Commercial vs. Residential Real Estate Investment

By Colin Grubb

Clearpath Accountants has been a leader in real estate accounting for years.  As the senior partner in charge of the real estate division, I frequently am asked how I got involved in commercial real estate, rather than residential.

I began real estate investing by buying single family homes in the 80’s.  Some were profitable, so were not, but lessons were always earned.  I have shared with some of my clients the experience of working on rental properties owned by my family when I was young, so this path was second nature to me.

As the CPA firm grew and relationships with our clients grew with it, we made the decision to acquire a building that could house our business and we bought, built and leased the building in which our Littleton, Colorado office is currently located.  That building is called Evansview.

I frequently speak at classes on real estate investing and compare residential and commercial real estate with one word, toilets.

Here is how it works:

A 15,000 foot commercial building, like Evansview in Littleton, has seven toilets.  A residential building the same size would likely have ten units of 1,500 feet, each of which would have two toilets for a total of thirty.

Commercial Building              –                      7 Toilets

Residential Building               –                       30 Toilets

So, guess which one is less work?


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