Author Topic: buying commercial property with someone else's money and running a new business  (Read 711 times)


  • Stubble
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**posted in entrepreneurship too**

We are FI, but not yet RE. My husband will work another 1-2 years and I have a side hustle.

I am strongly considering starting a new business. I'm 36 yo and absolutely craving meaningful, purposeful, creative work.

My first idea was to purchase commercial real estate, start a business, and have the business (possibly nonprofit) lease the space from myself. So that I could be in it for the creative outlet/contribute to the world thing....but it would also be a real estate play in the way of cash flow and appreciation.

One of the properties I'm looking at is complicated. I could probably get a crazy deal on it. But I will have to jump through re-zoning hoops and also renovate it. It's a historical building - a 100 yo church. My exit strategy with selling a building like that sometime in the future concerns me.

But it feels too risky. If the business doesn't end up working and can't pay me so I can pay the could compromise our financial independence.

I'm looking for thoughts, comments, opinions, articles, book titles, feedback on this concept...

Could/should the business I want to start purchase the property?
Since it's a landmark type building for our area - could the neighborhood association buy it (if I fundraised)?
How can I buy a property and/or start my business without using my money?

The other option is to lease a space....


  • Magnum Stache
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You are talking about 2 unrelated things:

1: Starting a business. Most small businesses fail very quickly, so doing some basic accounting/small business classes at your local CC or something similar would be a good idea. If you want to make the world a better place you may have more of an effect by either working for an existing nonprofit, or by simply donating money to a cause you believe in.

2: Buying property as an investment. An old church is a pretty weird item. Might be a fun place to live if you're a fan of Alice's Restaurant or could be torn down and turned into condos or whatever. But it's *probably* not high on the list of desirable investment properties.

The issue with doing both simultaneously is that you're combining two less-than-certain things. What happens if the business fails? What happens if the property can't be sold? How about both?

Start your business first and see how that goes. If you're kicking butt and want to buy a space to operate from, then do that later.



  • Magnum Stache
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Context / food for thought:

I'd hope you can find meaning without risking your FI. You can find a way. There are lots of opportunities for someone with your energy level and skill set (whatever that skill set is), and many of them are defined by entrepreneurs (aka people who take initiative)...define some options that don't lose your FI!  :)


  • Bristles
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I would say, try getting something off the ground in a rental property or in your house first. If it shows promise, then buy a building.

Owning your building is a good move. Many small business owners that buy buildings later find that the real estate the company owns is more valuable than the business itself.