Understanding The Different Commercial Property Types
Touring different properties and considering their use can help prepare you to accurately price and develop a general procedure for your commercial property inspections. A commercial property is defined as a building, structures and improvements located on a parcel of commercial real estate intended to generate a profit.
Retail Commercial Property
This type of property is where goods and/or services are sold to customers. An inspection of this kind of property could entail evaluating just one unit or an entire retail complex. Most retail spaces have ample parking areas and bordering sidewalks, while some may have escalators, elevators, and covered parking structures.
This type of property will vary in size and complexity but will generally include a large kitchen with commercial appliances, a storage room or pantry, a refrigerated space (such as a walk-in refrigerator and/or freezer), an office, the dining area, and public restrooms.
Multi-Dwelling Unit Commercial Property
This includes residential properties such as condominiums, apartment buildings and townhomes. The interior of each individual dwelling unit may be familiar to a home inspector, but a commercial inspection for this type of property will require you to inspect more than one dwelling unit and possibly its common areas, which may include a communal pool and spa, and parking structure.
Hotel and Lodging
Similar to a multi-dwelling unit, this type of property will entail several individual residential units. The biggest difference is that lodging is designed for temporary occupancy and will usually include a large commercial kitchen or on-site restaurant. Before inspecting a commercial kitchen, check your E&O insurance policy because commercial kitchens are often excluded in a home inspector’s insurance coverage.
Office Commercial Property
A commercial office is a property that is used by business professionals, medical and dental professionals, tech firms, and more. A standard office space is divided into separate rooms, and typically includes restrooms, and a possibly a residential-style kitchen.
Some commercial properties may not fall into any of these categories and are considered special-purpose buildings. For instance, casinos, churches, schools, airports, and bowling alleys are categorized as special-purpose buildings. Additionally, a commercial inspector may be hired to evaluate a multi-use property that is a commercial property type that includes both commercial and residential space.