Before deciding to lease a commercial property, consider whether purchasing real estate for your business could serve your company better. After all, real estate is often a sound investment for the future, even aside from benefits such as control over how you use the property and possible tax breaks.

Here are factors to consider as you evaluate the commercial properties that are available.

Location

Zoning matters. Are you looking for retail space? Do you plan to manufacture products or set up office space? Check with local ordinances and zoning to make sure that you can maximize your use of the property.

If you plan to have customers on your property, evaluate traffic patterns, parking availability and access issues. Look at surrounding established businesses and assess whether any of them would be competitors that threaten your success.

Property condition

You need property condition reports when seeking financing and negotiating the price of the property. Forbes notes that you likely want to hire a structural engineer for this. While assessing the property, structural engineers will:

  • Review buildings’ structural integrity
  • Perform and/or evaluate surveys of the property
  • Conduct assessments of the HVAC, electrical, plumbing and fire systems
  • Evaluate site drainage, pavement, sidewalks and landscaping
  • Assess engineering reports

A structural engineer can also tell you if any changes you want to make to existing buildings or new structures are feasible.

Environmental concerns may affect a commercial property. For example, if a previous owner left hazardous substances on the property, you may have to clean them up if the contamination does not come to light until later. Discover what prior owners used the property for to determine whether a property has a contamination risk.

Flexibility

Even if you do not plan to stay in the same location forever, owning commercial property can be a sound investment. You may be able to rent the property, which often can provide much larger returns than renting out residential properties. Billboard rental and signage space may also be potential moneymakers that continue to benefit you far into the future.