Like any undertaking, building a church requires significant preparation and planning. In this guide, Church Building Consultants Realty breaks down four important considerations to keep in mind to ensure the success of your project.
- To lease or to buy?
Church real estate properties are available in a variety of forms. There are some that you can purchase and own outright, while others are available for lease.
This debate often begins as a matter of practicality. Real estate ownership is typically more demanding than simply leasing a property for your church.
However, as time passes and your congregation continues to grow in number and in sentiment, you may find yourself having second thoughts. Is a leased property enough to fulfill the mission of your church?
When time comes for you to seriously consider buying a property on which to build your church, the following matters will also come into play:
- Equity – Unlike lease payments, the money you invest in the property will yield a significant return over time. The equity you gain can enable significant improvements and growth for succeeding generations of your church members.
- Customization – Owning your property gives you more leeway to build and design your church as you please. You can accommodate your members better with notable renovations to improve the building’s acoustics, for example. With a leased property, you may be limited by property regulations that are beyond your control.
- The cost
The financial aspect of buying and owning a church property is perhaps the biggest hurdle that you will need to face.
Note that the costs involved are not limited only to the face-value prices that you need to pay to purchase the property and construct your church building. You must also be prepared to manage the long-term costs of ownership. These include all expenses related to the upkeep of the entire property, from cleaning and regular maintenance, to any unforeseen repairs and replacements that may arise over time.
Then there is also the matter of securing the funding that you will need to successfully complete your church building project.
Any good church will have already established a culture of generosity and unity among its members long before the need for funds arises. This will make requesting financial support from your congregation a simple matter. What is important is that your church regularly saves a substantial amount of these contributions for major building or renovation initiatives for the future. With a hefty capital, you can secure a substantial loan with favorable terms.
- The right location
Choosing the ideal place to build your church boils down to these five key factors:
- Population and demographics – Is your church aiming to impact a particular outreach group? Identify potential locations and neighborhoods where your church can have the most powerful and most positive change.
- Visibility – Prominent placement can be the most effective advertisement for your church’s presence in the local community. Consider an address where people often pass like a main road, but not a highway where cars move too fast to notice your building.
- Accessibility – Even if people can see your church, can they easily navigate the roads leading to your front steps?
- Zoning – Every property is zoned for a particular range of uses. Make sure that the location you choose is eligible for use as a church.
- Physical conditions – Is the soil on the property stable enough for a church building? How deep is the underlying water table and will it cause potential flooding problems in the future? What are the root systems of surrounding trees like underground?
- A team effort
One of the most essential things to remember about your church building project is that it should never be a one-person effort. This is a massive project that entails contributions from a group of people.
Fortunately, coming together for a shared purpose is something that churches do well.
To make your church building project work efficiently, assign trusted co-members of your church leadership, as well as volunteers from your congregation into the following committees:
- Finance – Tasked to oversee the fundraising, safekeeping, and budgeting of the money that will be dedicated to your church building project, this group must also plan for recurring expenses for utilities, maintenance, and repairs.
- Construction – This committee is responsible for choosing and coordinating with the architect and builder from the beginning until the end of the project. Their primary concern is the basic structure and layout of the church.
- Design – This group focuses on the finer details of what the completed church building will contain, from the furniture and finishes used inside to the landscaping of the surrounding outdoor area. In addition to envisioning the aesthetic of your church, they must also know where to source the fixtures that they recommend.
Partner with the experts at Church Building Consultants Realty for the most reliable church real estate services in the Chicago area. Contact us today at 630.344.9449 or Dan(at)ChurchBuildingRealty(dotted)com.