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Do You Or Don't You

Readers Weigh Pros and Cons of Renting Vs. Buying

Do you own the building where your business is located?

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Yes: 28%

  • Prior to owning a pet industry business, I was a highly successful real estate agent —still am. Owning real estate allows you to control one of the largest expenses you have in your business. You can refinance, you can rent a portion (if you buy the right piece) to add additional value to your business, and you don’t have to worry about what the landlord thinks of what you are doing. The best part is (assuming you finance your property), your rent goes down when paid off! When paid off, I can do better things for my customers and employees and even keep some more money for me! Rent will never do this. — Sal Salafia, Exotic Pet Birds Inc., Webster, NY
  • I am building equity for myself and not someone else. Even if I sell the business someday, I can keep the building for rental income. In my area it is less expensive to own than it is to rent. The previous tenants could have purchased my building five times for what they paid in rent over the years. YIKES! — Michelle Nelson, The Pet Authority, Albert Lea, MN
  • I own my buildings under a separate LLC. This protects the liability of our company in the event that an accident happens on site. — Sandy Wolff, AGsentials & AgVenturefeeds.com, Watkins, MN
  • I am fortunate to be able to own my facility. I don’t think that my operation would even be half as impressive if I wasn’t able to speak about the amazing mechanicals, floor systems, drainage, soundproofing, cleaning systems, etc. … all of which combat smell and ensure cleanliness to our discriminating clients. The investments I made in these good systems could not have been incorporated into a building that I did not own. — Angela Pantalone, Wag Central, Stratford, CT

No: 72%

  • I do not own my business property but it would probably be less costly to own rather than renting. Property ownership investment in California is nearly always a great investment. However; commercial property here is very spendy! — Leel Michelle, Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe, San Diego, CA
  • Wish we would have bought but early on, it wasn’t feasible. Twenty-five years later … renting has been a constant headache due to lack of attention by the owner … snow removal, parking, potholes, flooding. If we owned, we’d have complete control over the physcial property. — Karen Conell, The Bark Market, Delavan, WI
  • My goal in the next two years is to own my own building. — Deborah Schweikardt, Arizona Bird Store, Mesa, AZ
  • I like the fact that I can concentrate on my business and my landlord takes care of the building. — Danielle Wilson, Bath & Biscuits, Granville, OH
  • Although owning my own property would have some perks and some stability, if I needed to change the store location for some reason, renting has its perks as well. It also means for myself that I can avoid mission creep and concentrate on my business. — Jack Carey, Amoskeag Pet Supply, Manchester, NH
  • I would love to own my building as then it becomes an asset in which it builds wealth over time, I can write off interest on the mortgage payments, and as part of an exit strategy, I can always lease the building. — Christine Dixon, Wiggles and Walks Pet Care, Charlotte, NC
  • I don’t know that property ownership is in the plans for any of our locations. It would probably make sense, as most repairs or improvements are up to us anyway! — Keefer Dickerson, Nashville Pet Products, Nashville, TN
  • Personally I do not like renting. My dad used to say renting is like throwing money in the toilet. While I hate to think of it this way, I am not making any investment while throwing money to my landlord. You also don’t have control of your destiny. When the landlord says it’s time to go, sells the building or is tired of having your type of business in his facility, you’re out of luck. — Kristina Robertson, Barkley Square Pets, Falls Church, VA
  • Ownership advantages: control, prioritizing maintenance/refurbishments, no rent to pay Disadvantages: need large cash reserves for large maintenance/refurbishment projects, all the problems are YOURS, how soon can you sell if you need to? — Marcia Cram, Just Fur Pets, Springfield, VA
  • We are in a Main Street shopping district where the buildings are all owned by a couple of landlords. I love my location, which wouldn’t be nearly as good if I had to own versus lease. While the idea of ownership is appealing in some ways — especially if I could have more space and a indoor/outdoor dog park plus tubs — the town we are in has basically no opportunity for that sort of endeavor, so I see us as being perpetual lessees. Shane Somerville, Paddywack, Mill Creek, WA
  • We decided to open our stores in malls … basically because hardly anyone else does this, and with all the competition out there, you have to be different. Having a store in the mall makes us both a destination and an impulse shopping experience. Being in a mall also provides us with increased foot traffic and security. A disadvantage of being in the mall is that it’s not a place that is conducive to carrying large bags of dog food. But that’s OK — we make up with HUGE variety of treats with a purpose and a HUGE assortment of general merchandise you don’t usually find in the big-box stores. — Sue Hepner, Cool Dog Gear, Roslyn, PA
  • The biggest disadvantage is the increase in fees associated with the upkeep of the property. Each year, and with the somewhat regular sale of the complex to a new investment firm, the fees change and almost always means an increase in our dues. — Jennifer Sutphen, Petland, Fort Walton Beach, FL
  • It is a simple concept. I’m in the retail business, not the real estate business. The ever present possibility of being forced to relocate when my lease is up doesn’t bother me because I am focused on building my brand reputation and creating a loyal customer base. — Wendy Megyese, Muttigans, Emerald Isle, NC

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