There are a lot of misconceptions about real estate, let alone church real estate. Real estate can be incredibly confusing and often involves more work than most expect. Church real estate adds another layer of complexity. As experts in church real estate, we want to break down 7 misconceptions about church real estate for your benefit.
Church looks like one building on a private property, steeple and all.
Church buildings can be anywhere and everywhere. One example we see quite often is church being in a commercial space, like a strip mall. We had a client whose church was multiple suites that connected as a church. The Valley Life Churches started in a movie theater. Churches can be in schools, industrial buildings, or even inside another church. These spaces actually work great for churches because they include parking lots, which is an essential.
Churches always have to pay property taxes.
Actually, if a church leases from a landlord, the church is except from property taxes as long as the benefit goes to the church. Unfortunately, churches don’t always know this and sometimes pay for property tax when they don’t have to.
There’s no difference between church real estate and other types of real estate.
There’s a huge difference: residential or commercial real estate usually involves one owner. But with church real estate, there’s often a church board involved which can be dozens of people. That’s dozens of opinions, ideas, preferences, and schedules involved. Not to mention multiple meetings with the congregations and times of voting. That’s why church real estate often takes longer and needs a patient realtor.
Churches don’t need real realtors.
Realtors, especially church realtors, know what to expect in real estate. We know how to negotiate leases, for instance. Churches will often say yes to everything, not knowing they can negotiate, or no to everything and end up ruining the deal. Non-realtors don’t have the same experience and knowledge as realtors do. Realtors know how to get the best results and will work to do so.
Churches can’t rent their space out to other churches.
If a church owns their building, they can absolutely lease it out to other churches. Even if the church doesn’t own the building, they can lease it out to other churches in a sublease. And yes, a church may be able to collect income from a sublease as well.
Only the building needs to be negotiated.
Any property your church will use will need to be negotiated. If your church is going to lease out of a strip mall, then you’ll ned to negotiate the parking lot — the pricing, how many spaces you get, maintenance, etc.
A church doesn’t need a building.
While we agree that worshipping God can be done anywhere, buildings open up more opportunities to expand Christ’s kingdom. You’re able to access your own building anytime and schedule events whenever you want. You can do things like Sunday school classes, Wednesday bible studies, youth group events, weddings, and food banks to name a few. The building isn’t a need, but it’s a blessing you can use to minister to your community.
Ministry Realty believes churches should focus on kingdom work while we take care of the real estate side. If you’re in need of any church or ministry real estate services, reach out today.