Commercial Real Estate Investing vs. Residential

July 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Commercial Real Estate Tips

commercial investment real estate
by Gold Beach Real Estate

Commercial Real Estate Investing vs. Residential

Is commercial real estate investing a better investment than investing in residential real estate? Now, we all know that real estate in general is a great investment vehicle and both residential and commercial properties can be good investments. Either avenue can have a tremendous effect on your net worth, but most people think only of residential property when they think about investing in real estate. While this is certainly the most viable route for most people, commercial property can offer additional benefits that residential real estate can’t.

3 Reasons Commercial Real Estate is better than Residential Real Estate

1.) Commercial Real Estate Gives You More Access to More Capital

        It has been my experience that it is somewhat easier to raise larger amounts of capital (under $ 3M) for a commercial deal than it is to raise $ 150,000 for a residential deal. As a residential investor your access to capital is limited primarily to traditional financing, hard money lenders, and private money from individual investors. If you are unable to raise capital from one of these three avenues, then you are forced to acquire property in more of a creative manner with owner financing, subject to strategies, lease options, etc. This in itself is not a bad thing, but unfortunately you will have to walk away from some good deals that can’t be acquired with creative financing techniques.

       In commercial real estate it is more common for investors to pool their capital together and syndicate deals, you will also find that smaller private equity firms and finance companies are more inclined to do joint venture projects and provide the needed capital to complete the deal if the deal makes sense. So as a commercial real estate investor you have the potential to raise capital for a deal from the same traditional sources as residential real estate i.e. Traditional Financing and Hard Money, but in addition to that you can have access to capital through smaller private equity firms, hedge funds, private REITs, investment groups, etc.

       There also seems to be a sense of intrigue and prestige when it comes to investing in commercial real estate. Perhaps because of the current commercial building market it appears investors are trending to investing in commercial projects.

2.) Commercial Real Estate is Less Competitive

       When you think about it from a marketing perspective, most investors target residential property owners, thus making the residential market more competitive. In many arenas from industry news sources, the World Wide Web, all the “We buy Houses” signs on virtually every city corner, discuss marketing tactics targeting residential property owners. If you take the same marketing strategies discussed and apply them to commercial real estate, you will probably find that you are the ONLY person contacting these commercial property owners in regards to selling their property. Most commercial properties under $ 5 million tend to be too large for most residential investors, yet too small for most institutional investors.

3.) Commercial Real Estate allows for “Forced” Appreciation

      Residential real estate is typically valued based on other comparable properties that have sold in the area that are similar in features. If the “comps” for a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom house in a particular neighborhood is roughly $ 100,000, then your property is probably going to be worth $ 100,000. It doesn’t matter too much that you have additional features, or that your house is getting $ 900 a month in rent as opposed to the house down the street that is only renting for $ 700 a month. All things considered, your property will still be valued pretty close to the “comps” of the area.

       However, in commercial real estate, the valuation of a property is based on the revenue that the property generates. Now, commercial real estate is still subject to the “comps” of the area as it pertains to “How” that revenue is valued in terms of capitalization rates. But, the overall premise is that, the more revenue a property generated, the more that property is worth.

       So, in order to “force” the appreciation of your commercial property, you need to find additional ways to increase the revenue that the property generates. A small increase in revenue can increase the value of a property significantly depending on the “Cap Rates” in the area for that type of commercial real estate. Unfortunately, with residential real estate this isn’t an option as you really can’t force appreciation; your property will be valued in the general range of the market comps.

      As you can see, commercial real estate investing offers many benefits over residential real estate in addition to higher returns on your investment. Now of course there are disadvantages with any investment vehicle, commercial real estate included. However, consider the following when choosing between residential or commercial investing to create your passive income stream;

Commercial vs. Residential:My Thoughts on Commercial Real Estate Investing

1) The building qualifies for the loan; Not the borrower
2) The building pays back the loan; Not the borrower
3) Others are expected to manage the building; Not the borrower
4) Income determines the value of the property; Not the comps
5) Cap Rate measures demand for the property; Not the comps.

A commercial property’s value is eternally tied into the income the property produces and the overall demand for the property’s services based on its location & its highest & best use.


Sam Ally invites you to learn to earn high and even INFINITE returns investing in commercial real estate with a group (on money you used to have sitting in pathetic CD’s at 4% or less) when you become a Select Member with America’s #1 Real Estate Network today!


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Sam Ally is a resourceful Real Estate Investor, Social-Preneur, Speaker & Coach with over 25 years of entrepreneurial expertise. He is passionate about empowering others with the knowledge, resources & opportunities to excel.
Mr. Ally currently serves as Executive Director of the Investor Alliance Asset Management Group a division of the HIS Real Estate Network.  Utilizing time tested & proven strategies Sam presents innovative real-estate based investment solutions to his clientele that intelligently and ethically leverage the current economic crisis into high annualized returns with low risk.


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