Defusing The Myths About Investing In Medical Office Real Estate

Author(s): 
David N. Helfman, DPM

It is always amazing to me how many physicians do not buy their own real estate in the first couple of years of practice. I have heard physicians say it is too expensive, they just want to rent, they are too busy to look into the area or they do not know much about real estate. Working too hard and not having enough time to research this area are poor excuses.
Real estate is the number one long-term, wealth-building vehicle available to all physicians. Look around at your most growing areas. New medical office buildings and projects are sprouting up everywhere. How many developers have approached you and asked if you would like to rent in their new medical office building? They say they will give you three months of free rent and pay for most of your tenant improvements if you sign a five-or 10-year lease. The reality is they are financing most of your build-out upfront but you are paying it back to them through your lease. What are you truly getting out of this deal? Who is really winning here? It is not you.
Why do you want to pay someone else’s mortgage? Why do you want to make other people rich? Once you commit to a five- or 10-year lease in that new medical building that you do not own, you have just made someone else very wealthy. I am shocked at how many physicians around the country do not own a percentage or all of their own medical office.
As a physician, you must take control of your financial destiny. One way to get started is to look at the medical office building where you practice. Indeed, you should view your practice as a source for wealth creation. In certain respects, this requires a paradigm shift in the way one looks at investing and accumulating wealth. I believe many physicians just want to go to work, treat patients and get home at a reasonable hour. However, how would you like to use your practice to create wealth that can improve your personal and family life on many levels?
Over the years, I have heard a variety of misconceptions from colleagues about why they do not invest in real estate. Accordingly, let us dispel some of the common myths about real estate investing.

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