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  • Writer's pictureHannah Skidmore, MBA

Should I lease or buy for my new animal care space?

Leasing vs. Buying

“Should I lease or buy for my new animal care space?” This can be a tough question! There are advantages and disadvantages to both options. Every organization has its unique set of requirements for a potential property and those requirements may also impact whether it is best to lease or buy. There are so many variables that go into the decision making process when deciding whether to lease or buy a space. Over the years, clients have asked us this question so often that we created a few guidelines and helpful prompts for folks to explore when considering leasing vs. buying.

Are the engineered systems in the building adequate for animal care?

The mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and noise control systems in most buildings are not adequate for animal care. You must consider things like disease, odor, and noise control as well as dehumidification and fresh air requirements. You must also consider plumbing such as sub-slab drainage requirements particularly for dogs. Leasing requires involvement and approval for these upgrades from the landlord, most of which the landlord may not be willing to pay. Buying a facility allows you to be free to do what you want to create adequate engineered systems suitable for animal care.

How long do you plan to stay in the building?

If you plan to stay in a space for less than five years, then leasing may be a good option. If you plan to stay in a space for more than five years, then buying may be your best bet. Leasing a facility long term can lead to some uncertainty regarding lease renewals and even the lease lengths that the landlords may allow. You must also determine if the improvements you plan to make to create a facility that can stand up to the requirements of animal care facilities are worth potentially losing if the lease goes away. Owning your facility can take this worry away.

What is your current financial situation?

Often, leasing a space requires less upfront cost than buying an existing or new facility. Upfront costs is often a determining factor for many organizations. Keep in mind - leasing with a lower upfront cost may be desirable but the organization would not own or gain equity. With a long-term focus, it may make financial sense to buy a building. With a short-term focus, leasing may make sense. We always encourage folks to consider their current financial situation.

How much responsibility do you want?

Usually, the most desirable part of leasing a building is the lessened degree of responsibility to fix problems (just like an apartment). You can call the landlord when there is an issue with the HVAC system and the landlord must handle it. On the other hand, owning the facility allows you to act quickly and resolve the problem in a way that best suits your organization (rather than a low cost band-aid option which a landlord may push). You have more responsibility when you own but you also have complete control over what is done with your facility.

Discuss Your Building Options with Building Experts

Overall, buying vs. leasing a space is a big decision and you must consider all of the advantages and disadvantages of each. Our team of building experts at Design Learned would love to discuss additional factors that may play into this decision for you. Please give us a call to schedule a time to talk. Call us at 860-889-7078 or schedule a consultation online.

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