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Funky commercial investment for personal use

Post date: 2019-11-12 09:59:23
Views: 11
There is a commercial building in my neighborhood for sale and I'm interested in purchasing for personal use (i.e. art studio), but need advice on how to go about looking into it. Details below.

There is this funky little commercial space a few blocks away from my house that was an old gas station turned commercial (the last business there was a bronze sculpture studio and that tenant retired). It has been on the market supposedly for six months.
I currently rent out a studio in my residential house to a friend's personal business and we have a good relationship with them and is long-term so I figure this is a good opportunity to both make an investment in another space, still get rent for my existing residential studio, and use a commercial space already set up specifically for doing what I'd use it for (art space, personal gallery).

Other details -
Do not intend to lease the space nor live in it
Current house paid off, good income / credit, savings as well
Place will need some work done for sure

My questions are:
- How do you go about finding the owner of the property or is it better to work with a realtor? I'm wary for both reasons. I shared a listing with my friend who is a realtor and she said she was curious about the place and wanted to go check it out, said I should come with her. Was that a mistake?
- Any financial tips... likely would still be comfortable after a 20% down payment and monthly mortgage but interested to hear if there are other options
- Any red flags or things to be wary of on the listing but also on-site visit?
- Does anyone know people who own commercial space for their own personal use (not business) and if that has done them well?
- Any questions I should be asking that I haven't thought about?

TLDR -
Have an itch to invest, a need for a commercial space, the means to do so (I believe), and need help navigating how to get started and what to expect.

Would love any help! I'm pretty novice in this area so thought I'd run by the wonderful Mefites for any tips without too much judgement.
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