Real Estate Purchasing
by Steve Carroll, Architect
“Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22
Growing up as a third generation PK (Pastor’s Kid), I was painfully aware of the impact poor decisions made on people’s lives. Pastors spend much of their time helping people sort out their lives due to not seeking wise counsel before making important decisions. What counsel they sought was not qualified or took advantage of their situation. Why is it then when Church leadership makes some of the biggest decisions of stewardship for the development of their church ministries they don’t seek appropriate counsel?
One of the key steps to a successful Church building program is to seek counsel on ministry development and facility development. Once a decision is made to relocate, professional help (civil engineers, architects, planners etc.) should be retained to evaluate the potential property for appropriateness to accomplish the ministry goals. It is important to have established goals before looking for real estate. Key factors for evaluating property are;
• Is it big enough?
Some red flags to look for include water buffers around streams and ponds, building and parking setbacks, landscape buffers to residential areas, parking screening requirements, slope restrictions, utility easements and other right of ways on the property
• Does it have proper zoning, including attached restrictions?
Some properties have zoning overlays and covenants not apparent in the legal descriptions. Many areas of the country require conditional zoning for any religious facility, which can add enormous expense to the project.
• Can the local utilities support the building size?
Upgrading the size of public water lines, adding fire hydrants, improving public sanitation and storm sewer lines are becoming more expensive as communities shift the cost to the church for utilities for the building. Verify the site has adequate access to water, sewer, gas and power.
By consulting qualified professionals the Church leadership takes scriptural teaching into practice to protect the investment of the congregation for years to come.
Steve can be reached at:
6105 Preservation Drive – Suite A
Chattanooga, TN 37416