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5 questions to answer if you’re looking to buy a permanent home for your practice – Part 2/2

In the second blog of our series on commercial property loans, Head of Avant Financial Services (SA & WA) Jeremy Stagg explain the different factors you should consider if you’re looking to purchase a commercial property for your medical practice.

Buying a  commercial property for your medical practice can feel daunting. But as we discussed in the first blog of this series, owning property comes with significant advantages.

There are so many factors to consider before you make a final purchasing decision, from the size and location of the property, to your fit-out requirements and the terms of your loan.

That is why it’s vital that you engage the broader team that will be working on your practice establishment or expansion from the very beginning.

An Avant finance specialist can work alongside your builder, fit-out company, accountant and lawyer to help you to make informed decisions.

Whether you’re looking to buy a property you’re already leasing, starting a practice from scratch, or expanding by purchasing a bigger or subsequent property, here are the questions you should be asking as you start to consider your options.

Question 1: What’s your bottom line?

It goes without saying that you need to know the ins and outs of your budget. What’s your cash flow? What sort of repayments can you afford?

These are questions Avant can help you to work through. The answers will help to inform the price of the property you ultimately purchase.

Once you’ve factored in excess costs, including fit-out and equipment, we will tailor a loan scheme that best suits your business. We will also help you determine how much deposit you need to contribute and how much will each option cost you in principle interest over time.

Question 2: How much space do you need?

While this seems like a given, it’s vital to break it down as much as possible when you’re picking your property.

How many chairs do you need if you’re a dental practice? How many consulting rooms will you need if you’re a GP? And will you have any space left over to renovate and expand if your business grows?

Question 3: How much will the property cost to fit-out and renovate?

Selecting a property is heavily dependent on how easily you can tailor the space to fit the needs of your medical profession.

Dentists need to spend more to get their property practice-ready, than say, GPs. But every practice, no matter your specialty, is going to need some work.

That’s why it’s best to consult your builder and your fit-out company while you’re looking at properties.

Buying an old and run-down house, for example, will spike the cost of your fit-out and any renovations you want done, putting an unnecessary dent in your finances.

Question 4: Where do you want to be?

When it comes to choosing a location for your practice, there are a few things to consider so you’re setting yourself up to succeed. If you have pre-existing clients, you want to ensure they can access your new location, and also that the new property is disability compliant.

You also need to know what steps you will need to work through to get planning approval from the local council.  What are these processes like for your health modality?

Finally, you need to consider the demographics of the area. Is it in a growth corridor, with new land being released for construction?

Question 5: Do you want to sublease part of the property?

For certain modalities, especially GPs, it’s worth considering whether you want to sublet some of the space in your new property to allied health professionals or other practitioners.

As well as being incredibly helpful for clients who need referrals and access to different specialists, subleasing could also allow you access to extra space from the beginning.

That space could make it easier for you to expand your business when it grows, saving you the hassle of buying and moving to a larger property.

Avant’s finance specialist has access to a wide range of products to help you purchase commercial property. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your plans with our team, don’t hesitate to contact us.