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Owning Up

To buy or not to buy? That's the hot-button question if you're renting your business location.

By Mark Henricks

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Next time you're writing a check for the rent, ask yourself"Would I be better off owning my business location?" Withinterest rates at near historic lows, the answer for a sizablenumber of entrepreneurs is: probably so. "If you have theopportunity to either rent or buy, absolutely buy," says ScottCrossman, president of Orlando, Florida, commercial real estatebrokerage Crossman & Co. "This is a great time in themarket when you can borrow money on very aggressive terms. In themajority of instances, that makes great sense."

Owning does offer many benefits. With each mortgage payment,you'll build equity in the property instead of just lining thelandlord's pockets. That equity may be enhanced if the propertyvalue appreciates. And as the landlord, you control the space,deciding everything from what color to paint the building to whichtenants-if any-to lease unused space to. You also control costs,since you can decide on financing and maintenance and upgradeschedules. And you won't be subject to rent hikes.

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