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Real Estate Investing : Commercial Real Estate Last Updated: May 14th, 2012 - 22:24:01

How to Invest in Commercial Properties of Stores and Malls

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How to invest in commercial properties of stores and malls

Many stores today are in small groups—formerly called strip malls. Today such malls are called mini-malls. A mini-mall might have as few as four small stores—or as many as 20. If you're interested in owning stores as your way to real estate wealth, the mini-mall is the best starter property. Why? Because:

  • There are many lenders that will finance mini-malls.
  • You can begin with little experience and learn fast.
  • If you run into trouble, your losses won't be great.

Some commercial lenders will consider financing mini-malls. Why?
Because the mini-mall is usually on well-located land in a city or town. Such land rises in value over time. So it is a valuable asset that is good collateral for a loan.

Mini-malls usually cater to smaller stores than larger shopping malls. While your anchor tenant—your largest tenant—may be a big . company, its store will usually be smaller than in a large shopping mall.
With smaller and fewer stores, your operating challenges are simpler. So if you want to own this type of real estate, start with a mini-mall. After a few years you can "graduate" to a full-blown shopping mall with large parking fields and a major anchor tenant.

Who Funds Mini- and Shopping Malls?
Shopping malls require experience for their financing, purchase, and operation. You'll get this either as an owner of mini-malls or as an employee of a large shopping mall, first be sure you know what you're doing before you buy a large shopping mall.

Funding for mini-malls and shopping malls often comes from local banks near the facility. Why is this? Because local banks:

  • Feel safer with property near their own.
  • Understand nearby property values better than distant ones.
  • Have personnel who shop locally and want to see the area grow.

So your best opportunity for mini- and shopping mall financing is often at your local commercial bank. Check your local Yellow Pages under "Mortgages" and "Loans" for banks that might want to work with you. 

Wait Before Investing in Industrial Properties
Industrial properties—factories, storage buildings, warehouses, or others —are not for beginners. It takes experience and know-how to make it big on zero cash in these properties. So for now, I suggest that you get experience in other types of properties before investing in industrial projects.


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