5 Things You Need To Know BEFORE Purchasing An Investment Property

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Investing in commercial real estate can be a highly rewarding venture, whether you’re a seasoned investor or new to the real estate game. However, before diving into this lucrative market, there are critical factors you must consider to ensure a successful investment. Servis Realty Inc. provides expert insights into what you need to know before making a commercial property purchase.

1. Understanding Cash-on-Cash Return

Importance of Cash-on-Cash Return

When venturing into commercial real estate, understanding your expected returns is crucial. Cash-on-cash return measures the cash income earned on the cash invested in a property. It is an essential metric that helps investors evaluate the profitability and cash flow of potential investments.

How to Calculate and Interpret Cash-on-Cash Return

To calculate this, divide the annual dollar income by the total dollar investment. Servis Realty advises looking for properties that offer a cash-on-cash return at least 3-4% higher than risk-free investments like Government Investment Certificates (GICs). This margin helps accommodate the additional risks associated with commercial properties compared to more secure investments.

2. Evaluating Beyond Cap Rate

Limitations of the Cap Rate

While the capitalization rate or cap rate is a commonly used indicator to assess the potential return on an investment property, it should not be the sole factor in making a decision. The cap rate provides a snapshot by dividing the property’s net operating income by its purchase price, indicating the potential return on an all-cash purchase.

Comprehensive Investment Analysis

However, a thorough investment analysis should also consider factors such as market trends, property condition, and economic forecasts, which can impact the investment’s long-term viability.

3. Analyzing Net Rents

Assessing Rental Income

Investigating the existing rental agreements is vital. Are the rents above, at, or below the market rate? Below-market rents might indicate either an opportunity to increase returns through rent hikes or a red flag suggesting problems with the property or location.

Strategies for Rental Analysis

Understanding why rents are set at their current levels and the duration for which they are fixed is crucial. This insight will guide your strategy for rent adjustments and property upgrades to enhance yield.

4. Identifying Deferred Maintenance

The Impact of Neglected Maintenance

Deferred maintenance refers to postponed essential repairs and maintenance due to budget constraints or other reasons. Significant deferred maintenance can be a warning sign, indicating potential large-scale expenses post-purchase.

Conducting Thorough Property Inspections

Inspect the property thoroughly, paying close attention to critical areas such as the roof, HVAC systems, plumbing, and electrical systems. Evaluating the extent of deferred maintenance will help you budget for future repairs and negotiate the property price accordingly.

5. Reviewing Lease Expiry Dates

Importance of Lease Terms

Existing lease terms and expiry dates can significantly impact the stability and continuity of rental income. Closely examine when leases are due to expire and the terms under which they have been set.

Strategic Lease Management

Ideal lease terms should be staggered to ensure that not all leases expire simultaneously, potentially risking high vacancy rates. Effective lease management can maintain steady occupancy and income levels.

Investing in Commercial Real Estate

The adage “measure twice and cut once” resonates deeply with commercial real estate investments. Thorough research, due diligence, and professional advice from companies like Servis Realty are imperative to maximize returns and minimize risks in commercial real estate investments.


Before purchasing a commercial investment property, it’s essential to delve deep into these five areas to ensure a sound investment decision. Servis Realty Inc. is equipped to guide you through this complex process, enhancing your chances of achieving a profitable and sustainable investment in the commercial real estate market.

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