by Lisa Jackson | 10:11 am

The mortgage crisis and bubble burst in the housing market are well known to everyone these days, but commercial real estate is likewise affected right now. Many empty retail spaces and office buildings are sitting around, meaning there is demand for buyers, renters and sellers. Read on for some advice on how to move forward in this market.

When purchasing a house that you plan to rent out, be sure you know all of the local laws relating to rental properties. For example, you may need a minimum size for a room to count as a bedroom, or you may be required to provide a certain amount of parking.

When purchasing a property that you intend to rent out, keep it close to home. You don’t want to be driving further than you would consider a reasonable commute. With a rental property, there is always the possibility of needing to drive out in the middle of the night to deal with an emergency on the property.

Now is a great time to build a house. Interest rates are low, property is readily available, and construction workers and contractors are chomping at the bit to get jobs lined up. There may never be a cheaper time to have a custom home built, so do your homework and make those dreams come true.

Before you consider leasing or renting, look into whether or not pest control is covered in the lease. If you are renting in an area that is known to have a lot of rodents, pests, or bugs, then ask your agent what the policies on pest control are.

Ask your future landlord, before signing a lease, whether they have an emergency contact phone number available. Some landlords leave for the weekends or holidays and if anything breaks within your unit, you’re out of luck for the time being. Make sure to discuss this with the landlord, in order to ensure that your problems are looked after quickly.

When setting up a rental agreement with a new tenant make sure you draw up an official contract. Even if your renters are your own friends or family. You do need to protect yourself and your property. Make sure your expectations are in the contract and they know exactly what you would expect from them.

As you prepare to list and sell your commercial property, you should first take the time to familiarize yourself with zoning regulations and all possible commercial uses for the property itself. This will allow you to be more confident as you discuss details and attributes with your prospective buyers.

A ‘high traffic’ location is desirable for a business. How many people will pass by and see your store each day is important. But you should look more closely. Is there adequate parking? handicapped accessibility? can a left turn be made safely into your parking lot? These are all questions you will want to ask.

Put an advertisement in your local paper. These tend to be fairly inexpensive, but are also seen by many prospective clients, buyers, and sellers throughout your local area. Remember, many people (especially older people) do not use the Internet. Use this ad to your advantage by letting people know as many details about the property as you can, and give them an easy way to contact you.

Get sellers interested in you. You want the sellers to be vying for you to buy their property, ensuring that you are getting the greatest deal and the best negotiation out of the deal. If you are a prized buyer, sellers will be seeking you more so than you seeking them.

Upon the hiring of your broker, one of the things that you should do is form a contract. This will help to put things in writing to clearly state the exact terms that you want. Also, if they break your agreement, this will help to give you leverage in court.

When looking for potential properties to purchase for rental income, think big. Why buy a ten unit property if you can buy a twenty? By increasing the number of units you can offer, you also increase the number of clients who will pay you rent, there by increasing your income potential.

If you keep in mind and apply the information from this piece, you are sure to navigate the waters successfully in your commercial real estate dealings as you conduct your business.

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