Buying Commercial Property for the First Time - 10 Top Tips

If you are reading this Blog chances are that you have already decided that you intend to purchase a Commercial Property whether that is for your business operations, property development or investment purposes. You are also probably beginning to realise that Commercial Property acquisition is quite different to most people's experience of buying their own home and no doubt you aren't quite sure how to start or more importantly how to avoid the pitfalls. If so, congratulations you've come to the right place! Read on for my Top 10 Tips.

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of being a keynote speaker at the #Kickstart2017 Commercial Property Insight event provided by the Royal Bank of Scotland and prepared for those entering into the commercial property market for the first time. For those who were unable to attend, don't worry my Top 10 Tips is derived from the presentations delivered which were found by attendees to be "of great interest" whilst "the content delivered was highly informative". I hope you think so too!

So with that, here are my Top 10 Tips to follow BEFORE buying your first Commercial Property:

Top Tip 1 - Finding the right property - Location

Perhaps the most important factor when searching for the right commercial property is location. Get this wrong and it's a difficult one to recover from.

A great location can often be thought of as property within a desirable or marketable area but what does this really mean? Well, in simple terms it's an area where demand is high and outstrips supply. In practical terms, the real key to understanding this in commercial property terms is to physically walk the streets and area surrounding any building being marketed that you may be interested in.

Red flags can be raised immediately on doing this and some examples may be the street being littered with "to let" and "for sale" boards affixed to commercial properties. In a high demand area typically all units would be occupied so if an area has for instance a number of empty retail units this would typically signal that the market supply is not there, a worrying aspect.

A further Red Flag is the length of time that a property has been on the market for. A property in a "good" location would typically be capable of being let or sold within a short timeframe, so if a property has been on the market for a long time then I'd suggest being extra cautious and carry out further due diligence before jumping in.

Top Tip 2 - How to find the right property