When it comes to establishing or expanding your business, one of the most critical decisions you’ll face is whether to lease or own your commercial real estate. Both options have their advantages and drawbacks, and the choice you make can significantly impact your bottom line and long-term business goals. In this blog, we’ll explore the pros and cons of leasing vs. owning commercial real estate to help you make an informed decision.

Leasing Commercial Real Estate


Flexibility: Leasing provides the flexibility to adapt to changing business needs. You can easily relocate or expand without the hassles of selling property.

Lower Initial Costs: Leasing typically requires a lower upfront investment compared to purchasing commercial property. You can allocate your capital to other business needs.

Predictable Expenses: Monthly lease payments offer predictability, making it easier to budget and plan for your business’s operational costs.

Maintenance and Repairs: In many lease agreements, landlords are responsible for property maintenance and repairs, saving you both time and money.

Tax Deductions: Lease payments are often tax-deductible as a business expense, potentially lowering your overall tax liability.


Limited Control: As a tenant, you have limited control over the property. You may need landlord approval for modifications or renovations.

No Equity Buildup: Lease payments do not contribute to building equity or ownership in the property, so you won’t benefit from property appreciation.

Rent Increases: Lease agreements may include rent escalation clauses, leading to higher costs over time.

Restrictions: Your lease may come with restrictions on how you use the property, which could limit your business operations.

Limited Security: Leases typically have finite terms, which means your business might need to relocate when the lease expires.

Owning Commercial Real Estate


Equity Buildup: Owning commercial property allows you to build equity over time as you pay down your mortgage. You can also benefit from property appreciation.

Control and Customization: As the property owner, you have full control over the space. You can customize it to meet your specific business needs without seeking approval.

Potential Income: If you have extra space, you can lease it to other businesses, generating rental income.

Tax Benefits: Property ownership offers tax advantages, such as depreciation deductions and interest expense deductions.

Long-Term Investment: Commercial real estate can be a long-term investment, providing financial security and potential wealth accumulation.


High Initial Costs: Purchasing commercial property requires a significant upfront investment, including down payments, closing costs, and ongoing maintenance expenses.

Limited Flexibility: Owning property can limit your ability to relocate or adapt quickly to changing business needs.

Maintenance and Repairs: As the property owner, you are responsible for all maintenance and repair costs, which can be substantial.

Market Risk: The value of your property can fluctuate with market conditions, potentially leading to financial losses.

Lack of Liquidity: Real estate is not a liquid asset, making it challenging to convert to cash quickly if needed.

The decision to lease or own commercial real estate should align with your business’s current needs, long-term goals, and financial situation. Leasing offers flexibility and lower upfront costs but may not provide the same wealth-building potential as property ownership. Owning commercial property offers control, equity buildup, and potential income but requires a substantial initial investment and ongoing maintenance.

At McGrath Realty, we understand that this decision is crucial for your business’s success. Our team of experienced real estate professionals can help you explore available properties, evaluate lease options, and guide you through the purchasing process. Contact us today to discuss your commercial real estate needs and make an informed decision that supports your business’s growth and profitability.