5:53 am August 19, 2009, by Henry Unger
From time to time, this recession sparks interesting developments.
AJC reporter Gertha Coffee takes a look at churches and concludes that the ones looking to expand into bigger facilities are in a buyer’s market. They are getting good deals right now because of the downturn in commercial real estate.
But because of declining donations, some other churches are having trouble meeting their mortgage payments and are selling their buildings to downsize. Churches are the main buyers of other churches.
“One of the things that is a little bit different than a few years ago is more properties are on the market because of bank pressure and foreclosures,” Matt Messier, of CNL Specialty Real Estate, told Coffee. “Churches are not immune to that issue.”
To make some deals works, sellers have been using creative financing to help buyers purchase churches, said Dan Simpson, managing broker at America’s Network Realty Group in Dunwoody. That’s because traditional mortgages have been more difficult to come by.
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