One of the commercial property brokers I help out brought a very interesting point to my attention. He told me about a group that was seriously looking at the purchase of an office building with storefront opportunities that included a restaurant.
After a round of serious negotiations, the investors backed out. Even their broker handling the negotiations wasn't sure what went wrong. It seems that one of the investors thought to check out the restaurant for any health violations, since they are a matter of public record in most cities.
Sure enough, one of the investors found an instance where that restaurant had been found to have had (cleaning this up a bit) a problem with animal droppings. Even though the problem was immediately resolved and the restaurant has remained open again for months without incident. But with this having been an older building, the potential buyers decided not to risk their reputation over the possible repeat of an issue.
Before I could bring it up, the broker knew what I was about to say and told me he had chalked this one up to experience and from now on knows to investigate for such incidents before hand.
The building in question is not in the Milwaukee area, but an example of the availability of this information appeared in Tuesday's Milwaukee Journal online:
Since this is a health and safety matter, I wanted to share this with everyone.
There is a point to be made not only to commercial brokers, but to residential agents and brokers as well. If the corner restaurant or grocery store has health and safety issues, it probably should be brought to the attention of home owners within proximity. I am not enough of an expert to know if there would be any non-disclosure potential, but this is primarily about health and safety. If you are a home owner living within a 1/2 block of a restaurant or food establishment, it is a good idea to keep tabs on inspections in your area so that you can be prepared in the event of the want or need to sell.
It is more than knowing where not to eat.
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