Office Space: to Lease or Buy?

Alex Neighbour at Reckon examines the case for renting vs buying a space for your business ~ WizeOwl

In today’s tightly networked digital landscape it is no longer entirely necessary to have a physical location to do business. But the fact remains that beyond a certain size, beyond a certain amount of staff, an office will be on your cards soon enough.

In most cases you eventually still face two age old choices: Lease or Buy?

To Lease

1) Knee-high entry barriers

It’s no secret that leasing provides you with the real estate you need without necessitating the high walls and battlements we call deposits and stamp duty.

With leasing options you can often get yourself into some pretty prime locations on the cheap. ‘On the cheap’ being the primary directive here, after all you will be able to pocket the cash saved from not forking out for a fat deposit to spend on your business itself or a trendy office refurbishment to showcase your brand.

2) It’s someone else’s problem

Taps leaking? Aircon fritzing out? Animals broke in and decimated the kitchen?
Great, this is now someone else’s problem!

Combined with your insurance, the lease agreement foists the vast majority of responsibility of cost and organisation of repairs and maintenance to the landlord.

This is a really significant boon for those who frankly despise the irritating and costly minutia of upkeep that buying unleashes.

3) Flexibility of a yogi

Don’t know how long you will be here? Unsure about the location until proven? Might want to expand soon? Cool, welcome to your new bulding, Tenant. Buying has a nest of restrictions attached, mostly time and expense related. Swiftly closing a buy, making a sale or any agile movement should be banished from your mind if you take the buy route over the lease option.

To Buy?

1) Be the Boss

Boss out hard by telling people what you want. No one can dictate what to do with your own building, you are the master of your domain. Paint that exterior wall pink, put in that hexagonal domed skylight, lay down an underlit transparent dance floor in your lobby. Whatever floats your boat, boss, no landlord here to rain on your parade.

2) Property can amount to security

Buying, although more expensive during the outset, will eventually roll in your favour as property has a tendency to appreciate, leaving you with equity to play with.

Up and coming areas have the advantage of booming quite quickly, possibly leaving you in line for a pretty decent payday. This also leaves you with the opportunity to rent this office out if circumstances change, as you rent another space altogether.

3) You are paying yourself

Instead of enriching somebody else with your hard earned rent money, think of every mortgage payment as a coin in your piggy bank, you are creating equity month after month. What’s that old saying? ‘Rent money is dead money’. By buying, you invest not only in your business but in your own personal fortunes, whether the business succeeds or not.