So the key is to identify properties with below market rents and a low price per square foot. These properties will provide you with upside potentials. However, the market rents often have a wide range. For example retail space in San Jose commands between $2-5/SF a month. It's not easy to determine if the tenants of the property pay below market rent.The following are some properties that have low upside potential that we may want to screen out:
1. Big-box properties with anchor tenants, e.g. Wal-Mart, Target, or Safeway. These big national tenants often sign long term lease with low rent due to its creditworthiness and large rental space. Once the lease is signed, the rent is locked in for 20-30 years. So it's almost impossible to drastically increase the income within a short time. As a matter of fact, many big-box retail properties in California are listed at below replacement cost. This is because they have long term leases with below market rent. They are on the market for a long time and yet is not sold because the cap is low, e.g. 4%. The prospect for higher income is sometimes 15-20 years away when the lease expires.
What do you think? Is this basic strategy or is there some good new information here?