Property Acquisition 101: Free Assessment Tool

“We got such a great deal on this ___________!” (You fill in the blank)

I have heard these words far too many times, and 9 times out of 10, the “deal” was anything but. Yes the purchase cost was less than market, but the cost of development was astronomical.  Things such as:

  1. Poor topography
  2. Odd shaped parcel
  3. Lack of public water and sewer (if you build more than 300 seats, you need a fire sprinkler system)
  4. Lack of Three Phase Electric (needed for most commercial applications)
  5. Utility easements slicing through the property
  6. Wetlands
  7. Deed Restrictions
  8. Zoning restrictions
  9. Poor road visibility
  10. Located outside the target market you are trying to reach

I have seen first hand how the “deal of the century” actually cost a church MORE than acquiring a site for market value.  Don’t misunderstand…I am not saying that you need to be prudent with the acquisition price of any property.  What I am saying is make sure you ask ALL the right questions BEFORE you purchase.

If you are considering purchasing an existing facility, there are similar “horror” stories I can share related to:

  1. Zoning limitations
  2. Lack of fire sprinklers
  3. Low ceiling heights
  4. Inadequate parking
  5. Handicap/ADA issues
  6. Inadequate Electrical, Plumbing and HVAC systems
  7. Excessive deferred maintenance
  8. Cost of renovation
  9. Incongruency of the facility compared to the vision and “story” of the church…and
  10. Located outside the target market you are trying to reach

To help you get started in this process, we have an invaluable tool on our website. This tool is a simple tool that allows you to create a grading system to evaluate multiple site.  This is in an Excel format, so you can customize it to meet your specific situation.  This is a FREE tool that has morphed over the years by several friends of mine.

Download your free copy of the Potential Church Facility Assessment  (scroll down to CHURCH LOCALITY RESOURCES)…and make the wise choice!

2 comments on “Property Acquisition 101: Free Assessment Tool

  1. When a realtor makes a comment abut electrical capabilities, plumbing, deed restrictions, market tables, get an outsider to verify. Realtors won’t outright lie but won’t always for totally honest either, They are human, and only make money when you buy, and have no vested interest in you being happy after the sale. This happened more than once in more than one city. Tells me it is not an isolated instance but maybe a wide spread indicator.

    1. Mark…I have seen the same thing. While I do not believe their lack of details is malicious or deceitful, many brokers do not understand all the moving parts and requirements that a church must have to make a reasonable decision.

      Thanks for the input.

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