Financing Alternatives

Fianancing offce spaceOnce you have found office space for sale and made the decision to purchase office space, the next step is to determine how you will be paying for the property before getting too involved in the process.  There are numerous sources and means to fund the purchase. Some of the more popular methods are listed below:

Loan Type Description of Loan
SBA 7a Loan This is SBA’s primary and most flexible loan program, with financing guaranteed for a variety of general business purposes. It is designed for start-up and existing small businesses, and is delivered through commercial lending institutions
SBA 504 Loan Provides long-term, fixed-rate financing to small businesses to acquire real estate or machinery or equipment for expansion or modernization. Typically a 504 project includes a loan secured from a private-sector lender with a senior lien, a loan secured from a Certified Development Company (CDC - funded by a 100 percent SBA-guaranteed debenture) with a junior lien covering up to 40 percent of the total cost, and a contribution of at least 10 percent equity from the borrower.
Adjustable Commercial
A commercial loan in which the interest rate is adjusted periodically  to a specific index such as Prime or T-Bills.
Construction Loan and Take-out A commercial construction loan tied in with a  pre-arranged takeout loan in place.
Fixed Rate Commercial Mortgage An interest rate that remains constant throughout the term or the commercial mortgage.
Hard Money Loan Commercial loans from private lenders based primarily on the property value.
Bridge  Loan A short term, interim or project type commercial loan. Usually 2 years or less.
Joint Venture A financial partner who has a financial interest in the development or ownership of the property.
Sale-Leaseback Lender purchases land and leases back to borrower for a fixed rent plus other considerations. This type of commercial mortgage can produce more dollars than a typical commercial mortgage depending on strength of the borrower.
Second Mortgage A commercial loan secured by equity, but behind that of the first lien.
Wraparound Mortgage Lender makes a second mortgage and assumes the first mortgage.


General Lending Criteria:

  • Banks will usually not finance more than 75% of the appraised value of the property. A SBA 504 loan only requires a 10% down payment from the borrower.
  • Properties must show sufficient debt-repayment ability by way of a debt coverage ratio of 1:20X or higher on income.

  • In cases where the property is occupied by a single tenant,  the lender will want to see the financial strength of the tenant.

  • You will need to provide an updated rent roll to the lender, which might be required to be updated yearly.

  • The lender will most likely require an environmental phase-I audit to discover any possible contamination of the site.

  • Personal guaranties of the principal owners will probably be necessary.

Lending Directories and Sources:

Connect with a SBA Lender

C-Loans - Five hundred commercial lenders await your application. These are direct commercial lenders, not brokers, so you deal directly with the lender.

MoneyGeek Guide to SBA Business Loans - A comprehensive guide to a wide variety of business loans.

The Bottom Line:

A local expert with local knowledge and expertise on your side to assist you in purchasing office space and finding financing will ensure you find the right location, get the best deal possible and guarantee you avoid costly mistakes.

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