Office Space: Should I Buy or Lease?

Ashley Goodroe with Caldwell Banker Interview

I grew up in Snellville Georgia, a great place to grow up in the 90’s, where “Everybody is Somebody!” If you do not understand that it is because you are not from around the Gwinnett area. As with many places, it was much less developed than it is now... the Avenue at Webb Ginn, and probably two miles in each direction, were still grassy fields. I watched the development of the area from a relatively small town to one of the fastest growing towns in one of the fastest growing counties. After high school, I moved to Athens to attend the University of Georgia where I earned a B.S. in Environmental Health. After graduating from UGA, I moved back to Gwinnett County and I began working with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta. I was a laboratory technician doing genetic research on the Human Papilloma Virus...interesting work, but I knew I did not want to be in the lab forever. While working at the CDC, a business opportunity for my husband brought us to Lake Oconee. I was not in for the daily commute to Atlanta (it was bad enough from Lawrenceville!), and I was ready to get out of the lab and around more people.

When growing up, my mom sold real estate and I always thought it was great that she helped others acquire what is typically the largest investment in their life...and she had fun doing it. I have always been a numbers person and thought I would enjoy helping business owners and investors in the same fashion as my mom did for homeowners. After moving to the lake, I began working with Reynolds American Properties managing property and, after earning my real estate license, selling property in and around Lake Oconee Village. Soon after, I began working with a commercial developer managing, marketing and selling properties. I enjoy helping anyone from the first time commercial buyer or business owner to a seasoned investor/developer. I have sold all commercial property types throughout East Georgia, including multi­family, timber and development tracts. I am currently an Associate Broker at Coldwell Banker Commercial Lake Country and a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM).

As we all know, every so often real estate goes through a crash or correction cycle. This can lead small business owners to consider the question, “Is it best to lease or buy?” Many times, the main motivation is that business owners want have more control over their real estate related overhead. It could be detrimental to many small business owners if a lease were to roll over during a period where supply is tight. Real estate expenses could increase significantly and suddenly, catching business owner off guard.

Another key reason many businesses will consider owning their location is asset appreciation. There is certainly no guarantee that real estate will appreciate over time, though the long term trend is that it often does. There are also tax benefits associated with owning, such as depreciation. The reasons above support ownership, though there are situations in which leasing is the better option. For example, if your business is in a rapid growth period, it may not be the right time to buy. As the recession has reminded us, you cannot always guarantee you can sell your property if and when you need to and you cannot guarantee you will make money when you do sell. If your business loses some of its liquidity, could you survive?
There are many other factors to consider when this question does arise, so it is important to find an educated commercial broker to guide you in your analysis. While no one can be certain of the future, they will be able to break down the process and assist you in making an informed decision.

To learn more about Ashley Goodroe and visit her featured listings, please visit her website at .

Whether you purchase or lease, we have a policy to protect you and your business.

Donnan Oyler