Convenience Store Loans – Options

In general, borrowers shopping for a convenience store loan will be pleased with the number of options available to them. Including conventional, SBA and a few CMBS programs.One of the biggest components to convenience store loans is whether or not the subject property offers gasoline. Basically any convenience store that offers gasoline will be classified as a gas station and borrowers should seek financing under that category. As a side note, we happen to be working with a borrower who had his convenience store loan in process. The over eager loan officer had it wrongly classified as convenience store(not as a gas station). As soon as the appraisal company came out to the facility and reported its finding to the funding bank the loan was immediately declined. This of course wasted $5,000 for the borrower and 3 months of his time.C-Store LoansIn general, borrowers have three options for their c-store loan. Conventional, SBA and CMBS loans. SBA loans will normally provide the highest level of financing and some of the longest fixed rates for this building type. For example 85% loan to cost financing is common for convenience stores. Fixed rates can be for as long as 10 years. Don’t let the rumors about the SBA process scare you off as the SBA has done a lot in the last 3 years to improve their process. You should be able to close your loan in 45 days.Make sure however that whoever the funding bank is, that they hold the PLP designation. What’s important about this for you is that the loan will only have to be underwritten one time. Versus working with a bank that is not PLP you will have to have the deal underwritten once by the bank THAN by the SBA. That’s where the 75 to 120 days to close horror stories come from.CMBS loans also have some very strong options, like 80% financing and rates fixed for up to 30 years, yes 30 years. However, due to the subprime mess many of these options have become limited or expensive. But it is still very much recommended that you research these options as they maybe a great fit for your situation.Conventional financing, i.e. a regular loans from your local bank, will normally provide the best rates, however they will normally have the most conservative underwriting and weakest terms. Fixed period rarely exceed five years with shorter amortization periods of 15 to 20 years for convenience store loans.

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