What to Consider When Deciding to Buy a Strip Mall Property

Retail property is a special market segment when it comes to property performance. Investors and Real Estate Agents alike should respect and gain the knowledge about this property type before they embark on entering this retail property market. Retail property is complex as an investment type.

Rents are generally higher in retail property given the way the property operates, however the operating costs are also higher. The property needs to perform more intensely for tenants, customers, retailers, and the community. This intense level of property performance pushes operating costs up in things like energy, cleaning, janitorial, lighting, and amenities.

Any retail property owner that is seeking to save money on operating costs and hence tries to reduce levels of maintenance and presentation is on the fast track to failure. Tenants and customers to a retail property soon see the shortcuts that a property owner may be taking to save money. They feel that the property is just not up to scratch, and then will move their focus and trade to the other properties in the area.

This then says that the property owner in any retail property must respect and support not just the tenants in the property, but also the customers and the local community. Without this care and balance, the property will decline locally. Lower rents will be the outcome and the vacancy factor will rise.

When looking at a retail property for assessing its potential and its future, there are some critical points that should be looked at first before any further investigation occurs. Consider these:

  • Location of the property is highest on the agenda of investigation. Without a good location a retail property will fail. Given the current property location, are there any changes being considered locally that will impact property access or customer visitation. Most particularly you should look for changes to roads, highways, and the local community. Is the local community expanding or contracting and in what way?
  • Parking in a shopping centre is a key element to its success. The car park must firstly be large enough for the existing and future trade, and then it has to be easy to access. When customers access the shopping centre, they should feel good about the visit and not frustrated by getting to and from their car. In many locations, undercover car parking will be a priority in property design. Some older shopping centres where car parks are in the open should consider placing awnings in the car park to improve the customer experience.
  • Design of the property is a physical thing. It starts at the property entry points and then extends into the common areas and the tenant areas. Simply the customer wants to move through and in the property with the greatest of ease. This movement when efficiently handled will create the ‘ant track’ of customers, from which you can then design the tenancy mix and build higher points of rental. Most of the entry points and the corners in the common areas and mall of the property should be reserved for smaller tenancies of broad customer interest. This will get you better rentals and also encourage more shoppers to move around the property. A retail property must also give a modern, clean, and functional appearance. The customer wants to feel good when they visit your property. You want them to come back. Quite a simple target really but it does take continual care and attention.
  • The tenancy mix should always be matched to the needs and wants of the customer and not the rental that the landlord desires. It should be said here that the landlord when negotiating leases with tenants should not randomly give away the right to an option on the lease. Certainly tenants will ask for it in many situations, but it does restrict the landlord’s options as the years pass. In retail property investment the landlord needs to preserve the right to move tenants around, remove the poorly performing tenants from the property, and renovate the property at the right time. It is of note that in many of the larger retail properties, the landlord will not normally or easily give an option for further occupancy, for this very reason.

So there you have some of the key elements of assessment in retail property. These key elements should be assessed first before you move on into a deeper level of property analysis.

Getting the Best Auto Loans

Buying a vehicle outright is not likely possible for most consumers, and
quite frankly, really is not practical. Taking advantage of an auto loan is
probably going to be your best option when buying a new or used car. Featured
below is information that will help you get the most car for your money and the
best interest rates for your financing.

Mortgages and Auto Loans are not the Same!

When in the market for a new home, you should like to buy as much house as
you can. It is not a bad idea to leave as little of a down payment as you can.
Dissimilar to cars that go down in value over time, otherwise known as
depreciation, the value of most homes and properties rise in value.

On the contrary, when you finance an automobile, you want to put down as much
money as you can afford for your down payment. This will result in you borrowing
less, as well as avoiding owing more for your car than what the car is worth
(otherwise known as being upside down on your car loan) because of new car

Understanding Interest Rates

No matter if you are buying a car from private party or from a dealership, it is
always a good idea to compare auto loan rates from several different banks and
online sources. New car loan rates are generally lower than rates associated
with used cars. However, you can save money by buying a ‘certified pre-owned’
car. Buying certified pre-owned will allow you to buy a high-quality used car
with interest rates similar to new cars. Also, if you are buying a car from
dealer, interest rates will be lower than when buying from a private party.

It is important to understand that if you have poor credit, or no credit,
interest rates you receive are going to be higher than if you have good credit.
However, if you can maintain a positive payment history for your auto loan, you
can consider refinancing at a lower rate after a year or so.

**When purchasing a vehicle from a dealer, never discuss your need for financing
until a final sale price is agreed upon. Dealers will always look to squeeze
every penny out of you. Mentioning your need for a car loan will most likely
result in a higher sale price.

Auto Loan Terms

Car loan terms generally range between 36-60 months. Your monthly payments will
be lower the longer your finance your car for. However, the longer your car loan
term is, the more money you will end paying in interest over the entire span of
the loan. As a result, choosing the length of your auto loan is going to be very

Also, if you like to trade your vehicle in, or sell every few years, a long auto
loan term should be avoided. Why? If you have three years left on a five year
loan, you will lose money as a result of owing more than the car is worth.

In conclusion….

The decisions you make when buying a car will either save you money, or make
you lose money. You need to do your research, remain calm and never buy on
impulse or be forced into purchasing a car that you do not really like.