Commercial Real Estate Terms – C


Call Date:
Periodic or continuous rights given to the lender to cause payment of the total principal balance prior to the maturity date

CAM: Charges for maintaining the common areas of a building. See NNN

Capital Appreciation: The change in market value of a property or portfolio adjusted for capital improvements and partial sales

Capital Expenditures:
Investment of cash or the creation of a liability to acquire or improve an asset, as distinguished from cash outflows for expense items that are considered part of normal operations

Capital Gain
: The amount by which the net proceeds from the sale of a capital item exceeds the book value of the asset

Capital Improvements: Expenditures that arrest deterioration of property or add new improvements and appreciably prolong its life

Capital Markets: Public and private markets where businesses or individuals can raise or borrow capital

Carrying Charges: Costs incidental to property ownership that must be absorbed by the landlord during the initial lease-up of a building and thereafter during periods of vacancy

Cash Flow: The revenue remaining after all cash expenses are paid

Cash-on-Cash Yield:
The relationship, expressed as a percentage, between the net cash flow of a property and the average amount of invested capital during an operating year

Certificate of occupancy: A document presented by a local government agency or building department certifying that a building and/or the leased area has been satisfactorily inspected and is in a condition suitable for occupancy. Also applies to residential. See Landlord.CO

Chapter 7: That portion of the federal bankruptcy code that deals with business liquidations. See more on Chapter 7.

Chapter 11: That portion of the federal bankruptcy code that deals with business reorganizations. See more on Chapter 11.

Circulation Factor:
Interior space required for internal office circulation not accounted for in the net square footage

Class “A”:
A real estate rating generally assigned to properties that will generate the highest rents per square foot due to their high quality and/or superior location

Class “B”:
Good assets that most tenants would find desirable but lack attributes that would permit owners to charge top dollar

Class “C”: Buildings that offer few amenities but are otherwise in physically acceptable condition and provide cost-effective space to tenants who are not particularly image-conscious

Clear-Span Facility:
A building, most often a warehouse or parking garage, with vertical columns on the outside edges of the structure and a clear span between columns

Closing: A set date and time where buyer and seller exchange funds to transfer of property or settlement of mortgages and loans documents with a refiance.

CMBS (commercial mortgage-backed securities): Securities backed by loans on commercial real estate

CMO (collateralized mortgage obligation): Debt obligations that are collateralized by and have payments linked to a pool of mortgages

Co-Investment: Co-investment occurs when two or more groups share ownership of a real estate investment. Maybe in a number of different legal structures. LLC, REIT etc.

Co-Investment Program: An investment partnership or insurance company separate account that enables two or more pension funds to co-invest their capital in a single property or portfolio of properties.

Asset(s) pledged to a lender to secure repayment of a loan in case of default

Commingled fund: A pooled fund vehicle that enables qualified employee benefit plans to commingle their capital for the purpose of achieving professional management, greater diversification or investment positions in larger properties

Common area: For lease purposes, the areas of a building and its site that are available for the non-exclusive use of all its tenants, e.g., lobbies, corridors, etc. See also NNN

Common Area Maintenance – CAM:
Rent charged to the tenant in addition to the base rent to maintain the common areas. Examples include snow removal, outdoor lighting, parking lot sweeping, insurance, property taxes, etc. See also NNN

Comparables: Used to determine the fair market lease (FMV) rate or asking price, based on other properties with similar characteristics. See Appraisals.

Cash or cash equivalents expended by the landlord in the form of rental abatement, additional tenant finish allowance, moving expenses or other monies expended to influence or persuade a tenant to sign a lease

The process of taking private property, without the consent of the owner, by a governmental agency for public use through the power of eminent domain

Conduit: An alliance between mortgage originators and an unaffiliated organization that acts as a funding source by regularly purchasing loans, usually with a goal of pooling and securitizing them

Construction Loan: Interim financing during the developmental phase of a property

Construction Management:
The act of ensuring the various stages of the construction process are completed in a timely and seamless fashion

: Any company or individual that provides the following services to institutional investors: definition of real estate investment policy; adviser/manager recommendations; analysis of existing real estate portfolios;

Consumer Price Index (CPI):
Measures inflation in relation to the change in the price of goods and services purchased by a specified population during a base period of time. The CPI is commonly used to increase the base rent periodically as a means of protecting the landlord’s rental stream against inflation or to provide a cushion for operating expense increases for a landlord unwilling to undertake the record-keeping necessary for operating expense escalations.

Contiguous Space
: Multiple suites/spaces within the same building and on the same floor that can be combined and rented to a single tenant, or a block of space located on multiple adjoining floors in a building

Contract Documents:
The complete set of design plans and specifications for the construction of a building

Contract Rent:
The rental obligation, expressed in dollars, as specified in a lease. Also known as face rent.

Convertible Debt:
A mortgage position that gives the lender the option to convert to a partial or full ownership position in a property within a specified time period

: Most commonly refers to the transfer of title to property between parties by deed. The term may also include most of the instruments with which an interest in real estate is created, mortgaged or assigned.

Core Properties: The major property types – specifically office, retail, industrial and multifamily. Core assets tend to be built within the past five years or recently renovated. They are substantially leased (90 percent or better) with higher-credit tenants and well-structured long-term leases with the majority fairly early in the term of the lease. Core assets generate good, stable income that and potential appreciation.

Cost-Approach Improvement Value: The current cost to construct a reproduction of, or replacement for, the existing structure less an estimate for accrued depreciation

Cost-Approach Land Value:
The estimated value of the fee simple interest in the land as if vacant and available for development to its highest and best use

Cost-of-Sale Percentage: An estimate of the costs to sell an investment representing brokerage commissions, closing costs, fees and other necessary disposition expenses

The nominal interest rate charged to the borrower on a promissory note or mortgage

Covenant: A written agreement inserted into deeds or other legal instruments stipulating performance or non-performance of certain acts, or use or non-use of a property and/or land

Cross-Collateralization: A grouping of mortgages or properties that serves to jointly secure one debt obligation

Cross-Defaulting: Allows the trustee to call all loans in a group into default when any single loan is in default

Cumulative Discount Rate: Expressed as a percentage of base rent, it is the interest rate used in finding present values that takes into account all landlord lease concessions.

Current Occupancy:
The current leased portion of a building or property expressed as a percentage of its total area or units

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