If you paid $5,000 a month last month for your parent to live in a very nice, upscale retirement community, would you be shocked to learn that only 3.5 % of this money funds the monthly nutritional wellness of your aging parent?Your 85 year old parent may be nourished today in a community boasting a “fine dining program”, for $2.40 per meal: this was my budget per resident in an upscale senior independent living community in La Jolla, California in 2007.Retirement community budgets are drafted at the corporate level: that means that a decision is made to give each community’s dining service director a fixed yearly budget from which to feed the resident’s of a community: as an outsider to senior living, most people would guess that senior nutritional standards would drive the dollars budgeted for daily meal services. That is not always the case.While some corporations have a full time registered dietician on staff: other corporations do not. My last employer had an accountant, not a nutritionist, deciding the dollars necessary to provide high quality nutritional food to community residents. Furthermore the corporate leadership was more concerned with feeding the community residents food that was inexpensive to buy, and convenient to produce; rather than high quality whole foods that were nutritional. The nutritional wellness of your cherished parent is not the first priority of these very profitable corporations, though from an ethical perspective it should be.You would think that with the current explosion in nutritional knowledge that senior retirement corporations would be taking the lead in senior wellness programming, and that the food service programs would be state of the art. There is consensus amongst nutritional professionals, and researchers that , inflammation causes aging, and more critically, contributes to the rate of aging.I have visited many dietary programs , both owned by my corporation, and by other corporations with several property holdings in California, and nationwide. Most of the food, in my opinion, was aesthetically, and nutritionally ghastly. Bad food is the rule, not the exception.As if that is not bad enough, poor nutrition for seniors can be deadly. For anyone, as a matter of fact.Most chefs at these communities are not certified, or formally educated Executive Chefs, and have little or no background in nutrition, let alone nutrition specific to the needs of seniors. These individuals are in these positions primarily because they agree to stay within the budgetary guidelines of their corporations; and because they are inexpensive labor. They are not in these positions because of their credentials or nutritional wisdom: yet they are charged with the responsibility of keeping your parents healthy. Frightening. Really frightening.Some Chefs and Dietary Directors do have great resumes, and the necessary experience: but rarely are they in complete control of the dietary programming: there is usually a bean counter driving the important decision making: like how much money per resident actually goes toward resident meals.Keep in mind, that yearly, there are market fluctuations; price increases that are unexpected; last year it was dairy that shot up 14% unpredictably: never think that the corporation absorbs these increases, and merely changes their budgeting mid-year. Your parent is stuck with what the budget year money can buy; no matter what happens in the marketplace. There have been years when meat prices climbed, fish prices doubled: and the smaller the dollars per resident meal, the lower the quality of product that your parent will actually receive.Do your homework when you tour communities: ask about specifics: here are some key questions to ask:1. What did your company budget for resident meals per day?2. How many meals are included each day?3. What proportion of this money is spent on fresh fish ? fresh produce?4. Do you cook from scratch? what items do you cook from scratch?5. What is the educational background in nutrition of your Chef? Dietary Director?6. Do you purchase commercially prepared foods?7. Do you make dietary adjustments to your regular menu? what kind?If the marketing directors,chefs, dietary directors cannot answer these questions to your satisfaction, just walk away: your parent will never be happy. Explore other smaller communities with a greater nutritional focus: remember, you are what you eat. And for a senior, what they eat, or can’t have access to eating, could kill them.
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.