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Tips for Investing in California

The Unique Real Estate Blog offers tips for investing in shopping centers in California.
So the key is to identify properties with below market rents and a low price per square foot. These properties will provide you with upside potentials. However, the market rents often have a wide range. For example retail space in San Jose commands between $2-5/SF a month. It's not easy to determine if the tenants of the property pay below market rent.The following are some properties that have low upside potential that we may want to screen out:

1. Big-box properties with anchor tenants, e.g. Wal-Mart, Target, or Safeway. These big national tenants often sign long term lease with low rent due to its creditworthiness and large rental space. Once the lease is signed, the rent is locked in for 20-30 years. So it's almost impossible to drastically increase the income within a short time. As a matter of fact, many big-box retail properties in California are listed at below replacement cost. This is because they have long term leases with below market rent. They are on the market for a long time and yet is not sold because the cap is low, e.g. 4%. The prospect for higher income is sometimes 15-20 years away when the lease expires.

What do you think? Is this basic strategy or is there some good new information here?

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Elaine Misonzhnik

Senior associate editor Elaine Misonzhnik has been writing for National Real Estate Investor since June 2006 and has covered commercial real estate for more than 12 years. She first became...
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