If any group is thinking of taking on a big capital campaign to buy
and property, I'd be happy to talk about our experience here in
Missoula over the
last few years.
The nutshell: our 4,000 sq ft community shop was for sale as part of a
larger 2 acre property
with a 28,000 sq ft building (lots of additions, annexes, offices,
We went for it and succeeded in buying the whole thing, for 1.1
million dollars. It's
in the heart of Missoula, on the trail system with great vistas to the
We raised $200,000 in cash donations in 9 months, secured a $100,000
(4% over 20 years) and had a local woman loan us the balance of 900k.
We pay her
$6,200/mo as the mortgage (6% over 25 years).
A key component: we have secured enough renters to bring in $7,600/mo.
That amount covers the local loan, the county loan, insurance and
property tax (we
gained tax exempt status on 85% of the property).
We have like minded renters, from a mushroom grower to t-shirt shop to
non profits renting
the offices, a clay studio and so on.
It has been a challenge, yet we feel very secure. We are growing bike
programs, a venue
space and we will likely take on the other spaces for more programs as
we pay down the
The arrangement with the local person was a 'contract for deed', which
gives us all the
rights and responsibilities as property owner.
Send me an email if you'd like to talk more. I do think this is a good
model: buy a
piece of property and rent out enough to cover the bulk of costs.
-Bob Giordano, Free Cycles Missoula