I hate money.
But I love money.
Know what I mean?
I often wonder what the social and political structure of this nation would look like if we reverted back to a simple, primitive system of barter. What if we could trade our talents, belongings or services for the things we need? How would that alter the present system of power and commerce? I think we would all be amazed by how much peripheral product would fall by the wayside if it couldn't simply be bought with currency, if it had to be earned with elbow grease or aptitude, if it required the sacrifice of something with more than monetary value. It's an interesting concept. Of course, we're all too terribly attached to luxury to ever allow such thing. But imagine the possibilities.
In and of itself, of course, money has no value. It's just paper and ink. But we have assigned it vast significance. People live and die by the mighty dollar. We aren't really given much of a choice. Especially if you own or operate a business--your survival depends on your fiscal well-being.
This issue is officially our Finance Issue. Each year at this time we attempt to provide some insight into the state of financing for self-storage, as well as practical information on topics such as putting a loan package together, where to find money to buy or upgrade a facility, whether or not to use a broker or how to choose a lender. It's no secret that the financing landscape for this industry has changed dramatically over the past few years. As pointed out in our September issue ("When Lenders Disappear"), access to capital still exists--the problem is simply finding it.
This year, Neal Gussis, now with Beacon Realty Capital, addresses "What's in Store" for self-storage finance, examining the various funding sources available today, from conduits to mortgage bankers to savings and loan associations. Michael Parham provides us with the "Big Financial Picture," through a demonstration of cashflow analysis as well as a multistate survey. R.K. Kliebenstein helps prepare you to work with a lender, and business lawyer Scott Shabel shares some insight on pitfalls to watch for when refinancing a facility.
Since you probably won't ever be able to trade in those valuable baseball cards for the facility of your dreams, prepare yourself to work within the paradigm. We may hate the process of securing financing, but we all love the result. Learn to make the best financial decisions for you and your project.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all,
Teri L. Lanza