In March, I signed a contract to buy a self storage portfolio right before the pandemic hit its stride. Luckily, we were able to negotiate an extension of our diligence period, but immediately upon signing I thought to myself, are my assumptions from January still valid? How much will rents drop? Will we be able to rent any units in a pandemic? Will any of the lenders I spoke with still be at their terms? Lastly, will my investors have an appetite for a new deal?
April and May were dicey months, but fortunately self storage in this market took off after Memorial Day and the numbers were so rosy that the debt and equity raises were a (relative) breeze. That being said, I pared back the rent growth numbers, lowered the mark to market rents, removed ancillary income and pushed out my stabilization from year three to year four. The deal penciled to slightly lower returns than originally underwritten, but I slept better at night knowing that the risk adjusted return felt stronger and was likely to outperform.
Read the full article here on listselfstorage.com