It seems that everything is disposable and there is no value to anything anymore. Things are constantly being replaced, sending more and more items to the landfill that are still perfectly usable.

Part of the reason I enjoy sewing is that it harkens me back to a time when items were crafted with care and cherished by the people who owned them. Mass production has diminished the value of everything. It may be cheaper and more accessible to consumers, but it comes at the cost of quality and durability in many cases, as well as creates a sense of apathy in buyers. So many things are purchased and shoved into the back of closets, never to be worn.

I suppose this line of thought reveals my age – although really I’m not that old. There are times when I just wished people would have more respect for the earth and its natural resources. Everything was made from something that had to be extracted from the earth. It required the effort of countless people gathering the resources, refining them, and finally creating the garments. Don’t get me started on the abundance of overseas sweatshops that exploit workers to be able to sell us $5 jeans.

All these opinions drove me to do something about what I viewed as a regrettable loss. I started my own class, teaching people of all ages basic sewing skills from replacing buttons to patching small holes. Over the past few months, I’ve received very positive responses. When it comes down to it, learning any new skill is a way to become more empowered. Many people are thrilled to now have the ability to save their favorite items from going into the trash, or to adjust new items to better fit them. While there are tailors out there who offer these services, what they provide does not come with a sense of pride and competence.

On my blog, I will be sharing sewing tips, tricks, and advice, as well as helpful information for the general care and maintenance of a household. Whether you are a full-time homemaker, or would like to pick up some basic domestic skills to contribute more, keep reading!