A Deal That We Cleaned Up On

A Deal That We Cleaned Up On

In the summer of 2010, my investing partner cold-called the owner of a small office building.  It was located on Trent Avenue and had a small, clean warehouse with it.  As the area changed over the past forty-plus years, it had become eclectic.  Industrial users are mixed in with ethnic restaurants, specialty retailers looking for cheap rent sidle up next to little office buildings.

The subject property was a brick building constructed in 1922 that originally had been a post office.  After a period, the use switched to one of the first Rosauers grocery stores in the city.

In 1979, a cinder block warehouse with an over-sized roll-up door was added.  The previous owner was able to park his car and store his RV in the building. 

The owner, “Bob” (not his real name), had run his insurance company out of the building since the mid-1970s.  The building was in great shape with nice mill work inside.  The basement was partially finished with a private restroom and sauna.  (Side note - I’m surprised at how many saunas I’ve seen circa mid-70s when touring commercial properties.  I saw another one last week.)

Kevin asked if Bob might be interested in selling his property.  As luck would have it, Kevin called at the right time.  Bob had just sold his book of insurance business and indeed wanted to sell his property.  Then Kevin asked a great follow-up question, “Would you be interested in carrying a contract (a.k.a. seller financing)?”

Bob thought this was a fantastic idea.

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When The Seller Acts as the Bank

When The Seller Acts as the Bank

Earlier, I referenced “seller financing” in the acquisition of a property so I figured I should expound on that idea a bit. 

To date, I’ve used seller financing in three personal transactions: two commercial buildings and one residential property.  It’s also been used in transactions where I’ve acted as a broker.  It’s one of the first questions I ask whenever talking to a prospective seller.    

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