My favorite board game as a child was Monopoly. From the messy piles of brightly colored money and cardboard deeds, I learned two important lessons about real estate: (1) it’s a powerful tool for wealth creation, and (2) it can turn friends and family into bitter enemies. I’m now an avid player of Settlers of Catan, and I’m learning the same lessons—build on strategic locations, control limited resources, and reap the benefits.
You probably didn’t become a dentist to become a wealthy land baron. If that was your ultimate goal, then there are much more direct routes to get there than four years of dental school. But, as small-business owners, we do get to play in the real estate game. Whether you own your practice property or lease it, there are rules to this game, and you should darn well know them.
In this issue, Ken Rubin, CPA, PFS, makes the case for owning your own space and, if you’re so inclined, buying additional properties as a first-rate investment. If your geographic or financial situation precludes you from being a landlord, Philip M. Bogart, JD, wants you to know the critical terms of your lease so you can negotiate from the strongest position possible.
Real estate is a game. Don’t roll the dice and rely on other players to tell you what to do on your next turn.
Chris Salierno, DDS