We need a place

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Old We Need a Place Pages


Publicity committee is putting together a small portfolio of locations to use as examples in a fund raiser for property owned by the organization.


I spoke with the listing agent when I dropped off the keys on Friday. I was told that the owner of the building got the building as part of a business deal and has never used the space himself. The previous use that the agent was aware of was for an auto shop. He did mention that the price is not firm, but they do feel that it is priced appropriately. There had been a previous offer from an investor on the property that was very low and the owner did not accept it. I do believe though that if we get some estimates of repairs needed to get the property up to code we would have a better leg to stand on to negotiate price should the estimates come back high.

I have attached a few comps for buildings sold on Jordan Lane over the past few years. Unfortunately, they are all restaurants so it isn't exactly comparing apples to apples.

  • Location 2: 1245 Putman Dr NW
    • 5000 sqft, $150k, Was built without city permits, any updates would be closely watched by the city
    • Realtor: Jeff reaching out to realtor to arrange a tour so we can get pictures


I've overheard and participated with a couple of members about potentially purchasing the place we have now, moving, or building out a make shop of our design. The primary concern seems to be the organization throwing money in a hole on rent. Since this is on people's minds, I'd like to start gathering information on what our options are, and I also wanted to us to all be on the same page so that people don't flip their shit and start asking "ARE WE MOVING?!!"

I'll throw it up on the wiki later, but what people seem to be interested in finding out follows:

  • For the equivalent of our rent, what kind of mortgage will the bank (Redstone) give us?
  • Is our landlord willing to sell us the property we're currently leasing? If so, what post-purchase improvements would it take to make it worth the purchase?
  • What property is for sale in Huntsville that meets our needs and budget?
  • Is it feasible for us to build a place?

Facility Desires

What would you want in a new facility?

  • More usable space (ex: the space upstairs is nice, but not as utilized as downstairs)
  • Large Bay Door
  • Air conditioned and Heated "Main" room for socializing, laptop computer programming, and classes
  • Air conditioned and Heated room for electronic soldering, embedded development, CAD
  • Air conditioned and Heated room for crafting (vinyl cutter, sewing, knitting, jewelry making)
  • 24/7 Access for all members
  • Internet ready
  • Kitchen
  • Location Central to Huntsville
  • Car Lift
  • 2 Phase Power
    • 3 Phase Power would be nice
  • Outdoor areas usable for events like the pig roast
  • Multiple year lease options

Funding Notes

StateFarm Notes

  • According to James Harris State farm, it would be prudent to budget 3-4 times what we are currently paying on our rental insurance agreement. That new number is: $400 x 4 = $1600 / year

Desiree Notes

  • The Southern Development Council may have a 10-15% down program for owner occupied property: http://sdcinc.org/
    • Jeff contacted Southern Development Council and they only lend to for-profit corporations.
  • Desiree said there's a chance that someone wanting to be rid of property might sell for less than what it's worth to take the tax write-off.

Bancorp South Notes

  • Darlina Bray at BancorpSouth. Her number is 256-564-8441. Recommended by Desiree Palmer, real estate.
    • Commercial investors are not allowed to finance more than 80%, unless we are getting a good deal where we are purchasing the property for less than what it's worth. In that situation They can finance more, and we may only have to come up with 10%. We could ask our real estate agent to keep an eye out for properties where the seller might be open donating part of the value of the building as a tax write off.
    • 20 Years, 5-Years Fixed @ 4.25% APR, after that APR recalculated.
    • 15 Years @ 4.9% APR
    • 10 Years @ 3.996% APR

Example Purchases

20 Years, 4.25% APR

  • Property Listing: $200,000 \ Property Value: $200,000
    • Downpayment (20%): $40,000
    • Monthly Payment (4.25%): $991
  • Property Listing: $200,000 \ Property Value: $200,000
    • Downpayment (21.5%): $43,000
    • Monthly Payment (4.25%): $972

20 Years, 4.25% APR, $1600 / Year Insurance Payments

Current insurance is $400 / year. Proposed insurance is $1600 / year. That's a difference of $1200 more a year. $1200 / year = $100 more a month. To have our current rent budget ($975) be our future mortgage + insurance payment, the following down payment would be necessary:

  • Property Listing: $200,000 \ Property Value: $200,000
    • Downpayment (29.5%): $59,000
    • Monthly Payment (4.25%): $873

Redstone Notes

  • Redstone will loan up to 75% of the Appraised Value of the Property
    • We will need to either pay the remainder (the other 25%) or set up an external loan with the land owner for the difference.
  • Redstone can Finance up to $150K for a total value of $200K real estate value (within the bounds of setting up a $900.00 monthly mortgage payment on a 20 year Loan.
    • Redstone would be willing to loan up to $250K, but the monthly payment would be decidedly higher
  • Flood Insurance and Easement issues were mentioned for 414 Stevens Ave, but were deemed "probably trivial".

Example Purchases

Based on Makers Local 256 having to front 25% of the cost of sale.

  • Property Value: $120,000
    • Downpayment: $30,000
  • Property Value: $150,000
    • Downpayment: $37,500
  • Property Value: $200,000
    • Downpayment: $50,000

Other Considerations

  • Remember that Insurance will change also we currently have a modified renters insurance if we have to insure a building and it contents this will also change the dynamic, see what annual city taxes would be. ~Preaux
  • If we were to purchase a place, we would need to come up with the downpayment. This downpayment should not cut into our unofficial emergency fund.
    • Typical 2014 Monthly Expense: ~$1300
    • Non-Treasurer Estimated 2014 Emergency Fund: (Monthly * 3) = ~$4000
      • Does not factor in one time yearly fees such as insurance
  • The city of Huntsville has leased property to non-profits before. It's possible that while they may not have property they can sell us, they may be able to lease property to us for very low rates (like $1/year low). Jeff has contacted someone on the Huntsville Planning Commission and they are looking into it for us.
    • Currently there is not much inventory, but in 2016 they expect to have more with schools closing. Omegix (talk) 10:28, 11 March 2014 (CDT)
      • "Hello, Space right now would be tough but 2016 when we have possession of the schools might be easier. If something shakes loose between now and then I will let you know. Thanks Jeff Easter" --Omegix (talk) 12:24, 24 March 2014 (CDT)


  • Jed Park - Park properties
    • 256-426-3777
    • jedpark66@gmail.com
  • Bart Smith - Graham Company
    • 256-527-4526
    • barts@grahamcompany.com
  • John Blue - John Blue Realty
    • 256-705-5475
    • www.johnbluerealty.com
    • john.d.blue@johnbluerealty.com
  • Associate: Tamara French
    • 256-679-3612
    • tamara.french@johnbluerealty.com