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Illinois commercial real estate lawyersIf you are looking for a way to diversify your real estate portfolio and have not yet ventured into commercial real estate, now could be the time to do so. However, there are some important differences between commercial and residential real estate transactions that one must understand before diving into the market. Gain a firm grasp on these variances with help from the following sections, and discover how the assistance of a seasoned real estate lawyer can help improve the outcome of your first (and hopefully all successive) commercial real estate transaction(s).

What is the Market Doing in Your Chosen CRE Sector? 

Commercial real estate involves many sub-sectors (housing developments, office spaces, restaurants, etc.), so investors need to understand the various nuances and fundamentals of their chosen sector. Not only does this decrease the risk of project failure, but it can also increase one's chances of yielding a high return. Savvy CRE investors can also use their market knowledge to fine-tune their investment path and diversify their real estate portfolios.

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Illinois real estate attorneysMillennials are more than just history's youngest consumers; they have shaped the very world in which we live. Their love for technology has made items that were formerly seen as conveniences - things like free wifi and USB ports - an expectation, rather than a perk in restaurants, hotels, and coffee shops. A strong desire to make less of an impact on the planet than the generations before them, millennials have also encouraged many companies to adopt more eco-friendly practices. Now, with many of them reaching a stage where they want to start a family, real estate developers who wish to achieve future growth and success are having to consider (and find solutions for) the challenges that stand in the way of home ownership for this unique demographic. A recent survey may help shed some light on the subject.

Millennials Express Concerns Over Rising Home Prices and Interest Rates 

During the Great Recession, home prices dropped dramatically. The economy has, thankfully, since recovered - so well, in fact, that house prices in many areas are nearly the same as they were before the recession. Unfortunately, the lack of income stimulus in many parts of the country, paired with the drastic rise in house prices over the past few years (currently up 6.8 percent from the previous year) has made purchasing a home seem impossible for those who are just looking to purchase a small starter home. Millennials, who are just starting out in the world and may not have the best paying jobs quite yet, seem to struggle with it even more. Experts say this could because it is not just home prices rising, but loan interest rates as well.

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Illinois zoning law attorneysWhen you invest in commercial property, it is critical that you are able to use it as planned. Unfortunately, if due diligence is not performed, there could be zoning issues that hinder the completion of a project. Depending on the situation, developers may be permitted an exception, otherwise known as a zoning variance. Learn more about variances, when they apply, and how a skilled real estate attorney can help with pursuing one for your current development project.

What is a Zoning Variance? 

Local municipalities are responsible for the way their community develops. Zoning ordinances allow them to control and limit the presence of undesired structures and land uses. Most of the time, those ordnances are based on community desires (i.e. residents not wanting a factory near their homes), rather than government desires, but there are exceptions. Examples include ordinances that prioritize land and wildlife preservation.

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Illinois real estate lawyersGeneration Z now accounts for more than 25 percent of the current U.S. population, and they are expected to make up 40 percent of all consumers by the year 2020. As such, companies and commercial real estate developers are encouraged to start thinking with the “new generation” in mind. Learn how to better cater to this up-and-coming demographic, and discover how a seasoned real estate lawyer can assist you as you continue to expand your investment portfolio.

Getting to Know Generation Z

Generation X saw the start of the internet. Millennials were a part of the upward trend, but they still remember a time when stores were a place to shop. Generation Z grew up with the world at their fingertips, so their expectations are extremely different than the generations before them. They look at retail spots as places to do things, rather than buy things. A company's ecological footprint and treatment of their employees are deciding factors for this group of consumers, and they are less enthralled by experience than the ease of navigation. They want elements that promote health and emotional well-being. They are also less likely to work in a brick-and-mortar building, but when they do choose to work at a location, they want shared work spaces, unassigned seating, and quiet zones that help them “unplug” from their digital worlds.

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Naperville commercial real estate lawyersCommercial real estate (CRE) investment was once reserved for the elite, but changes in federal laws have opened up several methods that people can use to break into the CRE market. One such example is real estate crowdfunding. Of course, like most investment opportunities, there are potential risks that one must be aware of when participating real estate crowdfunding. Learn more in the following sections, and discover how a seasoned commercial real estate attorney can help you mitigate against the most common issues that investors may face in CRE crowdfunding.

How Crowdfunding Has Changed the Face of Commercial Real Estate

Prior to the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act of 2012, investors were only able to access institutional-quality real estate through private equity funds, real estate investment trusts (REITs), or direct investment. All of these options have serious limitations. In an REIT, individuals are investing their money into a pre-constructed strategy or portfolio rather than an individual property. Private equity funds are usually cost-prohibitive, and they often lack transparency for the investor. Direct investment can allow an investor to bypass these issues, but they require ample time, money, and labor - something that many investors lack.

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