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Ok, so I embarked on my first venture looking for a storefront. Before I tell you about the experience, I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a knowledgeable real estate agent helping you through the process. I am lucky because I have known Roseann for many years and we have a great rapport with each other. That makes all the driving around and waiting for other agents to show up actually a pleasant experience. We chat, we catch up on our personal lives, and it is an easy, relaxed flow between us. But, when the other agent shows up, she’s all business. She’s discussing square footage, build-outs, lease hold improvements and a slew of other phrases I have never heard of in my life! The first place we went to was brand new…..and completely empty. That’s where the build-out term comes in. So, the lease holder basically builds what you want and holds you to an insanely long lease with insanely high rent so they can recoup their money. That might work for an established business…not for me.
Ok, on to the next establishment..or not. Turns out they won’t lease to resale boutiques on account of the high turnover rate. But, they will lease to a frozen yogurt shop that charges like $12.00 for a cup of yogurt by the time you are done weighing it–once you fall for that once, you will never go back , thus putting them out of business–but “whatev”, as they say.
Finally, the last property of the day. Brick storefront, plenty of space for signage, plenty of parking, great visibility….all set up and ready to move in. Very reasonable lease holders–you can do whatever you want inside as long as you put it back the way it was at the end of the lease-which is a reasonable one year commitment. You only pay your rent plus utilities. If something breaks, they fix it, if it snows, they plow it, if the roof leaks, they repair it. Oh, and it’s on a heavily travelled main road with great parking and visibility. Great….the rent is HOW MUCH???? Oh, dear, I really need to think about this. Now, it was only my first day looking so I’m not jumping the gun. Roseann said this to me when we got back in the car: “First, Everything is negotiable….I don’t care what she said. Would they rather have reasonable rent coming in or no rent coming in. Out of four units, one is empty, one is leaving next month and one is occupied. If you like it, we come back for a second showing and we make a reasonable offer. In the meantime, I will keep looking for other locations. ” She’s right. I do love it, but there are other spaces out there–this was only my first day. And, yes, when you think about it, some money per month is better than no money per month….isn’t it? Happy Shopping:)