While most people tend to think of rehab and renovation jobs as having to do with residential real estate, the truth is that a commercial property can also be revamped and converted into a new space for a new business. Below are some tips to guide you through this process so you can avoid some of the common problems that buyers encounter.
Will the Property Really Give You What You Need?
Every business has its own unique requirements for functioning at its best, so consider what type of space you’ll need, and how you’ll fill that space with people, equipment, tech, etc.
Your first task will be to find the commercial property that could potentially house your business successfully. However, prior to signing any contracts, evaluate the current layout of the building, right down to plumbing, and electrical systems, and check the area surrounding the building, too.
Can you, for example, knock down walls to create one larger workspace, if necessary? Or does the space provide room for multiple private offices? And can you renovate the exterior without having to worry about things like drainage pipes getting in the way?
In other words, before you can make any major changes, you’ll need to ensure that they’re even possible, to begin with. For instance, you can’t knock down load-bearing walls, so that one problem might be a deal breaker.
It’s wise to have a building inspector check the place out, too, in order to let you know if there are any major issues, such as asbestos or lead paint, that would need to be remediated during your renovation.
Check the Property’s Certificate of Occupancy
Inspecting the property to ensure it will suit your needs is one thing, but making sure that you’re legally able to run your business there is another thing. To rest assured that you can use a commercial building exactly as you’d like, check the certificate of occupancy (CO) closely.
This handy document will give you insight into how the property can be used, so it’s a valuable tool in your buying process, and definitely something that you need to analyze before signing on the dotted line.
Bear in mind that, if a CO currently doesn’t allow for the type of business that you want to run, you might be able to have it changed, but those changes may come with a price.
Pro tip: In addition to looking at the CO, consider browsing the city council’s database to find out if the building is already in violation of any regulations or codes, and to see if there have been any complaints made about the building.
Follow Building Regulations During Renovations
A property that you’re interested in renovating might currently be following regulations for the type of business that used to reside there.
Before you make any changes to the property, it’s important to look into local building regulations and codes that you’ll need to adhere to, as well as permits that you’ll need to get. And double-check local zoning laws to be certain that the type of business you plan on operating there is actually allowed in that location.
Bottom line: regardless of the types of changes that you’re planning on making—whether minor or extensive—it’s best to be aware of the building regulations that are in place for your commercial property. That way, your renovation project can be completed without interruption.
Get the Right Loan to Jumpstart Your Project
Once you’ve thoroughly analyzed and inspected a property, and you’ve determined that it’s just what you need for your business, it’s time to consider getting a commercial property loan.
At Merchants Mortgage, we can help you get the financing you need to make your aspirations of turning a commercial property into a new business a reality. Contact us today to speak to a loan expert and learn more.
Launch Your Business in Its New Home!
Although the process of inspecting a building, checking regulations, and analyzing the certificate of occupancy can be daunting and time-consuming, it’ll all be worthwhile. Taking these steps can help ensure that you’ll end up investing in the right property for your needs, budget, and renovation desires. And, speaking of budget, with the right loan, you’ll be able to quickly grab the ideal commercial property for your business before someone else does.