In my last blog post (awhile ago), I wrote about wanting to delve into the world of real estate investing.

Well, my husband, Andrew, and I bought our first property.  It is not what I had originally had in mind, but it makes so much more sense!

We bought an office condo for Andrew’s law practice.  This is an owner occupied property, but our first property that we will not be living in.  It is something that we can definitely hold on to, and when (and if) Andrew ever retires, we can lease it out.

I acted as the buyer’s agent for this transaction and I learned a lot about commercial real estate!

I decided that I would take my continuing education classes in commercial real estate and learn everything I could about commercial real estate.

What I learned is that commercial is so much different than residential.  There are a few listings on MLS, but not much.  The listings that are truly worth looking at are elsewhere.  It took a bit of research to find those listings.  Once I did find those listings, I was able to find a few properties for us to look at.  Each property is unique so you can not research 3 bedroom 2 bathroom in a certain area and have a bunch of properties pop up.  You really have to sift through each one, and it is much more of a numbers game than residential where emotions run the show.

I learned that even though commercial real estate is much slower paced that residential, some properties are hard to find.  I rushed to get our offer in the day after we saw it and it was accepted.  They did end up receiving two back up offers.  This type of property, in this area, and in this price range only comes on the market about once a year from what I have seen.  Commercial agents do not seem to work much on the weekends contrary to residential  when a good portion of our business takes place.

The seller’s agent was a super nice guy and walked me through the process of the purchase.  Some things were of course similar such as the option period, inspections, etc.

We are doing some work on the condo before we move in.  We are remodeling the kitchenette, bathroom, replacing the floor, and replacing the very old and out of code HVAC unit.  We hope to move in by August 1st.

Andrew has another year left on his current lease, and so we are going to sublease that space.  Another first for me in commercial real estate.

People have asked why we chose to purchase an office rather than just renting.  This purchase will save us about $800 a month in rent this year.  Every year, the rent increases and every 2-3 years we have to sign another lease with increased rent.  Andrew has been in his current space for 10 years now and the rent has increase over $1000 per month in the 10 years.

For the next 15 years, our mortgage will remain steady, and then we will own it.  The only fees we will continue to have are HOA dues and property taxes.  This seems like a win win!

I do not know if we will continue to invest in commercial real estate or head into residential, but our goal is to buy one property a year and see how it goes.

If you or anyone you know is interested in purchasing a small commercial property or office condo please have them contact me at 512-914-2573.  I would love to help them!