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Is there a difference between buying commercial real estate and buying a house?


Many of the concepts are the same, but there can be significant differences between the commercial and residential real estate markets. It is far more common for commercial property to be leased, rather than sold. Many commercial properties are owned by large real estate holding companies. These entities will often enter into long-term leases with various businesses. The lease periods can be longer and are often three, five, or ten years in term.

This stands in sharp contrast to the residential market, where outright sales are more common. Residential real estate also offers significant leasing and renting opportunities for the consumer, but typically for one-year terms.

Certain types of commercial transactions can have additional legal implications, particularly with regards to zoning and land use. For example, if you are hoping to buy or lease a commercial building in which to manufacture chemical products, you’ll need to consult with an attorney to verify that you file the proper public permits and that the location is properly zoned for such activity. These sorts of issues are less common for residential buyers, who generally plan to use the home for the purpose for which it was intended: a residence.

Commercial buyers and lessors generally are not afforded the same consumer protections as residential buyers and sellers. Commercial entities are generally considered to be sophisticated parties, usually represented by counsel.


Still can’t find the answers or tools you need?  Contact us and let our professional staff of experts help assist you in meeting your commercial real estate needs.