Triple net lease (NNN) real estate offers investors a way to secure a consistent revenue stream without having to play all the traditional roles and take on the many obligations of being a landlord. In an NNN lease, the tenant at the property will typically cover the major operational expenses of the property as part of the business expenses. These costs covered by the tenant usually include property taxes, insurance, and maintenance or upkeep on the space they’re renting for their business.
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If you’re looking for your next high-reward real estate investment, especially regarding commercial properties for lease, it’s important to understand what goes into financing a triple net lease property, otherwise known as NNN financing. NNN properties for sale are leased to a single tenant who takes on additional expenses beyond the usual rent and utility payments. These additional expenses include real estate taxes, maintenance and building insurance.
A lease of this type carries benefits and drawbacks for both the lessor and lessee. Let’s take a look at what triple net, or NNN, leasing is and what it can mean for your efforts before we get into financing.
What Is a NNN Lease?
Before we can look at NNN financing, it’s important to understand what a net lease is. In this form of commercial real estate lease, the tenant takes on the burden of some or all of the normal ownership and maintenance costs of the building. They may, in addition to rent, pay some of the taxes, repair and maintenance costs, or other fees associated with the property.
In a single net lease, for example, the tenant pays property taxes. With a double net lease, the tenant pays for property taxes and insurance. The triple net lease passes on the maximum level of expenses to the lessee.
An Overview of the Triple Net Lease
When a property owner offers a triple net commercial lease, the tenant takes on the additional responsibilities of property taxes, the cost of upkeep on the building and any insurance, as well as normal rent payments. This can save the building owner a great deal of money because the lessee is responsible for the same level of expenses as the owner might normally take on.
For the lessee, the rental costs are generally less than they would be otherwise. Essentially, the building owner passes on their savings in the form of reduced leasing costs. Such leases are also popular for business owners and operators for a number of reasons:
- They tend to be for 10 or 15 years, with a controlled escalation of rent, which allows for long-term business operations.
- They allow for the tenant to make whatever repairs or upkeep are needed without reliance upon landlord cooperation.
For investors, triple net properties also carry a range of benefits:
- Investors receive a stable income over a long-term agreement.
- The property in question will presumably appreciate in value at little to no cost to the owner.
- There are no worries regarding management issues.
- There are no concerns about filling vacancies.
- Building improvement costs are nil, or close to it.
- When a triple lease investment property is sold, capital can be rolled over into a 1031 exchange to save money to take advantage of tax deferment.
Low Risk, High Reward
If you’re looking to get into a property deal that carries a very low risk for a very high reward, it’s hard to beat a NNN lease property. Again, leases range from 10 to 15 years, or even as long as 25, so there’s stability in such a property. It’s governed by a single set of agreements, which means you don’t have to negotiate raises in rent, building improvements or other costs.
Hands-Off Management for a Single Renter
Again, you’re dealing with only a single tenant with this kind of lease deal, and they’re taking on all of the responsibilities of maintaining the property. That means you can be a completely hands-off landlord, stepping in only when there’s a major problem (such as the tenant failing to uphold their end of the agreement).
Steady Income with No Surprises
You can, through your lease property, enjoy a steady income with no surprises and relatively few headaches. After all, you don’t have to be concerned with paying out insurance or taxes, let alone upkeep, repairs and maintenance. All of that is taken care of by your tenant. In some ways, it can feel like easy money. There’s no such thing, of course, but a NNN lease can feel that way once it starts moving along.
Pay for Mortgage and Financing
The goal for just about any lease property is to cover your fees related to the mortgage and financing of the property. A NNN lease is ideal for this purpose. Working with a reputable triple net advisor can offer a number of different options for financing that can fund your purpose, and your lease agreement will immediately help to pay off those monthly regular costs.
Buying a commercial real estate investment property of this sort has specific financial requirements. The investor has to have a minimum accredited net worth of $1 million. This excludes up to $200,000 in income or $300,000 if the purchasers are joint filing, or excluding the value of the filer’s primary home.
This can, of course, make it tricky for a smaller investor to take advantage of triple net lease properties. There are channels open to such smaller investors, however, including REITs, or real estate investment trusts, which are geared specifically toward NNN properties for sale. Here are a few more things you need to look for when considering financing NNN properties for sale.
Is the Tenant Credit or Non-Credit?
If your tenant holds an investment-grade rating from Fitch, Moody’s or Standard & Poor’s, or is a large publicly traded company, you’ll have a low risk when you buy the property, but you’ll also likely pay significantly more and get a far lower ROI when all is said and done.
On the other hand, a smaller independent business like a privately owned shop or restaurant is a higher risk because they’re not as financially stable. You will often, however, get the property at a lower price and get a greater return on your investment.
Get Up to Speed on Lease Agreements
When you buy net lease real estate, you’re almost always getting a property that is already occupied by a tenant. The property will come with a lease agreement. Make sure you understand how these lease agreements work. Look into the remaining lease term and any renewal options the tenant may have. Your loan will be directly related to the terms of that lease.
Put simply, for the most part the lender will offer a financing term on the NNN property for sale that is based on the remaining years. If there are five years left on the current lease, your loan term will likely be five years. If there are 10 years left, you can expect a 10-year loan. For the most part, lenders offer loans with terms of five, seven or 10 years.
Know Your Lenders
Financing NNN properties for sale usually involves either a federally insured bank or credit union, or a private lender. The best loan options usually come from federally insured institutions, which will offer the most competitive rates and the most favorable terms.
Private lenders are almost always more expensive. If, however, you’re facing a time crunch or are looking for a temporary loan financing solution, a private bridge loan can give you the time you need to negotiate a long-term lease while you seek to get better financing options from a bank or credit union.
Know Your Tenants
In the end, regardless of which institution you choose, the major factor will be as much tied to the credit rating of your tenant as it will be to your credit rating. The better your tenant’s credit rating is, the better your lease terms will be. This is largely because the lender is aware that you will be depending on the tenant’s rent and fees to pay your responsibilities to the bank. If the tenant has poor credit, that makes the sale a bad risk so finding the best NNN tenants is key.
Are triple net leases a good investment?
Absolutely, and we’re here to help you through the process. Check out our complete guide on investing in triple net properties and what to look for.
Seek Expert Advice From SIG
If you need assistance with triple net financing your best bet is to seek expert advice and guidance. You’re making a massive investment when you purchase a single tenant net lease property, and you need to carefully consider a wide range of factors. Location is as important as it is with any commercial property for sale, as is the punishment it’s taken from prior tenants and the possibility for future use.
Working with the best team of skilled and experienced advisors, like those at Sands Investment Group, can provide you with the right financing guidance and support to avoid critical mistakes and ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible. SIG has experience and knowledge in all forms of triple net properties for sale, along with the expertise to save you a great deal of hassle and hurdles in the process.
Sands Investment Group is America’s fastest-growing net lease investment company, with over 2,200 transactions in 48 states (to the tune of $4.7 billion) since 2010. Our experienced team of net lease advisors and brokers are experts in the NNN market and can help you find your next best investment opportunity by helping you navigate all the opportunity and risk factors of every NNN property that meets your investment goals.
Want to learn more? Get in touch with an expert net lease advisor today by calling 844.4.SIG.NNN or sending us an email at info@SIGnnn.com.