Commercial real estate is distinctly different from residential real estate. The terminology is very different and here is a list of new terms from A to M.

Commercial Terms

According to Value: The value of the property when computing property taxes.

Build to Suit: A customized design and build approach for a single tenant space usually resulting in a single occupant building which is then leased or sold to the tenant.

Certificate of Occupancy: Issued by a city building department and is a necessary requirement prior to moving into the space.

Common Area Maintenance: Typically an annual charge assessed to tenants based on their percentage of occupancy to pay for maintenance of parking lots, bathrooms and open areas.

Demising Wall: A wall between two separate suites in a building with multiple tenants. In many states, the demising wall must meet specific fire safety standards.

Flex Space: A building providing mixed-use space such as an area combining an office and warehouse.

Gross Square Feet: Usually refers to gross footage of a building. GSF is typically arrived at by calculating the footage from the outside of exterior walls multiplied by the vertical footage.

HVAC: Refers to the climate control systems for a building including heating and air conditioning.

Mechanic’s Lien: A legal claim typically filed by a subcontractor to obtain payment for services rendered. The claim arises under state law and is dependent on each states particular law.

Unlike residential real estate, commercial real estate is primarily considered a business transaction. Learn the terms and you’re well on your way to moving smoothly through the process.