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Thread: Commercial Property finance

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    Angry Commercial Property finance

    As a small business owner I find it ridiculous that if I want to buy business premises I have to pay a 25 to 30% deposit and then pay the bond off over 10 years. This makes it well nigh impossible for a small business owner to own his own property.

    Why is it possible to buy residential property and pay it over 20 years or more but not commercial property?

    Is there another route one can use?

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    The differences can be attributed to the risk perceptions in the eyes of the originators / banks. For example, conventional wisdom has it that if a business owner gets into financial difficulties, he'll redirect all his efforts and remaining resources toward saving his residence, and allow his commercial property to be sacrificed to the repossession gremlins, if it comes to that.

    Similarly, a residential mortgage is often supported primarily by the owner's "every Friday" paycheck (and frequently a spouse's, to boot), whereas a commercial loan's first line of support is the net cash flow of a business. The latter is, of course, usually significantly more unpredictable than the former. Businesses go bust on a regular basis, but families tend to be around for the long haul.

    Also there's a much more robust secondary market for residential paper. This means a bank will frequently only have its money tied up in a 30-year mortgage for a very short time, whereas for a 15-year commercial note, the bank's at risk the full 15 years (albeit on a declining absolute amount of exposure, of course).

    None of which makes your frustration any less annoying, I'm sure. Hopefully someone familiar with funding and financing programs in your particular area will weigh in with some attractive alternatives.

  3. Thank given for this post:

    AndyD (01-Nov-12), Dave A (31-Oct-12)

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Good answer ArcSine. Welcome to The Forum SA. How about an introduction?
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    'Preciate that, Blurock. The intro's on the books.

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    Thanks for the profile Arcsine. Hope you were spared Sandy's devastation.
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    Yes, thanks, I'm significantly south of where Sandy made landfall. But 'devastation' is indeed an accurate term for those in Sandy's path. Thoughts and prayers to 'em all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArcSine View Post
    The differences can be attributed to the risk perceptions in the eyes of the originators / banks. For example, conventional wisdom has it that if a business owner gets into financial difficulties, he'll redirect all his efforts and remaining resources toward saving his residence, and allow his commercial property to be sacrificed to the repossession gremlins, if it comes to that.

    Similarly, a residential mortgage is often supported primarily by the owner's "every Friday" paycheck (and frequently a spouse's, to boot), whereas a commercial loan's first line of support is the net cash flow of a business. The latter is, of course, usually significantly more unpredictable than the former. Businesses go bust on a regular basis, but families tend to be around for the long haul.

    Also there's a much more robust secondary market for residential paper. This means a bank will frequently only have its money tied up in a 30-year mortgage for a very short time, whereas for a 15-year commercial note, the bank's at risk the full 15 years (albeit on a declining absolute amount of exposure, of course).

    None of which makes your frustration any less annoying, I'm sure. Hopefully someone familiar with funding and financing programs in your particular area will weigh in with some attractive alternatives.
    Thank you for the feed-back. You mention a 15 year repayment. I was under the impression that it is 10 years?

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    I just used 15 as an arbitrary example. Sorry for not clarifying that. Actually, commercial notes come in various maturities, as do all types and classes of loans. I've seen 7-year terms, 10s, 15s, and everything in between. The maturity (and other terms) an institution is willing to offer is somewhat idiosyncratic, depending on the bank's own experience and focus, the nature of the underlying collateral, and so on.

    I was just pointing out some of the rationale for why commercial paper tends to have shorter maturities than residential paper, on average.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArcSine View Post
    I just used 15 as an arbitrary example. Sorry for not clarifying that. Actually, commercial notes come in various maturities, as do all types and classes of loans. I've seen 7-year terms, 10s, 15s, and everything in between. The maturity (and other terms) an institution is willing to offer is somewhat idiosyncratic, depending on the bank's own experience and focus, the nature of the underlying collateral, and so on.

    I was just pointing out some of the rationale for why commercial paper tends to have shorter maturities than residential paper, on average.
    Oh, I see. Do you think the same terms will apply if I buy the business premises in my own name?

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    One other thing that should be noted is that the banks will only fund the bond for their valuation of the property.So if you want to buy a commercial property for say R1 million and the bank only sees R800k of value they will want a R240k deposit (if at 30%) and a payment of R200k and will only finance the balance of R560k.

    We were looking a while back and this is what I found.I have put saving measures in place for when we finish our current lease.Looking forward to getting my own premises!

    Our bank said they would consider the amount and period they financed by looking at what we currently payed in rent and then they would also want 4 years worth of sales forecasts and cashflows.

    It is still very difficult to make it happen though.

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