An Office Space of One's Own

John Sauro of North Atlantic Mortgage discusses the pros and cons of buying business property -- and how to finance it

Many -- if not most -- small-business owners rent or lease their office, manufacturing, or retail space. As home equity escalates, however, another option is becoming popular : purchasing business property. Some do it as an investment, others to add value to their company, or to boost cash flow with sublease or rental income. Smart Answers columnist Karen E. Klein spoke recently with John Sauro, president of Stamford (Conn.)-based North Atlantic Mortgage, about the world of commercial mortgages and how entrepreneurs can navigate it. Edited excerpts of their conversation follow:

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