At WFX 2013, Mr. David Lee, Ministry Relationship Manager of the Evangelical Christian Credit Union, and Mr. Brian Kluth, Pastor and Founder of Maximum Generosity, presented compelling thoughts in their presentation, 10 Reasons to Consider an Existing Building Instead of Building a New One'.
Presented here is a summary of these important considerations:
1. Difference in Costs
Constructing a new building will generally cost a whole lot more compared purchasing and remodeling an existing one. The difference is often 4 to 5 times, depending on location.
2. Money Spent vs. Appraisal Value
When constructing from the ground up, a lot of soft costs are included that do not factor in the appraisal value of the final property. Money spent on resolution of zonal planning, architects, bidding, scoping out the neighborhood, etc are considered soft costs and cannot be recovered when the building is sold.
Building a church of reasonable size from scratch generally takes 6-12 years; while an existing building can be remodeled in just 1 year on average!
4. Government Hurdles
The city planning council is bound to raise a ton of issues when you consider building on land that might be against their city plans for the future. This can further delay construction.
5. Community Opposition
Often, there are people who are simply against the building of a church. Sometimes the reason is obstruction of the view due to the building of a church, other times it is stuff like too much expected traffic. The reality of an existing building, on the other hand, cannot be opposed.
With an existing building in a commercial or retail area, parking can generally be found nearby. This is a huge deal depending upon the size of your congregation. Getting zonal permits for new parking space with a building you are going to be constructing is tough, on the other hand.
Getting a prime location with an existing building is easier; which is critical for a church. With better location, there is more traffic and more awareness. Plus, the building will have higher resell value due to the location.
8. Keeping the Momentum Going
It's not easy to keep the momentum going; the zeal, the passion, the funding, and the support of the people wanes over time. This is particularly troublesome for new church building construction where the timeframe often exceeds 7-8 years.
9. Design Decisions
With an existing building, one doesn't just have a blank piece of paper. Planning the design is easier since only the existing structure can be modified; nothing significant can be added.
10. Easier to Get Funding than Paying Off the Debt
For an existing building, the timeframe is shorter, the building is right in front of the masses, and people are bound to get stoked about something they can see now; thus getting funding is much easier.
Presentation: WFX 2013, Dallas, TX. Visit www.wfxweb.com for updates on WFX 2014 in Dallas.