By Umair Lasi - James Bond of Calgary Real-Estate


Leasing Vs Buying Commercial Real Estate

If your company is growing or downsizing, you may soon realize that the amount of space needed to conduct your daily business activities is changing, requiring you to relocate from your existing location. Over the years, I have met with numerous clients unsure whether they should buy or lease their next commercial space. This blog post reflects upon some of the pros and cons of owning versus leasing.


When buying is best…

Location, location, location! Many successful business owners will tell you that a great location is hard to come by. Whether you are seeking high foot traffic or proximity to suppliers, securing the ideal space by purchasing it may preserve one of your most important business advantages.

Rid yourself of the landlord woes! Some property owners can subject tenants to an endless list of limitations and restrictions. In addition, rent that keeps rising without mercy can sometimes stunt business growth. If you are tired of being tied down by red tape, purchasing a property could free your business, allowing it to soar towards its full potential.

Build your personal wealth! While there are no guarantees in business (or in life), many successful entrepreneurs have benefited from great commercial real estate investments. With this logic in mind, owning the space can build wealth apart from your operating business.

However, keep in mind…

If the above motivations appeal to you, perhaps purchasing commercial real estate is the right choice for you. If so, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Think long-term! While committing to a low interest rate may seem ideal today, interest rates can rise down the road, which can create financial pressure for the ill-prepared.
Run the numbers! Purchasing commercial real estate is no small undertaking and the road may get bumpy at times, so before you commit, make sure your business has the resources to support this commitment moving forward.
Protect your business! Hidden building defects and environmental contamination are legitimate concerns, which is why due diligence is important. Get a building condition inspection and environmental assessment before committing. In addition, seek out qualified professionals to help ensure that there are no issues related to land title, zoning, outstanding taxes, liens, easements and other potential problems with the property.

When leasing is best…

Limited working capital! Not all businesses are able to (or want to) commit the amount of capital required to own a commercial space. For some, funding growth is a bigger priority. There is nothing wrong with that.

Unstable business needs! One’s business needs are not always clear, especially during periods of rapid change. Because of this, it may be wise not to commit by purchasing a space. Leasing offers business owners the opportunity to wait and see how their business needs will evolve with time.

Spare me the hassle! Truth be told, some people are just not about the hassles of commitment, which is understandable given that ownership often comes with a long list of responsibilities and potential problems. If this is true for you, it may be better to lease for now and focus your efforts on nurturing business growth.

However, keep in mind…

If the above reasons align with your current business needs, perhaps leasing a commercial property is the better option for you. If so, below are a few things you should keep in mind.

Flexibility is a two-way street! While you may appreciate not having to commit to your business location, your landlord may decide not to renew your lease at some point, which would force relocation and its associated costs.

Rules, rules, rules! Property owners can impose significant restrictions on your ability to use and modify the space. There may also be limitations with regards to signage rights. Being clear about these things beforehand will minimize frustrations down the line.

Hidden costs! Get clarity on what you will be responsible for paying with regards to property taxes, insurance, utilities, security, and any major equipment repairs such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, etc. Indeed, such expenses can really add up over time! You should also find out who is responsible for maintaining the common areas such as washrooms, entrances, parking lots, etc.

Concluding thoughts

Surely, each option comes with its unique advantages and drawbacks, but hopefully this article has shed light on the right path for your business. Remember, while some may pressure you to commit one way or the other, ultimately only you will know the best option for your current business and financial situation.


Choosing the right neighborhood for you!

Choosing the neighborhood

It has been said that if a home is like a spouse then a neighborhood is like an extended family, except while it is perfectly possible to love your partner but dread holidays with the in-laws, it is far less likely that you can fully love your house if you dislike your neighborhood. Because of this, it is important to give vicinity fair consideration when making such an important purchase. This blog post offers some useful advice on how to select the right neighborhood.


Step 1: What matters most?

Before you start drafting endless lists of pros and cons, you first need to decide on your own needs. Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself:

⦁ Do you have (or want in the near future) young children?

If so, you might want to consider nearby schools, kid-friendly amenities, proximity to necessities, crime statistics, etc.   

⦁ What is your current community lacking?

If you wish you lived in walking distance of your favorite places (parks, transit access, Tim Hortons, whatever – no judgement here!), put that high on the want list. On the other hand, if the noise from busy main streets is currently doing a number on your sanity, you may appreciate what a suburban cul-de-sac can offer.

⦁ How much of a commute can you handle? 

Whether you prefer to walk, cycle, drive, or use transit to get to work and other places your frequent, it is important to decide how much of a commute you can handle daily.

⦁ What is your budget?

Like in most cities in Canada, Calgary has some communities known to be far pricier than others, which is why it is important to keep budget in mind when considering one’s options. 


Step 2: Narrow down your options

If you are making a local move, you may probably already have an idea about which communities might suit your needs. However, if you are moving to a new city, you may need to do some research. The internet can be a strong ally! Community message boards can offer insights into the experiences of others, while city, provincial, and national statistical data can help you pinpoint the areas with the best schools, lowest crime, and greatest access to city treasures. 

Step 3: Evaluate the shortlist

Once you have narrowed down your options to a few promising candidates, you should analyze the remaining options using your established criteria. Worth mentioning, some people like to spend some time in the communities they are most interested in in an effort to get a feel for the community vibe. Chat with the locals, be observant of traffic patterns, and pay attention to the factors that align with your idea of a great community.


Buying a home is an exciting time, but it is important to make the right decisions early on so that you can truly enjoy your home for years to come. Hopefully, you have found this article informative.

Categories:   Market Report
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