Churches for sale or auction are often listed on LoopNet.com, a national commercial real estate website. The prices for churches vary considerably, from below $200,000 to over $7,000,000, as of 2015. Price is typically determined by location, property condition, size, facilities and reason for sale.
There are very few real estate brokers that deal specifically with churches, notes The New York Times. Churches experience foreclosures, such as when their members are unemployed and unable to tithe, or when the church is unable to pay for financing used to fund church programs. As with other foreclosures, banks sell the properties.
Some churches now use vacant commercial property, such as former stores, states the Chattanooga Free Press. Since the trend in church architecture is for an industrial, rather than traditional, appearance, these former commercial properties are attractive options, according to the brokers interviewed in The New York Times. Parking is an important consideration, required by local zoning regulation, and industrial spaces often have parking available.
Before purchasing a facility, the church must become familiar with local zoning laws, advises Christianity Today. Although it is illegal to bar religious organizations because of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, communities have objected to potential noise and traffic problems or minority religious practices, particularly when churches wish to use residential properties, notes Useful Community Development.