Capital Gains Taxes in Commercial Real Estate
For commercial real estate investors, understanding the impact of capital gains taxes — and how to minimize that impact — is essential to maximizing returns.
EGI: Effective Gross Income
Effective gross income, or EGI, is a forecast of an asset’s income. It isn’t strictly limited to rental payments — any other revenue-generating services at a property are fair game and should be considered.
Stacking Plans in Commercial Real Estate
A stacking plan is a visual representation of a commercial structure that shows the tenants on each floor, the square footage of each floor, when each tenant’s lease will expire, and sometimes other information. They are most commonly used for office buildings, but can sometimes be used for apartment or retail properties.
Holding Companies in Commercial Real Estate
Holding companies help reduce a commercial real estate investor’s risk profile and the potential liabilities they could incur as a result of owning an investment property by isolating one or more properties from an investor’s other assets.
Joint Ventures in Commercial Real Estate
Many sizable commercial real estate projects are not simply purchased and developed by one firm; instead, they are structured as joint ventures (JVs), in which one party provides commercial real estate expertise and the other party provides capital. In essence, a joint venture is very much like a commercial real syndication, except it generally between 2 or more large individuals or firms rather than one sponsor and a larger group of investors.
Arm's Length Transactions in Commercial Real Estate
In an arm’s length transaction, the buyer of a product does not have a preexisting familial or business relationship with the seller. For instance, if an investor were to sell their sibling an apartment building, the transaction would not be arm’s length, while if they sold a stranger the building, it would be an arm’s length transaction. This has important consequences when it comes to buying and selling commercial real estate.
Real Estate Limited Partnerships in Commercial Real Estate
In many cases, commercial real estate investments are structured as real estate limited partnerships (RELPs). A RELP will generally consist of a general partner (GP) and multiple limited partners (LPs). The GP, who is financially responsible for the investment, is often a real estate developer or property manager, while the LPs are typically passive investors who only contribute capital to the project.
Property Management vs. Asset Management in Commercial Real Estate
When it comes to commercial real estate investing, property managers and asset managers may have similar titles, but they have distinctly different roles. A property manager generally focuses on a property’s everyday operations, like maintenance, rent collection, and managing staff. Property managers often work onsite, but not always. In contrast, asset managers are more involved in the financial management of an investment property, including managing tax and legal issues, negotiating with lenders, and managing both the acquisition and disposition of a property in order to maximize long-term profitability.
Demolition Costs in Commercial Real Estate
Right now, commercial demolition costs between $4 to $8 per sq. ft., with the average per building demolition cost in the U.S. currently sitting at $30,500. However, it’s also important to note that for especially large buildings, demolition costs per square foot may fall slightly.
Built to Suit in Commercial Real Estate
In a built to suit lease, a developer builds a property specifically for the use of one tenant. Generally, a tenant will locate a developer who is willing to purchase or ground lease land (or already owns land), and is willing to engage in a built-to-suit transaction.
Merchant Builders in Commercial Real Estate
Merchant builders, also referred to as merchant developers, are those developers that build properties and sell them, rather than holding onto them for longer periods of time. In many cases, merchant builders trend toward the construction of single-tenant commercial buildings. This can often be explained by the fact that, much of the time, merchant builders don’t build on spec; instead, they develop a building with a specific tenant in mind, typically a national brand such as a Wendy’s or a CVS.
Commercial Real Estate Price Index in Commercial Real Estate
In commercial real estate, price indices are designed to show the current strength of the commercial real estate market across the United States.
Shadow Space in Commercial Real Estate
In commercial real estate, shadow space is any space that is being leased, but that a tenant is not currently utilizing. Generally, shadow space is most common in the office and industrial property market, but occurs for retail properties as well. In many cases, this is a result of company downsizing, but in other cases, a tenant may hold shadow space to prepare for future growth.
Blend and Extend Amendments in Commercial Real Estate
In commercial leasing, a blend and extend amendment is allows a tenant to extend their lease and negotiate a new rate, merging, or “blending” the new and old rents. During periods of particularly high vacancy, commercial landlords will often offer agree to a blend and extend amendment that lowers a tenant’s rent, in order to keep their property occupied for an extended period of time.
Real Estate Debt Funds in Commercial Real Estate
For commercial real estate borrowers, debt funds often offer loans that banks can’t-- or won’t offer, including commercial construction loans, bridge loans/lease-up financing, and certain property rehabilitation and redevelopment loans. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), debt funds originated nearly $70 in billion commercial real estate loans in 2018, around 10% of all CRE loans originated in that year.
Dark Shell in Commercial Real Estate
A dark shell refers to a commercial property that is leased to a tenant without interior improvements, such as heating, lighting, interior walls, plumbing, or air conditioning. A dark shell is also sometimes referred to as a cold dark shell, a cold shell, a grey shell, or a base shell.
Equity Kicker in Commercial Real Estate
If a commercial real estate borrower seeks out a mezzanine loan, but does not want to pay an extremely high interest rate, the lender may agree to reduce the interest rate in exchange for a piece of equity in the project, referred to as an equity kicker.
Accredited Investors in Commercial Real Estate
When a commercial real estate investment is solicited to investors, they must typically be accredited investors. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), accredited investors have an annual income of at least $200,000 (or $300,000 if married) and a net worth of at least $1 million. This does not include the value of the investor’s primary residence.
Intercreditor Agreement in Commercial Real Estate
In commercial real estate, an intercreditor agreement is an agreement between two lenders that stipulates the rights and responsibilities of each party. Intercreditor agreements are most commonly used when mezzanine debt is layered on top of a senior commercial real estate loan. Typically, the agreement creates a variety of safeguards that protect that senior lender’s interest in the property should the borrower default on their loan.
Adaptive Reuse in Commercial Real Estate
In commercial real estate, adaptive reuse occurs when an older building is adapted for a different use than it was originally designed for. Adaptive reuse can have a variety of advantages for commercial real estate investors and developers. Primarily, this comes in the form of significant savings; demolition and new building construction can be extremely expensive, and adaptive reuse can lead to substantially lower construction costs.
Recapture Clause in Commercial Real Estate
In commercial leasing, a recapture clause permits a landlord to terminate a lease early, and may also allow them to demand all or part of the remaining lease payments immediately. Recapture clauses can be triggered by a variety of events, but are are most often activated when a tenant closes their business and attempts to sublease the property.
Infill Development in Commercial Real Estate
In commercial real estate, infill is defined as the development of unused land in urban areas. This commonly takes the form of developing an empty lot of land between two buildings, but can also involve the demolition of older or underused properties. Supporters of infill development believe that it makes efficient use of existing land and reduces burdens on municipal services, due to the fact the area is already being served by water, power, and communications infrastructure.
Capital Stack in Commercial Real Estate
In commercial real estate finance, the capital stack is the legal organization of all the layers of debt that are used to purchase, build, or renovate a piece of real estate. The position of a piece of debt in a property’s capital stack determines what the order that lender will repaid in the case of a borrower default or bankruptcy.
Submarkets in Commercial Real Estate
In commercial real estate, a submarket is a smaller part of a larger market. While a market may be a city or MSA, such as New York City, or the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA, a submarket is likely to be a neighborhood or Suburb, such as Williamsburg, Brooklyn or downtown Dallas.
UBP: Unpaid Principal Balance in Commercial Real Estate
In commercial real estate finance, unpaid principal balance, or UPB, is the amount of a loan’s principal balance that has not yet been paid back to a lender. To calculate the UPB, a borrower cannot simply subtract their current mortgage payments from the initial loan amount; since they have also been paying interest, they will have to add this into their calculations.
BOMA: Building Owners and Managers Association in Commercial Real Estate
BOMA, or the Building Owners and Managers Association, is an international trade association for commercial real estate professionals. The organization, which was founded in 1907, sets many of the standards for how commercial structures are measured. BOMA standards particularly focus on office, industrial, multifamily and retail properties
Usable Square Feet vs. Rentable Square Feet in Commercial Real Estate
In commercial real estate, there are two major ways to evaluate a property’s size; usable square feet (USF) and rentable square feet (RSF). In general, this applies most to office and retail properties with multiple tenants, and is not usually applicable to multifamily and industrial properties.
Syndication in Commercial Real Estate
Real estate syndication is the process in which multiple investors pool their money together to purchase a commercial property. Syndication is similar to crowdfunding, and many real estate syndication deals are now crowdfunded on the internet, through platforms such as Fundrise, Realty Mogul, and a variety of others. Investors in a real estate syndication deal benefit by getting access to deals they would not be able to create on their own, as well as not having to worry about the day-to-day hassles of personally owning investment property (i.e. property management).
Physical vs. Economic Vacancy in Commercial Real Estate
In real estate, the vacancy rate is the amount of units that are unoccupied over a specific time period. It is usually referred to as a percentage. However, there are actually two distinct types of vacancy: physical vacancy, which refers to the amount of time a unit or units sits vacant, and economic vacancy, which refers to the amount of rent a property owner has lost due to the vacancy of their property.
Acceleration Clauses in Commercial Real Estate
In real estate, an acceleration clause is a loan provision that permits a lender to force a a borrower to pay off the remaining balance of a loan if the borrower violates certain elements of a loan agreement. Most commonly, an acceleration clause can be invoked if a borrower defaults on their mortgage, however, there are a variety of other breaches of contract that may be listed in a loan agreement.
Gross Scheduled Income in Commercial Real Estate
Gross scheduled income (GSI), sometimes referred to as gross potential income (GPI), is the amount of money a commercial property can generate, assuming 100% rental occupancy. It is often compared to gross potential rent (GPR), but gross scheduled income includes other, non-rental sources of income, such as parking spots or income from vending machines.
Absolute Net Lease in Commercial Real Estate
An absolute net lease, or absolute NNN lease, is one of the strictest forms of commercial leases. In an absolute net lease, a tenant is generally responsible for insurance, taxes, maintenance and minor repairs, as well as larger structural repairs, such as roof replacement.
Highest and Best Use in Commercial Real Estate
In commercial real estate investing, the highest and best use typically means the use that results in the highest risk-adjusted returns for the asset’s stakeholders.
RUBS Income in Commercial Real Estate
In many older multifamily properties, units are not individually metered for utilities, so owners/landlords use RUBS (Ratio Utility Billing System), a method of determining a resident's utility bill based on factors like unit square footage, the number of people living in a unit, or some combination thereof. RUBS can be an excellent way for landlords to reduce costs without directly increasing rent prices.
MIRR: Modified Internal Rate of Return in Commercial Real Estate
IRR, or internal rate of return, is one of the most important financial metrics in commercial real estate investing. However, in many cases, a variation of IRR, called MIRR, or modified internal rate of return, can actually tell us more about the profitability of a commercial real estate investment, especially if we are considering that an investor may be reinvesting the cash from one CRE investment into other properties (or other types of investments).
Full Service Lease in Commercial Real Estate
A full service lease is a lease in which a tenant pays only a base rate, and the landlord is responsible for paying all other expenses. Full service leases often contain an expense stop, a point above which a tenant becomes responsible for contributing to the operating expenses of the property. Common expenses can include common area maintenance (CAM) fees, utilities, property taxes, and property insurance. However, full service leases can vary widely in their exact terms, so, whether you’re a tenant or a landlord, it’s essential to understand the specific terms of the lease that you have signed.
Residual Land Value in Commercial Real Estate
Residual land value is a metric that equals the value of the land, after all costs of developing have been subtracted.
Pari Passu in Commercial Real Estate
In commercial real estate, pari passu simply means that two investors, creditors, or assets are on equal footing— that is, without preference to one or the other — particularly in regards to syndication payouts.
MSA: Metropolitan Statistical Area in Commercial Real Estate
Metropolitan Statistical Areas, or MSAs, are U.S. government designations for specific urban areas. MSAs are defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Currently, there are 383 Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the United States and 7 in Puerto Rico. An MSA generally groups several cities and counties that are closely interconnected, which makes it significantly easier for government agencies and businesses to compile statistics about a specific area