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Commercial Real Estate Financing - Where To Get It And How?

Purchasing property that will be used for your business is, in most cases, the biggest startup expense business owners have. There are several ways, and numerous places to obtain commercial real estate financing, whether you are buying an existing building, purchasing land and constructing a new building, or buying and remodeling an existing building to meet your businesses requirements.

Common sources for commercial real estate financing are banks, savings and loans, mortgage companies, venture capital firms, and even insurance companies. You can also obtain financing through the Small Business Administration through their 504 loan program, which was designed for small business commercial real estate financing, and offers a low down payment, low fixed-rate interest, 20 year terms, and steadily decreasing fees through a partnership between banks and non-profit development companies. There are also firms that specialize in finding commercial real estate financing for their clients. These firms do not provide the financing; they simply work to find the financing for their clients, for a fee.

Start with the Small Business Administration. The SBA is in the business of helping small business owners. Therefore, they work to make things less complicated for their clients. If you fail to get a commercial real estate loan through the SBA, you should strongly consider hiring a firm to help you find the financing you need. The time and effort that you will save are greatly worth the fees that will be required. These firms can be easily found by doing a search on the Internet for "commercial real estate financing."

Documents that will be requested by the potential lenders will be your business plan, financial statements for the last five years, federal income tax returns for the last five years, articles of incorporation (if you are incorporated), and your business licenses. The lenders will also want as much documentation as possible on the real estate.

If you are purchasing land to build on, the lender will want the specifics in regards to the land, including the price, as well as blue prints and construction costs for the building. A common problem that many business owners face when they obtain financing for the construction of a new building is that they do not apply to borrow enough funds for the completion of the building. That is why it is best to have the blueprints drawn up, and to get estimates from three or four construction companies first. This is also true if you are planning to remodel an existing business.

For existing buildings that will not need to be remodeled, provide the lender with documentation concerning the dimensions, the age, and the condition of the building, as well as the seller's asking price and contact information for the seller or realtor. Many lenders will require that the building be inspected by a professional and that you provide them with a report of the inspector's findings.

If you arrive at the meeting with the lender well organized and prepared, you have a sound business plan, and the real estate that you wish to purchase is worth the asking price, you have a great chance of getting the commercial real estate financing that you are looking for. However, don't sign any papers right away. Be sure that you shop around for the best financing terms you can find before committing to anything. If the lender tries to pressure you into signing papers before you are ready, simply walk away.

Click here if you are looking for financing for commercial real estate, business purchase, franchise opportunity, or need a business loan for equipment or working capital.

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