Financing Gas Stations and Convenience Stores 101

March 26, 2015 Posted by admin

How gas station owners can finance or re-finance gas station real estate. Most banks don’t want to lend on this type of property because they do not understand this business. Kendall Schnieder has been in the commercial real estate finance business since the mid 90’s and has a very close working relationship with some very aggressive banks.
Monday June 11, 2009

The USDA B&I lending program might be just right for you the time you need gas station financing.
Is your request for gas station financing the “Cream of the Crop?” Do you have a FICO score of 800+, 50% down, and 25 years of management experience? If not, then the next time you want to apply for gas station financing, you need to look beyond in-house lenders such a banks or savings and loan type lenders.
There are many financial instruments that are used for funding gas stations and convenience stores, the problem is find a lender that first of all knows the gas station financing business, and second, is in a position to shop various lending resources for the best funding program. Most lenders are employees that work for a bank or lender, and they normally have a set of underwriting guidelines that do not fit all circumstances. So they go by the numbers and know that if there are fifty applications for gas station financing, that one or two will be funded. And that is all they want, because those two applications will be the cream of the crop, and usually very safe loans. But what happens to the other 48 applications? That is what we want to talk about in this article.
Many gas stations are located in rural areas, meaning that they are not located close to a metropolitan city, and are located in town with fewer than 50,000 population. Gas station financing in these areas becomes more difficult for many reasons, none of which are directly tied to the business, but to underwriting guidelines. It is also important to understand that financing for gas stations is improving, and funds are becoming more available. One point that I want to make here is that this ‘loosening’ of funds for financing gas stations specifically, is not going to be long term. Part of the world plan on energy is to do away with natural resources, such as oil, and so there is going to be a lot of pressure to remove gas stations and go to alternative fuel sources. However, please be assured that once you do get your financing, they can’t take it away. So now is the time to do your strategic planning, and it will benefit you in the long run. Also know that the dollars you invest today will be cheap dollars when compared to the cost of investing five years, ten years from now.
One of the gas station financing programs that is available now, is the federal government’s USDA Business & Industry (B&I) loan program. It is somewhat similar the SBA’s loan programs, but is designed for rural area gas station financing. It appears that the B&I commercial real estate loan program may very well be improving and, as a result, there may be some new and significant lending opportunities, possible changes include:
� USDA like SBA will likely have some 90% guarantees in its stimulus funds
� USDA like SBA will likely pay some borrower fees and may reduce some borrower fee to 1% (from 2%)
� USDA will publish its stimulus rules for lenders to follow by June 1, 2009
� USDA stimulus funds will be delegated to the state for local approval.
To get the biggest bang for the buck and get the stimulus dollars flowing, the USDA B&I may give lenders the loan guarantee during construction as SBA does. Know that Mark4Capital.com lenders considers these loans nationwide with 20% down for a 30-yr. term (no balloon). If you would like to know more about USDA’s B&I commercial real estate lending program, or would like to be updated as these changes occur, please let them know.

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