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Buying self serve car wash


Goggles Pizano
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Been Ok'd by mod to post.

 

Anyone have any first hand experience with one? Looking at may be buying one and been doing some research on the property and some general reading about others who have owned one.

 

Located right on a major four lane roadway and there is a gas station right across it, but there are no apartments/condos around only houses. It is located 1200 feet from an Atlantic intercostal waterway, so I would guess it would be mostly boats washing as there are 2 public boat ramps one 3 miles north and the other 10 miles south. No road salt as no winter weather so this factor is removed.

 

4 self service bays, 1 Automatic Touchless bay, 6 car covered vacuuming bays, water filtration system with storage tank, change/credit card machine/tokens machine, video security system, computer operated, newer equipment.

 

I know it is not a growth business (hard to find one or to partner with someone), but if I net at least $30k/year before taxes might not be bad. Maybe add a solar system, but have not done any calculation of ROI.

 

Problem is currently only 2 years of financials records available and none before that according to the agent. It averages around 50% OER per year. The average monthly income is $3k which worries me that if machinery needs major repair I am guessing there goes a couple months of income.

 

Taking what the agent says with a grain of salt, reason for sale is current owners (brothers) don't have the time to really market the business as they live 70 miles from each other and the wash is located in between them. They are ready to move on to other investments.

 

Plan is to move around the area in the next 5 years.

 

Quick research I have done on my own about the history of the property:

Sold in june 1997 for $90k (probably sale of the land)

sold in june 2000 for $520k

sold in april 2006 for $500k

sold in dec 2007 to a non-profit foundation for a $100k ($400k lose, guessing tax write off)

sold in june 2011 for $250k to current owners.

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There is a member here that doesn't post much but is active on other forums. Goes by the name Car Wash King. You might shoot him a PM.

 

What are they asking for it?

 

How old is the machinery? Do they have service records?

 

I would ask for at least 12 months worth of all utilities/expenses and deposit statements to verify everything.

 

Any major changes in development planning for the area? As in, plans for major redevelopment, building a highway, etc. Things that could wildly change the traffic and frontage?

 

 

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There is a member here that doesn't post much but is active on other forums. Goes by the name Car Wash King. You might shoot him a PM.

I will see if I can contact them.

What are they asking for it?

$300k

How old is the machinery?

 

Do they have service records?

No exact date on machinery as I have not gotten to the point of starting to negotiate. All fairly new and well maintained just your typical marketing phrases. Will ask the agent for the info and update.

I would ask for at least 12 months worth of all utilities/expenses and deposit statements to verify everything.

That is for sure as sellers tend to exaggerate. Trying to get into contact with one of the pass owners who have it for 6 years.

Any major changes in development planning for the area? As in, plans for major redevelopment, building a highway, etc. Things that could wildly change the traffic and frontage?

Average traffic is about 35k vehicles daily on the roadway for 2012 (18k going north the side the wash is located and 16k going south) and is computed according to state DOT.

The east side to the waterway is residential and does not look like there would be any major redevelopment, but I will ask the agent and email the county.

 

Thanks to all and I will check the links.

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makes 30k a year and costs $300? 10 years to break even? I'd bet you can do better somewhere else.

 

That's my gut feeling.as well. Granted.you never want to count on appreciation to make a profit, that aspect will beseverely limited here, as you can't really change the use of the space without a total teardown.

 

To a lot of people it will only hold the land value.

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makes 30k a year and costs $300? 10 years to break even? I'd bet you can do better somewhere else.

 

 

+1

 

looks like no one wants it, they keep selling it..

 

Run Forrest run...

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unless you know car washes inside and out i say walk away

i am partners in one and it is not a easy industrie people come in thinking they will make huge money its just not the case they are very expensive to run and keep running thats why you see them being flipped all the time

 

just a heads up Jon

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makes 30k a year and costs $300? 10 years to break even? I'd bet you can do better somewhere else.

 

Longer if you factor interest, unless there is an upside, future development potential of the site etc. based on those figures I'd stay far away from this deal, it simply isn't worth it.

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+1

 

looks like no one wants it, they keep selling it..

 

Run Forrest run...

 

That really means very little, what counts is what YOU do with the place, your vision and ideas for it.

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Yea. I was thinking the same thing on the ROI and making big money was not something that came to mind with this or really any car wash. You really cannot grow it like a regular business and I was guessing a ROI of around 15%.

 

The problem is the number of flips is not really representative of the financial history and guessing the ROI on the wash is not enough for most investors.

 

I'll keep my eye on it and see if the asking price starts to drop.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So just to add more information for others in the future.

 

Agent said original equipment and no service records and he does not know that the automated washer has been replaced and the reclaim system was installed by the 6 year owner (found out below).

 

Do some searching and contacted the owner who had is for 6 years and sold it back in 2006. He actual drove by it without me asking him and noticed the automate was replaced and that they added roll down door to the equipment room. Appear wise looked as good as the day him sold it. He told the average revenue per weekday and weekend.

 

As Jon stated in his post 'a lot of work and upkeep' and this was repeated by the former owner. He spend about 1-2hours a day and need someone to look after it when he went on vacation.

 

He also told me that they built a similar car wash around the corner (about half a mile, but off the main roadway) where he sold it. Guessing that is one of the reasons he sold it and that is why the current revenue is low.

 

Unless I can get it dirt cheap, I'll continue to look for something to invest in or partner with someone on.

 

Thanks to all who posted.

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  • 2 months later...

Still over 100K to much IMO. I would want to see ROI in 60 months or less (but what do I know, I make pretzels..lol) Good luck if you decide to pull the trigger!

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For the hell of it I looked at this again today. Now down to $250k.

 

Did you ever find anything out about the place? What is the land worth if you drive a D11 through the carwash?

 

I'm putting my Fortis hat on here and wondering if you would be better off doing a build-out with a drive-thru and getting a franchise restaurant in there.

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Did you ever find anything out about the place? What is the land worth if you drive a D11 through the carwash?

 

I'm putting my Fortis hat on here and wondering if you would be better off doing a build-out with a drive-thru and getting a franchise restaurant in there.

 

Don't know county has it accessed at $200k. Lot is 0.65 acres. It is on 4 lane major highway might be an idea, zoned for General commercial (Retail / Office / Bank / Restaurant / Hotel / Bar / Club / Gas Station).

 

Cost to demo and re-develop might be too costly. Currently do not have the knowledge to estimate it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I know somebody who owns one... Hates it... Major pita.

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Don't know county has it accessed at $200k. Lot is 0.65 acres. It is on 4 lane major highway might be an idea, zoned for General commercial (Retail / Office / Bank / Restaurant / Hotel / Bar / Club / Gas Station).

 

Cost to demo and re-develop might be too costly. Currently do not have the knowledge to estimate it.

 

 

Sounds like you should be good from a PVA standpoint then. Any property owner worth their salt went to the local PVA as soon as the assessment was made a pitched a bitch to have it lowered (that's how it works where I live anyway).

 

As far as teardown and using the words drive thru and franchise..... be prepared to go from spending 250K to 1M-1.5M (just on the new building average estimate, always plan higher). Just throwing that out there.

 

 

My friend has a car wash, it's nice with complete detail shop on prime real estate here, asking 500K, can't get a bite. Once the financials come into play it's game over. I wouldn't want to wait 15 years to get my money back......

 

Just my .02

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