ORLANDO, Fla. — Central Floridians have seen the local housing market rise dramatically. Whether it's for a home or even rent, the limited inventory has costs goping up. Businesses and their owners who are looking to purchase a place of their own in the commercial real estate market are also struggling.

What You Need To Know

  • SBA loans can take twice as long at closing that a cash closing

  • Industrial space is the most coveted right now in commercial real estate

  • Price per square foot in commercial real estate has nearly doubled in the past two years

That’s the case for Mary Dees, who owns the Rapid Estate Liquidators & Auction Gallery in Orlando. At the start of August, her landlord gave her less than 30 days’ notice to pack up and get out. Her rent went from $2900 in 2019 to now just over $5,500 a month,

She now has the tough task of moving over 11,000 items with no idea of where she’ll be next. Nearly every aisle of her shop has a case of U-Haul moving boxes ready to be packed.

“As you can see here, it’s a lot of different collectable items,” Dees told Spectrum News. “We specialize in fine art and estate items.”

It all needs to be packed and moved in the next few weeks. Dees recently declined a three-year lease offer that came with a substantial rent increase.

Reaching her breaking point in raising rent, she is struggling to find a place to call her own.

“Every day before I end my day I come in and I do a circle of the areas I am looking for,” Dees says, looking at a map of commercial properties for sale on-line.

Commercial Real Estate Agent Chuck Rudis says the commercial market is extremely competitive.

“Right now industrial is one of the hottest markets out there,” Rudis, who has been selling commercial real estate for 24 years, explains. “You are seeing warehouses that used to rent for three dollars, four dollars, five dollars a square foot, essentially double that, so rents have gone up dramatically.”

To make it tougher on Dees who has qualified for a small business loan, she is finding it hard to win when she makes an offer on a place.

“In the last 12 months, I have placed at least 40 active offers,” she admits. “None of which were under $800,000. Some were in the $1.2 million range and even higher.”

Like in home buying, cash is king.

“Some of the requirements by the SBA cause it to give sellers more hesitance because it is a process,” Rudis explains.

Time is now ticking for Mary to find a place for all her shop’s merchandise in less than three weeks.

According to Rudis one disadvantage many have with an SBA loan is time. Closings for someone with an SBA loan can take typically twice as long as an all cash buyer.