7-Step Guide To Getting Your Business Premises

1. Understand The Real Estate Market

    * The real estate property market usually lags behind general economic trends.
    * As a result, prices can be relatively high even when the economy is facing a downturn. As a buyer, it is important for you to be well-informed about property market trends.

2. Decide On A Type Of Property

Choosing a suitable type of property will depend on your specific business needs. When deciding on a property, you may want to consider the following:

    * Type Of Business Activity
      This affects the choice of property suitable for your business activities. Industrial properties mostly include manufacturing spaces while commercial properties include office and retail spaces.
    * Location
      This depends on your need for proximity to your customers, suppliers, central business district, and so on.
    * Relevant Codes And Regulations
      This may affect building plans.
    * Budget
      This determines the property that you can afford.
    * Buy or Rent
      This depends on the way you want to structure your asset portfolio, your budget and most importantly, your business plan and strategy.
    * Terms and conditions relating to purchase/rent

3. Get Professional Advice

    * The easiest way to find out more about a property is to enlist the help of an agent, consultant or developer.
    * They can provide information on available properties in the market, advise you on market prices as well as assist you in the procedures for obtaining a property.

4. Carry Out Due Diligence

    * Before taking any action, you need to carry out due diligence as the real estate market operates under the principle of caveat emptor (i.e. buyers beware)!
    * Some of the things to look out for include:
          o ensure the seller's title is complete and free of mortgages, easements, and so on
          o inspect the land for pollution
          o check Government development plans for possible redevelopment, road widening, etc.

5. Close The Deal

    * A lawyer will be able to assist you in conveyancing matters such as drawing up the proper terms and conditions, and ensuring proper deed transfer.
    * You may also have to register your deed with the Strata Title Board.

6. Obtain Financing

    * If you are buying a property, you will need to pay in full upon closing the deal.  You have a few financing options:
          o take up a mortgage
          o approach property agents and developers for assistance
          o depending on the nature of your business, you may qualify for Government assistance
    * If you are taking a loan for your property purchase, the maximum loan amount for property purchase is 80% of the property's purchase price or its valuation, whichever is lower.
    * The loan period can be up to 20 years if the remaining lease is 30 years or more.
    * Sometimes, a combination of term loan and overdraft facilities is offered to suit the company's needs.
    * Alternatively, consider renting your business premises - this requires considerably lower capital investment