Renting vs buying medical office space

Outpatient care continues to be the most rapidly growing industry segment. With its projected CAGR of 8.10% in the 2022-2029 period, more and more wellness specialists are looking into setting up a more permanent private practice. The essential question remains: is a medical office space for rent more convenient than buying one? 

Leasing vs buying a medical office: what to consider first

J.P. Roach, the ex-senior vice president with Hughes Marino real estate company, once claimed that many doctors are driven by emotions when it comes to choosing an office space. Quoted by Physician Financial News, Roach said that some healthcare doctors just seem to “like to own things”, so they would rather buy than lease, without elaborating on that preference. 
Emotions are, needless to say, not the best arguments. Weigh the pros and cons of applying the approach of a medical office for lease vs purchasing your own.

When is it best to buy

Lenders usually favor healthcare practitioners, since they usually have steady incomes and plan to use the property longer. Don’t rush it, however.   

  • Consider the longevity of your practice. If you’re planning to stay in business for at least another decade, your chances of paying off the mortgage and starting to make a profit are higher. 
  • Check how your experience correlates with demographic trends. For example, aging older people make up a significant portion of the population in the OECD countries. If you specialize in providing healthcare or wellness services to this demographic, you may consider setting up your practice in one location. Buying might be the better option in this case.   
  • See if buying into a successful existing practice is for you. That way you can build your clientele, with an already thriving business working as a safety cushion. It usually takes 2-5 years to become a full-time owner. 

Another option to consider: renting out a medical office that you own. There are several scenarios here, for instance: 
— You might be taking a break from practice, relocating, or retiring. So instead of reselling the ready-made property, you can find another wellness specialist who would happily rent it. 
— Your workplace is staying idle during your off-hours. Or you have rooms you currently don’t use. Putting up extra medical space for lease would be a smart decision in that case: it’s steady income. 

When is it best to rent 

If nothing mentioned above works for you, time to look into renting right away. If you’re still unsure, compare the possible disadvantages of buying with the advantages of leasing.   

  • Evaluate the wellness market in your area. Demand, safety, economics — everything counts. If the neighborhood becomes less desirable in the next few years, there’s a chance you will have to sell at a loss to relocate your practice. Renting is a better option when the local market’s forecast is questionable. 
  • Remember that it’s often better to rent a comfortable, well-equipped medical office in a convenient area than to buy a suite elsewhere just for the sake of ownership. 
  • Therapists, massage therapists, yoga instructors,  acupuncturists will benefit from a hybrid workplace model. Switching between home-based, remote, and in-office sessions is great for expanding client outreach. You don’t have to commit to long-term leasing, because you can easily find a medical office for rent on demand.


How to find the best medical office for short-term rent

In Wellerz we help wellness practitioners find their ideal space and rent it on demand. This means you only pay for your medical office when you need it, even if it’s only an hour a day. You pick a location, a place, and manage your bookings with flexibility and ease. 
We also provide a platform for medical space owners or managers who wish to rent out their property. With full control over your booking requests, you build a passive income on your own terms. 
Searching for medical office space? View our listing of chiropractors offices and therapy rooms with treatment table for rent.


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