buying an existing landscape center

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by swing blade, Feb 18, 2003.

  1. swing blade

    swing blade LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123

    ok here is my situation

    I am 19 years old and am in college for an associates in business management. I worked doing landscaping for 4 years and always went through the same center for my supplies. The guy who owns the center is going to retire about a year after I graduate( Dec. 2004) and he mentioned me buying his center.
    So now I am thinking of buying his center. To describe it it is located in a very good location. It sits on about 2.5 acres and has a good sized pond. It has a large barn and an indoor shop about as big as a 3 car garage. There is also a small 10*10 office in the back. He has a greenhouse that is about 16*30 but it is old. For equipment there is an old bobcat 763 with forks and a standard bucket. He has a 1975 ford dump truck, a 1997 chevrolet 3500 dump, and a 2000 chevrolet ext. cab dump. all are with a three yard tipper sized bed. he has an 118 foot steel trailer for the bobcat and a tractor with front end loader for use at the center. overall I think it has potential but I am not sure if I should buy it or start one from scratch myself. The value of the land is about 16,000 an acre, and it sits on a main road about 4 miles outside of a large suburb with about a dozen housing developments. The owner currently works 6 days a week where he is actually on the jobsites every day. He has one full time employee and 2 part time people that do the work around the center. MY QUESTION IS..... what do you think it is worth and do you think it is a better move for me than to start from scratch. It is located on the west side of Cincinnati to give you an idea of where he works.

  2. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    Call a real estate agent. What the heck does someone that cuts grass know about real estate prices. I'm thinking it's going to be out of your price range.
  3. heygrassman

    heygrassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 509

    I think that going from student to Owner, boss, Facility Manager, Finance Mgr for a decent sized operation, Sales and Marketing Mgr, as well as Ops Mgr. is a lot to ask.

    It may be worth looking at working a management contract with the right for first refusal to match any offer he may get. From there manage it for a year or two, let him show you the ropes so to speak, you get more comfortable with what you want to buy. You also get a better idea of the real value and potential of the business. If you are headed to the bank for money, without mgmt experience, I think that you are going to have a hard time getting funding. Or if you get the funding, the rate is going to be significantly high to compensate them for the risk.

    Good Luck!
  4. swing blade

    swing blade LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123

    first of all this is to randy scott.

    I think you should read the entire thread before you post your reply. A real estate agent does not have the first clue as to the value of the equipment like bobcats, greenhouses, trailers, mowers, and tools. The reason I asked "someone who cuts grass" is that they use these pieces of equipment all the time and they would know by looking at the machines or a descriptive ad for the machines what there value is. Overall the value of the business is going to be comprised of 75% of inventory and equipment. Only about 25% is going to apply to realestate. Also how can you say that it is going to be out of my price range. You do not know me, and for all you know I am worth millions. If you were selling something and said that to a customer not knowing what they are worth, they could sue you for discrimination. i think in the future you should either think more about what your going to say in your reply before you make yourself look like an

    As for Heygrassman,

    thank you for your help. I think that the idea of managment is a very good one. Also you did bring up a good point about first refusal and also about seeing the potiential. I hope that this works out for me and I will keep you posted as to the progress of the long road ahead of me.

    Swing blade
  5. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    The vast spread across the country of prices on equipment and real estate is so huge, to answer it would be idiotic. To come on here and ask such a broad question is idiotic, that's how I know you aren't worth jack, much less millions. So when you get the deed to the real estate, then you can spout off and show me up, otherwise shutup.
  6. swing blade

    swing blade LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123

    ok this is the last of it. I am not about to continue a pissing contest with someone who is not capable of reading a thread on a website. I stated a location of th center. I understand that location plays a key role in pricing so I expected to get responses from other people within that locality. If you are not in that region than you should not have responded in the first place. I acan also tell you this. If you take this attitude with your customers and employees I don't think you are going to be in business very long. And again your comment about my fianancial status is repulsive. I own an apparel company that is based online and I profit well into 6 figures a year off of it. I want to go into the landscaping industry because I love it and I am good at it. I am capable of purchasing the business without any problems at all. The purpose of this website is to allow people to come and ask questions and discuss topics with other people among their own field that have knowledge of the same line of work. I do not think that my question was broad at all. I stated the location, the size of the garden center, the types of equipment it had, what structures were on the property, the number of employees, and that the business is involved with retail sale as well as installation. I also stated that the average cost of land per acre was about $14,000 to $16,000 an acre at the location. Now from that point with that information I can estimate the value of a barn, I can estimate the value of a greenhouse, I can estimate the value of a pond, 3 dump trucks, a bobcat, a tractor and various misc. tools. I want to know what other people estimate it at so that I can see if my figures are reasonable. And as you stated that, "the spread across the us is so vast to awnser the question would be idiotic." So one question then Randy, why did you answer it?

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